The Story Of Ain't: America, Its Language, And The Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published

Paperback | September 24, 2013

byDavid Skinner

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“It takes true brilliance to lift the arid tellings of lexicographic fussing into the readable realm of the thriller and the bodice-ripper….David Skinner has done precisely this, taking a fine story and honing it to popular perfection.”
—Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman

The Story of Ain’t by David Skinner is the captivating true chronicle of the creation of Merriam Webster’s Third New International Dictionary in 1961, the most controversial dictionary ever published. Skinner’s surprising and engaging, erudite and witty account will enthrall fans of Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman and The Meaning of Everything, and The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs, as it explores a culture in transition and the brilliant, colorful individuals behind it. The Story of Ain’t is a smart, often outrageous, and altogether remarkable tale of how egos, infighting, and controversy shaped one of America’s most authoritative language texts, sparking a furious language debate that the late, great author David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest) once called “the Fort Sumter of the Usage Wars.” 

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From the Publisher

“It takes true brilliance to lift the arid tellings of lexicographic fussing into the readable realm of the thriller and the bodice-ripper….David Skinner has done precisely this, taking a fine story and honing it to popular perfection.”—Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the MadmanThe Story of Ain’...

From the Jacket

Created by the most respected American publisher of dictionaries and supervised by editor Philip Gove, Webster's Third broke with tradition, adding thousands of new words and eliminating "artificial notions of correctness," basing proper usage on how language was actually spoken. The dictionary's revolutionary style sparked what David ...

David Skinner is a writer and editor living in Alexandria, Virginia. He writes about language, culture, and his life as a husband, father, and suburbanite. He has been a staff editor at theWeekly Standard, for which he still writes, and an editor ofDoublethinkmagazine. He has written for theWall Street Journal, theNew Atlantis,Slate, t...

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Kobo ebook|Mar 14 2013

$101.39 online$131.64list price(save 22%)
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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:September 24, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062027492

ISBN - 13:9780062027498

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“A cultural story as much as a linguistic one, teeming with colorful characters and big ideas, The Story of Ain’t is a must read for anybody who loves language.”