November 21, 2005

Meet "America's Lexicographical Sweetheart"

Erin McKean, dubbed "America's Lexicographical Sweetheart" by National Public Radio, will speak in the Greenwich (Conn.) Library Meeting Room Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m. Ms. McKean has just finished editing the new Oxford American Dictionary. Among the new wave of top lexicographers, she is one of the younger wordsmiths who have taken over guardianship of the nation's language, disproving Samuel Johnson's definition of a lexicographer as "a harmless drudge." McKean is in fact the youngest editor in chief of the "Big Five" American dictionaries. The rise of young, hip lexicographers reflects changes in the culture at large. The computer revolution has given these editors a huge tech-savvy edge.

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1 comment:

Emily Alling said...

How exciting to read about someone as forward-thinking, enlightened, and competent as Ms. McKean being at the helm of one of our major dictionaries (score one for the linguists!)....but the "sweetheart" appellation stuck on her by NPR makes me a little queasy. Wonder how she feels about it! Anyhow, I really wish I could make this talk.