The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
Lecture by Simon Winchester
Given at Hart House, University of Toronto, on November 28, 2003
Historian and journalist Simon Winchester speaks about his book The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Beginning with the development of dictionaries in Early Modern England, Winchester discusses the project that would emerge that would attempt to detail every written word in the English language. Originally expected to be a four-volume dictionary, the lecture details the appointment of James Murray as editor, the unusual, never-before-attempted way in which the book was constructed, and the people and processes involved in the definition of thousands of words, and the triumphant publication the final volume in 1928.