Australasia's Biggest Online Store

We won't be beaten by anyone. Guaranteed

Reading the OED

An obsessive word lover's account of reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, hailed as "the Super Size Me of lexicography." "I'm reading the OED so you don't have to," says Ammon Shea on his slightly masochistic journey to scale the word lover's Mount Everest: the Oxford English Dictionary. In 26 chapters filled with sharp wit, sheer delight, and a documentarian's keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the OED, delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word.
Product Details

About the Author

Ammon Shea is the author of two previous books on obscure words, Depraved English and Insulting English (written with Peter Novobatzky). He read his first dictionary, Merriam Webster's Second International, ten years ago, and followed it up with the sequel, Webster's Third International. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


This chronicle reads half like the journey of a madman and half like a word-of-the-day calendar. In it, Shea (coauthor, Depraved English; Insulting English) wittily describes his headache-inducing descent into the 21,730 pages of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which he spent a full year reading. Shea sees a dictionary as a work of literature whose words are all alphabetized, and here, he offers readers a rare glimpse into the most obscure corners of the English language, from oddities such as cellarhood (to be a cellar) to the curious quisquilious (garbagelike). Many of these words are modern yet underused gems, but some are so obscure that the OED does not even include a corresponding pronunciation key owing to the word's lack of circulation in recent history. Regular use of these bizarre, sometimes long-forgotten words, writes Shea, will neither inspire advanced social status nor wisdom. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--David L. Reynolds, Cleveland P.L. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Oddly inspiring...Shea has walked the wildwood of our gnarled, ancient speech and returned singing incomprehensible sounds in a language that turns out to be our own." -Nicholson Baker, New York Times Book Review "Delicious...a lively lexicon." -O, The Oprah Magazine "Readworthy." -William Safire, The New York Times Magazine

Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by, Inc.
Back to top