Word lovers

An author named Ammon Shea has just written a book about how he read the entire Oxford English Dictionary.

That touched a nerve, because when I was sixteen I tried to read the entire American Heritage Dictionary (I still have the marked-up copy next to me now). Ammon made it through. I got side-tracked at around P, I think.

Why would I do such a thing? My mother tongue was (is) German, but I was living in America and wanted to get on top of this thing, the English language. My model was Joseph Conrad, who didn’t learn English until he was in his twenties, then became one of the greatest writers in the English language ever.

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