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The Ring of Words


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgements Part I: Tolkien as Lexicographer Part II: Tolkien as Wordwright Part III: Word Studies Epilogue: Tolkien's influence on the English Language Bibliography Index

About the Author

Peter Gilliver is an Associate Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, having joined the project in 1987. He is also working on a history of the OED for Oxford University Press. Jeremy Marshall is an Associate Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary; he joined the department in 1988 as a science editor for the New Shorter OED. He was co-author of Questions of English. Edmund Weiner is Deputy Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary; he joined in 1977 to work on the Supplement to the OED. He has written several books on English grammar and usage, and teaches an annual course in the history of English.


If you are a fan either of scholar and fiction writer J.R.R. Tolkien or the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), it will probably not come as a surprise that Tolkien was an assistant to Henry Bradley, one of the early editors of the OED. What may be surprising, however, is just how absorbing and readable this short volume by OED current senior editors Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner is. The authors include archival material never before seen, and in an age when publishing and scholarly research are so dependent on computers, it's wonderful to follow the trail of definitions as they grew and were revised on napkins, receipts, and the backs of bank statements. By following Tolkien's work, they show not only the development of the OED's methodology but also what a huge labor of love such an undertaking would have been (and still is) and the extent to which its initial formation depended on the individual talents of its creators. Offering a window into the fascinating world of how the greatest English-language dictionary came to be and continues to evolve, this book is recommended for public and academic libraries. Felicity D. Walsh, Emory Univ., Decatur, GA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

`Review from previous edition a valuable contribution to study of the OED itself....The Ring of Words successfully reunites the academic and creative aspects of Tolkien.' John Garth, TLS `The Ring of Words is one of the most captivating works I ... have come upon in the last decade dealing with J. R. R. Tolkien or any aspect of his work.' Philip Kaveny, MBR Bookwatch `Here is God's plenty, but in a small package.' James Vanden Bosch, The Lion and the Unicorn

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