I have written a book about reading the Oxford English Dictionary from A to Zyxt. The book is an account of what it is like to read 21,730 pages of the OED as well as a compendium of the most interesting and unusual words that I find therein.
It was published by Perigee Books in July, 2008.
"Oddly inspiring....This is the Super Size Me of lexicography....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, The New York Times Book Review (August 3, 2008)
"Readworthy...features such far-out selections from the Oxford English Dictionary as goat-drunk, 'made lascivious by alcohol.'"
--William Safire, The New York Times Magazine
"Delicious...a lively lexicon."
--Cathleen Medwick, O magazine
"This is an absolutely delightful book, and one that may help you spice up your vocabulary, if you are bold enough to call someone a mafflard. It will happify you.
--Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness
"A charmingly good-natured and delightfully engrossing tour of the OED. Ammon Shea is the ideal reader that all dictionary editors are secretly writing for. Let him show you around ... you won't regret it."
--Erin McKean, Editor, Verbatim: The Language Quarterly
"Ammon Shea has plundered the dark recesses of the Oxford English Dictionary and brought us back lexical gold. ...Not to be a bully-scribbler, but I'm telling you: Don't be a bayard -- read this book!"
-- Martha Barnette, co-host of public radio's "A Way with Words"