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By RICHARD O'MARA and RICHARD O'MARA,SUN STAFF | October 7, 1998
The Oxford English Dictionary is the biggest unfinished book in the world. It is also probably the only major reference work brought into being with the significant help of a raving lunatic.An American lunatic, at that.The first edition of the OED, published in 1928, defined 414,825 English words. The second edition, in 1989, defined more than half a million. Since then, about 15,000 additional words -- some new, some overlooked -- have been tallied. The third edition, scheduled for 2005, will include all these plus whatever other words are discovered or invented in the meantime.
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By Dan Rodricks | December 5, 2010
A friend of mine has been reading a particularly fine book aloud to his wife these dark autumn-almost-winter nights. It's Simon Winchester's "biography" of that great body of water to Maryland's east. Mr. Winchester's "Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories" (HarperCollins) contains prose, my friend says, that "rolls off the tongue like a long Atlantic swell. A great story well told. " Another friend read the book and said: "Simon Winchester is a man who never wrote a simple declarative sentence.
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By Dan Fesperman and Dan Fesperman,Sun Staff | October 17, 1999
"The Fracture Zone," by Simon Winchester. HarperCollins. 257 pages. $23.There is precious little to like in this book, and that's a shame. Author Simon Winchester certainly is capable of better work, based on his fine previous effort, "The Professor and the Madman." But "The Fracture Zone: A Return to the Balkans" exhibits all the symptoms of a hasty idea hustled into print by a publisher determined to make a quick buck from a hot property.Shallow, incomplete and annoyingly melodramatic, Winchester purports to explain the centuries-old forces and tensions that led to this year's war in Kosovo from insights he gained during two trips to the region, one during the war and one in 1977.
FEATURES
October 8, 2005
GO See Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of The Were-Rabbit: It's the bubbliest comic chemistry out there - even if it IS between two figures made of plasticine, a fubsy inventor named Wallace and his mild-mannered mighty dog, Gromit. A+ Thumbsucker: Lou Pucci stars as a high school loner who finds strength and self-confidence through a mix of prescription drugs and star status on his speech and debate team, only to discover that people liked him better the other way. Tilda Swinton and Vincent D'Onofrio are his befuddled parents.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Robert Ruby and By Robert Ruby,Sun Staff | July 29, 2001
The Map That Changed the World, by Simon Winchester. HarperCollins. 329 pages. $26. For more than a decade beginning in the late 1700s, a hearty, talkative man named William Smith traveled the English countryside examining rocks. A sometime surveyor for canal and coal companies, he sketched every seam of rock exposed by the canals and mines, gathered fossils and tried to relate the two. "He had an apparent aptitude for geometry," Simon Winchester writes of the figure he seeks to elevate to the status of hero, "he could draw more than adequately, and he had an evident fascination for the rocks among which he lived."
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,SUN STAFF | October 19, 2003
The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester. Oxford University Press. 260 pages. $25. The British Empire, which once comprised a quarter of the globe, has dwindled to little more than its original island kingdom, but English is everywhere. When the American Empire follows in due course, English, like Latin, looks to outlive mere political power as a world language. The richness of this extraordinary tongue and its history lie in the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the greatest scholarly endeavors in history.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John R. Alden and John R. Alden,Special to the Sun | March 30, 2003
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, by Simon Winchester. HarperCollins. 432 pages. $25.95. Simon Winchester is a British author who specializes in the kind of quirky nonfiction that British authors do better than anyone else. It's like a clever intellectual game -- start with an obscure subject, like the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary (Winchester's The Professor and the Madman) or the origins of geography (his The Map That Changed the World) and poke into every courtyard and alley that opens onto the original topic.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,Evening Sun Staff | April 24, 1991
"Korea," by Simon Winchester, 240 pages, Prentice Hall Press, New York, N.Y., $10.95.Books like Simon Winchester's "Korea" belong to a lineage that goes back to the beginning of time, or at least to that time when some blue-painted Anglo-Saxon cave dweller ambled off to the next moor then came back to tell his cavemates about it."Korea" is one of those British travel books in which a British writer describes the peculiarities of a people who are not British.These books are endlessly popular, especially here in the United States, which itself has been described in many, many British travel books over the last couple of centuries, often unfavorably.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | December 5, 2010
A friend of mine has been reading a particularly fine book aloud to his wife these dark autumn-almost-winter nights. It's Simon Winchester's "biography" of that great body of water to Maryland's east. Mr. Winchester's "Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories" (HarperCollins) contains prose, my friend says, that "rolls off the tongue like a long Atlantic swell. A great story well told. " Another friend read the book and said: "Simon Winchester is a man who never wrote a simple declarative sentence.
FEATURES
October 8, 2005
GO See Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of The Were-Rabbit: It's the bubbliest comic chemistry out there - even if it IS between two figures made of plasticine, a fubsy inventor named Wallace and his mild-mannered mighty dog, Gromit. A+ Thumbsucker: Lou Pucci stars as a high school loner who finds strength and self-confidence through a mix of prescription drugs and star status on his speech and debate team, only to discover that people liked him better the other way. Tilda Swinton and Vincent D'Onofrio are his befuddled parents.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John E. McIntyre and John E. McIntyre,SUN STAFF | October 19, 2003
The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester. Oxford University Press. 260 pages. $25. The British Empire, which once comprised a quarter of the globe, has dwindled to little more than its original island kingdom, but English is everywhere. When the American Empire follows in due course, English, like Latin, looks to outlive mere political power as a world language. The richness of this extraordinary tongue and its history lie in the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the greatest scholarly endeavors in history.
ENTERTAINMENT
By John R. Alden and John R. Alden,Special to the Sun | March 30, 2003
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, by Simon Winchester. HarperCollins. 432 pages. $25.95. Simon Winchester is a British author who specializes in the kind of quirky nonfiction that British authors do better than anyone else. It's like a clever intellectual game -- start with an obscure subject, like the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary (Winchester's The Professor and the Madman) or the origins of geography (his The Map That Changed the World) and poke into every courtyard and alley that opens onto the original topic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Robert Ruby and By Robert Ruby,Sun Staff | July 29, 2001
The Map That Changed the World, by Simon Winchester. HarperCollins. 329 pages. $26. For more than a decade beginning in the late 1700s, a hearty, talkative man named William Smith traveled the English countryside examining rocks. A sometime surveyor for canal and coal companies, he sketched every seam of rock exposed by the canals and mines, gathered fossils and tried to relate the two. "He had an apparent aptitude for geometry," Simon Winchester writes of the figure he seeks to elevate to the status of hero, "he could draw more than adequately, and he had an evident fascination for the rocks among which he lived."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Dan Fesperman and Dan Fesperman,Sun Staff | October 17, 1999
"The Fracture Zone," by Simon Winchester. HarperCollins. 257 pages. $23.There is precious little to like in this book, and that's a shame. Author Simon Winchester certainly is capable of better work, based on his fine previous effort, "The Professor and the Madman." But "The Fracture Zone: A Return to the Balkans" exhibits all the symptoms of a hasty idea hustled into print by a publisher determined to make a quick buck from a hot property.Shallow, incomplete and annoyingly melodramatic, Winchester purports to explain the centuries-old forces and tensions that led to this year's war in Kosovo from insights he gained during two trips to the region, one during the war and one in 1977.
FEATURES
By RICHARD O'MARA and RICHARD O'MARA,SUN STAFF | October 7, 1998
The Oxford English Dictionary is the biggest unfinished book in the world. It is also probably the only major reference work brought into being with the significant help of a raving lunatic.An American lunatic, at that.The first edition of the OED, published in 1928, defined 414,825 English words. The second edition, in 1989, defined more than half a million. Since then, about 15,000 additional words -- some new, some overlooked -- have been tallied. The third edition, scheduled for 2005, will include all these plus whatever other words are discovered or invented in the meantime.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,Evening Sun Staff | April 24, 1991
"Korea," by Simon Winchester, 240 pages, Prentice Hall Press, New York, N.Y., $10.95.Books like Simon Winchester's "Korea" belong to a lineage that goes back to the beginning of time, or at least to that time when some blue-painted Anglo-Saxon cave dweller ambled off to the next moor then came back to tell his cavemates about it."Korea" is one of those British travel books in which a British writer describes the peculiarities of a people who are not British.These books are endlessly popular, especially here in the United States, which itself has been described in many, many British travel books over the last couple of centuries, often unfavorably.
NEWS
By Pamela Woolford and Pamela Woolford,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 2, 2003
An interview with Sally Yoshioka, coordinator of The Book Club. When did your club get started? We had a first meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1. We just got started this year. We had tried before to have a book club at my school. I work at an elementary school. Who are your members? They are all staff members of Ilchester Elementary School, and there's 11 of us all together. Our principal and our assistant principal are part of it. It's just women. It's teachers and teaching assistants, and I'm a health assistant.
NEWS
April 16, 2006
As San Francisco marks the 100th anniversary of its great earthquake and fire this Tuesday, it's worth asking, in light of the terrible natural calamity of our own century, about the aftermath. What followed the disaster? It has been almost eight months since Hurricane Katrina made New Orleans its biggest and most famous casualty. Thousands of the city's citizens are still scattered, thousands of its homes still uninhabitable. Huge amounts of work have yet to get under way, stalled by insurance squabbles and the wait for federal funds and regulations (some of which were announced last week)
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