There are 5 posts.
When I retired from the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013 several newspapers picked up on the ‘news’ to inform their public that the OED’s chief word detective was hanging up his boots, calling it a day, or picking up his P45. So it seemed natural enough, when I came to write The Word Detective, that […]more
Oxford is a very dangerous place to live at the moment. A body has been found in the woods, bludgeoned to death, and decorated with maggots and a dead raven as part of what seems to be a bizarre alchemical ceremony. When another body is found in the river, tied to a wooden stake with […]more
Perhaps you’re considering a weekend away in an English country house, or maybe you’ve got an upcoming trip on the Orient Express. Either way, you arrive, meet the other guests, and unpack your bags. After a meal – and maybe a glass of port and a game of bridge – you bid goodnight to your […]more
Following on from our post about the etymology of the word book, we’ve delved into the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to find different words for book and various types of book through time… they’re in the word cloud above, and the list below. anagraph – a record or register of events. anagraphy – an anagraph. […]more
Dorothy L. Sayers, born in 1893, was a detective novelist, Christian writer, Dante translator, a glorious wordsmith, and a true daughter of Oxford, blood and bone: her father was chaplain of Christ Church Cathedral School, and she took first class honours in medieval literature at Somerville in 1915. An American such as myself daring to reflect […]more