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You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia
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Jack Lynch
You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia by Jack Lynch at Abbey's Bookshop,

You Could Look It Up: The Reference Shelf From Ancient Babylon to Wikipedia

Jack Lynch



Reference works;
History: specific events & topics


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An illuminating exploration of reference books through time and across cultures, from the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi to Wikipedia.

Knowledge is of two kinds, said Samuel Johnson in 1775. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. Today we think of Wikipedia as the source of all information, the ultimate reference. Yet it is just the latest in a long line of aggregated knowledge-reference works that have shaped the way we've seen the world for centuries.

You Could Look It Up chronicles the captivating stories behind these great works and their contents, and the way they have influenced each other. From The Code of Hammurabi, the earliest known compendium of laws in ancient Babylon almost two millennia before Christ to Pliny's Natural History; from the 11th-century Domesday Book recording land holdings in England to Abraham Ortelius's first atlas of the world; from Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language to The Whole Earth Catalog to Google, Jack Lynch illuminates the human stories and accomplishment behind each, as well as its enduring impact on civilization. In the process, he offers new insight into the value of knowledge.

By:   Jack Lynch
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   953g
ISBN:   9780802777522
ISBN 10:   080277752X
Publication Date:   October 2015
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

As readers make their ways through this book, they are certain to discover a wide variety of must-haves ... Great stuff for anyone who loves knowledge, deep or trivial. -- starred review Kirkus Reviews Anyone who enjoys reference books will embrace this erudite compilation and Lynch's appreciative, fluent commentary. Publishers Weekly A stunning tour de force, Lynch's new book is compulsively readable. No one has ever packed so much fascinating information about reference books into one volume. Polymaths of the world, delight! -- Bryan A. Garner, chief editor of Black's Law Dictionary and author of Garner's Modern English Usage The English language changes ... Lynch recognizes that grace, clarity, and precision of expression are paramount. His many well-chosen and entertaining examples support his conclusion that prescriptions and pedantry will always give way to change, and that we should stop fretting, relax, and embrace it. Boston Globe on THE LEXICOGRAPHER'S DILEMMA In his sprightly new history of 'proper' English ... Lynch [asks] us all to calm down, please, and recognize that 'proper' English is a recent and changeable institution. on THE LEXICOGRAPHER'S DILEMMA [A] delightful look at efforts through the centuries to define and control the English language ... [Lynch] gives us not a history of the English language but a history of those who have tried to make sense of it. Washington Post on THE LEXICOGRAPHER'S DILEMMA Lynch's book pleasingly delineates the conflict between those who have attempted to embalm English and those who have documented, and in some cases reveled in, its plasticity and mutability. Financial Times on THE LEXICOGRAPHER'S DILEMMA Lynch writes in funny and engaging prose about the human side of language history and the people who have helped make English so darn complex ... Lynch's highly readable book will appeal to all users of the English language, from word buffs to scholars alike. Library Journal on THE LEXICOGRAPHER'S DILEMMA

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