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Dr. Johnson's Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book That Defined the World (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 10. April 2006

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  • Taschenbuch: 288 Seiten
  • Verlag: John Murray General Publishing Division (10. April 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0719566320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719566325
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,7 x 1,7 x 19,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 77.536 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Hitchings offers us a highly entertaining guided tour...anyone interested in dictionaries, Dr Johnson or the English language will surely spend many happy hours with this book The Independent Ingenious and fascinating The Sunday Times Excellent. Daily Express Immensely enjoyable, easily erudite Scotland On Sunday I can warmly recommend Henry Hitching's book...affectionate in its portrayal of Johnson, the book itself is immensely likeable, written with serious intent and gentle good humour. Spectator Lively and entertaining Observer A pleasant stroll, with a genial guide, through Johnson's life The Independent on Sunday Clever, wittily-written and amusingly-arranged The Guardian A rich, lively and attractive book. The Times Literary Supplement Hitchings writes with Johnsonian clarity and verve ... This is a charming book Evening Standard 'A clever, sympathetic and witty sketch of both man and book.' Waterstones Books Quarterly 'A goldmine of pleasures...Hitchings has an infectious relish for words' - Phil Baker Sunday Times 'Full of elegance and nail-on-the-head wit' Sunday Telegraph 'Hitchings has produced an absorbing account of Johnson's Dictionary that is as likeable as it is learned' Independent 'Full of serendipitous felicities' Times Higher Education Supplement 'Hitchings excellent book is both a great potted guide to the dictionary and its creation, and a marvellous biography of Johnson...A must-have for devotees of the English Language' Observer 'Excellent... Hitching's book is full of serendipitous felicities' David Nokes, Times Higher Educational Supplement 'In [Johnson's] description of "dull" he writes: "Not exhilarating; not delightful; as, to make dictionaries is dull work." Nobody could describe Hitching's book as dull' Colin Waters, Sunday Herald 'This story is a pleasurable stroll through Johnson's life, and combines elements of biography with social history and an examination of Johnson's concerns, illustrated by examples from the great work itself.' Irish Times 'Memorable passages on a range of fascinating subjects.' The Good Book Guide 'An engaging profile of one of London's great characters' Time Out, Tom Howard 'Henry Hitchings (a fine 18th-century name that) is a remarkable young scholar of the age of Johnson, and his DR JOHNSON'S DICTIONARY, arranged alphabetically like the eponymous original whose 250th anniversary it celebrates, offers an entertaining window on this most fascinating character and his times' BBC History Magazine 'Entertaining study...The great strength of Hitching's book is the compliment he pays to Johnson by so lavishly quoting from the Dictionary' Sunday Telegraph 'Hitchings has written a lively and appetite-whetting biography of the great book itself...one of the most fascinating and influential literary endeavours in the history of English literature' Herald 'Henry Hitchings' book on Samuel Johnson's mighty Dictionary is so good, so apposite, so chewy and edible, that I felt as if I were rereading it on my first pass' Will Self, New Statesman 'Hugely entertaining, it's a real treat for word lovers' Sainsburys Magazine 'The author is to be congratulated on narrating the drudgery of the dictionary's compilation so engagingly' Evening Standard 'The author has followed ably in the footsteps of his subject, producing a witty and learned book on a man whose work shaped, and continues to shape, the way we speak and think' The Good Book Guide 'An extraordinary read' Venue 'This is a delightful book about an extraordinary man. I suspect Dr Johnson himself would have approved... and there's no greater praise than that' John Humphrys 'A lively and appetite-whetting biography of the great book' Herald 'Henry Hitchings's book is lively, erudite and enriched with colourful anecdotes - a masterful account of one of the greatest literary triumphs of the eighteenth century' Giles Milton 'Engaging' Literary Review 'This is a delightful book about an extraordinary man. I suspect Dr Johnson himself would have approved ... and there's no greater praise than that' John Humphreys


Communication is essential to our lives, but how often do we stop to think about where the words we use have come from? Have you ever thought about which words in English have been borrowed from Arabic, French or Dutch? Try admiral, landscape and marmalade just for starters. The Secret Life of Words is a wide-ranging account not only of the history of English, but also of how words witness history, reflect social change and remind us of our turbulent past. Henry Hitchings delves into our promiscuous language and reveals how and why it has absorbed words from more than 350 other languages -- many originating from the most unlikely of places, such as shampoo from Hindi and kiosk from Turkish. From the Norman Conquest to the present day, Hitchings narrates the story of English as an archive of our human experience and uncovers the secrets behind everyday words. This is a celebration of our language; after reading it, you will never again take the words we use for granted.

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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Mark O'Neill am 9. Mai 2006
Format: Taschenbuch
We all know the Dr Johnson portrayed in the classic Blackadder episode and we all use his book, the Dictionary, every day. This book explores the life and background of Johnson, as well as his struggle to write the world's first English dictionary. A great subject for a book but in places, quite boring and unreadable.

For readers who are linguists or lexicographers, you would probably give this book 5 stars, because a lot of the book examines the definitions that Johnson gave to words, its original Latin or Greek roots, arguments for and against Johnson's definitions and so on. For those of us who are not linguists or lexicographers, these pages come across as rather dry, pedantic, and downright boring. I wanted the book to be a straightforward history book / biography but instead we get a lesson in lingustics, word formation and quotes from literature.

I was however amused and perhaps a little impressed by Hitchings including the Blackadder episode in the book and I liked parts of the book where he wrote clearly, fluently and concisely. I also liked how he named each book chapter after a word in Johnson's dictionary along with Johnson's definition. That was rather clever.

This book is highly interesting and in places extremely fascinating. But the author has the tendency to ramble on and on in places which will make you start to flip pages. So only buy this if you are truly interested in the subject of linguistics, the history of the English language and a fan of biographies in general. Otherwise you may end up disappointed.
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Von Pascal am 7. März 2014
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Wer sich schon immer gefragt hat, was Samuel johnson dazu bewegt hat sein Jahrhundertwerk zu verfassen ist bei diesem Buch an der richtigen Stelle. Mit dem nötigen ernst aber auch humor beschreibt Hitchings hier sehr eindrücklich die Bestrebungen Johnsons ein Standard-Wörterbuch der Englischen Sprache zu verfassen. So Manchem mag dieses Buch womöglich etwas zu detailliert erscheinen. Meinen Zwecken, nämlich dem Staatsexamen in Englisch, hat dieses Buch sehr genüge getan.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Words, Words, Words 23. April 2008
Von T. M. Jackson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Dr. Samuel Johnson created the first comprehensive English dictionary almost single-handedly, and this book traces the story of it's creation. Hitchings wrote his doctoral thesis on the same subject, and this book seems to be an expansion of his original work. The author is obviously well-researched on his subject, and this book is entertaining and informative, though sometimes slow and dry. The frame of the book is Johnson's life and the chapters are charmingly titled by a word and definition from the dictionary that is relevant to the chapter's subject matter, but the true meat and real delight of this book are the choice words and definitions Hitchings gleans from the original work and the anecdotes of Johnson's life that give glimpses into his mind.

The writing of the dictionary was truly an achievement, and Hitchings traces Johnson's ingenuity, labors, and ultimate impact with great care. In every paragraph it is obvious that Hitchings is an expert in his material and he treats the subject matter with respect. In addition to the many historical facts he presents regarding Johnson's life and career, Hitchings seems to take delight in sharing as many definitions as he can squeeze in, especially the odd ones, and draws many conclusions about Johnson himself from how they were written. In fact, I had the impression while reading it that it was the peculiarities of the Dictionary that got Hitchings interested to begin with. The fact that he is obviously an expert in his subject and presents his proof, from the dictionary, other contemporary sources, and Johnson's extensive writing, with every deduction makes this story both believable and interesting.

The only real fault in this book to me was the fact that Hitchings' writing is at times a little too dry and too fond of long words. Parts of the book drag and feel repetitive, though when I went back to figure out where the repetition was, I couldn't find it. It just felt that way while reading it, that I just wanted Hitchings to get to his next point already. Hitchings includes an immense amount of material with Johnson's life - history of dictionaries, circumstance of and commentary on life in the 18th century, and definition after definition - so the book felt very long.

The best part of this book is the joy of entertaining definitions. My favorites are the confusing ones, like "to lie with" meaning "to converse in bed," and the list of words with vastly different meanings than they carry today, such as "urinator" meaning "a diver, one who searches underwater." Hitchings shows his own flashes of humor and personality in his work, just as Johnson did, by sharing his favorite anecdotes of Johnson and his own tart remarks on Johnson's writings, such as the above definition of "to lie with," where he points out that Johnson "could certainly have been more straightforward." For anyone who enjoys words and their various meanings, it is well worth a read.
BUY THIS BOOK 2. März 2015
Von Sarah McGinty (smcginty@tiac.com) - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Readable, informative, scholarly and fun (did you imagine there would be an important reference to Fatal Attraction?), Dr. Johnson's Dictionary is a deep and rich slice of history that uses the process and publication of one book to illuminate the political, social and linguistic history of mid-18th century England. Stylistically polished, Hitchings's book gives us just one part of the great Doctor's story (SJ had to lobby hard for that honorary degree), but the creation, birth and long life of this amazing book is a dish you will dine on for many days. I want more!!
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