Sunday, September 16, 2007

Word Lust

She was beautiful, and I let her go. I was in college at the time, and my means were limited. I remember her simple elegance, her knowledge and, above all, her Britishness. Her age didn't bother me. But she wanted $100 to go home with me -- so I left behind that set of the Oxford English Dictionary (there were 12 or 13 volumes, dating to the 1930s) on the library clearance table. Too expensive. And I've never quite gotten over it.

Until now.

And so begins Nick Owchar's review of the sixth edition of "The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary" (Oxford University Press), in today's Los Angeles Times.