Kory Stamper’s debut book Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries was published by Pantheon in March and has attracted widespread interest, with appreciative articles appearing in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and other print and digital media, along with interviews on NPR’s Fresh Air and Here and Now. A review in Publisher’s Weekly describes Word by Word as “A witty, sly, occasionally profane behind-the-scenes tour aimed at deposing the notion of ‘real and proper English.’”
David Vancil, a longtime contributor to the DSNA newsletter and former curator of the Cordell Collection of Dictionaries, has published in many fields touching on collections held in the library of Indiana State University. Included in this bibliography are two books he compiled relating to the history of lexicography and four monographs bringing together many of his published poems.
Catalog of Dictionaries, Word Books, and Philological Texts, 1440-1900: Inventory of the Cordell Collection of Dictionaries, Indiana State University. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993. 397 pp.
Incunable Dictionaries: A Checklist and Publishing History. Kevin Jett, editorial assistant. Terre Haute, IN: Friends of the Cunningham Memorial Library, 1994. 223 pp.
Poetry (arranged chronologically):
The Art School Baby. Terre Haute, IN: Hawkhead Press, 1992. 30 pp.
The Homesick Patrol. Woodridge, CT: Viet Nam Generation, Inc. & Burning Cities Press, 1995. 64 pp.
Night Photo. Black River Falls, WI: Obscure Publications, 2008. 28 pp.
Moon Walking. Georgetown, KY: Finishing Line Press, 2009. 24 pp.
Our member Richard Bieman calls our attention to a recent publication about the indigenous Indian population of early southern New England and Long Island, by Carl Masthay. Carl and he are both members of the TOPSociety, an organization similar to Mensa, but with a membership threshold of an IQ in the top 1% rather than Mensa’s 2%. Carl’s book is: Languages and Lore of the Long Island Indians, edition 2, Carl Masthay, Linguistics Editor, and Gaynell Stone, Ph.D. Lore Editor. ISBN: 978‑1‑5323‑2090‑3. Highlights of the book include:
*The Lore section, which provides new images of the material culture record, belief systems, and Native art.
*A succession of early maps of Long Island showing Indian towns.
*Slate tablet from Dosoris Beach, Glen Cove, which is now realized to be a map of North Shore Nassau County, also showing their food sources.
*The story of Cockenoe‑de‑Long Island, translator for Colonials and Natives.
*The story of Samson Occom, teacher and preacher for the Montaukett B, the only Long Island indigenous to have his portrait painted.
*A great amount of linguistic materials of Long Island and of Southern Connecticut.
Susanna Janssen shares this information about her new book.
Hello fellow members of the Dictionary Society! I joined less than a year ago—don’t know why
it took me so long to find you—and while introducing myself, I also want to announce my new
book and say welcome to my wondrous world of words.
In December 2016 I published Wordstruck!: The Fun and Fascination of Language and it has
just won two Next Generation Indie Book Awards: First Place in the category of
Humor/Comedy, and Finalist in Education/Academic. Wordstruck! lightheartedly explores over
fifty different topics on words, language, and cultures with a style and substance that excites the
brain, warms the heart, and tickles the funny bone. Anything goes, from the genius of
Shakespeare to the unintentional hilarity of linguistic faux pas; from musings on the bilingual
brain to the poignant humor of my “Life in Words”; from translations gone riotously bad to
English learners tortured by our mother tongue’s inconstant consonants and sudden vowel
movements. It’s a fun and fascinating look at language and the cultures that create it wherein
you’ll share a love for metaphor, a fabulous arsenal of fascinating word origins, a surprising cure
for earworms, a joyful romp with everyone’s favorite grammar errors, and a way to spot liars by
listening to their words. You’ll see that color can be a language as foreign as Farsi, and that there
are countless words in other languages that we simply have no translation for in English. And
that’s only a quarter of the chapters in this love affair with the lexicon!
Author Richard Lederer wrote an endorsement for Wordstruck! that I’d like to share with you:
“Susanna Janssen is one of the most wordstruck, word besotted, word bethumped people riding
our planet. Reading Wordstruck!, one basks in the luminous presence of learning dressed up to
I am a professor emeritus of Spanish living amongst vineyards and redwood trees in Mendocino
County of Northern California. I continue to teach private classes in Spanish and Italian, coach
language learners on skill development and fluency, translate at a rural medical clinic in Mexico,
and write a newspaper column on words, language, culture and travel.