OT: McKinley

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Thu Feb 19 19:36:17 EST 2004


On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 mks at brisingamen.demon.co.uk wrote:
|Another book I recently took a dislike to,
|to the extent of spending Christmas Night on the internet, researching
|various things he said, was Simon Winchester's book on the Oxford
|English Dictionary. Admittedly this was fuelled  in part by being a
|native of the city and having worked at the Bodleian myself, but he's
|a graduate of the city, his son acted as a researcher there for him
|yet certain things were simply inaccurate and should have been picked
|up. And that was before we got to the various infelicituous turns of
|phrase and casual dismissals of various personalities as well-meaning
|amateur helpers of Murray's when they often had serious academic track
|records. I bristled on their behalfs.

I don't have enough background to know what was accurate or not in
_Professor and the Madman_, but it irritated me, too.  I read it anyway,
because I find the subject matter fascinating, but the style... feh.
That sloppy patronizing tone too many popular non-fiction writers adopt
so people won't be scared off by potentially "too academic" works.
Learn from John McPhee, people!

-deborah
--
I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Here is my handle and here is my ... my ...
Hey, I'm a sugar bowl!

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