COVID-19 Resources for Lawyers
Featured Guest
Kory Stamper

Kory Stamper is a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, where she also writes, edits, and appears in the “Ask the Editor”...

Your Host
Lee Rawles

Lee Rawles joined the ABA Journal in 2010 as a web producer. She has also worked for the Winston-Salem...

Episode Notes

What do lawyers and lexicographers have in common? The main job of both is to argue over the meaning of words. In this episode of the Modern Law Library, the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles talks with Kory Stamper about her work as a lexicographer and editor for Merriam-Webster; her new book, “Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries”; and her position as chief defender of the word “irregardless.” We explore the difference between the prescriptivists—whose champion, Bryan A. Garner, writes a column for the ABA Journal—and the descriptivists, and why using the dictionary definition of a word should not end all arguments. We also find out what goes on behind the scenes to produce the newest edition of a Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Mentioned in This Episode

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper

Newsletter

Notify me when there’s a new episode!

Episode Details
Published: July 19, 2017
Podcast: ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
Podcast
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library features top legal authors and their works.

Listen & Subscribe
Recent Episodes
09/09/20
‘Demagogue’ tells the story of Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s rise and fall

Larry Tye takes an in-depth look at Joseph McCarthy's life, in his book 'Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy'.

08/26/20
6 key numbers that can diagnose the financial health of your law practice

Brooke Lively discusses her book and breaks down the 6 key numbers that will help you understand the financial health of your law practice.

08/12/20
Convicted of a crime that never occurred? It happens all too often, law prof says

Jessica Henry speaks about some of the strange and heart-rending stories she's uncovered and how the legal community can work towards eliminating such injustices.

07/22/20
How well-meaning social reforms created ‘Prison by Any Other Name’

Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law outline the way that well-meaning movements ended up funneling people into environments where they faced even more scrutiny and...

07/15/20
How feminism worsened mass incarceration–and how it can stop

Aya Gruber talks about unintended consequences of feminist criminal law reforms as well as her personal experience as a public defender.

06/24/20
What does police abolition look like?

Alex S. Vitale explains the troubling origins of modern policing, why commonly suggested reforms like training and increased diversity have not been successful, and...