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The Professor And The Madman Essay

1122 words - 5 pages

All kinds of books are widely read by many people from around the world. There are countless books that are educating. There are many genres, but one read with the most education and significance is that of non-fiction. The Professor and the Madman by Winchester Simon is a non-fiction novel that goes into the relationship between two people with the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary is the most important dictionary and an important part in people’s lives, because it is widely used. The novel is entertaining and educational, because within the book, it has a historical significance and cultural impact where book reviews only support it.
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The dictionary would include all vocabulary starting from 1150 AD (”History” 1).
As with many great novels, they have book reviews to reflect how they are. Winchester retells the story with a well-researched mini-history of the OED, Victorian attitudes towards insanity and brightens a gloomy story with his devotion (Robot 2). This review is shown as positive, because it transforms a bad story into a rewritten entertainment. The author, Winchester, retells the story in an imaginative view that is somewhat superficial work of historical journalism (“Robot” 2). This comment is also shown as positive, because it makes a historical event into something that someone might want to read. With the creation of the dictionary, it is said that "The Oxford English Dictionary used 1,827,306 quotations to help define its 414,825 words (“Robot” 1). This review is straight-forward and shows how much work has been put into the book by Murray and others. "Winchester's remarkable book about a complex and fascinating subject is not at all fulsome but forthright” (Griffith 5). This positive review shows that with the historical event, Winchester transforms the complicated subject into something simple and entertaining. All books have reviews, and with this novel, it is full of positive comments.
All non-fictions novels have cultural impact and influence, such as The Professor and the Madman does. Many contemporaries viewed the dictionary as the first truly global lingua franca, because it documented every word from the English dictionary (Peers 1). This impacted society, because if anyone needed a word to look up, it was in the OED. Since the creation of the OED, literature has evolved into more complex pieces of work and usage of higher vocabulary (Winchester 234). Society was impacted from this, because of the vocabulary within the dictionary, people could learn and educate themselves more. "A dictionary is an historical monument, the history of a nation contemplated from one point of view" (Winchester 105). Nations influence what goes in the dictionary, because it is the nation that speaks a language which creates the putting of words into the dictionary. Society has influenced the OED by contributing words and helping it grow making grow together as a community and becoming more literate (Winchester 236). Society influences what goes into the...

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