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Satisdiction - Ammon Shea

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Satisdiction - one man's journey into all the words he'll ever need
Ammon Shea
Paperback / softback
Penguin Books
UK Publication Date

Ammon Shea was ten when he first discovered the joy of reading a dictionary rather than using it to look a word up. Little did he imagine that one day he would spend over $1,000 and sacrifice an entire bookcase and a whole year to the twenty volumes that make up the king of all reference books: the Oxford English Dictionary.

It was a year that changed his life, not least when he fell in love with a lexicographer.
In this hilarious, personal and fascinating book, with a chapter for each letter of the alphabet, Shea introduces us to hundreds of words he discovered that deserve to see the light of day again, and explains why. Want to know the word for the area on your back that you can't reach to scratch (acnestis)? Or the term for the smell of earth just after a rainstorm (petrichor) ? Or perhaps you're just looking for the word to describe that feeling of saying enough (satisdiction). This book is all you need.

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Ammon Shea has been reading dictionaries for twenty years. Along the way he has supported this habit by being a street muscian in Paris, a gondolier in San Diego and a furniture mover in New York City. He lives in New York with his girlfriend (a former lexicographer) and a large number of old dictionaries. Visit his website at

Delightful . . . I doubt if a dictionary has ever had such love and attention lavished on it
Irish Times

Inspiring . . . Shea has walked the wildwood of our gnarled, ancient speech and returned singing incomprehensible sounds in a language that turns out to be our own
The New York Times

Drily humorous . . . Shea' s Infectious spirit shines through

Keyword Index
Encyclopedias and dictionaries - History and criticism.|English language - Lexicography.|English language - Etymology.
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