The Dictionary of Difficult Words

"Doppelgänger," "estival," and "funambulist." Jane Solomon shares the story behind her new children's book, "The Dictionary of Difficult Words"

Mignon Fogarty
Episode #681
The cover of The Dictionary of Difficult Words

You may remember my chat with Jane Solomon about a year ago when we talked about how Dictionary.com had started defining emoji. Well, she’s back today to talk about her new children’s book, "The Dictionary of Difficult Words." 

We talked about the long history of "difficult word" dictionaries in the English language, how she chose the particular difficult words in her book, which letters have the best words, and the specific constraints that dictionary writers often encounter (such as  limited acceptable "defining vocabularies") and the constraints she put upon herself.

You can listen to the entire interview by clicking the player above or by finding the podcast on any podcasting app, but if you prefer to read it, we also have a complete (rough) transcript.

Image courtesy of Jane Solomon.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the "Today Show" and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase "grammar nazi" and loves the word "kerfuffle." She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. 

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