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Ammon Shea

Host, Word Matters

Ammon Shea has been an editor and researcher at Merriam-Webster for more than five years, but fewer than ten (and feels compelled to point out that “less than ten” would have also been an entirely appropriate end to this sentence). He is the author of a number of books on language, such as Reading the OED (2008) and Bad English (2014), and The Phone Book (2010), the only social history ever published on the telephone book. Prior to lexicography he worked as a furniture mover, and would like to assure all and sundry that this is an entirely logical career progression, as tracking semantic drift and functional shift, and antedating the earliest uses of words, is far easier than carrying pianos up fifth-floor walkups.