Katherine Mangu-Ward Reviews The Story of Ain't

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story of ain't

Published in 1961, Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language strove to record American English as it was spoken by everyone, not just the "elegant" upper-class idiom captured by its predecessor, 1934's Webster's Second. Lingustic hardliners were not amused, as David Skinner explains in his new book, The Story of Ain't. Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward sticks up for a loosey-goosey approach to lexicography in her review.