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.
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