John Simpson is the author of the memoir The Word Detective: Searching for the Meaning of It All at the Oxford English Dictionary (Basic Books). The former chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, where he helped take the dictionary online, he is an emeritus fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford, and writes and researches widely on lexical, literary, and historical issues. He now lives in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom.


The Oxford English Dictionary is the undisputed cream of the lexicographical crop, but who cares if no one consults this unwieldy behemoth? Its editors mean to change that.