My dad sent me this one (clipped from the paper, in an envelope, via post. John Sr. kicks it old school). It’s the obituary of Eugene Ehrlich, a self-educated lexicographer and the author of 40 dictionaries.
Ehrlich wrote “The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate,” “Veni, Vidi, Vici: Conquer Your Enemies, Impress Your Friends with Everyday Latin,” and “Les Bons Mots, or How to Amaze Tout le Monde with Everyday French.” Shortcuts to tarting up your vocabulary without having to read lots of books or learn other languages.
I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but Ehrlich sounds like a bit of a snob*. His aim seems to have been teaching people how to appear smart by showing them big words. I wonder what he would have thought of Wordie, which is full of people who know they’re smart and enjoy words in all sizes. Erudite people snickering at poop.
He probably would have hated it, but still, hats off to a guy who wrote 40 dictionaries, and on his deathbed was correcting the use of “who” as a prepositional object.
* Of course I’m talking out of my ass again, seeing as I’ve never actually read any of Ehrlich’s books. If anyone has, could you enlighten us in the comments?