Kory Stamper has the best job title of any guest in the history of The Other 51.
She’s a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster.
She writes the dictionary.
No, the dictionary doesn’t just appear, handed down by the grammar gods. It’s written by people. People like Kory.
Kory talks what it’s like to wield the power to decide what part of speech a word is. She describes her job, and she and Brian talk about how people who write the dictionary are much more open about language and usage then you might assume. There’s a difference between language and writing, and Kory describes that. Kory talks about her book Word by Word and how writing the dictionary has made her more attuned to the rhythm of her language and her writing.
Kory also gives Brian the perfect gift idea for his wife.