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Word Count: 960
Minor is Major Could only an incarcerated madman have had the time to become the most important contributor to one of the most prestigious dictionaries of all time According to Simon Winchester author of The Professor and the Madman an intellectual madman who was locked in an insane asylum had over twenty years to become the greatest contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary OED This book covers a time span from the sixteenth century up to the twentieth century The Professor and the Madman was published in 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers Inc in New York New York and is a national bestseller The Professor and the Madman creatively puts together the lives of Dr William Chester Minor and Professor James Murray and gives the background of how these two intellectual men worked together to produce the OED In describing the events and history behind the OED Winchester uses a complex method of style and presentation to structure this historic piece of literature in which people can analyze the content for themselves Winchester thoroughly describes the events and history behind the OED and the people who contributed to putting it together Minor was a sensitive soul from a wealthy family who seems to have been pushed over the edge following his experiences in the American Civil War After heading to Britain to escape his inner demons Minor started constantly carrying a gun and going to wild bars and became very promiscuous which contributed to his disturbing behavior He then killed an innocent bystander by the name of George Merrett and ended up in an insane asylum While in the asylum Minor began a correspondence that led to his becoming the most important contributor to the OED A group of aristocrats who cared deeply about the English language decided to produce the dictionary to end all dictionaries which became the OED The creation of the OED began
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