Saturday, March 13, 2010


A reader wondered in a comment how much “ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE” cost back in 1915. Here’s the answer, more or less:

[From the Library of Congress’s Catalogue of Copyright Entries (1913). Via Google Books.]

In an essay in The Oxford History of English Lexicography (ed. A. P. Cowie, 2009), Sidney I. Landau says that the selling strategy behind the New Standard Dictionary “might be summarized as, ‘Give them more for less,’ i.e. increase the coverage of vocabulary and package the book so that it can be sold cheaply.”

comments: 1

Thom said...

As a child I was always fascinated by books that purported to contain everything one needs to know: encyclopedias, encyclopedic dictionaries, etc. I guess I still am: my favorite reference book is the Petit Larousse Illustré. I'm sure it has everything known to mankind in there. ;-)