✍️ The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

Esme’s father is one of the lexicographers working on the Oxford English Dictionary. As Esme gets older, she becomes involved both in his work and in women’s suffrage. This is why she starts collecting words that were not permitted in this very masculine dictionary: the ones used in everyday life, particularly by or about women, along with regional words. Fully aware of their power, she starts creating The Dictionary of Lost Words.

♥️ I liked:⁠
📖 The power of words. “Words define us, they explain us, and, on occasion, they serve to control or isolate us.” How true is this? Words can tell us so much: where a person grew up, where he or she is living now, their social background. It’s crazy if you think about it!
🔖 The Lost Words. “… words in common use (…) would necessarily be excluded. Your concern that some types of words will be lost to the future is really quite perceptive.” This is also very interesting. It’s true that only what can be written is considered an official language. The funny thing, though, is that from my experience, languages evolve in the opposite direction. Very often they are influenced and changed over time by how people speak in their everyday life.
👩 The historical background. We are presented with two important chapters of our history: WWI and the suffragette movement. I loved how Esme began to notice how the words in the Dictionary were not those of women, poor and disenfranchised. A different and more subtle form of discrimination.

🤔 I wasn’t so sure about:
It’s a bit slow. The first part of the book is not easy. You really need to be willing to go on with it. But when you reach the point where Esme is an adult, the story is much more dynamic.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 This book can be approached in two ways: as a really interesting story of words and linguistic, perfect for those who love language. Or as a great story, filled with lovely characters.

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