A 76-year old lexicographer continues working with his passion of the English language and all the intricacies that come along with it. He compiles dictionaries on a variety of topics and updates them as new words come into use. This very interesting news came to us from the Poughkeepsie Journal in their article, “Local wordsmith’s love of language never grows old.”
A lifelong career that started after graduate school at New York University, the publishing world was his true calling. Starting as a proofreader, David Barnhart quickly became the expert on niche vocabulary.
Barnhart’s current specialty is political terminology. After writing and publishing the 1997 book “America in So Many Words: Words that have Shaped America,” he has continued to research the ever-changing nuances of the political lexicon. His work led him to create a 228-page dictionary and a supplement to go along with it. Currently, the supplement alone is 120 pages.
He finds new words through a lot of reading and active searching. “You get up in the morning and you never know what you’re going to find,” he said. “It’s always a new slate to write on and seldom do I not find something that hasn’t been treated or hasn’t been treated well enough to justify putting it in my work.”
Obviously, a lexicographer’s work is never complete.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.