Lex in the City: reflections on a year in the North American Editorial Unit

“My new friends seem to expect the life of a young woman living in Manhattan to mirror that of Carrie Bradshaw, the alluring protagonist of the popular TV programme Sex and the City. I’m expected to follow in the stiletto heels of that (in)famous TV drama’s befurred, cosmo-swilling crew. Alas, I am inevitably a disappointment to these admirers; for I came to New York not to linger over the pistachio- encrusted sea bass of the latest celebrity chef, but rather to ponder North American language and usage as one of three lexicographers working for the OED’s North American Editorial Unit. And, while I hate to disappoint, there is no way around it: champagne-fizzed evenings will not be followed by breakfasts of white truffles and afternoons at Barneys – not on my lexicographer’s salary. My mornings, afternoons, and evenings will be spent in an office suited for the serious study of lemmas – secluded, snug (not to say cramped), my desk laden with computers and tiny, scrawled-upon citation slips.” Madeline McDonnellLex in the City: reflections on a year in the North American Editorial Unit (OED Newsletter)

Thanks, Jim for pointing me to the newsletter archives.