The Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage (1989) is unusual among the usage guides I have seen in that the work isn’t by a single author, such as Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1926) or Kingley Amis’s The King’s English (1997). The work is produced by a team, consisting of Stephen J. Perrault, Kathleen M. Doherty, David B. Justice, Madeline L. Novak and E. Ward Gilman (p. 4a).
In our research on usage guides we are interested in the kind of people that wrote usage guides. Fowler, for instance, is described on the Wikipedia website as “an English schoolmaster, lexicographer and commentator on the usage of the English language”, while Amis was a novelist, with 25 novels to his name.
So who are the writers of The Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage? In the introduction to the book they are described as lexicographers (p. 11a), but I’d like to know a bit more about them. Can anyone help? Ideally, of course Stephen J. Perrault, Kathleen M. Doherty, David B. Justice, Madeline L. Novak and E. Ward Gilman themselves?
At the 2013 biennial meeting of the Dictionary Society of North America (in Athens, Georgia), Michael Adams interviewed Ward Gilman, now retired from Merriam-Webster, via an online video conferencing program.
Many thanks for this, Ed: I found the conference report in which you mention the interview: http://mac10.typepad.com/files/dnsa_iss_37_1_fall_2013.pdf.