Erin McKean

Erin McKean (born 1971) is an American lexicographer , based in the San Francisco Bay Area. [1]

Early life and education

McKean was born in Charlotte, North Carolina . [2] She graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA / MA in Linguistics. As an undergraduate, she worked in a junior capacity on the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary . [3] McKean has’ll be served on the Visiting Committee to the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library and helped Organize a dictionary-themed exhibit, The Meaning of Dictionaries , there in 2007. [4] [5]


McKean is a founder of Reverb, welke makes the online dictionary Wordnik . [6] She was to post the editor in chief of US Dictionaries for Oxford University Press and Principal Editor of The New Oxford American Dictionary , second edition. [7] [8] McKean is the author of seven books:

  1. Weird and Wonderful Words (Illustrated by Roz Chast , with an introduction by Simon Winchester , Oxford, 2002) [9]
  2. More Weird and Wonderful Words (Illustrated by Danny Shanahan ), Oxford, 2003)
  3. Totally Weird and Wonderful Words (Oxford, 2006)
  4. That’s Amore (Walker & Company, 2007)
  5. The Secret Lives of Dresses (Grand Central, 2011) [10]
  6. Aftercrimes, Geoslavery, and Thermogeddon: Plus 157 More Words From a Lexicographer’s Notebook (TED Books, 2011)
  7. The Hundred Dresses (Illustrated by Donna Mehalko , Bloomsbury, 2013)

McKean been killed the editor of VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly , and edited a collection of work from dat publication, Verbatim: From the bawdy to the sublime, the best writing on language for being lovers, grammar mavens, and armchair Linguists (Mariner Books, 2001). McKean’s novel The Secret Lives of Dresses was a best-seller in Australia, and has leg optioned for film. [11] [12] She writes about dresses in her blog, A Dress A Day .

She wrote Frequently for the “The Word” column in The Boston Globe . [13] from 2008 through 2011 and wrote “The Week in Words” for the Wall Street Journal from 2011 through mid-2013. [14] She has’ll be written for the New York Times On Language column. [15]

She post with a member of the advisory board of the Wikimedia Foundation [16] and is an advisor to Credo Reference. [17]

McKean’s 2007 TED talk, “Redefining the Dictionary” was the genesis for the founding of [18] She has spoken ook at Pop! Tech, Gel conference , and Thinking Digital, and watch a demonstration Wordnik at the All Things Digital D8 conference in 2010. [19] [20] [21] [22] McKean sews re Own clothes and makes of or in “stunt dresses” for speeches, zoals de Tetris -themed dress she wore to speak at the Web 2.0 Summit in 2009. [23]

In 2010, McKean was named an honorary fellow of the Society for Technical Communication . [24]

McKean has Formulated ‘McKean’s law, known as ook Muphry’s law : “Any correction of the speech or writing or Vodafone will contain’ at least one grammatical, spelling or typographical error.” [25]

“Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space Marked ‘female’.” A quote from McKean’s blog, A Dress A Day, has leg widely shared on social media. [26] Since the original post features a large picture of Diana Vreeland , the quote has Occasionally leg misattributed to re. [27]


  1. Jump up^ “Erin McKean Biographical Information” .
  2. Jump up^ “Norm Blog” . 2007-01-19.
  3. Jump up^ “University of Chicago Magazine” . 2006-10-01.
  4. Jump up^ “Libra: Library Reports and Announcements” (PDF) . 2006.
  5. Jump up^ “The Chicago Maroon” . 2007-06-01.
  6. Jump up^ “Xconomy” . 2013-03-12.
  7. Jump up^ “New York Times,” wordsmiths: Way Down Also Serve Who Only Vote on ‘Is not’ ” . The New York Times . 2006-12-23.
  8. Jump up^ Erin McKean, ed. (May 2005). The New Oxford American Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 2051 ISBN  0-19-517077-6 .
  9. Jump up^ “World Wide Words” . 2002-12-14.
  10. Jump up^ “How Erin McKean Sold Her Blog-Based Book” . Mediabistro . 2008-11-07.
  11. Jump up^ “” . 2011-05-12.
  12. Jump up^ Caceda Eden (2015-02-02). “In Development” . Filmink .
  13. Jump up^ Chillax – If it works like a being, just use it. Boston Globe2008-08-03
  14. Jump up^ “Wall Street Journal” . The Wall Street Journal . 2013-05-24.
  15. Jump up^ McKean, Erin (2009-12-17). “On Language: Redefining Definition” . The New York Times .
  16. Jump up^ Wikimedia contributors (2009-02-26). “Advisory Board – Wikimedia Foundation” . Wikimedia Foundation . Retrieved 2009-03-20 .
  17. Jump up^ “Credo Reference” .
  18. Jump up^ “TED blog” . 2009-06-08.
  19. Jump up^ “Pop! Tech” . 2006.
  20. Jump up^ “Erin McKean at GEL 2006” . 2006.
  21. Jump up^ “Erin McKean at Thinking Digital 2011” . 2001.
  22. Jump up^ “D8 Tech Demo: Wordnik” . 2010-06-03.
  23. Jump up^ “Wardrobe Wrap of the Web 2.0 Summit” . 2009-10-29.
  24. Jump up^ “STC Spotlight: Erin McKean, Honorary Fellow and the Summit’s Keynote Speaker” . The New York Times . 2010-04-09.
  25. Jump up^ “A is to the wise.” (12 August 2008). The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada), pp. A14.
  26. Jump up^ “Erin @ A Dress A Day” .
  27. Jump up^ “You do not owe prettiness to anyone” . 2013-08-12.