The professor is James Murray and the madman is William Chester Miner.
Let’s talk about madness first. This title is unquoted, and Miner is indeed a madman – the professional name is “delusional dementia.” He participated in the American Civil War as a military doctor. He saw all kinds of cruel things on the battlefield. He was also ordered to take a red-hot soldering iron and personally put a mark of shame on the face of an Irish deserter. Probably for this reason, his spirit soon went wrong. He always dreamed that the Irish would chase him. The devil sneaked out from the floor and took him to a foreign country to be a man. As the condition worsened, he decided to cross the ocean and go to the United Kingdom for recuperation. In the early hours of February 1872, the imaginary Irishman broke into his room again. Dr. Mina took the gun and chased the door. Under the dim street lights, I was met with the shovel coalman George Merritt who went to the morning shift. Miner shot and killed the innocent person and was sent to London. In a mental hospital, the first level is 38 years.
The story is usually over here. It’s not surprising that madmen kill people in every country. If that’s the case, it’s hard to leave a mark in history. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, or the inevitability of fate, the madman Miner met Professor Murray.
If these two are just a pair of mortals, then connecting them together can be regarded as a great cause of eternal glory. If you are fluent in English and have a bit of love for the vocabulary of the word source, then you must have heard of the famous OED – Oxford English Dictionary, or even dream of a day – day It can be shared with the Emperor’s 20 volumes, 22,000 pages, and more than 610,000 words of English final dictionaries.
James Murray is the greatest editor in the history of OED. He contributed his entire life to this vast dictionary. After Mina’s killing on the streets for seven years, Murray’s takeover of the lexicographical work, which has lasted for 25 years, has been exhausted and almost indefinite.
”The goal of this project is very simple and very rash,” Simon Winches said. Because it “describes all the vocabulary of English, every word, every minute difference, every – point meaning, spelling, difference in pronunciation, the transition of each etymology, every English writer can be explained The quotation of the meaning of the word… This task is incomparably huge. It is impossible to accomplish according to the usual practice.” Therefore, OED needs a large number of volunteers to read through all the works of a specific age, specific writers, transcripts and quotations, and then send them. Also to the editor.
The madman in the hospital saw the recruitment advertisement, and he fluently learned a lot and had a lot of leisure. More crucially, he found a scientific method of work, solved the urgent needs of the editors innumerable times, and made the quotes provided by him almost available. Murray quickly noticed this mysterious character and established frequent correspondence with him. “The relationship between the two of them includes lofty academic pursuits, a strong sense of tragedy, a subtle Victorian subtlety, deep gratitude, mutual respect, and a mature and intimate feeling.”
Seven years later, the professor heard Miner’s tragic story and met with the most dedicated volunteer for the first time. They became friends, lexicographers: the work is also on the right track, although the speed is still slow, but it is published in another volume. But Miner’s condition has further deteriorated. On December 3, 1902, the 68-year-old crazy man used a paper knife to self-mutilate.
Poor madness is wide, the wind is dying, the body is getting worse and worse, and it is impossible to continue working. The professor hangs him and tries to help him. After the approval of Churchill, the Minister of the Interior, Mina returned to his hometown. He lived in the United States for another 9 years in a mental hospital and returned to his hometown of Connecticut a year before his death.
The book “Professor and Madman” gives a detailed introduction to OED’s voluminous compilation process, and it is readable by the customs of the Victorian Oxford academic circle. The process of reading this book is of course easy and enjoyable, during which I almost forget the tragic color of the story. The madman Miner’s life is a tragedy, and the shovel coalman he shot in madness is not. OED’s supreme glory should not obscure these two bitters, and the author of the book, Winchester, may have this intention, thus giving them a rare place.