Meet The Writers - John Simpson

John Simpson John Simpson

John Simpson was Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary for twenty years until he retired in 2013. He joined the staff of the OED way back in 1976, but these days doesn’t often admit to that. His wry and informal memoir of the words, the people, and the life he experienced there, The Word Detective, was published by Little, Brown in 2016. With that behind him, John is now editing an online James Joyce website (, researching 19th-century paupers in Gloucestershire, writing an introduction to Ambrose Bierce’s cult American Devil’s Dictionary, and (still) doing bits and bobs of work on the OED (in between real life). 

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