The Afterword, Episode 1: Is the Print Dictionary Doomed?

Conversations with writers.
Dec. 17 2011 7:09 AM

Is the Print Dictionary Doomed?

Introducing June Thomas’ new podcast about nonfiction books and their authors.


Listen to Episode 1 of Slate’s new podcast, The Afterword:

The newly published fifth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary is a 2,000-page book packed with thousands of definitions, etymologies, and illustrations. It’s a gorgeous volume, but have the Internet and smartphones (along with apps like the AHD’s electronic version) rendered the print dictionary redundant? In the premiere of a new Slate podcast, the AHD’s executive editor, Steve Kleinedler, talks about some of the words that have been added to the latest edition, why it matters which dictionary people use, and whether lexicographers have favorite words.


The Afterword, which will appear in the Slate Daily Podcast feed every other Saturday, will feature interviews with the authors of new nonfiction books. In the coming weeks, we’ll be featuring interviews with Robert Neuwirth about his book Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy and with Matthew Polly about Tapped Out: Rear Naked Chokes, the Octagon, and the Last Emperor: An Odyssey in Mixed Martial Arts.

The show’s email address is

Podcast produced by June Thomas. Executive producer: Andy Bowers.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 



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