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In this story of literary suspense, all the English dictionaries in the world disappear. Benbrook, a consummate word lover and professor of linguistics, is shaken to the core. In response to the crisis, the President of the United States appoints a blue-ribbon commission to write a new American dictionary in only one year and names Benbrook to head the team. A quiet academic, Benbrook has never faced such a challenge, but now the world is in his hands. The situation is rough at first, but he soon answers the call with such startling dexterity that even he barely understands what he's pulled off.

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