The title of a very entertaining essay by Jack Lynch. (PDF format)
One might think lexicographers are a meek and retiring lot, but history shows that they can be surprisingly truculent. Today I would like to describe some of the quarrels that have made the history of English dictionaries so fascinating for almost half a millennium. During that time lexicographers have engaged in countless altercations, and they’ve been known to get nasty—their debates are sometimes little more dignified than knife fights.
Other fascinating stuff in the essay too, including the difficulty of defining the most basic of English words, such as take.