The compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857 and was a highly ambitious project. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee discovered that more than ten thousand definitions had been submitted by Dr. William Chester Minor. When the committee went to honor him for his exceptional contributions, they discovered that he lived with mental illness, probably schizophrenia, and was submitting his definitions from an insane asylum. Check out The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester for more of the story.
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