For those of you soulless masses who lead unimaginably boring lives, I will explain that Kory Stamper is an editor at Merriam-Webster. I have a terrible crush on her as well as her two colleagues at the dictionary company: Associate Editor Emily Brewster and Editor-At-Large Peter Sokolowski. How do I know about these people? Well, I might know Mr. Sokolowski because of his mention in a recent NPR article about the top ten words of the year. And I might know Ms. Brewster from her "Minced Words" column at CookThink. And I might have known about Ms. Stamper because she has her own fan club on Facebook. But I only found out about these things because I find myself on the Merriam-Webster website several times per day, and each of these editors is featured in short videos about word-related issues. I would embed one for you, but alas, Merriam-Webster is still living in 2001 in many ways.

I have reflected on the fact that Kory Stamper has her own fan club (with 179 members, no less), while I have found no fan clubs for the other editors. In a general sense, Stamper is cute—a descriptor that I doubt she, or any intellectual would be terrible happy with. This is not to say that Brewster and Sokolowski aren't also attractive; I doubt they would have been chosen to make the videos if they looked more like, say, me. Stamper also appears to be the youngest of the three and we all know how much we love youth. But I don't think either of these are the main issue. The truth is that Stamper is, for reasons that are not at all clear to me, very real on camera. I get the impression that she is talking to me and not a camera. And thus, I think that a lot of people feel they really connect to her—even though they don't, any more than they do with Peter Sokolowski and Emily Brewster.

Having said this, I find that I am very disturbed about what Stamper has done to her hair. Throughout our relationship, she has always looked like this:

Kory Stamper: Before

And then—suddenly, without any warning—she lightens her hair! Here she is now:

Kory Stamper: After

I shouldn't care—I know. But hey, what's going on here? There is so little stability in life. Is it really asking so much for the Merriam-Webster editors to ossify their appearances? Next thing you know, Sokolowski will grow a beard—going for that Shel Silverstein look, and Brewster will start wearing contact lenses, for whatever reason someone would do that. And I know how this all ends: just when I get used to Stamper's new hair color, she'll change it back. Thanks Kory! I really needed that!


For those men and women pining away for Kory Stamper, I feel as a public service I must tell you that as of 2006 she was married to a man who is the very definition of cool: a jazz musician. I'm not sure of the etymology of "cool" used in this way—undoubtedly Ms. Stamper could help in this matter—but I always think of Miles Davis with Birth of the Cool and Kind of Blue as what defines "cool." She also has two children.

I know all of this because of an article that she wrote for Knitty called Extreme knitting: 2 socks in 1. She also wrote a blog called Harmless Drudge: abusing of God's patience and the King's English, which she discontinued in early 2007. I have two things to say on this matter. First: she doesn't seem to follow The Chicago Manual of Style or even Fowler for her titles—most disappointing, but forgivable. Second: I believe our own Andrea English has a better site for such matters——which she too has abandoned (as of late 2008). Of course, I'm not very clear on the differences between all these different needle-crafty sorts of things. I've been meaning to research it and write an article here. Soon perhaps. But in the mean time, I did explain how a sewing machine works.

Update: It's Not Just Kory

I noticed that one person recently made it to this page by searching Google for, "Emily Brewster and Kory Stamper are hot." Does this mean we will soon see an "Emily Brewster Fan Club" on Facebook? Let me know if this happens. In the mean time, I will be watching for anyone searching for, "Peter Sokolowski is hot."

More Stamper! More Brewster!

Want to know more about Kory Stamper, Emily Brewster, and the whole Merriam-Webster crowd? Then you are in luck (and in need of a proper life). Here are some other articles that may interest you.