So You Want to be a Lexicographer

Check out a day in the life of the folks who work at the Oxford English Dictionary. For example David Martin, Senior Assistant Editor:

Spent all day editing the entry for the word phoenix, which poses an interesting etymological question about a possible connection with Phoenician. During my trawl for new quotations I was perhaps lucky to add only one quotation about Harry Potter: his �phoenix-feathered wand�.

The OED word of the day is always interesting.
Via Languagehat.

Where is the Book?

Amanda Butler at Crescat Sententia writes:

At Books-a-Million tonight (no, I don’t normally go there, but it was next to the wine store), I could not find a copy of The Federalist Papers, though I searched in American politics, philosophy, and the other likely categories. When I asked the store clerk where I’d find it, he said, “Oh, I shelved that yesterday. It’s in fiction.”
“It’s in fiction and literature. It’s been declared a classic.”
[continued look of skepticism]

“I agree it makes no sense, but that’s where it is.”
[figures the guy has to shelve things where he’s told to shelve them]
There may be more to this. I was equally puzzled the other night when I entered my new copy of The Anti-Federalist Papers into my Readerware database. I had Readerware set to search Amazon or Barnes & Noble for book information and here is what it returned: Literature & Fiction: General: Classic.
On the other hand, Randy Barnett’s Restoring the Lost Constitution returns: Nonfiction: Government. Legal System. Seems like this would have worked for the others. I wonder if the nonfiction tag means that Barnett is right?
I think it is a problem with whoever (the publisher?) categorizes books. The clerk at the store was simply following current industry practice…broken as it is.