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It’s not every dictionary that can spawn a spinoff series. Simon Winchester’s The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary is a sequel of sorts, picking up the history of the 20-volume work where his 1998 The Professor and the Madman left off. In an ad tucked inside the book, Rita Mae Brown enthuses: “The first money I earned, $1000, from my first novel in 1971 bought me the complete OED….One of the wisest purchases I have ever made.” Venerable word-mad professor James Murray and his fellow OED editors would no doubt be pleased by Brown’s words. Like its title, Everything is a bit overwhelming, though like its inspiration, it yields charm upon browsing: Did you know that Alexander Graham Bell gave his pal Murray the first working telephone, which Murray stashed in his attic, never to be used? Pull up a stack of OED volumes and set a spell when Winchester discusses his book at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Pamela Murray Winters)