Dictionary Stories

Very short stories composed entirely of example sentences from the dictionary.


Let’s say, for reasons that are entirely your own business, you need to look up the definition of murder in the dictionary. You discover that murder is both a noun and a verb, and after the definition of the verb form (‘to kill someone unlawfully and with premeditation’), you find this sentence: ‘somebody tried to murder Joe’. 

Who tried to kill Joe? Is Joe okay? Did Joe possibly have it coming? Who knows. All we know is that Joe exists in an example sentence. Sourced and edited by fearless lexicographers, example sentences are intended to demonstrate the probable usage of a word, but when surrounded by definitions and phonetic spellings they read like tiny pieces of fiction that got lost and wandered into the wrong book.

Dictionary Stories are very short stories composed entirely of these example sentences, drawn from a variety of dictionaries, with nothing added except the odd conjunction or preposition for flavour. The words that spawned each individual sentence are underlined. They are written by Jez Burrows, a designer, illustrator, and Englishman living in San Francisco, CA. 

Underlined words are those responsible for each example sentence.