Friday, April 13, 2012

This Day in History April 14, 1828

I bet that we have all used a Webster's dictionary at some point in our lives.  Even if it was online.  Webster has become synonymous with the dictionary in this country.  And it was on this date in 1828 that Noah Webster, the original author of the dictionary in this country, that he registered the copyright for his dictionary.

I was amazed to learn just how long Webster worked on his dictionary.  He was over 40 when he published his first little dictionary, and he worked over 20 years to compile an extensive American English dictionary that emphasized American standard spelling.  His dictionary included seventy thousand words, and twelve thousand of those had never appeared in a dictionary before.  His first dictionary only sold 2500 copies, and in order to create a second edition, he had to mortgage his house.  In 1840, his second edition (which was published in two volumes) came out.  On May 28, 1843 (only shortly after revising his appendix to the second edition), Noah Webster died.

What I love most about this original edition is that Noah Webster's Christian beliefs come across so clearly.  He used many Biblical examples to illustrate the meanings of words.  As you probably can imagine, later editions took a lot of the Biblical terminology out of the dictionary.

I am only citing one site tonight because this particular article cites many different works.  Therefore, I feel comfortable in directing you there.

1 comment:

  1. Wow I never knew this...that's for the wonderful information. Happened on your blog via the Drop It Like It's Hot Hop. Happy to have met you.
    Maureen :)


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