BelDel (Below Delancey); Webster's Dictionary is 200

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun Feb 12 05:06:36 UTC 2006

This new "Soho"-type acronym  is in the City Section of Sunday's NY  Times.
Also in the Sunday NY Times:
According to Webster: One Man's Attempt to Define 'America'

Published: February 12, 2006

When Noah Webster published "A Compendious Dictionary of the English
Language," purists were horrified. Webster Americanized the British spellings in
Samuel Johnson's famous dictionary, turning "defence" and "honour" into
"defense" and "honor," and dropping the "k" from "musick." Webster included new
American words like "subsidize" and "caucus," and left out hoary Britishisms  like
"fishefy." John Quincy Adams, the future president, was shocked by the  "local
vulgarisms," and doubted that Harvard, of which he was a trustee, would  ever
endorse such a radical "departure from the English language."
Webster's "Compendious Dictionary," which was published 200 years ago this
month, defied the skeptics to become a success, and it was the forerunner to
his  much larger, and classic, 1828 "American Dictionary of the English
Language."  Webster is remembered today almost exclusively as America's great
lexicographer,  but he was also a founding father of the first rank. The dictionaries
he wrote  were actually an attempt to help shape the kind of nation America
would  become.

The American Dialect Society -

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