Noah Webster Jen Andersen Nov. 14, 2008
Noah Webster: The Man • Lexicographer • Wrote spelling books • Name became synonymous with “dictionary”
Noah’s First Dictionary • Wanted to make a dictionary of the “American Language” • Felt America should have its own national language • Created the “Compendious Dictionary” in 1806
No-uhz Spelling • Wanted to get away from British spellings • I.e. no “u” in “honour” • Spel wurdz lik tha sownd • Wimmin, tung, groop
Now What? • Big flop • Became obsessed with etymologies • Language of Eden • Moved to Europe • Finished his dictionary! • Two-volume "American Dictionary of the English Language" (1828)
Why is this okay now? • All of the Federalists are dead! • Jackson is president • Republican! • Go Common man! • Gave up on his spellings • Except for “k” like in “mimic” and “u” in “humour”
Dictionary • “Americanisms” • Lengthy, caucus, skunk • Very few • Quotations from famous Americans • Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Irving, Franklin
Continued • Added approximately 12,000 words to the lexicon • Objects, qualities, actions, technology, science terms • “Demoralize” • LOVED spelling bees
Second Great Awakening • Religious Revival • Instrument, n. 2. . . . The distribution of the Scriptures may be the instrument of a vastly extensive reformation in morals and religion. • Love, n. 1. The love of God is the first duty of man. . . . v.t. 1. . . . The Christian loves his Bible.
Preface • “In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
Old v. New • 1828 Edition • 70,000 entries • Online dictionary • Over 450,000 vocabulary definitions, each with etymological and phonological descriptions
Marriage, n. • The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.
Marriage, n. • 1 a: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife • b: the mutual relation of husband and wife • c: the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family --- see MONOGAMY POLYGAMY • Webster’s Third New Dictionary
Wiktionary • Open content dictionary • Fo shizzle • Guy on phone: Yo dog we on the way to do the video Snoop:Fo shizzle! • Wiktionary • Open content dictionary • Fo shizzle • Guy on phone: Yo dog we on the way to do the video • Snoop:Fo shizzle!