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Noah Webster

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Noah Webster
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Noah Webster

Noah Webster (October 16, 1758April 15, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook author, Bible translator, spelling reformer, writer, and editor. He was born in present-day West Hartford, Connecticut. He has been called "Father of American Scholarship and Education."

Contents

Webster's dictionary

Webster published his first dictionary of the English language in 1806, and in 1828 he published the first edition of his American Dictionary of the English Language (copyrighted on April 14th that year), whose title reveals his ambitions. Webster changed the spelling of many words in his dictionaries in an attempt to make them more phonemic. Many of the differences between American English and other English variants evident today originated this way.

Webster's dictionary was so popular that "Webster's" became synonymous with dictionary to many Americans. As a result, the Webster's name lost trademark protection and is now used by numerous publishers in the titles of their dictionaries. Among these, the Merriam-Webster's dictionary is considered to be the most direct descendant of Noah Webster's lexicographical tradition, the Merriam brothers having purchased the rights to revise the dictionary from Webster's heirs upon his death in 1843. The 1913 version of the Webster's Dictionary also gained some prominence in modern times.

Webster's Bible

Besides his dictionaries, Webster also released his own translation of the Bible in 1833. In doing the translation, Webster used the King James Version as a base. He consulted the Hebrew and Greek along with various other versions and commentaries. Webster molded the KJV to correct grammar, replaced words that were no longer used, and did away with words and phrases that could be seen as offensive.

Webster's works today

All editions of Webster's Dictionary published in 1913 and earlier, along with the Webster Bible, and Dissertations on the English Language are available in the public domain.

See also

External links

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