QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-10 > 1097937845
Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 10:44:15 EDT
Noah Webster (October 16, 1758- April 15, 1843) was an American
lexicographer, textbook author, Bible translator, and spelling reformer.
Webster published his first dictionary of the English language in 1806, and
in 1828 published the first edition of his An American Dictionary of the
English Language, whose title reveals his ambitions (copyrighted on April 14th
that year). Webster changed the spelling of many words in his dictionaries in
an attempt to make them more phonetic. 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.
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 phases that could be
seen as offensive to people.