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Websterisms: A Collection of Words and Definitions Set Forth by the Founding Father of American English
 
 
Author
Arthur Schulman. Jill Lepore, intro.
Publisher Free Press  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 7.75 x 6.5 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781416561361
Pages/Publication Date 291/24008
Daedalus Item Code 00555
This item is not available.
Description
What makes American English American? In 1800, irascible patriot Noah Webster set out to answer this question by tirelessly recording the vocabulary of the American citizen. Though he was a political conservative, his American Dictionary of the English Language was born out of his profoundly democratic conviction that language was by and for the people. A word's popularity, no matter how lowly its origins, was its criterion for inclusion. As Arthur Schulman makes clear here, Webster's original American dictionary, the granddaddy of them all, helped define the American character.

"Websterisms is a carnival for language lovers. This entertaining and illuminating look at Webster and his eccentricities represents the best kind of scholarship: solid but never dull."—Kitty Burns Florey

"Who reads a dictionary for pleasure? Websterisms will revise your prejudices. The introductory essay by the distinguished historian Jill Lepore entitled 'A Nue Merrykin Dikshunary' is an authoritative, highly amusing account of the crusty character who did the most to fix our American language. Equally engaging is the analysis of Webster's crotchets by Arthur Schulman, a professor of psychology who is also a world-class lexiphile and maker of crossword puzzles, who has introduced, edited, and annotated the most interesting of the great man's definitions."—E.D. Hirsch

 
 
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