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Book Cover
Author Martin, Peter, 1940- author.

Title The dictionary wars : the American fight over the English language / Peter Martin.

Publication Info. Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2019]


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Central Library Non-Fiction    423.028 MAR    Available
Description x, 358 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 311-347) and index.
Contents Part one. Noah Webster's battles. British mockery and American disdain ; Noah Webster: "The wildest innovator" ; Webster's first dictionary ; Displacing Delilah ; The lexicographer's fifth column ; Tea and copyright: Goodrich takes over ; Spelling wars: the rise of Lyman Cobb ; The "common thief" ; Webster's decline -- Part two. The Merriams at war. Taking Webster out of Webster: from family feuds to the Merriam Brothers ; Waiting for Worcester ; The Bohn affair ; Converse's complaint ; Children, money, and "trash" ; High stakes: "Have we a national standard of language?" ; The "terrible rival": Worcesterian resurgence ; The Merriams triumphant: "Worcester! Worcester! all change for Webster!" -- Conclusion -- Appendix A: The "Webster" brand -- Appendix B: Four centuries of selected dictionaries of the English language -- Appendix C: Publishing terms -- Appendix D: "The spelling bee at Angels (reported by Truthful James)," by Bret Harte.
Summary Peter Martin recounts the patriotic fervor in the early American republic to produce a definitive national dictionary that would rival Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary of the English Language. But what began as a cultural war of independence from Britain devolved into a battle among lexicographers, authors, scholars, and publishers, all vying for dictionary supremacy and shattering forever the dream of a unified American language.
Subject Webster, Noah, 1758-1843.
Worcester, Joseph E. (Joseph Emerson), 1784-1865.
G. & C. Merriam Company.
English language -- United States -- Lexicography -- History.
English language -- Lexicography -- History.
Added Title American fight over the English language
ISBN 9780691188911 (hardcover) $29.95
0691188912 (hardcover) $29.95

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