- Published: 04 January 2012
Noah Webster's Original American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828
"An immense effect may be produced by small powers wisely and steadily directed." - Noah Webster, 1821
Noah Webster owns the unique distinction of having single-handedly rescued the English Language from the corrupting political and social influences of the European Nations of his day. He preserved the language with a pure connection to the original roots in other languages, and provided a necessary tool for our new nation (and all later generations) to understand the writings of the Founders and Framers of the Constitution.
The majority of the general public is unaware that Dictionaries today follow the practice of "description" as opposed to "prescription," -- the idea that the popular (mis)use of language should be allowed to alter the established meanings of words, to suit the wants and habits of each successive generation. The danger of this practice is the removal of vast bodies of knowledge and wisdom from public access.
Noah Webster understood the connection between physical liberty and liberty of thought. He further understood that the meanings of words played a key role in a person's ability to develop a sound system of knowledge and principles based on unchanging absolutes. He also recognized the necessity of preserving the connection to our heritage of Liberty, as well as the failures of former systems of government and philosophy before the founding of our Constitutional Republic.
For more discussion on the politics of words, read a recent edition of our newsletter Lawfully Speaking here: Newspeak: Bill Gates and the "Brave New" Dictionary
For biographical information about Noah Webster, click here.
|Noah Webster claimed to have coined only one word - demoralize, which he defined: "To corrupt or undermine the morals of; to destroy or lessen the effect of moral principles on; to render corrupt in morals."|