Documents that Changed the World: Noah Webster’s dictionary, 1828

It’s twilight time for printed dictionaries, whose word-filled bulk weighed down desks, held open doors and by turns inspired and intimidated writers searching for the perfect word.

Lexicography — the making of dictionaries — has gone digital. Though a few are still published, the dictionary’s time as printed, bound documents is almost up.

In this meantime, Joe Janes turns the attention of his Documents that Changed the World podcast series to the man as firmly identified with dictionaries as Hershey is with chocolate, Noah Webster, and the 70,000-word “American Dictionary of the English language” he published in 1828. It was one of the last dictionaries to be compiled by a single person.

Read more: UW Today

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