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American market at the time, spent decades of research in compiling his dictionaries. His first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, appeared in 1806. In 1828, at the age of 70, Noah Webster published his American Dictionary of the English Language in two quarto volumes containing 70,000 entries, as against the 58,000 of any previous dictionary. At first the set sold poorly. In 1841, 82-year-old Noah Webster published a second edition of his lexicographical masterpiece with the help of his son, William G. Its title page does not claim the status of second edition, merely noting that this new edition was the “first edition in octavo” in contrast to the quarto format of the first edition of 1828.
When Webster died, his heirs sold unbound sheets of his 1841 revision American Dictionary of the English Language to the firm of J. Emily Dickinson used as a tool for her poetic composition. The third printing of the second edition was by George and Charles Merriam of Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1845. This was the first Webster’s Dictionary with a Merriam imprint. Webster’s innovative ideas about language and politics and shows why Webster’s endeavours were at first so poorly received.
Culturally conservative Federalists denounced the work as radical—too inclusive in its lexicon and even bordering on vulgar. Lexicon” was her “only companion” for years. American literature, and attempts to map out a “lexical poetics” using Webster’s dictionaries. He shows the ways in which American poetry has inherited Webster and drawn upon his lexicography in order to reinvent it.
Webster’s dictionaries were a redefinition of Americanism within the context of an emergent and unstable American socio-political and cultural identity. Webster’s identification of his project as a “federal language” shows his competing impulses towards regularity and innovation in historical terms. Perhaps the contradictions of Webster’s project represented a part of a larger dialectical play between liberty and order within Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary political debates. Noah Webster’s assistant, and later chief competitor, Joseph Emerson Worcester, and Webster’s son-in-law Chauncey A. Goodrich, published an abridgment of Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language in 1829, with the same number of words and Webster’s full definitions, but without the literary references. Upon Webster’s death in 1843, the unsold books and all rights to the copyright and name “Webster” were purchased by brothers George and Charles Merriam, who then hired Webster’s son-in-law Chauncey A. Goodrich, a professor at Yale College, to oversee revisions.
On the Basis of Webster’s English Dictionary. This section needs additional citations for verification. In response to Joseph Worcester’s groundbreaking dictionary of 1860, A Dictionary of the English Language, the G. Merriam Company created a significantly revised edition, A Dictionary of the English Language. Webster’s unabridged edition of 1864 “acquired an international fame. It was held to be superior to every other dictionary and taken as the leading authority on the meaning of words, not only in America and England, but also throughout the Far East.
In 1900, Webster’s International was republished with a supplement that added 25,000 entries to it. The Merriam Company issued a complete revision in 1909, Webster’s New International Dictionary, edited by William Torrey Harris and F. Vastly expanded, it covered more than 400,000 entries, and double the number of illustrations. In 1934, the New International Dictionary was revised and expanded for a second edition, which is popularly known as Webster’s Second or W2, although it was not published under that title. It was edited by William Allan Neilson and Thomas A. The numerous picture plates added to the book’s appeal and usefulness, particularly when pertaining to things found in nature.