Samuel Johnson’s Monument to the Mother Tongue in the 18th Century

Englishman Samuel Johnson’s work helped define the English language for readers on both sides of the Atlantic. Last year, without much fanfare, Yale University Press completed one of the longest-running literary projects in American publishing, bringing out the last of a 23-volume edition of the works of Samuel Johnson, the eighteenth-century Englishman renowned for his essays,[…]

Noah Webster’s Civil War of Words over American English

Webster saw himself as a saviour of the American language. In the United States, the name Noah Webster (1758-1843) is synonymous with the word ‘dictionary’. But it is also synonymous with the idea of America, since his first unabridged American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828 when Webster was 70, blatantly stirred the young[…]