Review:: The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight Over the English Language by Peter Martin
|The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight Over the English Language by Peter Martin|
(releases 5/28/19 from Princeton University Press)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation.
I have always considered a dictionary to be an informative collection of words, a writing companion, and a seemingly endless source of ideas—not necessarily a controversial publication. The Dictionary Wars taught me that I was oh so wrong. The historical conflicts surrounding American dictionaries were intense! As a new republic America’s first lexicographers, Noah Webster and Joseph Emerson Worcester, wanted an American dictionary that would rival Samuel Johnson's 1755 British Dictionary of the English Language, but they each had their own ideas about what that dictionary would entail. Webster believed an American dictionary “ought to be informed by the nation's republican principles.” Worcester, however, “thought that such language reforms were reckless and went too far.” After Webster’s death, the Merriam brothers acquired Webster’s publishing rights and launched another language war. With libel suits and fraud claims galore, The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight Over the English Language is a word nerd’s dream.
Also included in my pic is my new favorite lunch/dinner for one: Rice Cake Bruschetta