Historical Archives: M. Webster's New "Dictionary" Shall Burden Us With A Tyranny Of Words

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Historical Archives: M. Webster's New "Dictionary" Shall Burden Us With A Tyranny Of Words

Be it Known, that the Scoundrel & Cat-A-Mite who goes by the Monniker of Noah WEBSTER, is presently at Work on the most Infernal and D——d of Bookes, that being a Dictionary, or a Sort of Primer or Manual, for the Spelling and Usage of the Written Worrd. It is, of Corse, Plain to all Rationnel Foulk that need'd we an Ary for our Diction, the LORD GODD HIM SELF would have design'd us One. For our Lingua Franca, Heven-decreed as it is, be meant to remane as Free as the Rivver-Curant or the Clowds; and this pompuss, detestible New-England School Marm should be a-Sham'd to assume he is more Qualliflied than his Fellow Man to instruck the Englysh Langguige & defy the Lord's Will with a pryggish Parlour-Game such as This. What is More, asks the Founding Editing-Master of this News Gazette, How is One Suppos'd To "Look-Up" A Word, to use the curious Parlence of the Dictionarists, when One does not even know how it is Spelt any How? Mark well these Words, Meny a Sensible young Scholar shall pose this Same Question to their Grammer-Profesors in the Countrie's Leurning-Academyes for Ages to come.

Have we, in this Newe Wourld, cast off one Tyrant, who would taxx our Tea and Gov'rn us from A Far, only to adopt an Other who would shew us How to Speak, and Standerdise our Speling with a Rod of Iyrn, and Up Braid our ev'ry Pronouncement, as does a Dictinrie? For those of Us who fondley recall our own eleven or twelf Hours of formel Schooling, learning our Letterrs from no less Imminent a Sorce than the Holey Byble, upon a Hickory-Bench with a sole Candel furnishing our Light, we say, a Resolute NAY; and hope that Noah Webster take up his Dicktion'ry, & all its Pages, and rub them in Sandd, & cuase them to become Coarse there-by; and then send it up his ver'y Fundament. For it is a Guiding Principel, not only of our new Repubblick, but of this Newses Paper, that no Man shall be told how to Spelle, nor to Speake, nor be Bounded by a Ruling that does not Agree with Himm. The ONNIYON wishes to edvise its Reader Ship to Take any Dixionnaire they might Find, and cast it into the near'st and hott'st Fyre withal; and perhaps a sim'lar Fate should be fall this Mr. Webst'r as well. And Be Ware, also, of Rogues who try to sell you on a Suppelment'ry Glossarie, or a beastly Thing known as a Thesaurus, as they too are compleatly malnecessarry.