Dictionaries work had the title Lexicon Technicum: or,

Published by admin on

came into existence as an essential mean in the standardization and improvement
of the language. A major impact in organizing the English lexicon took place
with Robert Cawdrey’s  first published “dictionary
of hard words” in 1604. His “table Alphabeticall” included glosses for 3,000
“hard usual English words”. Then came Nathanael Bailey, in 1721, with his “Universal
Etymological English Dictionary”. But it was not until Samuel Johnson, over a
period of nine years, that his greatest work “A Dictionary of the English
Language” was completed in 1755, thus addressing the need of the British people
for a national dictionary. Johnson’s Dictionary had a famous Preface, in which
he outlines his aims and procedures. The first sheets were printed in 1750. The
work was completed by 1754 and an edition of 2.000 copies appeared the
following year. During this period, two major developments were seen. In its early
part, the emphasis was on the establishment of universal dictionaries, then in
the second later part, the trend was towards the increasing emphasis on pronunciation.
At the same time, encyclopedias appeared and these influenced the development
and contents of the dictionaries. The two earliest writers of encyclopedias,
John Harris (1704) and Ephraim Chambers (1728), attempted to describe the terms
associated with all branches of human knowledge. Harris’s work had the title
Lexicon Technicum: or, The Universal Dictionary of Arts and Science. The word
“universal” became standard feature of titles of dictionaries though it could
sometimes give away to general or complete. J.K.’s dictionary of 1702,
complained of previous dictionaries that they had often included Latin words
which were no part of English as well as foreign words, including Old English
ones. John Kersey adds in the preface of his dictionary “ours is intended only
to explain such English Words as are genuine, and used by Persons of clear Judgement
and good style”. At this stage pronunciation begins to appear in dictionaries
and one of those to show this new trend is the “Lingua Britannica Reformata by
Benjamin Martin of 1749. He is one of the first dictionary makers to omit
in words like logic. The latter half of the eighteenth century
attached more importance to pronunciation than earlier dictionary-makers.
Thomas Sheridan produced a dictionary in 1780 with the title. A dictionary
along the same lines was produced by John Walker in 1791. What Sheridan and
Walker did was produced a series of signs, consisting mainly of superscript
numbers, like and elementary phonetic alphabet to show the pronunciation of the
various sounds in all words. Finally, the American Lexicography Noah Webster
wrote the first American Dictionary in 1828, with 70,000 words. 

Categories: Writers


I'm Iren!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out