Profile America — Friday, April 15th. A landmark in the development of the way we use language was published this week in 1828 — Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language." One of Webster's goals was to simplify spelling from British practice. As an example, he removed the "u" from the British spelling of the word "colour." Another goal was to include everyday words used by Americans. His dictionary contained 70,000 words, 12,000 of which had never been included in previous dictionaries, such as "skunk" and "squash." Even though many Americans now depend on the spell check function of their computers, dictionaries are still well represented among the more than $3 billion worth of new books sold each year. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2011, p. 219
Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2011, t. 1136
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).