Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So who was Noah Webster?

When most folks think of Noah Webster they likely correctly equate him with the Dictionary by his name, the one we referenced yesterday.

And, yes, that is a great thing to recall about him, but the dictionary he authored is only one of his many accomplishments.

According to Wikipedia: “Noah Webster (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author. He has been called the "Father of American Scholarship and Education." His "blue-backed Speller," his "Grammars," and "Reader," all contained Biblical and patriotic themes and Webster led the production of educational volumes emphasizing Christian Constitutional values for more than a century.

"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people." Webster considered "education useless without the Bible" but he cautioned against too extensive use of the Bible in schools as "tending to irreverence,"

“Webster learned twenty-six languages, including Old English (Anglo-Saxon), German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Arabic, and Sanskrit.”

Wow! Amazing !!!

26 languages!

That reminds me of the famous joke:

What do you call a person who speaks 3 languages?     Answer = Trilingual

What do you call a person who speaks 2 languages?     Answer = Bilingual

What do you call a person who speaks 1 language?       Answer = American

But I digress --

To read more about Noah Webster, who spoke 26 languages, HERE’S THE LINK