Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Noah Webster

  • Noah Webster’s war on words

    JMS PearceHull, England “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” When Claudius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (III.3) speaks this line, he reminds us of the singular importance of the use of words, and hence the need, even for medical writers, to refer continually to fine dictionaries. Noah Webster…

  • Dr. William Minor and the Oxford English Dictionary

    JMS Pearce  Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Johnson’s Dictionary [photo: author’s copy] After the first dictionary of English words (Robert Cawdrey’s A Table Alphabetical… 1604) many dictionaries aimed to provide typical spelling, meaning, and often pronunciation, etymology, synonyms, and quotations. A New English Dictionary was an important advance reflecting everyday language compiled by the…