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Make Noah Webster Proud

  By Denise Loock   Every July we pull out our Stars and Stripes, fire up the grill, and celebrate our independence from Great Britain. Political independence, that is. But did you know that Noah Webster declared language independence from Britain a few decades later when he published his 40,000-word The Compendious Dictionary in 1806, followed by his 70,000-word American Dictionary in 1818?   Webster established spelling principles still preferred in American writing and publishing. [1] Almost singlehandedly, he unified “the most ethnically diverse nation with a common language” says biographer Joshua Kendall, and “two centuries after his death his words still unite the nation that he loved.” [2]   Webster’s two guiding principles were simplify when possible and spell words phonetically.   Omit Unnecessary Letters British English is chock-full of useless letters. Thanks to Webster, Americans omit the u in favor , behavior , mold , honor , neighbor , valor , and

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