By Soukhanov A.N. (executive editor)

Comprises over 155,000 entries, with present meanings given first. comprises notes on utilization, quoted and unique examples, and a number of other thousand illustrations.

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He recognized the certainty of change, the function of language as a cultural tool, and the importance of thoughtful selection of vocabulary. Through common-law customs of speech and writing the national language develops words and documents social facts. This Dictionary orders those materials of discourse, records the natural history of a people, and transmits the substance of the American heritage. THE INDO-EUROPEAN ORIGIN OF ENGLISH C A LVE R T WAT KINS T he name Indo-European is given for geographic reasons to the large and well-defined linguistic family that includes most of the languages of Europe, past and present, as well as those found in a vast area extending across Iran and Afghanistan to the northern half of the Indian subcontinent.

He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. He becomes an American by being received in the broad lap of our great Alma Mater [Dear Mother]. Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world. Americans are the western pilgrims who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, sciences, vigor, and industry which began long since in the East; they will finish the great circle.

Between Webster and Lowth there was no disagreement about the central premise of language criticism: that some forms of expression are preferable to others. Now that assumption itself has become controversial. Modern discussions of usage often take the form of engagements in a battle between irreconcilable camps. On one side of the field is ranged the party of science, the “descriptivists,” who hold that all standards are ultimately based on the facts of use and that the business of dictionaries and usage books is simply to record those facts in a neutral way.

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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language by Soukhanov A.N. (executive editor)


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