Noah Webster

If I was led to Hartford, CT in 2011, then it was probably to tour the Webster House. Noah Webster began work on the modern dictionary at the age of fifty, almost coincident with a religious conversion, and continued for thirty-five years until his death. I have to wonder if

If I was led to Hartford, CT in 2011, then it was probably to tour the Webster House. Noah Webster began work on the modern dictionary at the age of fifty, almost coincident with a religious conversion, and continued for thirty-five years until his death.

I have to wonder if there's a connection between the conversion and the work.

Webster understood the modern concept of "memes" and came to believe that language could control the "unruly nature of man". Standardized language reduced miscommunication and transaction costs across the entire economy, which probably led to more homogeneous American culture.

In one sense, Webster created a major aspect of today's software industry (programming languages, search engines, semantic analysis) over 150 years ago.

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