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ing himself thoroughly with these principles, as he manifestly did, the labor of applying them to most of the new words was, in a manner, mechanical, requiring only careful attention. But, as he justly remarked in his Preface, siderable number of the additional words, some of them words now out of use, others local or provincial, and rarely found in books, and others from foreign languages, and not Anglicized, presented more or less difficulty. Respecting those words with regard to which Walker's method failed to furnish him with a guide, the Editor has availed himself of such other aids as he could obtain ; but some words he has left unpronounced, and with respect to some to which he has added the pronunciation, he may have fallen into error.”
One other important portion of Mr. Worcester's labor in editing Todd's Johnson deserves notice, as a part of his preparation of materials for future use in a dictionary upon his own plan; namely, the addition of other authorities in words of doubtful pronunciation, where orthoëpists differ. Walker in such cases made liberal use of those who preceded him. In regard to words variously pronounced, he says, – “The only method of knowing the extent of custom in these cases seems to be the inspection of those dictionaries which professedly treat of pronunciation. An exhibition of the opinion of orthoëpists about the sound of words always appeared to me a very rational method of determining what is called custom. This method I have adopted.” Mr. Worcester pursued the method still farther, and applied it particularly to the words respecting which Walker had failed to exhibit the difference between his own pronunciation and that of other dictionaries. In addition to the works cited by Walker, Mr. Worcester made use of Perry's - Synonymous, Ety. mological, and Pronouncing Dictionary,” which was published in 1805, the year before the last edition of Walker that was revised by himself was printed. To this edition of Perry's work it does not appear that Walker referred in any instance. It differs in the pronunciation of many words from Perry's “Royal Standard English Dictionary," and agrees frequently with Walker, wbere the other differs from him.
We may as well remark here, that Mr. Worcester, in his " Universal and Critical Dictionary,” has adhered to the same plan of citing authorities differing from his own notation, under increased advantages ; because, as he remarks, “most of the works which are made use of as authorities have been published since his time.” These are the dictionaries of Enfield, Jameson, Knowles, Smart, Reid, and Webster, besides Perry's, the title of which has already been given. We may here add, as our belief, that Mr. Worcester possesses a more numerous and valuable collection of books relating to English lexicography than any other individual in the United States ; perhaps we might say, than any public library.
Before Mr. Worcester had completed his edition of the abridgment of Todd's Johnson, and while the work was in progress, he formed the plan of his “Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary.” But he was destined again to engage in a work of severe, servile labor, before advancing far in that of which he was the sole projector. He was induced to undertake an abridgment of Dr. Webster's quarto dictionary, published in 1828, according to the principles and rules prescribed by the author. It was an undertaking of great delicacy, and was attended with much perplexity, from circumstances on which, we suppose, it would not become us to make any comments. He persevered, however, and accomplished the work of abridgment, if not to his own satisfaction or that of the author, in a manner which received the approbation of the author's best friends. This work was published in 1829.
Mr. Worcester's “Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary of the English Language, with Pronouncing Vocabularies of Classical and Scripture Proper Names, was published in 1830. It is a convenient manual in regard to its size, and answers truly to its title. It attracted immediate notice, and was received with remarkable favor. No English dictionary since its publication has, we believe, been so extensively used as a manual, or so much relied upon as an authority. Besides the native men of learning in the United States who pronounced a decided judgment in its favor, it was spoken of in terms of strong approbation by an English classical scholar, a learned physician, and the author of a valuable “ Medical Dictionary," - Professor Dunglison, of the University of Virginia. He said, soon after its appearance, “I can, without hesitation, award to this dictionary the merit of being best adapted to the end in view of any I have examined. It is, in other words, the best portable pronouncing and explanatory dictionary that I have seen, and as such is deserving of very extensive circulation.”
We are told by Mr. Worcester, in the Preface to his Universal Dictionary, that, after he began his preparation for the smaller work, of which we have just spoken, he “ adopted the practice of recording all the English words which he met with, used by respectable authors, and not found in Todd's edition of Johnson's Dictionary.” Such was his careful observation in the course of his wide reading, that his record grew with great rapidity. He found his collection of words constantly accumulating, and after a while determined to prepare“ a new and larger dictionary." Continuing the practice of noting new words until he had prepared his Universal Dictionary for the press, and through the progress of printing it, we may well suppose that he has nearly exhausted the unregistered stock. But we doubt not that he has already met with words not a few, which are not inserted in his vocabulary. It is but a few hours since we saw a newspaper paragraph concerning the saving of manuscript records, relating to the history of Georgia, from the wreck of a vessel in which they were shipped from Liverpool ; of which records the
“ They were sent in their wet and sobby condition to New York.” Todd and Worcester have, “sob, v. a. to soak ; to sop [a cant word],” but have not this derivative.
Scripturality and unscripturality occur in a letter of Samuel Davidson, dated Lancashire Independent College, giving his reasons for withdrawing from the “Evangelical Alliance " lately formed at London. Respelling we find in Mr. Worcester's Introduction to his Dictionary. We have now said enough concerning Mr. Worcester's preparations for his Universal Dictionary to show that the work contains the results of long-continued and painstaking study. He has a right to consider it, in terms less reserved than those he employs, as a new dictionary,
“ The Dictionary of Johnson," he says, as corrected and enlarged by Todd, and Walker's Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, have been made, in some degree, the basis of the present work; but the words found in those dictionaries have been revised with much labor and care in relation to their orthography, pronunciation, etymology, definition, &c.; and a great part of them, especially such as relate to the arts and sciences, have been defined entirely
“ To the words found in Todd's edition of Johnson's Dictionary
nearly twenty-seven thousand more have been added, and for all these authorities are given, except a few, such as the participial adjectives amusing, entertaining, established, &c. All the verbs of the language that are often met with, both regular and irregular, are conjugated ; and the preterits and perfect participles of the irregular verbs are inserted separately, in their alphabetical places; but of the regular verbs, the present and perfect participles are not inserted as separate articles. If this had been done, as it has been in several other dictionaries [Webster's, for example], it would have added upwards of ten thousand more articles to the vocabulary."
The words added by Mr. Worcester, and not found in Todd's Johnson, are denoted by an asterisk. Besides those gathered from his miscellaneous reading and from English dictionaries, he has taken the technical and scientific terms from various scientific works, dictionaries of arts and sciences, and encyclopædias. For authorities, he says, “in many instances, the names of English authors have been chosen in preference to the names of American authors of equal or even higher respectability ; inasmuch as it is satisfactory to many readers to know, in relation to a new, uncommon, or doubtful word, that it is not peculiar to American writers.' At the same time he has not inserted indiscriminately all the words that he has found in English writers, even of those held in good repute ; and to many that he has inserted he has annexed some term of disapprobation. Still, his vocabulary is doubtless more comprehensive than that which is contained in all the dictionaries of the English language collectively. It is an encyclopædia of words.
The time has gone by for discussing the propriety of introducing technical words into a dictionary of the English language. Dr. George Campbell, author of the Philosophy of Rhetoric, a penetrating philosophical critic, maintained the opinion that technical words are not to be considered as part of a language, and that they are not entitled, in general, to admission into a dictionary claiming the character of a standard. The explanation of such words must therefore be sought for in cyclopædias and dictionaries of arts and sciences. Campbell, it may be, was led to adopt the opinion he entertained by finding how little had been done in regard to the insertion and explanation of these words in the general dictionaries of the English language. Johnson, however, seems to have admitted the propriety of inserting them. From books of science and technical dictionaries he professed to have collected such as he could find, and to have admitted others, sometimes with hesitation, on the authority of a single writer. But what he accomplished in this particular is now of little value. Technical and scientific terms have, since his time, become very numerous ; and many things pertaining to the arts and sciences have, for the benefit of general readers, become so popularized (if we may use this word, admitted by Mr. Worcester on the authority of the Edinburgh Review), that an explanation of such words has become important, and is no longer a question of expediency.
Words which English authors had introduced in consequence, as Dr. Johnson said, of their knowledge of foreign languages, or ignorance of their - own,” he inserted as he chanced to meet them, but commonly, as he remarked, "to censure them, and to warn others against the folly of naturalizing useless foreigners to the injury of the natives.” Compounded or double words he introduced sparingly; and words formed according to uniform analogy be noted as they casually occurred, but did not search for them, “because, their relation to the primitive being always the same, their signification cannot be mistaken."
Here is a wide field, which was but little explored by Dr. Johnson, and has been constantly becoming more fruitful. We can fix no limits to its productiveness. Every thing in this world is, indeed, finite ; but when we look at the ever increasing number of abstract nouns ending in ness and ity, of adjectives ending in al, ive, able, and ible, and of adverbs in ly, all of which are among the most common derivative formations, we can see no end to the increase. We here exemplify the expansion of the English vocabulary in some of these derivative formations, without seeking for remarkable instances :
CONVENTION : conventional, conventionalism, conventionalist, conventionality, conventionally, conventioner, conventionist.
CONTEMPORARY : contemporariness, contemporaneous, contemporaneousness, contemporaneously, contemporaneity.
Contempt : contemptible, contemptibility, contemptibleness, contemptibly.
Rely : reliable, reliability.