Friday, April 14, 2006

The Man Who Standardized American English


INTENTIONALITY: AN EQ COMPETENCY...if you think one person can't make a difference

In the America Noah Webster grew up in, people in one state couldn't understand people from another. Accents were thick in various regions, plus native tongues were still being spoken -- Italian and Irish in Boston; Dutch in New York; German in Pennsylvania; French in Vermont. There was not standard spelling or punctuation.

It was in April, in 1828, that Noah Webster produced his American Dictionary of the English Language. He had worked alone on it for 20 years, doing all the research himself and writing it by hand.

It accomplished what he hoped it would. We have fewer dialects in the US than in any major country in history.

A grand symphony is playing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy when the part comes where the bass players don’t have to play for a while, so all three of them head out the back door and around the corner to the nearest bar.

After a few shots of the strongest whiskey in town, the first bass starts to get worried. “We should get back,” he says.

The second one replies, “No, I took the last part of the score and wrapped a string around it and tied it with a big knot.”

The third one looks at the clock and says, “No, really, we are going to be late. We gotta go.”

So they run back in and stand waiting at their instruments, a little unbalanced from the whiskey.

Two patrons who are sitting in the front tow are curious about what is going on. One looks at the other and asks, “Has the music stopped?”

“Well,” replies the other, “it’s the bottom of the ninth, the score is tired, and the basses are loaded.”


An English major was being released from prison. The nice looking female clerk was about to give him the $100.00 they give to all released prisoners.

Since the inmate had not had female attention for a long time, he suggested that she could keep the money if she would have sex with him.

He was immediately thrown back in jail.

Everybody knows you should never end a sentence with a proposition.


A guy lands in Boston, gets in a cab, and realizing it’s a great seafood town, asks the cabbie, “Know where a fellah can get scrod around here?”

The cabbie says, “Yeah, but I never heard anyone ask in the pluperfect subjunctive before …”

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