October 13, 2008
An Ode to Noah Webster - From Brand Name to Genericide Victim
Oh noble Noah, you who stripped the u
From color and the k from music and who
Taught a nation how to spell and gave
Us a lexicon of the language of the brave
Rejoice! For Yankees all still celebrate
Your dictionary and your birth upon this date.
the Merriam company, which bought the rights to Noah Webster’s dictionary after his death, lost control of both the “Webster’s” name and the original 1828 text.
As a result, several other publishers also produce “Webster’s” dictionaries and Merriam-Webster has to work hard to establish its claim to being the real Webster’s.
That may just make Noah Webster America’s first victim of genericide.