Why was the dictionary invented? - FactzPedia

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Why was the dictionary invented?

 

Why was the dictionary invented?


The desire to record language has been around for thousands of years with the first-ever non-alphabetical dictionary being written in 1582 by Richard Mulcaster.

This dictionary contained 8,000 English words but the book only contained what were considered to be complex words.

Later the first full English dictionary was written in 1604 by Robert Cawdrey. These first books were documents of language and the words used at the time.

The idea was to record the English language with word meanings so there was an ultimate record that everyone could have access to.

Much later in 1857, the Philological Society of London decided there should be a record of all words that have been used in the English language since the 12th Century.

This was when the idea of the Oxford English Dictionaries was born.

Reference work that lists words, usually in alphabetical order, and gives their meanings and often other information such as pronunciations, etymologies, and variant spellings. The earliest dictionaries, such as those created by Greeks of the 1st century CE, emphasized changes that had occurred in the meanings of words over time. The close juxtaposition of languages in Europe led to the appearance, from the early Middle Ages on, of many bilingual and multilingual dictionaries. The movement to produce an English dictionary was partly prompted by a desire for wider literacy, so that common people could read Scripture, and partly by a frustration that no regularity in spelling existed in the language. The first purely English dictionary was Robert Cawdrey’



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