Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stuck in the past

One means to help preserve the ancient "boundary stones" of Biblical meanings is to use Noah Webster's original 1828 dictionary rather than the new on-line dictionaries that are moving further and further away from Biblical meanings.

Having a common language that is readily understood by all helps prevent confusion. Using an outdated dictionary is sure to put the user at a disadvantage as he/she will not understand how the word is being used TODAY (which happens to be the period in which we live) and the user will also be unaware of new words that have come into vogue like "d'oh!". Look for language scores on the ACT/SAT to go down for homeschoolers who take Wayne's advice.


  1. I use both. We are secular homeschoolers, but the 1828 edition comes in handy when you get to the highschool classics ;-)

  2. When we read Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, I had a really hard time with it as gay meant something totally different then, then it does today. It was very disconcerting. So yes it is good to know what words used to mean.

    There is a study guide here

  3. I disagree with what you are saying, because I highly doubt most people REALLY speak only the words in the old edition of the dictionary. My children read King James only at home, but they still understand well enough when the NIV is read in church.

    I will say when I was visiting a church once, the pastor said that the ungodly were taking over our English language and it was time to "TAKE BACK" the words we use. Um, the highlight of that sermon for me was watching this guy dance on stage shouting that he was gay and he was proud... while his wife cringed in the front pew.

    LOL needless to say, I didn't hang out and declare membership, but I will say it was an unforgettable sermon.

  4. LOL, It's funny how the meaning of gay has changed through the years. Teens today use gay to mean WRONG. I doubt that's what homosexuals had in mind when they hijacked the word.

  5. Mrs C, I was assuming that Wayne was advocating only using the definition of words in the 1828 dictionary in order to prevent ungodly words from creeping into their child's vocabulary.

    Which could lead to a lot of confusion.

    Child raised using only the 1828 dictionary: I am gay.

    Everyone assuming the child means he/she is a homosexual when what they mean is that they are happy.

  6. We use the Webster's American Family Dictionary in our house. It's got a fairly recent copyright (1997) but was designed to appeal to Christians. I don't have to worry about my DD coming across the term for a sex act on the same page as a word she's looking for (as happened with our old collegiate dictionary). She's an advanced reader and had outgrown the children's dictionary but I feel there are certain topics that are simply too adult for her at this point.

  7. I agree that the age and maturity level of the child should be taken into consideration when choosing a dictionary or any book/TV show/movie for that matter.


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