Pronouncing –S and -ED Endings

Pronouncing –S and -ED Endings
Have you ever used a Webster’s dictionary? Do you know who Noah Webster is? He was a teacher
in the 18th and 19th century, but he didn’t like the books that he used in his classes. They were all about
British people and places. As a result, he decided to write books that included examples of American
language use. Webster was also interested in changing the spellings of words. He wanted words to be
spelled the way they were pronounced. For example, he thought that the word “laugh” should be spelled
L-A-F. People liked Webster’s suggestions, but few words were changed. Webster used the money that
he made from his books to work on his greatest project: the first American English dictionary. It took
Webster more than twenty years to write this dictionary, and it was published in 1828. Webster’s
dictionary contained over 70,000 words, and it gave the meaning
and origin of each word. To this day, Webster’s work is
the example that most dictionaries of American English follow.
For use with Speech 4 (EAP 0400)
Adapted from All About the USA: A Cultural Reader (Broukal & Murphy, 2nd edition)