A Letter to the Governors, Instructors, and Trustees of the Universities and Other Seminaries of Learning in the United States on the Errors of English Grammars.
George F. Hopkins
Just before breaching his contract with Lindley Murray, Webster issued this curious pamphlet. He thought he had “long since laid aside the study of language” and become a political polemicist. But he couldn’t resist declaring that “certain rules laid down in English Grammars” were “fundamentally wrong.” He criticized Johnson and Lowth, neither of whom had “become acquainted with the etymological discoveries of Mr. Tooke,” which “would have corrected their grammatical principles.” Actually, though, Tooke’s misguided “principles” tainted all of Webster’s later work.