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JRowe Japanese Ambassadors in NYC stereo .jpg
The first official Japanese diplomatic visit to America was in June 1860.The Embassy mission included royalty, samurai, and the youngest member of the delegation, 17-year-old interpreter Tateishi Onojiro. Tateishi nicknamed “Tommy,” quickly became…

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Webster horrified his family by mortgaging his house to self-publish this book. All his ventures had proved disastrous, and this one was no different. Webster printed 3,000 copies; when he died, 1,420 lay in unbound sheets. 

Webster tried…

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Strange to say, but in the year 2024 there is still no comprehensive dictionary of one of the most distinctive and historically important varieties of English—that used in African American communities. (The pioneering Clarence Major focused only on…

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All the major print dictionaries now have digital versions—Oxford and Merriam-Webster above all—and new born-digital dictionaries range from the raunchy and often hilarious Urban Dictionary to the surprisingly sound scholarship of Wiktionary.…

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The OED was digitized to produce the printed OED2, but the invention of the CD-ROM in the mid-1980s made it possible to distribute the entire dictionary to users who could never have afforded (or found room for) 20 heavy volumes. More important, when…

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