Merriam-Webster, Inc. is an American company that publishes reference books and is known for its dictionaries. In 1831, George and Charles Merriam founded the company as G & C Merriam Co. in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1843, after Noah Webster died, the company bought the rights to An American Dictionary of the English Language from Webster's estate. All Merriam-Webster dictionaries trace their lineage to this source. In 1964, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. acquired Inc. as a subsidiary. The company adopted its current name in 1982. In 1806, Webster published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. In 1807 Webster started two decades of intensive work to expand his publication into a comprehensive dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language. To help him trace the etymology of words, Webster learned 26 languages. Webster hoped to standardize American speech, since Americans in different parts of the country used somewhat different vocabularies and spelled and used words differently.

Webster completed his dictionary during his year abroad in 1825 in Paris, at the University of Cambridge. His 1820s book contained 70,000 words, of which about 12,000 had never appeared in a dictionary before; as a spelling reformer, Webster believed that English spelling rules were unnecessarily complex, so his dictionary introduced American English spellings, replacing colour with color, waggon with wagon, centre with center. He added American words, including skunk and squash, that did not appear in British dictionaries. At the age of 70 in 1828, Webster published his dictionary. However, in 1840, he published the second edition in two volumes with much greater success. In 1843, after Webster's death, George Merriam and Charles Merriam secured publishing and revision rights to the 1840 edition of the dictionary, they published a revision in 1847, which did not change any of the main text but added new sections, a second update with illustrations in 1859. In 1864, Merriam published a expanded edition, the first version to change Webster's text overhauling his work yet retaining many of his definitions and the title "An American Dictionary".

This began a series of revisions. In 1884 it contained 118,000 words, "3000 more than any other English dictionary". With the edition of 1890, the dictionary was retitled Webster's International; the vocabulary was vastly expanded in Webster's New International editions of 1909 and 1934, totaling over half a million words, with the 1934 edition retrospectively called Webster's Second International or "The Second Edition" of the New International. The Collegiate Dictionary was introduced in 1898 and the series is now in its eleventh edition. Following the publication of Webster's International in 1890, two Collegiate editions were issued as abridgments of each of their Unabridged editions. Merriam overhauled the dictionary again with the 1961 Webster's Third New International under the direction of Philip B. Gove, making changes that sparked public controversy. Many of these changes were in formatting, omitting needless punctuation, or avoiding complete sentences when a phrase was sufficient. Others, more controversial, signaled a shift from linguistic prescriptivism and towards describing American English as it was used at that time.

With the ninth edition, the Collegiate adopted changes which distinguish it as a separate entity rather than an abridgment of the Third New International. Some proper names were returned including names of Knights of the Round Table; the most notable change was the inclusion of the date of the first known citation of each word, to document its entry into the English language. The eleventh edition includes more than 225,000 definitions, more than 165,000 entries. A CD-ROM of the text is sometimes included; this dictionary is preferred as a source "for general matters of spelling" by the influential The Chicago Manual of Style, followed by many book publishers and magazines in the United States. The Chicago Manual states; the G. & C. Merriam Company lost its right to exclusive use of the name "Webster" after a series of lawsuits placed that name in public domain, its name was changed to "Merriam-Webster, Incorporated", with the publication of Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary in 1983. Previous publications had used "A Merriam-Webster Dictionary" as a subtitle for many years and will be found on older editions.

Since the 1940s, the company has added many specialized dictionaries, language aides, other references to its repertoire. The company has been a subsidiary of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. since 1964. In 1996, Merriam-Webster launched its first website, which provided free access to an online dictionary and thesaurus. Merriam-Webster has published dictionaries of synonyms, English usage, biography, proper names, medical terms, sports terms, Spanish/English, numerous others. Non-dictionary publications include Collegiate Thesaurus, Secretarial Handbook, Manual for Writers and Editors, Collegiate Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Literature, Encyclopedia of World Religions. On February 16, 2007, Merriam-Webster announced the launch of a mobile dictionary and thesaurus service developed with mobile search-and-information provider AskMeNow. Consumers use the service to access definitions and synonyms via text message. Services include Me

Nicolas Gersin

Nicolas Gersin was a French playwright and librettist. An uncle of Jean-Louis-Auguste Loiseleur-Deslongchamps who studied in his home, his plays have been performed on the most important Parisian stages of the 19th century: Théâtre du Vaudeville, Théâtre de l'Odéon, Théâtre des Variétés-Amusantes, Théâtre-Français etc, he died of apoplexy in December 1833 at Chantilly. Pierre Marie Michel Lepeintre Desroches, Fin du Répertoire du Théâtre Français, 1824, p. 20 Paul Ackermann, Dictionnaire biographique universel et pittoresque, vol.3, 1834, p. 18 Mathieu Richard Auguste Henrion, Annuaire biographique, 1834, p. 417 Nicolas Gersin on

1939 North Cornwall by-election

The North Cornwall by-election, 1939 was a parliamentary by-election held on 13 July 1939 for the British House of Commons constituency of North Cornwall. The seat had become vacant when the constituency's Liberal Member of Parliament, the Rt Hon. Sir Francis Dyke Acland, Bt. died. Acland was first elected for this seat in the 1932 North Cornwall by-election and retained it until his death. Note on 1935 result: Change and swing are calculated from the result of the by-election on 22 July 1932; the Liberal Party candidate was Tom Horabin. He was no track record as an election candidate, he was a close friend of the influential Liberal candidate for neighbouring Bodmin. The Conservative candidate was E. R. Whitehouse, he had contested the seat at the 1935 United Kingdom general election. The local Labour party had selected D. C. N. Wakley to contest the forthcoming General Election. However, Labour party Headquarters put pressure on the local Labour party to withdraw their candidate; the action of the Labour HQ was a clear indication of a desire to electorally co-operate with the Liberal party at a forthcoming General Election, along the lines of a Popular Front.

The by-election took place shortly before the start of the Second World War. It was the last peacetime by-election won by the Liberal Party until the 1958 Torrington by-election. Tom Horabin was the Liberal Party Chief Whip from August 1945 until he resigned and left the party in October 1946, he continued to represent North Cornwall until the 1950 general election, first as an Independent and as a Labour MP from November 1947. In 1950 Horabin did not return to the House of Commons. 1932 North Cornwall by-election North Cornwall constituency List of United Kingdom by-elections United Kingdom by-election records British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, compiled and edited by F. W. S. Craig British Parliamentary Election Results 1950-1973, compiled and edited by F. W. S. Craig Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume III 1919-1945, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume IV 1945-1979, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees