Dialect and Identity


In “A Dictionary of the English Language” by Samuel Johnson played a key role in the shaping of our English language and the history surround it. Johnson defined several words within the English language. It is evident, after reading his dictionary that our language has changed, making some of the words he used to become obsolete. The English language is certainly different from many other languages, especially depending on the dialect from the country that it is spoken and taught in.

In America, Johnson’s dictionary certainly influenced the way Americans speak and formulate sentences. This also ties into the purpose of creating and forming laws in our country. This is imperative to remember that the English Education Act 1835 in which British Parliament allocated funds on teaching English literature in India. This is important to note because it forced people to teach English and western culture opposed to the traditional Muslim and Hindu dialects.

This then talks about identity and how critical language is to identity in any given country. People’s identity is integral to the understanding of who they are. In the English Education Act 1835 identity was stolen from many people, especially muslims and people of Hindu religion. If anything, if the western curriculum is being taught in India, it should be reciprocated and Muslim dialects should also be taught to Western Countries. It is critical to remember the history of the English dictionary and how it affected the people and leaders of the world at the time.

Anthony Miller


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