For those who missed it, there's a piece in today's Los Angeles Times about early lexicographers Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster and their influence on spelling. Johnson didn't believe that any word should end with C, and so filled his 3 million-word tome with stuff like "musick" and "publick."
Two generations later, enter Webster, who returned fire with a dictionary that nixed all those extra Ks, along with a lot of U's and Qs (think "colour" and "barque").
What interests me most about pieces like today's Times op-ed is not the content but the news hook. The author found in this week's National Spelling Bee a hook to discuss Johnson and Webster, who related directly to the op-ed writer's book, which he plugs in the tagline.
Still, book-promotion envy aside, I never knew that Noah's story had such a good arck.