James Howell was one of the first people ever who managed to live from writing. He did so in a variety of different ways – one of the first “blog” writers, one of the first textbooks teaching English as a foreign language, the first novel in letter form and of course a famous dictionary.
He compiled the Lexicon Tegragloton a English-French-Italian-Spanish dictionary, adding also a whole collection of Latin and Welsh sayings. He also put together a book of proverbs.
James Howell put together the first book for teaching English as a foreign language A New English Grammar. He himself claims that this was “a task that may be said to be beyond the reach of human understanding” and states that English has certain advantages other languages do not have which makes it easier to learn the language.
James Howell could even be called the father of the blog, publishing pamphlets about topic issues on a regular basis.
He also included travel writing in his portfolio, having travelled extensively in Holland, Spain and Portugal, but also to France and Germany.
Not surprisingly he introduced hundreds of words into the English language, some of which Word of the Day will be covering this week. Words include Anglicism (an English word used in a foreign language) backgammon, co-opt, high-heeled, marinate, plenipotentiary, so-called and siesta.
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