Online, English has become a common language for users from around the world. In the process, the language itself is changing.
When America emerged from the ashes of a bruising war with England in 1814, the nation was far from united. Noah Webster thought that a common language would bring people together and help create a new identity that would make the country truly independent of Great Britain.
Webster's dictionary, now in its 11th edition, adopted the Americanised spellings familiar today - er instead of re in theatre, dropping the u from colour, and losing the double l from words such as traveller. It also documented new words that were uniquely American such as skunk, opossum, hickory, squash and chowder.
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