Sixth Edition. Very Good. Item #4922
Philadelphia: W. Young, Mills & Son, 1796. Sixth Edition (sometimes described as Third American Edition, preceded by two other printings by Young). This copy from the estate of author, language columnist, and speechwriter William Safire, with his ownership signature on front free endpaper.
Thick 12mo; 104pp Preface and Grammar, with dictionary unpaginated. Rebacked with original mottled calf boards. Covers edgeworn with wear at corners and edges. Visible seam to back board from repair. Many pages dog-eared with a 1.5" strip missing along bottom of back free endpaper with no loss to text. Binding is sound.
An Irish actor and godson of Jonathan Swift, Sheridan switched careers in the 1760s to write and teach on matters of reading and elocution. While other dictionaries had made attempts at noting stress and pronunciation, Sheridan was "the first lexicographer who consistently respelled the entry words to indicate pronunciation... [He] pronounced every word, even simple ones, indicated stress as well as sound in his spellings, and gave greater attention to the hitherto neglected consonants than ever before" (Landau, Dictionaries, p. 57).
William Safire's "On Language," a column on popular etymology, usage, and all things language, ran in The New York Times magazine for thirty years.