1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wailly, Noël François de

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WAILLY, NOEL FRANCOIS DE (1724-1801), French grammarian and lexicographer, was born at Amiens on the 31st of July 1724. His life was spent in Paris, where for many years he carried on a school which was extensively patronized by foreigners who wished to learn French. In 1754 he published Principes généraux de la langue française, which revolutionized the teaching of grammar in France. The book was adopted as a textbook by the university of Paris and generally used throughout France, an abstract of it being prepared for primary educational purposes. In 1771 de Wailly published Moyens simples et raisonnés de diminuer les imperfections de notre orthographe, in which he advocated phonetic spelling. He was a member of the Institute from its foundation (1795), and took an active part in the preparation of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie. His works, in addition to those cited, include L'Orthographe des dames (1782) and Le Nouveau Vocabulaire français, ou abrégé du dictionnaire de l'Académie (1801). He died in Paris on the 7th of April 1801.