National Dictionary Day

A day for lexicographers everywhere, Dictionary Day was founded to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Noah Webster (on his birthday) – the father of the modern dictionary. 1806 is when he published his first dictionary.

The observance emphasizes the importance of learning while using dictionary skills and increasing one’s vocabulary.

The Merriam Webster added more than 600 new words to its guide in April 2019, giving the thumbs-up to lots of texting and internet slang, popular foods and even expanded definitions for old words, such as receipts. Expansion to definition of receipts is for when showing someone a text or photo that acts as proof that something happened, you have receipts.

Here is a new word in 2020 “Freegan”. A freegan is a combination of the words free and vegan. A freegan is a person who believes it is wrong to throw away food when millions of people around the world are hungry. For this reason, they only eat food they can get for free, which would usually have been thrown out or waste. Often freegans rely on food found in supermarket dumpsters. A freegan is sometimes known as a ‘dumpster diver’. This was a new word for me.

2021 saw the addition ghost kitchen.  This describes a restaurant that only exists to offer takeout.

In September of 2022 they added 370 new words. Here is one dumbphone: a cell phone that does not include advanced software features (such as email or an internet browser) typically found on smartphones. (Ha Ha smartphone vs dumbphone).

This day is an opportunity to open the dictionary and learn some new words? How about getting out the Scrabble board and start creating some new words.

Quotes on dictionary:

I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything. – Steven Wright

The word impossible is not in my dictionary. – Napoleon Bonaparte

Dictionary – opinion expressed as truth in alphabetical order. – John Ralston Saul

The trouble with the dictionary is that you have to know how a word is spelled before you can look it up to see how it is spelled. – Will Cuppy

The scholars and poets of an earlier time can be read only with a dictionary to help. – Carl Sandburg




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