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Celebrating Dictionary Day and Noah Webster’s Birthday

Celebrating Dictionary Day and Noah Webster’s Birthday

Let’s acknowledge the father of the English Dictionary today.

October 16th is considered Dictionary Day.  This day was chosen to coincide with the birthday of Noah Webster, the author of the first American-English language dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language.  This famed reference book contained seventy thousand words and took Webster roughly twenty-seven years to complete! 

As a spelling reformer, Webster believed that traditional English spelling rules were too complex, so he used his dictionary to introduce new, American spellings of common words. 

For instance, the British “colour” was replaced by “color, “centre’ with “center,” and so on.  Additionally, Webster added several American words such as “skunk” and “squash” that had never appeared in an English dictionary before.  In response to creating the first American dictionary, Webster famously stated that the United States “should be as independent in literature as she is in politics.” 

In recognition of this Dictionary Day, we might consider all the fun ways to recognize with our loved ones.  Here are some of our suggestions to consider.

  • Host a Spelling Bee

One great way to have some family fun this Dictionary Day is by hosting a spelling bee.  To prepare, we could give participants a list of words that they will be tested on.  Then, we suggest having one family member act as a judge as each participant does their best to outspell their competitors.  By organizing fun prizes, we can encourage our loved ones to get into the competitive spirit while still having fun as everyone learns new worlds.

  • Challenge Loved Ones to Learn New Words

Another way to make Dictionary Day fun is by challenging your family members to learn five new worlds at the beginning of the day.  At dinner time, ask each family member to teach the table about their five words.  This is a fun and interactive way to encourage our families to expand their vocabularies.

  • Explore Webster’s Original 1828 Dictionary

Finally, to truly honor all of Webster’s hard work, we invite you to look back and explore the original 1828 dictionary.  His dictionary is available online by clicking this link HERE.  By entering the modern spelling of words in the search bar, the website will produce Webster’s original entry on the word.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we try out these fun ways to celebrate Dictionary Day.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown.  Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PDT/7:00 p.m. EDT.

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