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Let’s Get Wordy with National Dictionary Day

Let’s Get Wordy with National Dictionary Day

We invite you to celebrate National Dictionary Day with us.

National Dictionary Day is held on October 16th in honor of Noah Webster’s (1758-1843) birthday.  Webster was a spelling reformer that believed that English spelling rules were unnecessarily complex.  He spent 27 years compiling 70,000 words for his dictionary.  In his publication, he introduced new, Americanized spellings that reflected his belief that the U.S. should have its own individual literature.  Observe this National Dictionary Day with some of these ideas.

1) Along with our families, we can celebrate by learning a couple of new words today.  This is a great way to improve our spelling skills and to impress others with our expanded vocabularies.

2) Another fun way to celebrate is to hold a family spelling bee.  Organize small prizes as an incentive for the winners and this could become a fun annual tradition.

3) Playing fun, word-based games is also a great way to celebrate National Dictionary Day.  For instance, games like Scrabble, Boggle, or Bananagrams are always crowd pleasers.

Interestingly, this was a Herculean task, and Mr. Webster learned twenty-six languages, including Old English (Anglo-Saxon), German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Arabic, and Sanskrit.

He completed his dictionary during his year abroad in Paris, France, at the University of Cambridge.  Of his seventy thousand words, twelve thousand had never appeared in a published dictionary before.

Noah is responsible for changing the spelling of British words into what we know as American words.  Examples include replacing “colour” with “color,” substituting “wagon” for “waggon” and printing “center” instead of “centre.”  Webster also added American words such as “skunk” and “squash” that did not appear in British dictionaries.

Personally, I often describe Americans as appositionally defiant.  Whatever our British forefathers did, we wanted to do things differently. From how we calculated distances (miles vs. kilometer), measurements (inches vs. centimeters), volume (gallons vs. liters), driving on the right-hand side instead of the left, etc.

He too seemed to share this opinion as his quote at the time was that the United States “should be as independent in literature as she is in politics.”

Join us at The Maria Sanchez Show in celebrating National 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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