Hey, Die-Hard Dictionary Lovers—
The dictionary is an excellent resource for gaining confidence in your vocabulary and recruiting new words for the refining and precision of the language you use. Exclusive to book form before computers and Internet digitized the world of print, dictionaries have proven their resilience going forward into the modern world.
I covered a brief history of the dictionary in our previous post for National Dictionary Day which you can check out by clicking right here. In observation this year, however, I thought I’d mention a number of interesting tidbits about dictionaries you’re not likely to have known…
50 Years and 26 Languages Later…
Noah Webster’s amazing efforts to create the expanded and fully comprehensive ‘American Dictionary of the English Language’ in 1828 took him 27 years to complete and it would be another 23 years before it reached publication. What’s crazier is that he learned 26 languages in his 27 years of working on the dictionary—just under one language per year!
Long Words, Loooong Words
Dictionaries as we know them today aim to be all encompassing, listing a definition for each and every word—including the word the. But publications before the time of Webster only bothered to list the complex words.
Did you know that not all words in the dictionary are real words?!! More often than not, you can trust your dictionary, but these publications are not impermeable to missing hyphens or typos. Some dictionaries even include fake words as a means of protecting their copyright! Such was the case with The New Oxford American Dictionary’s entry ‘esquivalience’.
Dictionaries are incredibly handy resources to utilize in today’s world when it comes to reading as well as writing. Enjoy observing National Dictionary Day in whatever way you decide—hopefully you learned a thing or two on today’s Blog post. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!