Saturday is National Dictionary Day. What better way to celebrate than learning a few facts about this resource book?
The U.S. celebrates National Dictionary Day each year on October 16th in honor Noah Webster’s birthday. Webster was, according to Merriam Webster, considered the father American dictionary.
According to the dictionary website National Dictionary Day “celebrates the language, emphasizes the importance learning and encourages readers the use of the dictionary to improve their vocabulary.”
There are many ways to celebrate on the website, such as playing word games like crossword puzzles and word searches, hosting spelling bees, or learning a new term.
You can also celebrate by reading these interesting facts regarding the dictionary.
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In 1604, the first English language dictionary was published.
Robert Cawdry published “A Table Alphabeticall” (1604), making it the “first single language English dictionary ever published,” according the British Library. The resource book was approximately 3,000 words long and contained “simple, brief descriptions.”
The first American dictionary – “A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language” – was published in 1806 by Noah Webster, according to the Merriam-Webster website.
Webster published “An American Dictionary of the English Language” in 1828. It contained 70,000 entries.
There is no English dictionary that contains every word in English
According to Merriam-Webster, it’s silly to rely on any single dictionary to contain every word in the English language, even though dictionaries “tend to be rather large books.”
Merriam-Webster’s website stated that there has never been and will never be a dictionary that contains all English words.
According to the dictionary some dictionaries have words that are irrelevant or out of date.
Words aren’t decided by lexicographers
According to Merriam-Webster, different dictionaries use different criteria for adding words. The data surrounding the frequency of a word being used will determine the general rule for adding or subtracting a word from a dictionary.
Merriam-Webster’s website states that “if enough people use certain words in a certain manner for a specified length of time (or if they have substantial currency in a field such as medicine), it will be added into a dictionary.”
45 letters make up the longest word in English.
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is generally understood to be the longest word in the English language, with 45 letters. According to Lexico, this word refers a lung disease.
Other words considered to be among the longest in the dictionary are antidisestablishmentarianism (a 28-letter word referring to the “opposition to a breaking away from an established church,” according to Dictionary.com) and floccinaucinihilipilification (a 29-letter word meaning “the estimation of something as valueless,” according to Dictionary.com).
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Only 6 letters are required to make a word that includes all five vowels of the English language.
According to Guinness World Records Eunoia is “beautiful Thinking” and is the shortest English language word that includes all five main vowels.
With just one letter, “I” and ‘a” are the two shortest words of the English language. According to Lexico, there is 103 two-letter words.
Source: Fox News