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National Dictionary Day

National Dictionary Day Celebrates Noah Webster and American lexicon

National Dictionary Day is here! Hurrah! Once a year we celebrate the man who led the movement for an American language and all that is related to his endeavor. For me personally, this day of celebration is even more exciting than National Chocolate Day which is quickly approaching on October 28, 2015 and National Martini Day which is not occurring again until June 29, 2016. While I savor both dark chocolate and extra-dry vodka martinis, up with olives please, as the founder of The Word Tailor it isn’t surprising that savoring words is so near and dear to me.

National Dictionary Day occurs annually on October 16 and naturally we at The Word Tailor are pretty excited! Well, maybe I’m more excited than Carlie…I’m the word nerd here. For those who cherish our lexicon, rejoice! Every year Dictionary Day occurs to celebrate the work and contributions of Noah Webster— an American lexicographer and father of the American dictionary. Mr. Webster grew up during the American Revolution and believed fervently in the developing cultural independence of the United States. Mr. Webster’s most notable desire was to have a distinctive American language with its own idiom, pronunciation, and style. In 1806, he published the first truly American dictionary: A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language.[1]

National Dictionary Day is particularly special to me because we use words to color our stories. Words really are the fabric of our lives. Words allow us to describe vividly what we want to share with others and the words we use enable them to comprehend what we are saying. Words allow us to communicate effectively with others. Words give meaning to what we do and how we feel.

While I very much enjoy dark chocolate and extra-dry vodka martinis on occasion, I use and consume words daily—words give meaning to my life. In addition to having zero calories, words are helpful to me. Words enable me to communicate but even more than that, learning new words exercises my brain. Studies show that an enlarged vocabulary ensures success in your career as well.

As I was writing this article a memory flashed through my mind and I laughed out loud. With all this emphasis on words, I recalled how a former boyfriend would frequently ask me on our date if I had “gotten in my 30,000 words yet”. Of course, he was referring to women speaking more words in a day than men. Yes, I’ve been accused of using a lot of words in a day, but he does have a point. Women do speak on average more than 7000 words daily than men. Speaking scientifically, women have higher Foxp2 protein, known as the “language protein”, levels in their brains than men.[2] For those of us “chatterboxes” out there, just remember we have elevated language proteins and are able to harness that advantage in an enlarged vocabulary and improved communications. Now that’s something to celebrate indeed. I raise my martini glass to all the word lovers and chatterboxes out there. Cheers!

How will you celebrate National Dictionary Day?

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/noah.htm

[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2281891/Women-really-talk-men-13-000-words-day-precise.html

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