October 16th, the birthday of Noah Webster, is Dictionary Day. As word nerds, we are big fans of dictionaries, and couldn't do our jobs without them. Here are a few suggestions on how you can celebrate an importance resource which we often take for granted.
Prevent a word from becoming extinct. You can find words that are rarely used at www.savethewords.org. The idea is you adopt a word and begin to use it so that the word doesn't disappear. If you have a favorite old word that is in danger of dying, you can contact Save the Words and suggest they add it to their list.
Learn a new word. Sign up for the daily email from A.Word.A.Day to learn five new words a week, or just open your favorite dictionary at a random page to discover a new word.
Coin a new word. The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational asks participants to take a word and alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing a letter, and create a new definition. Recent entries included:
- Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
- Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
- Incoulatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
If you've ever made up a new word, share it with the world!