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National Dictionary Day

Today is National Dictionary Day.  

This is National Dictionary Day to celebrate the birthday of Noah Webster.  Who you might ask?

For those of us old enough to remember old fashioned printed dictionaries, Noah Webster was the pioneer.

Noah was born in 1758 and he died at the age of 85 in 1843.  At the age of forty-eight, Noah began to publish his dictionaries.

In 1806, Noah published his first dictionary titled, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language.  Realizing that a more comprehensive version was needed he began compiling an updated version called An American Dictionary of the English Language.

This took Noah twenty-seven years to complete.  This new version included the etymology of words, or linguistics of how words are connected across languages.  

To accomplish this, Noah learned six languages including Old English (Anglo-Saxon), German, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Arabic, and Sanskrit. 

His final version included seventy thousand words, with twelve thousand words never appearing in a dictionary before. You and I might call him a bit of an overachiever.  

An overachiever and a reformer?  Yes, a reforming of the spelling of words. 

Noah believed that American English should be separate from British English so he changed the spelling of words like color, from “colour” and “wagon” from “waggon” to name a couple.

Private Home Health Care understands that in today’s world finding a word and its definition is a digital click away on a phone or computer. We are, however, believers in the value of historical knowledge.  Thank you Noah Webster. 


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