Tuesday, October 16

World Dictionary Day

I find the celebratory days fascinating, and this one is a treasure. World Dictionary Day.  As a writer, a dictionary is not far from me when I work, though I confess these days I often use an online dictionary.  Partly because my nomadic existence does not allow me to take all the things I would like to have with me, and I confess to having a lazy streak at times too.

The website that lists the various days that we might choose to celebrate www.daysoftheyear.com states that it is celebrated because of Mr Webster.

"A day for lexicographers everywhere, Dictionary Day was founded to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Noah Webster – the father of the modern dictionary. Why not take the opportunity to learn some new words?"

In 1806 Noah Webster published his first dictionary "A  Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. - though if you read the history of dictionaries on Wikipedia, there is a fascinating study of them.

Here in Oz, we tend to use the Macquarie Dictionary - and the website has more fascinating information for those looking at words.  The word for the week is shanghai - which I of course would immediately think of the huge city in China, where I spent some time on and off since 2008, but many older Aussies in particular would remember that we used a shanghai as a 'weapon' to fling rocks.    You can read more about it here. Shanghai - word of the week.

I don't have one of these, but I enjoy reading the website, and listening to people who use Australian Slang.  Many of the words are going out of favour, or perhaps remembered by older members of our population, or even those folk who live in the country, especially in outback Australia. Check out the Australian Slang Dictionary.

Yesterday while driving to the Gold Coast and back I listened to an interview with Ruth Wajnryb, who sadly passed away recently.  The interview was done some time ago, but it was replayed, and is a fascinating story about her way with words.   You can listen to the interview here.

I have many of the Classic ABC interviews on a memory stick, and I enjoy listening to them as I drive, and of course with a long long drive coming up, I expect to listen to many of them again, and keep up to date with current recordings.

And on the subject of words - I like to drop into a website called Free Rice from time to time - a to test my knowledge of words, and help by having donations made, subject to my correct answers, to the poor of the world.  A great site to learn more words, have fun, and make a difference.

No comments: