Yeah, you didn’t read that wrong! National Dictionary Day falls on October 16th of every year. Born on October 16, 1758, Noah Webster is best known for publishing An American Dictionary of the English Language, the precursor of the now famous and widely used Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
History of National Dictionary Day:
Dictionary Day is held in honor of Noah Webster, the man who is considered to have fathered the American Dictionary. 1758 was an auspicious year for the English language, and the first English Lexicographer, or one whose craft is writing, editing, and compiling English Dictionaries.
Noah Webster finished his dictionary when he was in Paris, France, at the University of Cambridge. His Dictionary contained 70 thousand words, among which 12 thousand words had never appeared in any old published dictionaries.
- IT TOOK HIM 22 YEARS TO COMPLETE the Dictionary (FOR GOOD REASON).
- Webster reportedly finished compiling his dictionary in 1825, and continued to edit and improve it for a further three years; he was 70 years old when his American Dictionary of the English Language was finally published in 1828. There was good reason for the delay, however: Webster had learned 26 languages—including the likes of Sanskrit, Ancient Greek and Old English—in the process.
- A great many of Webster’s suggestions—like taking the U out of words like colour and honour, and clipping words like dialogue and catalogue—took hold, and still continue to divide British and American English to this day.
- been published in dictionaries before. Among them were the likes of skunk, hickory, applesauce, opossum, chowder and succotash.
- WEBSTER PREDICTED THE UNITED STATES’ POPULATION BOOM.
- In 1828, the population of the United States was roughly 13 million; by 1928, that figure had increased nine-fold to more than 120 million, and today the US is home to around 320,000,000 people. Despite writing at a turbulent time in the country’s history, Webster somehow predicted the future expansion of America’s population almost perfectly.