In case you didn’t know this about me, I love holidays. And celebrations. And other fun things like that. And, I also love the dictionary. And words.
So, today is the perfect holiday for me. DICTIONARY DAY!
To celebrate, I thought you should learn a little bit about the Oxford English Dictionary, which, if you don’t already know, is the coolest thing on earth.
Once upon a time, this group of people decided that they wanted to compile a comprehensive list of all the words in the English language and their meanings. If every word in the English language didn’t sound like a daunting enough task for you, let’s expand a little bit on how many meanings every word has. Take the word run. Easy, right? Movement with your feet that is faster than walking. But also, you can let your nose run. The idea can run away from you. Water can run; You can let your imagination run away from you. You can run away from home. You can take a run, you can run your refrigerator. All of these are different senses of the word run.
Big task. Big big task. How did they do it? They enlisted the help of the world. If you read something and you thought it was a different sense of that word, you copied the quotation and mailed it in to OED headquarters. In fact, one of the guys who sent in a bajillion quotations helped from inside of a mental institution. How cool is that?
Do you love the OED now? Because you should.
I LOVE THE OED. And other dictionaries too, of course.
For more information about Lexicography, click here. I LOVE LEXICOGRAPHY.
For more information about the OED, read The Professor and the Madman or The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester. So fun.
Happy Dictionary Day too you! 🙂 (Or what’s left of it!)