Tag Archives: dictionary

Word Curiosity: In Honor of Dictionary Day

(In honor of Dictionary Day and the birthday of Noah Webster, October 16)


I love dictionaries because I love words. I love words because I love stories and language and writing. I grew up reading a lot, talking a lot and, eventually, writing a lot. I wanted to understand well and to be well understood. So whenever I encountered a new word, I had to know its meaning. If it’s a fancy, foreign or fascinating word, I wasn’t satisfied with context clues. I needed its definition and usage, its spelling and pronunciation, and as a bonus, its etymology. I’ve always been word curious.

Thankfully, I grew up with dictionaries in our house and in school libraries. If I was out and about when I encountered a new word and I couldn’t get to a dictionary right away, I would write this new word down and make sure to find its dictionary entry as soon as I can. I’ve always been word curious.

In July 2010, I decided to start writing haiku daily on Twitter to ensure that I would write at least one thing every day. As my writing prompt, I chose Dictionary.com‘s Word of the Day. This daily habit of learning a new word (or remembering a familiar one) and playing with it to form a haiku has helped to feed my word curiosity.

Ever since I started having access to the internet, I’ve been using online dictionaries. Since I discovered the app, I’ve been using Dictionary.com on my phone to quickly search for word definitions. But I still keep a print dictionary at home for when my children need to find something, that is when they don’t decide to Google it instead.

Some people choose print dictionaries; others opt for digital or online dictionaries. Some prefer a Webster; others choose Oxford. I say use whichever tickles your fancy, whichever floats your boat, whichever works for you. Whichever feeds your word curiosity.




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Why I Love Dictionary.com

Dictionary-comIn honor of Dictionary.com‘s 20th anniversary, I am writing about why I love the website and use its mobile app daily.

1) I check Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day everyday, learn its meaning and origin, and write a haiku incorporating that word (I publish my daily haiku on Twitter).

2) Since I was a child, I’ve loved dictionaries and I’ve used them to learn about new words. Until now, I always want to know what new words mean. The Dictionary.com app makes it so much easier for me to find the meanings, pronunciation guides and origins of words.

3) Dictionary.com’s blog posts and slideshows include fun trivia for logophiles like myself. Perfect for word nerds!

4) Dictionary.com also makes available an online thesaurus, Thesaurus.com. A thesaurus is another book I’ve loved and kept handy since I fell in love with writing when I was about 9 or 10 years old.

5) Dictionary.com (and Thesaurus.com) is free (if you don’t mind ads)! A premium, ad-free version is available, of course.

6) Last but not least, Dictionary.com’s Twitter account is responsive. I’ve been tweeting my haiku with their Word of the Day for years, and I have been noticed, acknowledged and followed.  To whomever is managing the Dictionary.com Twitter account, thank you so much! Favorites, retweets, and especially messages from you make my day!

To Dictionary.com, congratulations on your 20th anniversary!  Here’s to 20 times 20 more years of sharing the knowledge, the power and the love of words with fellow word nerds!