Tag Archives: logophile

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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InkTober Day 16: Dictionary Day

Dictionary Day drawing

This InkTober drawing for Day 16 is inspired by Dictionary Day (October 16).  I just learned about it and I was really excited!  I love dictionaries! I enjoy learning the meaning of words. Although I use online dictionaries nowadays, I have fond memories of looking up words in our family’s three-volume leather-bound copy of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

Dictionary.com tweeted this question: “What do you love about the dictionary?”  My reply: “Learning the meaning of  a word is like having the light turned on or solving a puzzle.” 🙂

Yay, It’s Dictionary Day!

I just learned that today, October 16, is Dictionary Day (thanks to a tweet from dictionary.com). October 16, 1758 is the birthday of Noah Webster,  known as the father of the modern dictionary.



I love dictionaries, so I got a little bit excited about Dictionary Day and wanted to learn about it. I found an article on pressconnects.com entitled “Oct. 16 is a Day for Word Lovers,” written by Megan Brockett. She writes, “Thursday, Oct. 16, is National Dictionary Day, which celebrates the birthday of Noah Webster, one of the country’s most renowned logophiles, or lovers of words.”

That word. Logophile. Lover of words. Wow, that’s me! I love words; I’ve always loved words. So that’s what people like me (and Noah Webster) are called – logophiles! It’s already fun to learn a new word, but sometimes it’s even more fun when you discover a new way to describe yourself or something dear to you.

DictionaryDictionary Day reminds me of how I’ve always loved dictionaries. Dictionary.com‘s app is one of my favorite apps, and I use it everyday since I write haiku daily using dictionary.com’s Word of the Day.  I also have fond memories of going through our family’s three-volume, leather-bound Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and Seven Language Dictionary when I was in my elementary and high school years. I’d be carefully leafing through its thin pages to look up the definition of a word. I did this for the unfamiliar words I encountered not only in my school lessons and textbooks but also in the story books I read for pleasure.

Just a few months ago, my mother was packing up the many encyclopedia sets and reference books she had kept from our childhood days. I was looking at all of these big, heavy books filling her many-tiered bookshelf and I saw the three-volume, leather-bound dictionaries of my youth. I remembered how I thought to myself that if I were to ask for anything to inherit from my parents, it would be these three books. They would probably serve as mementos than working dictionaries in my home, since my kids and I mostly use online dictionaries nowadays. But, oh, the smell, the feel, the memories of these dictionaries…

Happy Dictionary Day, Logophiles and Lexicographers!

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