October 16th National Dictionary Day

Today we celebrate the guy that tells us what all those words we don’t understand mean. Well, it’s good somebody does… I’m just not sure what the point of using them is but at least we know where to go look them up!

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Daniel Webster was 43 when he started writing the dictionary. It took him 27 years to finish it, and it has changed even since then as words are added and created. He is known as the Father of the American Dictionary. At least it was in English!

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And today is his birthday so it’s a great day to celebrate! In fact, every word I am typing in here is in his book. Even fiction is in his book although his book is not fiction. There are other words that apply to his book that are written in it but do not actually describe it… like, exciting, fun and joyful.

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Just kidding! Which is also a word in his book! The general idea is to learn a new word everyday so you are able to speak better. Never mind that no one will understand you, it’s important that you learn.

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Actually having a good vocabulary is important, knowing how to spell words is equally as important because spelling it wrong may cause great consternation. The one thing I never understood was when my teacher or parents told me to go lookup a word I didn’t know how to spell in the dictionary. Ah, hello… don’t you have to know how to spell it to look it up!?!

How to celebrate – See if you can find your dictionary. Have a dictionary party. Learn a new word today.

September 29th Confucius Day

Confucius is one of the best known philosophers of all time. He was also a teacher, editor and politician during his time in China. Born October 18th, 551 BC, lu he was China’s Ben Franklin before Ben Franklin was born! His real name was Kong Qiu and lived during the Summer and Autumn periods in China. He dies in 479 BC, lu but not before leaving behind numerous words of wisdom.

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Among his famous quotes are: “Your life is what your thoughts make it” and “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.” Definitely words to live by. There are literally hundreds of quotes to live your life by. Most are common sense, but it surprising how litte common sense there was back then which seems to have carried over to today.

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Since his time he has also been credited with some he probably never actually spoke, like… “Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.” There are more but they should not be repeated in mixed company!

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There are few subjects Confucius didn’t touch. Obviously they were intended for people who lived in his day but most carry over to today as well. I’ll bet Confucius and Ben would have been best of friends, or the worst of enemies. Either way, we can learn a lot from both of them.

How to celebrate – Study Confucius’ writings. Visit China. Create your own words to live by.

 

September 8th International Literacy Day

Since most kids go back to school in September (Here in Florida it happens in August) it is only fitting that we celebrate International Literacy Day. It’s kinda important! If all the people of the world could read, maybe we’d get along a little better than we do.

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The United Nations created the day on September 8th, 1965 for UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The more we learn about each other the more we will respect one another. (At least in theory)

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When the doors open, opportunity presents itself. Sometimes it doesn’t work as well as we plan but maybe that’s because we expect too much. Opening up the world of reading to those who have never read before teaches them that there is a world beyond that they live in.

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We can learn to laugh and cry with others, read their struggles and their success’ and become closer as a world, not just a country. I read everyday and I learn so much that it sometimes amazes me. (Because I am old and thought I had learned everything!) Books let me know, I have learned so little, even though I have lived so long.

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It would be nice if the United Nations worked. Maybe someday we can read about the success stories because of their efforts. However, as long as there are politicians most nations are subjected to only what they want to teach us. So when reading, remember to always accept what you learn with a grain of salt.

How to celebrate – Donate books you have already read to those that have none. Read new books with new opinions. Write your experience down for others to share.