Things You May Not Have Known About the English Dictionary

by | Jul 23, 2021 | Translation Services

Throughout our history we have learned to develop language more and more every year. To this date language is one of the most important things in our world to help as all communicate and be one with each other. Without it, things would be very difficult.  For those who speak English, the Oxford English Dictionary is to thank for the development of our language.

The History of the Dictionary

In 1604 the first dictionary was produced by Robert Cawdrey and only contained 3,000 words. The purpose to help society find common ground with language and be able to have proper spelling for words. At one-point words were not always spelt the same which would cause confusion when people were reading scripture. Eventually the dictionary evolved and a had 43,500 words in 1746, which Samuel Johnson Created (Britannica.com). Fast forward to the 19th century where Noah Webster was able to develop the dictionary further with variations in the English language and started the Oxford English Dictionary (Britannica.com).

5 Fun Facts About the Dictionary

The word with the most definitions in our current dictionaries is the word “set”. It has been said to carry approximately 430 definitions.

Every year new words are added to the dictionary and other words become extinct. According to RD.com Merriam-Webster added 550 words during the first round of edits in April of 2020.

One of the most misused words is the word “ironic”. Most people use this word in a context that is not aligned with the true definition. Check your dictionary to see what it really is and if you sue the word correctly.

Noah Webster is the reason that we have American and British spelling. This was to help give America its own distinguished spelling.

Finally, the least used letter throughout the English language is none other than the letter “X”.

The Great Debate

There is a great debate when it comes to books, and this includes the dictionary. Some people love to have a physical copy of the book. This means they likely have bookshelves full of books and lots of book accessories. The other side is purely utilizing electronic books. This could be done through an e-reader device or online versions. Of course, we now have our audio book lovers, but the main debate is physical versus electronic.

There are pros and cons to all the methods you can use to absorb the content of a book and dictionary, but we each have our own preferences. Some of us may even use a combination of all three depending on the circumstances.

The English Dictionary

Without this dictionary we would have a hard time communicating. Words would mean different things; spelling would be off, and we would never know what we were reading or hearing. The development of this incredible book has allowed our society to grow in such an incredible way. Having a common language with definitions and spelling allows us to communicate effectively and grow.