The idea for a national day to celebrate a particular activity, item or concept is often hatched by a small group or individual, whose idea gathers momentum via social media. These days there seems to be a national day to honour or celebrate almost everything. Some of these occasions are global and others specific to individual countries, such as “National Raspberry Cream Pie Day”, on August 1st in the United States. “National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day”, observed annually on September 1st (also in the US), celebrates words in the English language that don’t rhyme with any other words. Another language-related event, this time on the annual global calendar, is “National Word Day”, which was started in 2015.
How Is The Date For National Word Day Calculated?
Because there is no international authority to declare an officially celebrated National Word Day, one way to calculate the date is to use algorithms to examine all of the references to “Word Day” generated on the Internet. The website https://whatnationaldayisit.com/ calculates that National Word Day is most likely today, October 10, based on the amount of social media references to Word Day generated online. This method is known as crowdsourcing of data, which is aptly described as “democracy by consensus”!
Why is National Word Day Important?
You may have noticed that people tend to use a fairly limited number of words in their vocabulary. Although it’s difficult to accurately measure, by age five to seven years, children typically have an active vocabulary of 3000-5000 words. According to lexicographer Susie Dent, the average active vocabulary of an adult English speaker contains around 20,000 words, with a passive one of around 40,000 words.
There are currently 171,476 words in the English language, with more being added each day. According to the Oxford Dictionaries, a further 47,156 words have become obsolete or archaic, effectively resulting in a mass-extinction of words. This is why we believe that the words-conservation drive of National Word Day is such a great idea!
What Should You Do on National Word Day?
National Word Day is a celebration of language. People are encouraged to broaden their vocabularies by using seldom-used words to make their speech more colourful, unique and interesting. The ultimate aim of this is to immortalise words that are obscure or have become obsolete.
Call to Action!
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