Today, January 9, is an important national holiday—it’s my birthday, which I share with such varied figures as Dave Matthews, J.K. Simmons, Kate Middleton, and Richard Nixon. It’s also National Word Nerd Day, which I find quite appropriate, in that I certainly consider myself a word nerd. Back in elementary school, my classmates used to tease me by accusing me of reading the dictionary for fun, but I didn’t understand what was supposed to be problematic about that. Of course I read the dictionary for fun! I love learning new words, discovering the origins of words and how they evolve, and exploring the way language works. That might have had a little something to do with why I studied linguistics in grad school, and why I became an author (and later, a publisher). Yep, I love words, and if you do too, add a few new ones to your vocabulary today. I can also recommend a book you might enjoy: Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by former Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper.
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