Holiday of the Week: Learn a Word Day

By Cynthia Dominguez, Opinions Editor

Clarion staff Jianna Beasley (12) improves her vocabulary to aid her writing. (Photo by Aryanna Zavala)

Out of countless holidays, few provide the same amount of useless information as Learn a New Word Day. Annually observed on October 16th, the holiday seemingly began to add to the celebration of Noah Webster’s birthday and National Dictionary Day.

The holiday seeks to encourage observers to expand their vocabulary by learning one or more new words. Although not too exciting and very much a questionable holiday, no real harm is done by promoting and observing the holiday.

According to the Economist, a vocabulary test with over two million test takers revealed that the average native english speaker knows approximately 20,000 to 35,000 words. The test also revealed that foreigners in English-speaking countries learn 2.5 new words a day.

If anything, take the opportunity to learn a new word. Although, chances are the word will be forgotten by October 17th, so make it memorable.

When furthering your vocabulary, to ensure that the word is not easily forgotten, it is better to find words that will stick in your mind. Whether the word be unique or have interesting connotations, in the English language there are plenty of strange and memorable words.

Tyrotoxism, or to be poisoned by cheese, is one of the many words of the English language that stands out and is unfortunately rarely used.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, cheese intake in the average American has tripled since the 1970’s. While the recommended intake of cheese is one ounce of full-fat cheese a day, Karissa Jones, a senior on Clarion staff, states, “I live to eat cheese… Out of all the foods created, cheese is the only food I can see myself eating for the rest of my life.”

While a fun and rare word, it is important to not allow tyrotoxism to limit anyone’s love of cheese.

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