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5 fun facts about dictionaries

 

At first glance, the old dictionary seems outdated, and it might even look simple – you just have a bunch of words and their meaning. The truth, in all honesty, is much more complicated, and the amount of work it takes to create a dictionary is immense. Words are listed in alphabetical order so you can access words fast. This is a fact that everybody knows.

But there are many other secrets that the dictionary holds, which is the reason why I created this list, so you can learn to appreciate this dying creation more before it goes extinct from our bookshops. Without further ado, let me introduce you to some odd trivia about the mysterious and intricate art of dictionary-making.

A time-consuming task

The first thing you might not know is the fact that it takes a lot of work and time to add a new word into the database. This is because not all words are here to stay, and a possible new addition has to be used for a specific period and by a standard number of people before linguists decide it is time we introduced it in our official language.

You have to document its genesis and source, conduct database research, and put it into context – who uses it, why and when. After all that hard work is done, an editor committee will review it and decide if it is worthy of holding a place in the dictionary. Each publishing house that creates dictionaries has its own committee, that’s why you can find a word in some dictionaries while in others you can’t.

 

A humble beginning

Did you know that in the beginning, the Merriam-Webster dictionary, arguably the most famous one in the English language history, used to cost only six dollars? The two Merriam brothers acquired the rights to the preexisting Webster Dictionary and printed the book in Springfield, Massachusetts. It sold surprisingly well, which allowed them to publish many new editions. Now, it even branched out into the online environment.

 

50 years in the making

Our third exciting fact is mindblowing. Everyone has heard of The Oxford Dictionary, but very few know that it took more than fifty years to create it. The Philological Society of London decided in 1857 that it was time to create an updated and comprehensive dictionary that included words from the 12th century until that point. They contracted the Oxford University Press for the task, and the years of work resulted in the most respected dictionary of all time.

Fake words

Another peculiar thing is the fact that fake words make it into the final edit of a dictionary. This happens because of human errors and sometimes because tricksters feel the need to make jokes at a high level. Some words appear distorted because of spelling mistakes like missing hyphens, and they make it into the mainstream changing the words entirely into our collective minds. This shows that language is alive and not something rigid.

 

High aspirations

For the last fact, we have to go back to Noah Webster. He used to handwrite most of the entries in his dictionary, and he would only choose hard words as worthy of his creation. Moreover, he decided he wanted to be the first person to write an all American dictionary, with the American way of spelling and pronunciation of the English words.

Interesting facts about pet turtles

Turtles are beginning to gain popularity as pets and can be ideal for busy people who want a low maintenance animal to admire and appreciate — but maybe without having to invest a lot of time in walking them and stroking their ego as is the case with cats and dogs.

These magnificent creatures vary in shape and size, but they all have a typical mellow temperament, which can help a kid with anxiety by calming him or her down. They can be therapeutic in a sense, which only adds to the extensive list of surprising facts about turtles.

It is a common misconception among pet owners and the general public that all turtles swim. That is not the case, as tortoises, which belong in a different category, live on land. Not even turtles are exclusive to water. Naturally, all need to drink water to survive, but some species can also thrive in a desert environment.

Also, many turtles are what we would call omnivores, meaning their diets consist of both plant and animal proteins. That’s why when you are buying a turtle as a pet, it is better to ask the vet what you should feed it and what species it belongs to so that you can accommodate its living space to the specific requirements.

This next fact is just as weird as it is interesting. Similarly to many pet birds (and not wild ones), turtles have the ability to lay eggs without a male turtle fertilizing them. The females can lay as many eggs as they wish, but unfortunately, these would be infertile and won’t hatch. And unlike their wild counterparts, pet turtles can lay eggs all year round, while the wild ones follow strict seasonal cycles.

Did you know turtles can remember their owners? It is a weird fact, which people most associated with mammals, and not reptiles until research showed the opposite. But, nevertheless, it is true. Turtles will start move and lift their head when the owner is approaching them, a thing that doesn’t happen with strangers that often.

A quirky fact that I came across while reading about these pets is that turtles don’t have ears, which is definitely peculiar. However, they’re not deaf. They actually have a complex sound transmitting system, which involves skin flaps, bones, vibrations, and low-frequency sounds.

Turtles can be extraordinary pets if you are ready to pay attention to their needs and requirements. They are gentle souls that just need a bit of water and some delicious food. A thorough bath is required once in a while. Also, do not forget to let these shelled beauties roam free around the house when you get to have a few minutes to supervise them.

 

My favorite board games

 

Board games represent one of the most fun leisure activities you can take alongside friends and family members. Board games have been present at every family reunion and friend gatherings for centuries and are appreciated by both adults and kids.

Most of these board games imply at least 3-4 players, as well as strategies and plenty of thinking ahead. They usually last between 40 minutes and 2-3 hours, depending on their complexity, and can seriously damage your friendships and family relationships. Trust me, there are few friendships strong enough to resist a Monopoly game.

Although there are countless good board games available on the market right now, here is a list of my top favorites of all times.

 

 

Monopoly

It is probably the most famous board game in history and also one of the oldest. Its history goes back to 1903 when it was first used as an educational tool in order to show the negative aspects of private monopolies. However, it wasn’t until 1933 that a variation of the previous game, called “The Landlord’s Game” became popular under the name “Monopoly”.

Throughout its existence and especially in the past two decades, Monopoly had many iterations, including limited-edition releases by Hasbro, the manufacturing company, as well as plenty alternatives with different property names, according to the country for which it was intended.

Nowadays you can find thousands of variations of the original Monopoly, as well as hundreds of spin-offs and similar board games. The original one required 2-8 players and followed each player trying to advance on the board by purchasing properties and building houses and hotels on the premises.

 

Scrabble

Another classic game, Scrabble, appeared on the market over 80 years ago and has been sold in millions of copies worldwide ever since. The game is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. in the United States and Canada (the same company holding the rights to Monopoly) and a property of Mattel in the rest of the world.

This popular words game requires 2-4 players who must build as many words as possible with the letters provided on the board. Each letter is attributed a number of points and the winner is the one who has the most points in the end.

 

The Game of Life

The Game of Life which is simply known as Life was America’s first parlor game. It appeared back in 1860 but the modern version appeared only 100 years later, in 1960.

I remember this is one of the first board games I ever played and, in my opinion, this one represents the quintessence of family gatherings – a game that gets you through life, from college to getting your first job, marriage, kids, and retirement.

 

How to care for a pet chameleon

 

Owning a pet is very rewarding but also a great responsibility, regardless of its size. Apart from constant care, each pet requires a clean and safe environment, fresh sources of food and water, as well as plenty of pampering and attention.

And, while most people prefer larger animals such as dogs or cats, some choose less popular and more exotic animals to look after. Chameleons are amazing creatures but will not make the best pets for everyone so, if you want a chameleon as a pet, you have to know how to properly look after it and how to provide a safe environment for it.

 

Chameleon personality characteristics

These cute yet extremely fragile creatures are quite pretentious to look after as they require specific living conditions. Unlike most other pets, chameleons are easily scared and are often stressed about everything they don’t know.

Although quite social in the presence of people, they don’t like to be held or pampered so they won’t make good pets for children or owners who require a lot of affection from their pets.

As we previously mentioned, they can get easily scared so it wouldn’t be good to keep them in loud environments such as frat houses or places with constant parties. Chameleons also don’t like interacting with other pets so, if you already own a cat, a dog or any other larger pet, you might want to refrain from making them best buddies.

 

Looking after your pet

Looking after your chameleon means you should make all the necessary arrangements prior to your pet’s arrival at its new home. You will need a proper cage, as well as lighting, heat, food, fresh water, and supplements. Setting the proper environment for your chameleon pet means it will live a long and happy life, away from all stress factors.

Getting something like the ExoTerra chameleon cage to host your chameleon is also a great idea. This cage features a unique dual ventilation system and dual front opening doors to provide easy access for you to add the food and maintain the cage clean. Keep in mind that chameleons will grow in size as they age so you first need to make sure the cage is large enough to host your chosen type of chameleon.

Also make sure to place the cage in a warm and well-lit environment, away from windows and cold temperatures during the winter. The interior decors of the cage should be as authentic and fun as possible for your pet. Decorate it with real and fake plants of different sizes, climbing limbs, and even flowers or small pebbles and rocks.

 

Feeding

Last but not least, keep in mind your pet’s nutrition. Chameleons usually feed on crickets which you can buy from your local pet store. Baby chameleons require smaller species of crickets but can also feed on fruit flies. You can also purchase flies, moths, worms or grasshoppers as snacks for your pet.

Your chameleon also needs water so try to spray the leaves of the plants inside its cage with plenty of water or buy a small waterfall from your local pet store.