Riddle #3 – Today & Tomorrow

When is the only time that today and tomorrow come before yesterday?


And while you’re here, check out these 10 facts about Dictionaries!

Ancient Origins: The earliest dictionaries date back to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. These were often specialized glossaries or lists of words used for specific purposes, such as medicinal plants or trade goods.

Samuel Johnson’s Achievement: One of the most famous English dictionaries is Samuel Johnson’s “A Dictionary of the English Language,” published in 1755. It contained over 40,000 entries and was considered the definitive English dictionary until the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) came along.

The Oxford English Dictionary: The OED, first published in 1928, is one of the most comprehensive and authoritative dictionaries of the English language. It was a massive undertaking that took over 70 years to complete.

Multi-volume Dictionaries: Many major dictionaries, like the OED, are too large to be published as a single volume. Instead, they span multiple volumes, often taking up an entire shelf in a library.

Electronic Advancements: The rise of the internet and digital technology has led to the creation of online dictionaries, which can be regularly updated and are often more accessible than their printed counterparts. Some even include audio pronunciations and interactive exercises.

Etymology: Many dictionaries provide etymologies for words, tracing the history and origin of a word back through time and often across languages.

Types of Dictionaries: There are many different types of dictionaries beyond just general language ones, such as technical dictionaries, slang dictionaries, pictorial dictionaries, and biographical dictionaries.

Unabridged vs. Abridged: An unabridged dictionary contains the full list of words and definitions the editors deemed relevant, while an abridged dictionary (like a collegiate or pocket dictionary) is a condensed version with a selection of the most commonly used words.

World Record: According to the Guinness World Records, the largest dictionary in a single volume is “The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary,” which consists of 21,730 pages and was published in 1989.

Dictionaries and Language Change: Dictionaries are not static. Language evolves, and new words are added every year. Some dictionaries, particularly online ones, are updated annually to reflect these changes.

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