Why a National Day on Writing?In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives, NCTE established October 20 as The National Day on Writing. The National Day on Writing:
- points to the importance of writing instruction and practice at every grade level, for every student and in every subject area from preschool through university (see The Genteel Unteaching of America’s Poor),
- emphasizes the lifelong process of learning to write and composing for different audiences, purposes, and occasions, and
- encourages Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others.
Plus, this past Sunday, October 16, was Dictionary Day in honor of Noah Webster's birth on this date in 1758. Where would writers be without dictionaries? My dad had a nifty trick for teaching us vocabulary when we were kids. When we asked him what a word meant, he sent us to the dictionary to look it up and suggested we also look at the word above and below it. I learned some amazing new words that way.
Online dictionaries just aren't the same, although I appreciate the speed at which my kids can look up a word. I guess I'm just a bound book kind of gal in all things. I'm slowly embracing books married to technology, but nostalgic about the way things once were.
What do you miss most about traditional books and dictionaries?