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10 Years of Wordsmith.org

From: Wordsmith (garg AT wordsmith.org)
To: (linguaphile AT wordsmith.org)
Subject:  10 Years of Wordsmith.org
Date: March 14, 2004

March 14 is Einstein's birthday, it's Pi Day (3.14) in the US, and it's also the birthday of Wordsmith.org. Ten years ago today our first word went to a handful of friends. Today, 570,000 subscribers, 210 countries, 3000+ words, and some 500 million copies of AWAD later, we still believe in the magic of words.

We are still tickled on discovering a curious word, and we still believe a dictionary is the most fascinating book ever made.

We have grown to where we are now because of your passion and participation.

To mark the occasion, we are distributing a few special gifts:

  • To Greg Hitchcock of Seattle, who has been the longest continuing subscriber, since March 1994, a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary on CD-ROM, courtesy Oxford University Press.
  • To each of six lucky subscribers, randomly selected, a copy of the American Heritage Dictionary on CD-ROM, courtesy Houghton Mifflin Company.
One year ago today, the Wordlovers' Library Project was inaugurated. Since then, 365 libraries in 47 countries have received A Word A Day book, thanks to the Harnisch Family Foundation's sponsorship.

As from today, we are offering RSS feeds of A.Word.A.Day. Also, for bloggers who wish to link to a particular word, a permalink will be included at the very end of each daily newsletter.


Assorted statistics:
  • Subscriber distribution, country list, interesting email addresses, etc: stats.
Looking back:
  • Mar 14, 1994: The beginning: Wordsmith.org born as a grad school experiment
  • Feb 9, 1998: Subscription hits six digits: 100,000 daily readers of AWAD
  • Oct 8, 2000: Information overload? AWAD goes five days/week instead of seven
  • Oct 11, 2002: A Word A Day, the book published: debuts at #1 on Amazon.com
  • Mar 14, 2003: Wordlovers' Library Project launched
  • Mar 14, 2004: Decennial: Wordsmith.org celebrates ten years
Interesting words:
  • Longest word featured, 45 letters:
    pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (a kind of lung disease)
  • Shortest words featured, 2 letters:
    aa (a kind of lava), os (bone, mouth), Rx (prescription)
  • First word featured: zephyr (a gentle breeze)
Readers are what really makes this community resonate. Thank you for being a part of us! Keep sending your comments. Anu Garg
(garg AT wordsmith.org)

But words are things, a small drop of ink, / Falling like dew upon a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. -Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)

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