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A.Word.A.Day--tridecennary

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Wordsmith.org was founded on March 14, 1994, when I began sending a daily word to a few of my university classmates. They liked it and told their friends about it, who told their own friends, until today we have more than 600,000 subscribers in some 200 countries.

This week marks our tridecennial. That could mean we are in our teenage years, though in Internet years we would be middle-aged or beyond.

Of all the dictionaries, today's word, tridecennary, is found in only one: the Oxford English Dictionary. Of the billions of pages on the Web, Google shows only a handful of hits for the term. Why? People don't like to celebrate thirteenth anniversaries? It's unlucky? This week in AWAD we celebrate all things 13 -- we'll feature a few words related to this much-maligned number.

tridecennary (try-di-SEN-uh-ree) noun

1. A period of thirteen years.

2. A thirteenth anniversary.

[From Latin tres (three), from decem (ten) + annus (year).]

-Anu Garg (garg wordsmith.org)

X-Bonus

Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. -Faith Baldwin, novelist (1893-1978)

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