Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vocabulary (BTT)

Here's the latest Booking Through Thursday question:

I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?

My response:

It depends: if it's obvious by the context what the word or phrase means, I'll probably jot it down and keep reading (then look up later).

If it creates a stumbling block, I'll put my book down, grab a dictionary (or go to www.dictionary.com if I'm online) and look it up on the spot. If it's a phrase I'm unfamiliar with, I'll google it, or ask someone else nearby if they've heard of it.

I must confess I'm frustrated when I come across I word I don't know, so I'll always look it up at some point!

10 comments:

BooksPlease said...

Yes, I'm the same. I forgot to mention in my post that I look things up online as well - usually on wiktionary.

Melody said...

Yes, I understand your feeling. I'll check them up if I'm working on a computer, otherwise I'll check them whenever I have the chance and if I remember them. ;)

Jennifer said...

Not knowing the odd word doesn't bother me much, but if the same one keeps coming up over and over then I'll have to go look it up. The other day 'hierophanies' kept appearing in a article - took me ages to find it in a dictionary!

Gustav said...

I have definitely been there,

For I it depends on the writer as well. I recently was reading Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" and there were many new words she kept on using that I needed to look up.

From now on I will continue to look up new words - what do I have to lose? nothing... but I stand to gain a new word..a new meaning... a new way of thinking...

jlshall said...

I liked your comment about being frustrated when you find a word you don't know. I feel exactly the same. Guess I just don't like admitting my vocabulary isn't all it should be!

Table Talk said...

Thanks for the link. I didn't know there was an on-line dictionary. I work with people who create dictionaries so I must go over and have a look at it.

gautami tripathy said...

I too lokk up online few of the times. But not while reading! Afterwards, if I remember!

Here is my BTT post!

the ink-stained toe-poker said...

If its a block I always look them up. Although I sometimes, as a result, find myself on one of those research spirals where one things leads to another and another and your reading something completely unrelated to the original text before you remember what you were doing in the first place. It can be cool when it happens though.

If its contextually understood but I want to check it - I use a postcard as a bookmark - I just write it on the back page number, para and all and check it later then sometimes even go back to the text and see if it adds to what I read/understood of it first time. It usually does.

I've just finished reading the French Lieutenants Woman - what an amazing, like astonishingly good book - its a very rewarding and challenging read. I was at the reference dictionary more than a few times.

Sometimes though I just wait till I find someone cleverer than I am - its not a difficult process by any means - and ask them, it usually leads to another book recommendation and you get more interesting explanantions too.

Salty Letters said...

I'd jot it down a piece of paper, hang it on the toilets wall and in my quiet times I just know what to do...

Paula Weston said...

What a good use of toilet wall space. Love it!