Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vocabulary - Booking Through Thursday



Suggested by Nithin:
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?

A short answer today -it varies depending upon what I’m reading. If I come across a word I don’t know sometimes I try to think what it means by the context, especially if I’m engrossed in the book and it would spoil it if I stopped to get the dictionary out. I may try to remember the word and look it up later to check I’ve understood it properly. Other times I jot it down and look it up later, or if words keep cropping up that I don’t know I’ll get the dictionary out and have it handy for reference.

Sometimes I think I know just what a word means, but if you ask me for a definition I’ll become a bit vague and say I’ll have to look it up.

17 comments:

Julia said...

I would have waited until I finish the book to search for the words too...that is if the words show up plenty of times through the pages, I would remember to search it later ..

Like you, if someone ask me for definition..I probably be vague too hehe.

Paula Weston said...

I'm very similar to you.

I also agree about word definitions: often we have a general understanding of a word in its context, but struggle to give a clear definition when asked. Or, as sometimes happens, a word starts being used in the wrong context generally, and then people are surprised to discover its meaning is something quite different ("draconian" is a classic example).

Melody said...

Ah yes, it definitely spoils the reading if we stop too often to check the words, isn't it? But I'll check them whenever there's a chance if I do remember the words.

writer2b said...

"Sometimes I think I know just what a word means, but if you ask me for a definition I’ll become a bit vague and say I’ll have to look it up." Oooh, can I ever relate!

Maree said...

I'd continue reading most likely; unless the word was a real humdinger.

Chris said...

I usually use the context.

Nithin said...

I usually skip the word that I'm unfamiliar with. It's too distracting to have to stop reading a book to look up a word.

Alix said...

I generally have to look it up later, it bugs me not to know and then it bugs me even more when I forget the meaning and see it again!

LisaMM said...

I'm a skipper. Sometimes I'll have a vague idea of the meaning but if pressed to define it, I won't be able to (like you).

Table Talk said...

It's that horrible feeling when you use a word that you think you know the meaning of, only to discover from the looks on people's faces that you clearly don't that keeps me going back to the dictionary.

Terri said...

It depends on the book. I've been reading War and Peace (for the last ten years, it seems like!) and can often figure out a word in context, but find myself reaching for the dictionary and the atlas a lot with this one. It helps that when I'm reading this one, the reference books are at my fingertips, as I don't haul this book around much. Generally I probably look words up 1/2 the time if it's a real puzzler.

BooksPlease said...

Were all much the same I think, although I do like to be able to use a word properly, so I do look up the unknown ones.

Alix - I'm glad someone else forgets a word after looking it up, I do that regularly. It seems to take time to sink in.

Table Talk, oh yes I know what you mean. It's awful too when someone uses a word in the wrong way - do you correct them or not?? (Only if I know them really well and then maybe not.)

Terri, I have to use the atlas regularly - there seem to be so many places that I wouldn't know where to find without it.

Lesley said...

I agree that context is a great help. So is a smart husband!

Gentle Reader said...

Just posted my BTT and then saw that I said pretty much the same thing you did! Good question though, eh?

Bridget said...

Ha! Your last sentence describes me exactly ...

BTW, Lucy looks very sweet!

Literary Feline said...

Sometimes when I am looking for the right word, the word will come to mind, but I'll be unsure whether it's the right word or not and so I have to look it up to be sure it is the right word I am thinking of. :-)

When it comes to reading, I sometimes can figure out the meaning based on context, but when I can't I like to look it up if possible. If it is not possible, oh well.

gautami tripathy said...

I relate to the vague part! Most of us skip and come back later!

Here is my BTT post!