Thursday, April 17, 2008

Booking Through Thursday--Vocabulary



Today's Booking Through Thursday question was 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?

My answer is that it really depends on the book, on the word, and on where I'm sitting while reading! I usually don't look up words while reading unless I really can't get them from context. If I am struck by a particular word, often I'll write it down and look it up later. That's probably because there isn't usually a dictionary nearby. Every once in awhile a book begs to be read with a dictionary (or dictionary.com) within easy reach. But that's pretty rare for me. And if I'm reading in bed, forget it--no way I'm looking anything up. Or writing anything down. So those words are just lost to me. My poor vocabulary, it's probably decreasing rather than increasing these days.

How about you?

13 comments:

BooksPlease said...

Great minds think alike!

And although I didn't mention it in my post I certainly don't look anything up when I'm reading in bed - and I do a lot of my reading in bed.

Dewey said...

If I see a word I don't know in a book, like you, I can usually get it from context, but if it's an interesting word, I'll keep it in my head and look it up later, when I'm on the computer.

Gentle Reader said...

booksplease--lol! And it would have to be a special word indeed to get me out of bed!

dewey--my problem is that I can't keep the word in my head, so if I want to look it up later, I must write it down first! Cheers to you for your good memory :)

tanabata said...

I'm impressed with Dewey's memory too. I can't keep anything in my head it seems. I usually have little sticky notes nearby when I read so if I can't figure out the meaning from the context, I'll slap a sticky note on it and look it up later.

Gentle Reader said...

tanabata--sticky notes! Good solution, think I'll be stealing that from you!

Literary Feline said...

In the end that's probably me too. I do try and look up the unfamiliar words I can't figure out on my own right away if at all possible simply because if I put it off--even writing it down--I'll forget about it later or won't care anymore. And reading before bed, forget looking up or copying down words at all. Not going to happen.

Bybee said...

I'm the same as Dewey...I've had "loggia" rattling around in my head for a couple of days now...I'll probably look it up now that I'm on the computer.

Gentle Reader said...

literary feline--exactly--putting it off is deadly :)

bybee--lol, now I'm going to look up loggia too!

stefanie said...

I am of the same mind as you on this question. Sometimes it makes me feel like a lazy reader, but I don't like to put my book down to look up a word especially when I'm in bed.

Gentle Reader said...

stefanie--sometimes it makes me feel like a lazy reader, too--but I still don't run for the dictionary :)

Jaimie said...

I try to understand them in context too but if I can't, I look it up online...if I remember! :)

Logophile said...

Oh this is the very reason I started blogging! I promised to be better about looking up words I didn't know...but have slipped back to my old ways of only writing down words I can't get from context and looking them up later.

Gentle Reader said...

jaimie--lol, I have trouble remembering, too!

logophile--your "old ways" are my goal--I consider it a victory if I remember to look something up at all!