Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Words That Make Me Work

This morning, I came across an unfamiliar word. I had to stop reading, look it up, and "play" with it to try to incorporate it into my memory. (Once in a while that works, more often, it does not.) Most of the time, I reread the sentence in an effort to grasp the meaning of the word in question. I've never been able to ignore it and continue reading. Sometimes, I've gone so far after I've looked up the meaning of the word, to write an abbreviated definition next to the line of printing in the margin of the book. Of course, this would only be in a book of mine, never a borrowed book or a library book.

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

How do you handle that?


Lauren said...

With words i do not know i tend to do the same as you. I will reread the sentence over again to fully understand it. Then i will look it up and try to plug it into my vocabulary. We are so alike. : )

Rebecca Reid said...

It depends what I'm reading, what I'm doing, where I am, etc. If it's nonfiction and I don't understand and it seems important and I'm by my computer, I'll look it up. Most other times, I'll just let it pass. Once I see a word a few times, if I still don't know it, I'll look it up. But I don't usually step away from fiction for a word I don't know, unless it's obviously essential to the story.

Jennifer said...

Unless I've got a dictionary handy I usually just keep reading. If it's reading for university I'm more likely to get up and find a dictionary though. Most of the time I forget the meaning pretty quickly too.