Thursday, April 17, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Vocabulary

This week's BTT topic:
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?

Yes, Nithin, a very interesting question. I'm a pretty good speller and I think I've got a fairly extensive vocabulary (well, reading vocabulary anyway), so I don't have the problem very often. But I guess if I come upon a word or phrase I'm truly stumped about, I usually stop and look it up right away, or "Google" it. I did editing work for years, and all that proof-reading probably left its mark on my reading habits (hmmm - is that a pun?).

Of course, if my husband is around when the question arises, I just ask him – as a former English teacher and classics major, he can usually figure out what just about any word or phrase means. Funny thing is – he's a terrible speller!

Later that same day:
J: "Are you upset that I wrote on my blog that you're a terrible speller?"
M: "No. I never care what people say about me as long as I'm the center of attention!"


  1. So, you have a living dictionary. That must come in handy!

  2. I have a PhD in English and can't spell either. This might be one of the reasons that I do look up words, because I am so used to having a dictionary on hand to make sure that I'm spelling things correctly. As a teacher you just can't afford to get either spelling or meaning wrong.

  3. I do editing and proofing work for a living and I agree that it gives you certain habits: in my case it's the driving need to make sure I understand everything!

    I also like your observation that our reading vocabulary is usually different to our spoken vocabulary. I'd never thought of it like that, but's true, isn't it? The next question then, is why?

  4. I can read through difficult words but write in simpler ones for my poetry. Reading and writing, and speaking are so much different from each other.

    Here is my BTT post!


Welcome and thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to hear from visitors.

Also, please note that while I appreciate the thought, I don't play the blog awards game. I think you all deserve awards! But you might think about becoming a follower of my blog -- that would really be the best award.