Posts Tagged ‘say what?’

22nd May
2009
written by Steph
Quick question for all my fellow readers out there (while I go about finishing up some reading so I can post some new content): what do you do when you're reading along happily and you're thrown for a lexical loop?  By which I mean, you come across a word that you don't know!  Horror of horrors, I know!  Do you: a) try to divine on your own what the word means? b) pause to look the word up right away? c) jot it down on a pad for later investigation, so as to leave the flow of your reading more or less uninterrupted? or d)  just barrel on through the confusion and continue with your reading, never to think on the word again...? I'm curious, because lately I've been reading things where I've been encountering unfamiliar words. I've used all of the tactics above, but none of them are all that satisfying for me.  I feel like it's a great opportunity for me to learn a new word, but more often than not, I look the word up right away, only to later forget what the word was and also what it meant.  I suppose this strategy is fine in terms of making sure I fully understand the slippery sentence I've just read, and it's not all that obtrusive (given online dictionaries, weird words can be looked up in seconds), but I feel like I'm missing out on the chance to expand my vocabulary AND it doesn't circumvent the need to look the word up again should I re-encounter it in the future.  If I jot the word down for later exploration, I'm stuck with not necessarily knowing the word in the context of what I've read (and my memory isn't so good that upon later looking the word up, I'll flash back to how it was used in the book, suddenly suffusing me with insight).  What's a girl to do? Tell me your tips and tricks for dealing with weird words and how you make them stick!