Friday was Dictionary Day. Do you look up the meaning of words you don’t know when you read?
One of the pros of reading on an electronic device, is you can highlight a word and look up its meaning. But I rarely do this, because time and all that. A good writer will let you know the meaning of a word within context of the sentence or paragraph. I don’t want to break from my reading groove by looking up a word. I like to get sucked into a story and stay there as long as I can (especially with my limited reading time) so why pull myself out of that just to look up a word? If it is important enough to the story I should be easy enough to guess at from context. If it isn’t easy to figure out? Well, I still say no big deal, move along, keep reading.
I agree with Julie on looking up words while reading. A good author should provide enough context for the reader to understand a passage.
But since we are celebrating the dictionary today, I am an avid user of the dictionary while I write blog posts. Or when I hear words being used incorrectly. Just the other day, I heard a newscaster saying that listeners were critical to the success of the station. But then, I looked up the actual meaning of critical. And ….
None of the definitions really expressed what the newscaster was trying to say – important. I always want to make sure I’m using the correct words.
I’m also a big proponent of the thesaurus. How else could I think of multiple ways to say I like a book without the thesaurus!
How about you? Do you use the dictionary while reading books? Or just keep reading right through without looking up the definitions of words you may be unsure of?