Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I’m wondering what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. Do you jot it down on paper so you can look it up later, or do you stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it, or do you just continue reading and forget about the word?

Overall I'm a jot it down and look it up at the end of the chapter, kinda gal. When I was younger I would just skip over it. But I like to look it up now. I rarely stop reading to look it up though, I write the page number it was on when I take the note down to look it up later. I must admit though, that while reading Jane Eyre, I learned to read it next to my computer so that every time her student said something (in french, which I never took in school) I could immediately look it up on the google translator and know what the heck they were talking about.

So how about you? How do you handle a word that stumps you?


Mrs. Mordecai said...

I usually just skip the word unless it's really interesting or I can't figure out what's going on without it. Then I have to look it up immediately!

On a side note, Jane Eyre is the reason I took French in school. The summer before I started a foreign language, I was reading it and it really made me want to learn French.

Magali said...

I usually mark the word in different ways, as a code: circle it if I don't know the meaning; underline it, if I don't know how to translate it into spanish or portuguese; underline the whole sentence if it is an interesting word (phonetically, or effectiveness and preciseness as a descriptive word, etc.). Usually, if I did not get the meaning through context, I'll come back to it right away and look it up. When I am through with the book, I go over a lot of the words, but not all of them.

Mr. Mordecai said...

I ask Mrs. Mordecai what it means. :-)

Sharon in KY said...

An unknown word slows me down; I ponder its meaning from context then decide whether to get up and get the dictionary or not. Usually not. The frail perfectionist inside, who has been dying a slow death ever since my son was born into my orderly world, rasps, "You know you should look this up." "Uh-huh" I say as I continue seated and reading.

Your Paper Girl said...

I have a dictionary under my bed and drag it out if I find that an author likes to challenge a reader's vocabulary. (Honestly, some of them seem to write at one level and then go back and dredge up words from a thesaurus for random "punch.")

Because of my undeniably bad short-term memory, I will write a definition in the margin of some of my more cherished--an thus frequently read--books.