Monday, May 28, 2012

Musing Monday...It's Only Words...

Happy Memorial Day! And Memorial Day is on a Monday,  so let's check out this week's question from Miz B at Should Be Reading ...

This week’s musing asks…
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

As the Bee Gees said...
It's only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away...

Well, I am not sure this sounds quite right, but I can not honestly remember the last time I ran across a word I did not know when reading.
Why is that?

Well, I guess there could be several reasons.
Maybe I just have a vast vocabulary. Honestly, I think I have a fairly good one, mainly from years and years of reading, but maybe not that great. But then, I do really well on the online game where you have to pick the right meaning of a word to earn grains of rice...I get bored with it before I fail. However, I will also admit to being a terrible speller. Not that you asked, but anyone who reads my blog may have noticed. And just think how bad it would be without SpellCheck ! I can look at a word and know it is wrong..but I don't know how to spell it correctly. Oh well.
Maybe I just read easy books that use little, easy words. Yes, it is true that I don't read the most challenging books these days, not like in my younger days, but I am reading mainstream books, meant for average readers.
Or maybe somewhere in the middle.
Actually I was just reading an e-book the other day and, pausing my finger a little too long in the wrong place, and found out (OK, I knew and forgot) that these e-readers and e-reader apps have a built in dictionary. How cool. That could be handy if I ever need it sometime! ;-)

What I will admit to looking up when reading are places. It is a little issue for me.
If a book mentions a town, I must go online and see if it is real and if it is, where is it. I love to look at a map and see the relation of various places mentioned in a book. I love a book that has a drawn map in the front, although, in a tiny e-book rant, I will say there are not very convenient to 'flip' back to in an e-book, not like in a real book.
Yes, I will admit I have a little thing for maps.

And family trees! I love a family tree in a book. But there is a danger with them too. I read a book awhile back...I forget what the book was...and it had a family tree in the front. But it turned out to be lousy one, incomplete and a little screwed up. That was very upsetting and I think I spent as much time trying to figure that family tree out as reading the book. Or at least it seemed that way.

Do people still use dictionaries?
I mean 'real' paper, book dictionaries, or they just Google everything?
I am sure I have one, somewhere on my book shelves...

In honor of the recent death of Robin Gibbs, let's end with one of the Bee Gees best...


  1. I love it! I thought I was the only one who has to go look up the names of towns and find out all the neat-o facts about them whether they're real or made up.I love traveling but who can do that with gas the way it is. Shew!
    Anywho, here's my little corner of the world to give my answer:

    BTW: I own SEVERAL real live hard back and paper back dictionaries...actually I like to collect them...the older ones. There's just something about flipping through the pages looking for a word while your finger scans from line to line and word to word. I agree with you...there's just nothing like flipping the pages of a book whether it's the dictionary or on the hunt for a map.

  2. Caite: Once again, thank you. I look forward to visiting on Mondays since I alwasy find your MM response quite entertaining and that puts a smile on my face. Sorry for the misspelling but I haven't had my 2nd cup of coffee yet, but think you will get the gist from the context lol.

    1. well, I just gt home after working 12 hours and have not had any coffee there!

  3. I do look up words with an old fashioned dictionary but not always the moment I see the unfamiliar word. Quite often, I can figure out what it means from the context but will look it up later just to confirm it.

  4. I like to look up cities as well and see if they are real places. When I look up words, I use my app on my phone!

  5. I only look up words when i am reading my Kindle (because it will do it in an instant). Otherwise I just figure it out by context. What I do look up are places, like you, and what people look like if it is a true story. See that is why it takes me so long to get through a non-fiction story...I get sucked in!

  6. I have small dictionaries in every room but don't use them as often, now that my Nook has a dictionary built-in. But I agree with you, it has been awhile since I had to look words up.

  7. its interesting that I too had a spelling issue.. but doing crosswords and reading fixed it ...

  8. I love to look up places that I read about. It is even more fun when you are able to visit a place that you've read about!

    Here's my MM:


  9. I think when you read a lot, you do develop a good vocabulary. Sometimes I test myself to see if I really do know that meaning of a word that I think I do. Most of the time I do.

  10. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Hmmm...maybe you are reading books that are too easy? ;-)

    Jokes apart, I'm glad you have a good vocabulary. It's a rare gift these days.

  11. Sometimes, I think contemporary books have been "dumbed down" because I seem to run into words I don't know in much older books. Agatha Christie usually manages to slip in a couple of words I'm not sure about.Oh, yeah, I have a real dictionary on the shelf over my desk and I do use it.


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