Saturday, October 31, 2009

Decoding it with dictionary

I am glad that I have cultivated a habit of using dictionary as soon as I come across that unfamiliar word. The fact is if I am reading and I come across a strange word, my mind simply refuses to go ahead until I unearth its meaning, unveil its usage and learn the correct pronunciation. Have you experienced the extreme euphoria when you come across a word again which was foreign some time back?

I love reading. I cannot read until I am assured that there is a dictionary by my side. I am quite lucky that I started taking interest in reading when I was a kid and all credit goes to Childcraft and Worldbook encyclopedia. The two huge Wordbook dictionaries played a vital role in shaping my vocabulary. I remember my reading sessions with mom every night before going to bed. My mom used to sit beside me, making me read aloud and underline words that are not familiar. The next thing was to look up the meanings in the dictionary and write it near the underlined words. I thoroughly enjoyed the bedtime reading activity in my childhood.

Later I understood that learning to pronounce a word is as important as knowing its meaning. I was 12 or 13 when we bought our very first computer. Gradually I discovered the valuable use of thesaurus. Soon the fascination of internet grew and after learning how to open an email account, the next thing was to use online dictionary. Online dictionary was simpler, you just have to type the word and within a blink of an eye you are ready to explore the word. Thanks to online dictionaries that provide audio files to actually hear the right pronunciations.

One day I purchased Oxford Pocket Dictionary from some book exhibition. After all buying a dictionary is an investment, isn’t it? Pocket dictionary made it possible for me to grab it whenever I banged on an alien word. But still I wanted something more, a lexicon I can carry with myself wherever I go. I was quite thrilled when I learnt about portable electronic dictionary and thesaurus, but I thought it is not a smart option to spend money on such device.

Finally I found the solution to continue boosting my vocabulary in an easy way, nothing but my cell phone. My Sony Ericsson W200i with my Loop SIM card solved my purpose of decoding unknown words and that is also for free. Isn’t it great? Of course it is as it comes with multiple advantages too. It is quick, it is portable and thus it is comfortable. Now it is as easy as ABC to make sense of that word which appears to be from some another planet. But still whenever I get time I take hold of those old heavy dictionaries, flip through the pages and look up for the meaning of the word in an old traditional way.