How to read the dictionary?
- Dictionary tells a lot more than just the meaning of a word. Most of us do not pay attention to the details in the way it represents the meanings.(the mentioned points may work only for recognized publications)
- Apart from the phonetics or pronunciation there is more to be read between the lines. Dictionary is a compendium of infinite knowledge; all you need is the key to decipher the code. Here is a little help for you to start.
- A word is mentioned in bold if it is an original entry and it is mentioned in italics if it is from another language.
- If a word is used as more than one parts of speech then the forms are mentioned either after symbols like (n. and v.) or noun verb after which meaning is given.
- The plural form, the word as it is used as a verb, the adjectives and adverbs associated with it are mentioned in parenthesis () alongside.
- Sometimes if the word is attached to a typical word or verb for eg. Donation (of money) is mentioned with it.
- You also get to know if the word is a slang as you usually find that mentioned there. With slang we refer to an informal language which is not considered appropriate in formal usage. Slangs are of two types one is coarse which is in spite of usage is still not acceptable and other one is called Offensive which is not particularly entertained by a certain ethnic or religious group.
- Even tenses of certain words are mentioned.
- Compound words or words which are often used together like storybook, bedtime even such words could be available for your reference.
How to improve your vocabulary?
You can increase your vocabulary only if you want to. There are so many words that we read in newspapers and magazines around us but seldom use, because we are not sure about its meaning. Vocabulary building is not a day’s affair and neither will learning ten difficult words per day help boost it. Learning words is like lugging up the recipe without being able to cook .Start learning basic words known and try using them while you speak and write.
- Keep note of words that you read frequently but do not use.
- Try to comprehend the meaning of a word by reading it in context to the sentence and only after that check it in the dictionary to confirm.
- Use better words if you can for daily usage like exhausted for being tires or befriended for made friends. Don’t force it too hard that it shows, but try it once in a while.
- Try finding the etymology of the word as it not only increases your interest but helps you recognize more words that have the same root or from the similar origin. For eg. if you know that chromos means time then you can get into terms with words like synchronous, chronology etc. Doing so you will start feeling comfortable with even difficult words.
- Basics are important in any science and words also have their share of fundamentals. Almost all words have a prefix, root and suffix. for e.g. the word Devitalize is made up of de+ vita+ lize, where “de” is the prefix used for devoid of or detach something of, ”vita” is the root meaning life in Latin and “lize” is the suffix used for constructing the verb. Try deconstructing words to extract tools that would help you form your own words.
- Poetry is a like a canvas which helps you play with words ,if only it attracts you try writing poems and look for rhymes to your words ,this helps in recalling words that are there in your word bank but you don’t use them anymore.