Monday, June 1, 2009

Literally speaking!

Few days back my little brother asked me the meaning of some common word. I can't recall the word right now but I was clueless as to what should I be telling him. I struggled and finally managed to explain the context that word is used in. He was satisfied.

I wasn't!

It drew my attention to a plethora of words I didnt know the literal meanings of and thats how it started! Since then I have fallen into the habit of finding out dictionary meanings of words and I am falling deeper and deeper into this whirlpool of my passion for dictionary meanings.

Of all the words you know how many do you think you learnt off a dictionary or a thesaurus? I am guessing very few. We learn words as we read - books, newspapers, magazine articles, editorials, advertisements, even the internet, or as we listen to them - news, movies, music, conversations. But with all these new words, we also learn the associated way of usage - the context where these were used! So we end up increasing our vocab but knowing only d contextual meanings. The literal meanings take a back seat and when asked what does a particular word mean, we fidget around trying to find out what exactly it meant!


Anonymous said...

nice one...
even i m also doing that to increase my vocab

GuyNxD said...


anasuya said...

:) and - ever faithful companions in the major proofreading gale that has hit me this summer.

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