Posted by kitt at 20:42 on 12 April 2005
Back in the fifth grade (way back when I was but a wee lass (heh)), my teacher said something to the effect of, "I don't want you skipping over words you don't know. If you don't know the word, look it up." I'm sure Mrs. Pullins meant it as a way to encourage us to learn new words. Tragically, her words had the exact opposite effect on me. My reaction to her words? Something like, "What? I can skip over words I don't know? Really? But I never thought about doing that..." And from that point on I started skipping over words I didn't know when I was reading. My vocabulary stopped expanding at the 11 year old level. Eh, it might have been at the 12 year old level, as I was in the 6th grade English class, but it was a young person's vocabulary. In later years, I would recognize the folly of the word-skipping as I struggled on the verbal section of the SAT. Even after college I studied word books to expand my vocabulary. I wrote up flash cards, kept word lists with me, looked up words I didn't know and wrote them in a word journal, did everything I could to make up for those lost years from 11 to 16 when I just skipped right over the words I didn't know. I feel I still struggle to this day. So, here are the words I've read today that I needed to look up. Here's hoping I remember them.