We've been writing posts about how to use dictionaries for your learning English, and the thing is..., I was kind of shocked to see the big number of visitors coming to read those articles. It's the middle of the week, so it's the period when the number of readers should stay small because many of you might be working very hard and don't have much time to loiter around in our blog, right? But it seems many people come and read entries about using dictionaries to learn English, even though we made almost no practical suggestions such as which dictionary you should buy.
What I really don't get is this; many of you guys are interested in tadoku and might be reading lots of books. Then why? why can't you put your dictionaries far away somewhere you don't often see and let just make yourself enjoy pleasure reading? What is the exact reason that you can't stay away from dictionaries. I thought that over and over, and I came up with one reason that could be it.
Do you still doubt that you can't enhance your vocabulary simply doing tadoku, reading lots of books? Do you think you have to learn everything anything, in a hard way? Do you believe that you shouldn't be proud of yourself unless you do work really hard and torment yourself as much as you no longer have time to do anything other than learning English..., or?
Now, I'd like to give you some examples from my own experience that happened lately and show how you can stock new words into your brain quite efficiently and productively. I got terribly forgetful as I get older but in this way, and only this joyous way, I somehow manage to keep new words in my, well, senile brain...
The other day, some teacher wrote to me that she doesn't understand why students have to learn such a difficult word, *adjourn*. I remember seeing the word somewhere a couple times but couldn't tell the meaning of it right away. Then the next day while I was reading a book I ran into the word. The book was not a story about modern everyday life. It was set in the middle age and fantasy. Moreover, the word was used in a scene when a meeting of the kings from neighboring countries was to end. A king said, "We will *adjourn* for the evening." Huh? what an old fashioned way to say dismissed. I was so amused that the new word got a place swiftly in my brain.
Other time, my friend in a side job, who checks some material I write in English, changed my writing , he's focused on, to, he's a work *fiend*. At a first glance, I thought it was a word friend, but it was not. I've never seen the word before. I was least expected that I'd bump into the word again soon. But just a few days later, my expectation turned out to be false and I was really happy. The word fiend was used in a YA book, Eighth Grade Bites #1, like "...whether people would refer to him as a *fiend* if they ever found out about him" and "he might as well have a cool title like *fiend* to go with it." Yeah! I got learned another new word real quick!!
So this is the way I enhance my vocabulary. I'm sure many of you tadoku doers might have similar experiences. Go read the article again that one of the members wrote in the old article. I'm positive this is the best and the most powerful way to enhance your vocabulary, especially for grown-ups over 20 or something when rote memory no longer works best.
Dictionaries won't please you with stories that you can let unfamiliar words dwell in them.