Dictionary: Blogging From A to Z

Have any of you ever read the Dictionary? It may sound like a strange question because the dictionary is not something we normally read, right? Well, when I was between 8 and 9 years old, my mother set a plan in action that caused me to read an entire Collegiate dictionary. (This is how young I was- I actually thought it said Colgate, like the toothpaste). Some of you probably had one- it was red, with gold letters. She actually ended up buying it because a word I needed to the definition for wasn't in the normal school age one we already had.

So, how did she ensure that I read the entire dictionary? This process took 3 different steps.

1. If I asked how to spell a word or the definition of a word, she had me look it up and copy it what seemed like 100 times.

2. If I was bored, she handed me the dictionary, and told me to read.

3. If I was in trouble, I had to copy a certain number of words from the dictionary.

Numbers 2 and 3 were marked with a different bookmark. This meant that within  about a year and a half, I had read and copied the entire dictionary. This may seem like overkill for most, but let me promise you something- it was not. Once I was finished with the dictionary, I moved on to encyclopedias. Eventually, even my grandparents took up this practice, so I did it at their house too.

Image result for collegiate dictionary 1992In fact, if I asked about a certain that that wasn't a definition, I was to look it up in the encyclopedia. Once, I asked her who shot Abraham Lincoln. I can promise you that I never forgot the answer to that question.

What did that experience do to me? Yes, I'm that quirky person that had a high SAT score without trying, and I'm full of useless information.

It also taught me several valuable lessons. First, I found that I learn better if I write what I need to remember, instead of just read or listen. So, in high school and college, I would rewrite my notes and remember it a lot better.

I also learned to be diligent when looking for information. I do not ask people until I have exhausted all my resources first. I also retain information very well, especially dates and names.

My brothers just gave up when mom told them to find the dictionary or encyclopedia, and they did not learn these lessons. I guess it's not "just in the genes" like some people seem to think. I will do these same things with my kids, but not let them give up. I am so glad that my mom did this- I think it is one of the greatest things she did for me. In fact, I love reading informative books even now.

A few years ago, I wrote about learning to spell Dinosaur- see how it ties in on Cari On Designing.

1 comment :

  1. Once, I found my dad reading the dictionary so I had to read it to, just because I'm that sort of parrot. I didn't copy it though, I only copied the English-Korean version.
    Happy AtoZ!