With so many books passing through my hands, I obviously have come across many words that I did not know or were unclear to me.
But with a paper book, I’d usually just guess the word’s meaning through context. I’d glide over it, gathering a general understanding, and make a promise to myself to ‘look it up later.’ (I rarely looked it up later.)
eReaders solve the “later” issue by providing built in dictionaries. On a Kindle, you simply select the word you don’t know and the definition appears on the bottom of the screen. The same is true for any word you come across on an iPad in the Kindle app. Other eReaders also supply built in dictionaries.
I love the built-in dictionary! It is wonderful. My most recent example of using it occurred last evening (which gave me the idea for this blog post). I was reading from a current book, “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty, and I came across this passage:
Twee? Huh? I admit … I have never, ever come across this word before. Ever. Never.
This is a great example of a word I was not willing to “let go” and to just pick up the meaning through context. I needed to know, and I needed to know now.
But I was also comfortably tucked in bed, covers in place just right, and pillows bunched perfectly about my head. A great demonstration of the wonderful-ness of a built-in dictionary. I simply selected the word, right within the story, and learned what I did not know. Hardly an interruption. I learned about “twee” and kept right on reading. No muss, no fuss.
Do you know “twee?” Is it obscure or is this just an example of another gap in my knowledge?