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Old 02-16-2012, 07:25 PM   #16
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I love to use the dictionnary for words I don't know
Ditto! Knowing the definition and etymology helps me to understand and retain a word better.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:54 PM   #17
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:59 PM   #18
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:23 PM   #19
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Honestly, it's been quite a while since I came across five words in an entire book that I didn't understand or recognize. On the other hand, I don't read for spelling puzzlers, but for the story. I guess the writers I read just know the same vocabulary I do...
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:05 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
What if the book opens with quotation in a language you can't speak? Like Elvish?
Or if a book uses an alternate English alphabet, like Interlac http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlac.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:17 AM   #21
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Honestly, it's been quite a while since I came across five words in an entire book that I didn't understand or recognize. On the other hand, I don't read for spelling puzzlers, but for the story. I guess the writers I read just know the same vocabulary I do...
Do you read your own books very often so that you don't come across words you don't know?
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:24 AM   #22
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Well, the five-finger rule would blow quite a lot of books I have read off my shelves. Any Poirot novel, for starters -- I mostly guess at the meaning of his numerous French exclamations and remarks.

But what it would most blow of the shelves are my dictionaries. I have several of historic slang, two of American slang -- and I read them all from front to back as soon as I got them.

I take the view that if I discover a word I don't understand, it suggests my literacy is not up to par. What I do in practice is reach for the dictionary - not the one on my kindle, but the two-volume Shorter Oxford right behind me as I type. And, being a word-nut, I read that from A to Z when I bought it, though not in one sitting.

I also have German-English and Italian-English dictionaries within reach, both acquired when I needed to understand something.

i guess I'm just a compulsive reader.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:24 AM   #23
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Do you read your own books very often so that you don't come across words you don't know?
Oh man, snap.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:52 AM   #24
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Maybe if he had said "5 sentences" I could maybe agree. Meaning of words you can distill out of the sentences, but if you can't even understand most of the sentences, it might be too tedious to continue reading. (you'll have to look up so many words and meanings, that reading becomes a chore instead of fun) Naturally, those books that have been picked up for language learning are not counted...
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:58 AM   #25
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What do you think about this?
"The sun would not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house on this cold, cold wet day"

The Cat in the Hat
SOLD!

(Am I the only one who thought this was going to be a thread about piracy?)
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:23 AM   #26
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When i started reading in English (when I was about 12 and my brothers brought interesting books back home from abroad) I usually had huge problems the first chapter or so and my 5 fingers probably would have been up in the first couple of lines. Of course the book was too difficult for me!
But I'm stubborn and if I kept reading I got in a "flow" and I could then go back and reread those first pages and understand them too. Of course there were lots of individual words I didn't understand, but if I understood the context I didn't look them up.

I can't remember when I last came across a word in my own language that I had problems with. Unless of course we count those times when I raise my eyebrows in a "oh, "interesting" choice of words..."

Last edited by Asawi; 02-17-2012 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:34 AM   #27
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I can't remember when I last came across a word in my own language that I had problems with. Unless of course we count those times when I raise my eyebrows in a "oh, "interesting" choice of words..."
Only when I see those texts written by lawyers or civil servant that want to sound interesting... They usually use words that nobody but them know about...
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:51 AM   #28
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Strange. I would feel that I found a challenging book and still read it. If it was good.

Of course, we don't like to challenge ourselves these days.

Who else had a mom who made them get the dictionary every time they ran into a word they didn't know?
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:56 AM   #29
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I think, this 5 finger rule is intended only to be applied when reading a book in foreign language.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:13 AM   #30
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(Am I the only one who thought this was going to be a thread about piracy?)
I am sorry to say, that was my initial thought as well.
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