PLAY AND LEARN
THE DICTIONARY GAME
How are you? Shall I ask you a question?, Well, how many of you have a dictionary? What is the name of that dictionary? How many of you have the habit of consulting the dictionary often? Do you know anything about the different varieties of dictionaries?
Don’t worry about these things now. If you have a dictionary, please do take it and ask you friends to join you in playing the Dictionary game!
Do you like to know why we play this game? Well, to know the correct meaning of the word, to improve our vocabulary, to know the correct spelling, to know the etymology, we play this game.
1. How to play:
Ask your friends to sit around you. They have to bring a pencil. You distribute a few small pieces of paper to them.
Now, you hold the dictionary in hand. Please do not open the dictionary. Ask any one of the friends to take a pencil and insert it in between the pages. Just open the page pierced. You find a number of words on the left page as well as on the right page.
It is left to you choose any one word. (It is better if you choose a simple one.) After choosing the word, read it aloud and ask them take it down. They have to write the correct spelling and meaning or definition of that word. If they do not know that word, atleast, let them guess the meaning and wirte. You too have to take a small piece of paper and write the correct meaning of the word from the dictionary. You can allot 2 to 3 minutes to do this. When they finish, collect all the chits, shuffle them and ask one your friends to read the meanings. After the reading session, once again, ask them to vote for the correct meaning / definition. Most of the times they find the correct meaning. Sometimes there may be more than one meaning for the word. If they fail to identify, it is your turn to show them the exact one. Got it! You need an example, don’t you? Here it is:
You have chosen the word "Peg". Your friends have written the meaning as :
1. a small page.
2. a wooden pin.
3. a piece of wood on a wall that you hang your coat on.
4. a type of small wooden or plastic object used for fastening wet clothes to a clothes line.
5. to fix or keep something at a certain level.
6. a measure of drinking.
7. very small quantity.
8. a sort of hanger.
Among these Nos.3, 4, 5 are correct ones. When you read the correct definition your friends will know a new word and, if possible, the usage of that word when you construct a sentence using that word. e.g., "Word are pegs to hang our ideas on." "We use pegs to hang our clothes."
This is one of the ways to improve our vocabulary. You can play this game with the help of an Encyclopaedia also. The same proceedure applies here too.
Now, you know the game. I hope you would be interested to know the varieties of dictionaries also.
There are mainly four types
1. GENERAL LANGUAGE DICTIONARIES
2. TRANSLATING OR INTER-LINGUAL DICTIONARIES
3. SUBJECT DICTIONARIES
4. SPECIAL PURPOSE DICTIONARIES :
a) PRONOUNCING DICTIONARIES
b) SPELLING DICTIONARIES
c) ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARIES
d) DICTIONARIES OF SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS
e) RHYMING DICTIONARIES
f) DICTIONARIES OF IDIOMS & PHRASES
g) DICTIONARIES OF USAGE :
h) DICTIONARY OF DIFFICULT WORDS
i) DICTIONARIES OF NEW WORDS
j) DICTIONARIES OF OBSOLETE WORDS
k) DIALECT DICTIONARIES
l) DICTIONARIES OF SLANG
m) DICTIONARIES OF NAMES
n) DICTIONARIES OF ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS
o) DICTIONARIES FOR CHILDREN
p) DICTIONARIES FOR CROSSWORD PUZZLERS
q) ENGLISH DICTIONARIES FOR FOREIGHNERS
r) PICTORIAL DICTIONARIES
s) SENTENCE DICTIONARIES
t) DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
What is a dictionary?
Why do we use it ?
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary has this explanation:
"Dictionary /n./ 1. a reference book containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactical and idiomatic uses.
2 . a reference book listing alphabetically terms or names important to a particular subject oractivity along with discussion of their meaning and applications.
3. a reference book giving for words of one language equivalents in another.
4 . a list (as of phrase, synonyms, or hyphenation instructions) stored in machine - readable form (as on a disc) for reference by an automatic system ( as for information retrived or computerised type setting)"
We use the dictionary :
1. To find a word in the dictionary by means of the guide words. The defined words are arranged in alphabetical order. Guide words at the top of the page help us to find quickly the word we want . The first guide word is the first defined word on the page; the second guide word is the he last defined word on the page.
2. To find the spelling of a word and of its various forms.
3. To learn how a word should be divided into syllables.
4. To learn how to pronounce the word.
5. To learn the meaning of the word.
6. To learn the parts of speech of the word.
7. To find synonyms, antonyms, homophone, homonyms etc.
8. To find information about people and palces.
9. To find idiomatic usage and contextual usage.
10. To find the definition and etymology.
11. To make use of the information given in Appendix which is usually found at the end.
Did you know this? Well, next time when you open a dictionary try to remember this.
If you go to any book stall you will find a number of dictionaries published by the leading concerns such as OXFORD, CHAMBERS, COLLINS, RAMDOMHOUSE, WEBSTER’S, HEINEMAN, LONGMANS, MACMILLAN, PENGUIN, BBC etc. " Oxford English Learner’s Dictionary" compiled by A.S. Hornby and P.C. Parnwell and " New Oxford Intermediate Learner’s Dictionary" compiled by Miranda Steel are very helpful to students. They are handy and not very expensive.
Recently there are a few dictionary CDs available in the market. Oxford Talking Dictionary, Cambridge English Dictionary - CD and The Cassell Concise Dictionary are very popular. You need a PC to use them. Recently an electronic dictionary is released to the market. It has a small monitor, scanner and memory chip. It looks like a small pen. All you have to do is just place the tip (scanner) of the pen on the chosen word. It will scan it and the monitor will show you the meaning of the word! How wonderful to have such a pen! All the words will be at your finger tips!
Hope such a pen will be gifted to all of us soon! Bye!
Address : Bedre N. Manjunatha, Transmission Executive, All India Radio, CHITRADURGA-577 501.