12 March 2012

Kindle and A Love of Words

At the age of 14, I had the choice of either continuing my education in English, or switching to Spanish.

The reason why I took my 'O' and 'A' levels and not BUP and COU (if you know what I'm talking about, please don't give away my age!) was my love for the English language. Well, that and the fact that in the English education system you were able to choose a lot more what you wanted to study. But mainly, I knew that I wanted to study in English.

My first written language is English. I do make mistakes and I do make things up, but hey, some say that I'm creative. I was never one to look up in the dictionary every word I didn't understand, as long as I got more or less what it meant from the context. That is until I got my Kindle.

The Kindle has an integrated dictionary in it. It's great. If you don't understand a word, you place the cursor next to it and voilá, there's your meaning.

While reading Jennifer Egan's Look at Me, I looked up 26 words, which I thought are worth sharing. I'll list 13 of them in this post and 13 on the next post. 13 is quite a nice number, probably because so many people stay away from it. It's kind of lonely, so let's be nice to it.

13 Words from Look at Me I couldn't define before.

Absconded: left hurriedly and secretly.
Inexorably: impossible to stop or prevent.
Cowed: submitted to one's wishes by intimidation.
Obfuscating: making obscure.

(By the way, these four were on the same page!)

Dousing: pouring liquid with it.
Ruefully: expressing sorrow or regret.
Denuded pate: stripped of its covering, head.
Brandished: waved or flourished as a threat.

Amanuensis: a literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation.
Benighted: in a state of pitiful or contemptible intellectual or moral ignorance.
Anomie: lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group.
Audial commingling: auditory blend. (What a great word, "commingling".)
Gouge: groove, hole.

I have to share the context of the last word with you, quite beautiful.

"He imagined she was looking right at the gouge of his loneliness, which he felt able to hide from everyone but Mimi."

For more Kindle words, see a later post. 

3 comments:

  1. Pilar, we need to talk about Kindle!! I have some questions for you...

    I'm a Kindle lover, you know that, and I appreciate so much the integrated dictionary, because my lack of english vocabulary. It's so helpful to me!

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  2. The integrated dictionary has been the selling point of many a Kindle.

    The one I gave my mother comes also with a Spanish, German, French and Italian one.

    An amazing device!

    Feel free to post questions here or contact me off-the-blog.

    Pilar

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  3. I really understand the feeling of English being one's first written language even if it shouldn't naturally be so!!! Almost 20 years back in Spain and I still find it easier to express things in English...

    I'd heard 'Gouge' as a verb not a noun... I just love learning new language-related stuff... thanks!

    Now you've got me all full of Kindle-envy...having automatic access to a dictionary has always been a dream of mine whenever I encounter the odd word I've never really understood before...

    I'll go digital...eventually!

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