As I am not a native English speaker, I frequently have to look up words. Mainly for spelling. Quite often words come to my mind, that I have overheard to be used in a certain context by native speakers, but do not really know the meaning of.
As these days – opposed to times I lived among native English speakers – I rarely have opportunity to flex the English ability muscle, my command of the English language deteriorates slowly. That is one of the reasons, I write this blog in English. Just to keep practicing.
I am sure, the native speakers among my readers have already noticed, that there are many spelling glitches or weird phrasings to be found in my posts. Some stem from a native German mind using a foreign language, some from lack of time or care taken, to look up the spelling properly. Some from outright ignorance. Almost every time I open any of my past blog entries, I find a mistake. And hate it. Plus, I am sure, there are many more, I just don’t notice.
However, while writing, I often do look up things. Just writing the above, I had to check the word “deteriorate”. I knew how to say it, but wasn’t entirely sure how to string the letters together correctly. This time, I had gotten it right. But more often than not, I have to correct my original spelling.
For everyday use, I usually refer to Leo, THE easy online dictionary. But whenever a more unusual word comes up, I get back to good old Merriam Webster, a dictionary I trust.
I even own a big, thick, printed version of it, I am very keen of. But in this computed day and age, I usually refer to it’s online version, despite the fact, that the book sits right behind me on the shelf. Laziness, I guess… However, on the day, the plugs are going to be pulled, I still have the book to get back to. It will be one of the last books to be thrown into the fire for warmth, if push really comes to shove some day. (forgive me, this is my apocalypse foresight taking over again, envisioning the day, civilisation is crumbling, throwing us all back to a time without electricity and supermarkets…)
But I digress. Taking into consideration the uptightness, I feel, when thinking about this week’s upcoming Inauguration Day, I just wanted to share an excerpt from said Merriam Webster’s dictionary with you. It made me laugh (esp. the popularity rating did). And relax a little. And I learned a new word, too.