Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On the Uselessness of Dictionaries

I have my first year students keep a 'vocabulary notebook' where they write any new words that they learn or ones they don't know that they want to find out about. I have found this to be a very effective strategy in my own language learning, but like any practice, you need to make the effort, and make it work for you.

I was grading them for completion today and came across this gem:

Migraine (n.): an extremely severe paroxysmal headache

I would bet my salary that the only word he understood in that definition was 'an'


padraigin said...

...and depending on how much philosophy he does we might even want to ask if he could really understand 'an' without any understanding of what it was attached to :P.

Chris said...

In this case, the acronym "LOL" is accurate. When I read this I literally burst out laughing. Trouble is, I'm at work, and people were looking at me funny.