How many of us take the time today to look a word up in an old-fashioned dictionary, rather than just Google it or head to a reference website like Dictionary.com or Wikipedia?
It may seem like a quirky thing to do in this day and age, but we still see the merits of having printed dictionaries in your home or office. Here are three reasons way:
1. Happy accidents
It’s wonderful that dictionaries list words purely in alphabetical order, meaning the next entry down from a word might have nothing to do with the one before it. This allows for great serendipity – if you look that word up, it means great discoveries made by mistake.
Near to “serendipity” in the dictionary, we have words like “sericeous” (silky or covered in fine hairs) and “seraskier” (someone who commands the Ottoman Empire). You can see that immediately, you’re building your vocabulary here.
2. A break from the screen
It’s recommended that we all take short but regular breaks from our computers to avoid eye strain, but that’s easy to forget if we’re buried in our writing.
One way to move away from your screen without losing the momentum of your writing is to look for some words and definitions in a physical dictionary. Of course, should your internet go down, that makes no difference to a book, and you can still be as wordy as ever!
3. Your own library
Lastly, there’s just something pleasant about having books at your hand while writing. Many writers like to go to their local library to work and take advantage of the environment. It shows you’re committed and focused on your work.
The dictionary may not be a book to read from cover to cover, but for the word nerd, no home should be without one!