We’ve all been there.
You’re reading a book, totally sucked into the plot, and BAM…a word shows up and you have absolutely no clue what it means. Completely unfamiliar in every single way.
In my previous life, I was as an elementary school teacher for 14 years. I always taught my students to use context clues to “debug” those tricky words. Look at the other words in the sentence. What would make sense? Look that the pictures. What is the author trying to tell us here? Can you continue reading without knowing that one word? Will that one word make a difference in the author’s message? These are the same strategies that I now teach my own daughter.
And yet as an adult…I do absolutely none of those things. Zero. I only have one thing I do when I come across an unfamiliar word while reading:
I Google it.
Every. Single. Time.
I truly cannot read a book without my phone next to me for this exact reason. I simply can’t let it go…I MUST know the definition of every single word as I read! Even if I am able to figure it out by using context clues, I always look it up just to be sure.
I have this fear that I will miss an important piece of the story and/or character by not knowing every single word.
Am I alone? Does anyone else do this? Is this just another trait of my type A personality?
What do you do when you come across an unfamiliar word while reading? I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below!
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