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domingo, 17 de fevereiro de 2013

Word of the day - The Merriam-Webster cool dictionary

Know your words sticking to your advanced studies
with a private English teacher

Being an advanced student means that you have reached a point in which English is fun to you, and though sometimes to keep studying, attending classes, and doing homework may seem dull, advanced learners are very often surprised by discoveries that are so cool or clarifying that it just about makes their day.

This happens to me very often, hearing some foreigner speak, reading, or simply watching my favorite show on TV (Law & Order - I'm a total L&O junkie). I recently learned the expression "imitation crab meat" (on L&O Criminal Intent, it just so happens), and to that day I never knew kani kama was supposed to taste like crab meat. It was fairly amusing.

Sometimes it happens the other way around. You come upon a word that you don't understand and either you don't feel like going to a dictionary or you do and it doens't help, and the word keeps bugging you for weeks, months... until you finally get it. Like I used to see the adjective "whimsical" and its adverb "whimsically" all the time on Jane Austen and didn't quite get it, no matter how many times I read my Longman. Until one day I finally grasped it, by really understanding "whim", in context, in a sentence from Emma. It is rewarding when it happens.

One great place to find definitions for words you just don't fully understand is the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (This is not a learner's dictionary, though there is a link to the learner's version available. This is another victory of becoming an advanced student: you get to sometimes leave the learner's dictionaries behind - remember how proud you were when you graduated to the monolingual dictionaries? - and use a real life English dictionary.) The Merriam-Webster is one of the very best dictionaries available in English. And their website it's awfully cool too.

You can find great whimsical words at the "word of the day" feature. Everyday they put an interesting new word as the word of the day. They're often words which make you go "what do ya know!". I love it.

You can subscribe to get the word of the day on you email at the bottom of the page, or just check it out everytime you feel like it on the Merriam-Webster website.

There is also a podcast available for the word of the day so you can train your listening as well (cherry on top!).

And if you are looking for a teacher that can guide you through your advanced studies in English, here in Fortaleza, contact me!