When I was around 14 I started using 3×5 cards as bookmarks and writing down all the words that I encountered that I did not know. The idea was to look up all of the words once I was done reading since it wasn’t as if I was going to keep interrupting a good book to pick up the dictionary!
Of course when it came to words like “Cossack” in War and Peace I needed to look them up immediately since I wanted to be a smart reader, but for the most part I accumulated list of words that I mostly knew by the time I got around to actually checking their definitions.
I recently found the card that I used for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. These are words that I did not know as a 15-year-old, and like any good formerly homeschooled person I am just a bit ashamed of myself for ever being so ignorant.
Are you more educated than a 15-year-old who has never been to school?
And for good measure I wrote a favorite quote on the back of the card: “More matter with less art.”
Pernicious remains one of my favorite words, though I may or may not have learned how to pronounce it correctly before I went to college. To this day one of my favorite ways to identify the formerly-homeschooled is by noting those who use unnecessarily unusual words–and pronounce them incorrectly. The best part is when we don’t even realize that we’re being stupidly pretentious.
Homeschoolers: we’re so cute.
- The Things We Do For Blogs