Increase Your Vocabulary

I was always envious of a person with a strong vocabulary. The ability to express yourself with the appropriate words at any age is a wonderful gift.

When I was in elementary school my teacher told my parents that I was below grade level in reading. I was very lucky that they immediately sent me to a dedicated reading course at St. John’s University in Queens, NY, just a few miles from where we lived. I don’t remember taking the course very seriously (I was so lazy) but I do remember thinking, “I am Jewish, what am I doing in this foreign territory?” All the teachers were Nuns.

I also don’t remember studying very much even though the Nuns gave us homework. I do remember being fascinated by the rapid reading method they used on a slide projector screen in front of the class. Words would flash by and we had to memorize them. They started out slow and in a few minutes flew by.

The marvelous thing the course taught me was “If you do something often enough you eventually get good at it.” I attended those classes every Saturday morning until my scores showed that I was reading a few years ahead of my current grade.

I do not recall any pressure from the Nuns. They must have known that the outcome was going to be successful as long as I continued to show up. I remember their reassuring smile.

The other day when I was introduced to The Point And Click Dictionary my memories of St. John’s came rushing back. What a wonderful gift from my parents. Anything we can do as adults to encourage our children to read should be a priority, even if it is a little pricey.

Not everyone has electronic books and textbooks with all the fancy click throughs for dictionaries, thesauruses, and search. Some still cherish or are required to read a printed book. If they stumble on a word they can just look it up the old fashion way. Most won’t bother because it is so inconvenient.

Here is a “no excuse” way to learn new words when reading printed material and have fun doing it. This is a perfect gift for anyone, at any age.

The Point And Click Dictionary is a pocket-sized scanner that instantly looks up and displays word definitions. The unit easily slides over the printed page. The flip-up camera scans any word with the touch of a button. Definitions are instantaneously displayed on its screen.

The press release announcing the unit said, “The scanner has a 2.4” color LCD with 320 x 240 resolution that clearly displays definitions, comprehensive etymologies, and related word forms. It also provides audible word pronunciations through its built-in speaker.

“Smaller than a smartphone, the portable scanner provides 500,000 definitions from the Collins English Dictionary and offers translations to and from French, Italian, Spanish, and German using the award-winning Collins foreign language dictionaries. Users can navigate the device via the touchscreen or the included stylus. It has an integrated MP3 player, voice recorder, and picture viewer, and it recharges in two hours.”

The Point And Click Dictionary retails around $279.95.

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