You Should Look It Up
Kids hate dictionaries. That’s something I’ve discovered over fifteen years of tutoring elementary and middle school kids. If they come across a word they don’t know, they’d rather ignore it than go to the bookcase for a dictionary.
I couldn’t help thinking about that last month when I stopped by 17 Gough Square in London, the home of Samuel Johnson from 1748 to 1759, which is when he and a staff of six were hard at work compiling The Dictionary of the English Language [volume 1 and volume 2]. Visitors are welcome in most rooms, and all the exhibits give a taste of the Georgian life Johnson and his friends led. My favorite spot was the attic, where most of the dictionary work was done.