I recently sent a letter to teachers who subscribe to my “Miss Thistlebottom? Not!” newsletter. It included a link to a recent blog post on digital dictionaries. In the letter, I asked teachers how they use dictionaries in the classroom, and whether there are activities or exercises they use to help students engage with word books.
It may seem old-fashioned to consult a dictionary while writing, but I can’t imagine working without a reputable dictionary nearby. “Working with word books strengthens our imaginative muscles, and in turn, strengthens our own mental thesauruses, our ability to call up precise words,” I wrote in Sin and Syntax. But what happens to the dictionary in an era of e-publishing?