A thick dictionary is sitting on my desk, I am staring at it.
"Dear my old friend, I feel guilty. I misunderstood you in the past several years."
The dictionary makes me recall my story of language study.
Since I didn't defy to learn language anymore, I started to like reading and writing. I needed a tool to assist me to understand meanings of vocabulary words, so I bought a dictionary.
I had no any problems on checking dictionary while reading, but I got an irritating question, "how can I use it for writing?"
When I didn't know which word I could use to describe something, my teacher said that you should check your dictionary, not asking me. At home, my parents said that, too. "How?" I wondered.
Suppose, I would like to describe having a party with my friend, because his family has just moved into a new apartment. So, which word I could use to say that? My teacher said that a dictionary contains ten thousand words, you can pick one easily in your dictionary. I asked, "How can I find out a word by meaning?" That teacher shook his head then, he walked away from me! I suspected, he didn't know that word, "Home-warming". Or, I just told the teacher a riddle, he couldn't figure out the answer.
I was a good student, I truly tried to find out a word by meaning. I flipped my dictionary page by page, read those explanations in small font size patiently. I spent three hours trying to find out a right word, until I reached the page all words beginning with letter B. Then, I gave up. How could I find out a word by meaning? It was impossible to do so! Why grownups always asked me to check dictionary? They often confused me. Weren't they? Or, they just had intention to fool me.
Also, when I asked any grownups about spelling of a word, they said, "Check your dictionary?" How could I find the word in a dictionary by pronunciation? I always tried to do something according to an advise of grownups. I sometimes found the word if I was lucky. In most of time, I couldn't. Thus, I recognised, I didn't have sufficient lucks to learn language. I didn't give up, I found another way to learn vocabulary words effective and efficiently, instead of asking grownups.
Checking dictionary was a sin. Every time, before I took out my dictionary, I would've checked if anyone around me. If a teacher was just next to me, the teacher would've blamed me, "My goodness! You must learn more vocabulary words." while I was attempting to learn more. Also, peers mocked and looked down on me, "Only stupid guys need to check dictionary frequently!" There is only one person who never says that to me, who is Daisy. Daisy says, "That's good! Trying to understand everything deeply is a good habit. You will be able to get your work done precisely."
Recalling my memory, my parents gave me most weirdest advise, "You better memorise every thing in the dictionary, as you have got extraordinary memory." They seemed to discourage me to learn language.
A couple of years ago, I watched a T.V. program that talked about writing. The host visited some novelists and scholars, asked them how to improve writing skills. One of the common answer was, "Don't forget to check a dictionary, to make sure you use every word precisely." A novelist showed the host different types of dictionary in the bookshelf. There were, Thesaurus, Antonyms, Rhyming, Idiom, Medical, Scientific and more. The host asked the novelist, "Why don't you use dictionary apps on your smartphone?" The novelist answered, "I can only find detailed explanation of words in printed dictionaries. The online ones, as well as dictionary apps, they don't explain every word in detail."