An e-mail newsletter to which I subscribe (Writer’s Web Watch, now called Communications Concepts) recently recommended “improving your vocabulary” and using resources such as a thesaurus, grammar book, style guide and dictionary.
I do have all these books on a nearby shelf and refer to them often. I have another dictionary in the family room, near where I do crossword puzzles, and one in the kitchen for schoolwork. No one in my family wants to play me in Scrabble because, well, words are my business and I often win. (To be fair, I’ve offered to play the hockey trivia game any time they want because that’s sure to even the playing field, so to speak.)
My sons will use a dictionary if forced to, but more often will ask me what something means. If I don’t know and suggest looking it up, they can’t be bothered. If confronted by a word I don’t know, I immediately WANT to know the meaning and will look it up. Is this a “writer” thing, or maybe just a generation thing?
I’m with you, Sue. I own many dictionaries, style guides, etc., and refer to them often. I also use similar online resources. Like yours, my kids will ask me what something means, rather than look it up themselves. I don’t know why this is. On the other hand, at least they’re talking to me! [Anyone who has teens can relate.]