Thorndike century. Junior dictionary

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Автор:E. L. Thorndike
Издателство:Scot, Foresman and Company
ISBN: Тегло (гр.): Формат: 145/205/60 Състояние: Добро
Здраво книжно тяло, тук-там е подчертавано - Английски език.

To the pupil
To the teacher
Notes on the use of the dictionaryi
Full pronunciation key
A child’s dictionary of the English language

Copyright, 1935, by E. L. Thorndike
Copyright, 1935, in the Philippine Islands by E. L. Thorndike
Printed in the United States of America
This book has been written for you, to help you learn the mean¬ings, spelling, and pronunciation of words. If you find anything in it which is not helpful, I shall be glad if you will write and tell me. To make the book easier to use there are a number of simple expla¬nations on pages vii, viii, and ix.
The ideal dictionary for a young learner is a book which will help him to learn the meaning of any word that he needs to under¬stand, the spelling of any word that he needs to write, and the pronunciation of any word that he needs to speak. It will give him the help that he needs when he needs it, with a minimum of eye-strain and fatigue. It will give him a maximum of knowledge and skill and power for reading, writing, and speaking for every minute that he spends. It will fit him to make proper use of a dictionary for adults in due time.
To make a dictionary that comes near to this ideal requires not only adequate knowledge of the English language, but also expert scientific knowledge of children’s minds, and of their needs in read¬ing, hearing, and using words. It also requires ingenuity and thoughtfulness for every detail about every word.
The selection of words
Our selection of words is based on a count of the actual occur¬rences of words in over ten million words of reading matter. These counts enable us to attach to each word a number showing its importance as measured by frequency and range of occurrence. The numbers 1 to 20 stand for successive thousands. A word hav¬ing no number belongs in the third ten thousand. Some words within these limits are excluded because they are proper names well known to all, such as Smith or Jones, or because they are of little importance to children.
The measures of importance are, of course, not perfect, but are highly reliable except for some of the rarer proper names and semi-
technical words. Some adverbs in ly, and some words derived from proper names by the addition of n, such as Australian, were counted in with the words from which they were so derived, and so have no numbers attached to them.
Teaching the meaning of words
We have not been satisfied to abbreviate and adapt definitions made originally for adults, and for adults of much ability and knowledge. Definitions are not like clothes that can be cut down and made to fit. What has a clear and correct meaning to a well- informed adult may confuse and mislead a child. We therefore frame our definitions directly to meet the needs of children. We make great use of illustrative sentences containing the word. We use pictures when pictures can teach the child what he needs to know better than words can. The illustrative sentences and pic¬tures are chosen or made with the same unfailing consideration of the young learner’s needs as is given to the definitions.
The general arrangement is in one single alphabetical list, obviously the simplest and best for a beginner.
The arrangement and spacing of the material for each word is such as will help children to find what they need to know. No uniform rigid system is followed. Arranging the different meanings of a word always in the sequence of their historical development, or according to grammatical categories, does very little good for chil¬dren and may do much harm. For them the proper principles of arrangement are: literal uses before figurative, general uses before special, common uses before rare, and easily understandable uses before difficult. Each of these principles is subject to the limitation "other things being equal," and all are subject to the principle that that arrangement is best for any word which helps the learner most.
Teaching the spelling of words
A dictionary is a great aid in spelling if two conditions are met, namely, if the person knows the first three or four letters of the word in question and its general sound, and if the dictionary pre¬sents the word conveniently with a suitable description by definition, illustrative sentence, or picture, so that the person can easily find among the words beginning with those letters the one he wants, and can easily be sure that it is the one he wants.
The use of a dictionary in spelling makes it desirable to include and define certain derivatives whose spelling children may need to find in the dictionary, each in its proper alphabetical place, such as brought, done, or knew. It is not sufficient to tell a child who wants to know how to spell done that don is to put on and done is the pp. of do. For the same reason certain proper names, abbreviations, and contractions which sòme dictionaries omit or hide are included in regular order in our list. Each word is printed with thin spac- ings, which separate the syllables without unduly decreasing the resemblance of the word in the dictionary to the word as it appears in reading. As a result of these procedures, many children who have been unable to use a dictionary profitably in learning to spell, will now be able to do so.
Teaching the pronunciation of words
We use the excellent system of diacritical marks of the New Century Dictionary. Accents are clearly indicated by a single heavy mark for the principal stress and by a lighter mark for the secondary stress. The accent marks are used only in the phonetic respellings. The greatest attention has been paid to the designing of the individual marks to make sure that the pupil can easily dis¬tinguish between them. A complete pronunciation is given for every entry that is pronounced, so that the pupil will not have to refer to some other entry to get the pronunciàtion. Not all possible pronunciations of any one entry are given, but we always give a common usable pronunciation. We have tried to record some one acceptable pronunciation now in use, not to prescribe how people must talk. We print a full but simple key in the front and back of the book and on pages x, 101, 201, 301, 401, 501,601, 701, and 801, which will enable even a young child to master it. In teaching pronunciations as in teaching meanings the need of the pupil has been our guide.
Preparing children to use an adult or "big" dictionary
The most important element in preparation to use a regular adults’ dictionary is willingness and interest. If his experiences with his first dictionary have been profitable and interesting, so that he looks upon a dictionary as a help, a saver of time and of trouble, a child will readily make the transfer to using the more elaborate and intricate and difficult book when the proper time....


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