Looking back to my school years, I realize that I was lucky to have had some good teachers.  If I haven’t turned out to be more successful, it isn’t their fault.  Sometimes a lump of coal will never turn into a diamond.  I take full credit for my failures.  But, that isn’t my focus here.  Instead I wanted to praise one of my past teachers and recommend a website.

Below are two photos of my dictionary.  Buying it was one of the assignments given to me and my classmates from our grade 5 teacher, Mr. Doug Shaw.  He didn’t tell us what dictionary to buy, but he told us to make sure we got a good one.  He took the time to explain that a good dictionary would be with us for a long time and would help teach us a lot of words.  He was right. This book was with me through middle school, high school and university.

I still like and use my paper dictionary, but I also find myself going online for my word searches.  My favourite site is Merriam-Webster’s: http://www.merriam-webster.com/   (Yes, it is essentially the same company that made my dictionary 40 years ago.)  Besides the regular dictionary functions, I’ve really enjoy their video series.  The videos are Merriam-Webster editors explaining a language feature in a simple, but engaging way.  Check it out; the “word nerd” in you will be satisfied.

And, one more thing: apparently my Grade 5 self felt that the edge of the book needed to be a little more “high class”, so I added some blue stripes.