The Dictionary is a very useful book which should be highly treasured. In deed, it is a priceless book. Some people do not know that it is not only for English Language that there are dictionaries. There are the dictionaries of French Language, German Language, Igbo Language, Hausa Language, Yoruba Language, etc. There are even dictionaries of subjects. For example, we have the Dictionary of Mathematics, the dictionary of Geographical terms, etc.
What is a Dictionary? A dictionary according to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary is a book that gives a lists of words of a language in alphabetical order and explains what they mean: It is also a book that explains the words that are used in a particular subject.
. A dictionary is therefore very important in the learning of a language especially, if the language is not one's native language. This is why anyone who desires to succeed in English Language must possess a good dictionary. In deed, those who use English Language as their second language, should make the Dictionary their life-long companion. This is because, it makes people proficient in the language.
A good English Language dictionary will, in addition to explaining the meaning of a word, indicate how the word is to be pronounced. One can also look up the meaning of idioms and idiomatic expressions in a dictionary. The English Language dictionary is also useful in teaching the correct spellings of words. There are many other uses of the English Language dictionary.
I remember a time when I came across an unfamiliar word. I was in JSS Two then. I approached one senior student, thinking that since he was in SSS Three, he would be able to tell me the meaning off hand. He himself did not seem to know it and he simply said, 'Consult your second teacher." I was at sea. I managed to ask him, Who is my second teacher?' and he replied, 'Your dictionary.'
Fortunately, I had the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and quickly went to look up the meaning of the word. It was the word 'roar.' I learnt a lot about the word. First, I learnt the correct pronunciation: I discovered that the word is to be pronounced as we pronounce 'raw', contrary to how I had been pronouncing it before. I also leant the part of speech to which the word belongs. In addition, I leant its meaning and I also found out the idioms connected with the word e.g.- 'to do a roaring trade,' 'a roaring success', etc.
So, it dawned on me that the Dictionary is in deed, my second teacher.
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