Friday, 28 September 2012

Greasy Vocab

I just wish these smartphone manufacturers would use something for the screens that was less susceptible to greasy fingermarks. Now that would be a plus! How about attaching a wiper system with a spray button?

Had an idea for parents who have trouble getting their kids to read the classics. Books, such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Moby Dick (which are fantastic reads, but perhaps beyond your average 12 year-old) could be printed with footnotes giving the definition of the more complex words on each page. That way the kids would not only enjoy the books more, but they'd simultaneously extend their vocabulary beyond teenage grunts. 

I know you can do the same job with the aid of a dictionary, but who wants to have 2 books to carry around and be constantly referring from one to t'other?

Thinking about it, it might not get the kids reading more, but the addressable market comprising middle class parents would be massive. Just imagine - parents would be queuing at Waterstone's to get them. I know I would - I'd love to get No.1 Son reading something more intellectually taxing than Alex Ryder.


  1. The Kindle e-reader from Amazon allows you to highlight any word and get a dictionary definition there and then (as long as you're on wireless or 3G)- although occasionally I find it distracting because sometimes the Wikipedia entry is more interesting than the book!

  2. My own greasy finger prints on the screen of my smartphone offend me; but not as much as the greasy mess that seems to come off my ear (or possibly my hair) when I have taken a call on said phone!

    Over the past 10 years or so I have set out to read the occasional 'classic' and really enjoyed some of them. However, I read Moby Dick about 3 years ago and hated it. It is tedious and over-written and should definitely not be inflicted on teenagers. Let them come to classics of their own accord when they are adults and less likely to resent them. Some of the shite I was forced to read for my CSE English Lit in the early 1980s nearly put me off reading forever. Fortunately, I rediscovered literature in my mid twenties and reading is still one of my main hobbies.