Make Another Dictionary of Your Own
Some time ago I suggested that every learner of English could make his own dictionary of usage. I have since thought of another kind of dictionary that every student of English could make for his own use. For want of a better name1, I think we may as well2 call it a topic3 dictionary. I mean a dictionary in which a certain number of topics are arranged in alphabetical order and useful phrases and sentences about each topic are grouped together. For instance, under the topic “books” may be grouped phrases and sentences having to do with4 books but not necessarily containing the word “book(s)”.
This can be done by reading and making notes. It is not necessary to copy the phrases and sentences. It is enough to jot down5 the page number and the line number, and give one or two words as a hint. In this way, any book may be turned into a topic dictionary by merely providing it with a topic index. And several such dictionaries may be turned into a fairly complete topic dictionary.
What I call a topic dictionary does not seem ever to have appeared in this country before. I wonder why nobody has even thought of compiling one. It would be of great use to all who write English. For we are often at a loss for6 the right expression about a certain topic, and an ordinary dictionary cannot meet our need.
I wish I could have time to carry out my own suggestion!
- For want of a better name 因为没有一个更好的名称
- may as well 不妨
- topic 题目
- having to do with 跟……有关系的
- jot down 录下
- at a loss for 想不着……的；想不起来……的