|Update - part of page|
Printing out the Centenary PDF is quite cumbersome, and I managed to fill three large A4 folders with all the full-page printouts so that I could make copious notes while compiling the Update. I was very glad when I was at last able to shred all these and get some space back on my desk. But if it had been the only dictionary I had, I would have willingly kept it permanently* on the desk, so that I would not have to struggle with guesswork on my outlines. Better than a bulky printout would be to obtain an original published book*. To avoid having to consult both lists every time, you can mark up the relevant changed outlines in the book or printout, either just highlighting them to alert you to which ones are different, or actually writing the New Era outlines in the paper margin. You can also mark up the PDF with sticky notes in Adobe Reader for the same purpose, although they will not show up in any printout. You can make other marks in Adobe Acrobat which will print.
*See Distinguishing Outlines List 3 for "prominent, permanent, pre-eminent"
*See Introduction in the Update regarding apparent print-on-demand copies of this.
|Both PDFs side by side on same screen|
|Speaking with Sir Isaac via my|
Time Machine, he is delighted with
the PDFs = Pitman's Definition
Finders, as he puts it ...
If you keep a shorthand pad especially for this purpose, you can write the new outline in the margin and leave a line or two blank, then come back later on to practise it. This will ensure you only have to dive into the dictionary once for each new word, and you can go back over previous pad pages for revision from time to time. I would not recommend writing the longhand alongside it, as that defeats the object and wastes your time. You can grab the pad when you know you will have some spare or waiting time during the day, and so improve your shorthand in otherwise wasted minutes.
Even roaming down the column and squinting at the small print is time-consuming. When my eyes are getting tired of locating and focussing on the right outline, I sometimes muse fancifully on how convenient (and lazy) it would be to be able to give orders to some willing helper "Please look up disestablishmentarianism" and then I would only have to glance down at their finger-tip! It has taken about 18 months to produce the Update with a large amount of dictionary work. In that time I have come to realise that the eyes will automatically and rapidly scatter their attention over the entire dictionary page, unless there is something drawing them to one particular spot. I adopted the habit of finding the outline in a strictly methodical manner, with my finger choosing the correct column and then sliding down. This is much more efficient and comfortable than using eyes alone.
If you managed to read the shorthand for "disestablishmentarianism" before looking at the text key, award yourself ten gold stars, two pieces of cake and the rest of the week off!
It can be very educational at times to make an effort to form the unknown outline before looking it up, as this forces you to think hard about it, and possibly realise that there is a need to revise a particular piece of theory. In a dictation, you would have to come up with something immediately, and so strengthening this skill is essential. Regular vocabulary extension will greatly reduce the need for such guesswork or struggling with outlines. Guessed or doubtful outlines should be circled in red, so that they can be checked later on, preferably away from distractions and where you have time to roam onto other related words or ones with a similar sound or construction.