The Word Jumble: How it feels to not remember the words you read

Reading is important. It allows you to enter a world that has been perceived by a writer, and although it has its flaws and problems, it’s a change of air from the monotony we live in.

But more importantly, reading expands your vocabulary. A lot of people say that. But frankly speaking, I couldn’t disagree more, because for me, at least, reading hasn’t helped me become better at expressing what I want to, by using the right words.

Reading has been my friend since class 7, and I have found it to be a better entity than a human being sitting by my side and discussing stuff with me. We’ve had our ups and downs, but nonetheless, we’ve maintained a healthy friendship all this time. But even after 9 years, I don’t see myself connecting with an enhanced vocabulary set. I have been unable to remember many things that I have read before. I can remember stories, but not the repeated use of words in many of them that expect me to grasp their meaning.

The only power that I have possessed all this time (and still do), is finding meaning through context. But that won’t help with those really fancy words that many use to have better control on their thoughts. I find myself sitting next to some who would talk first and say sentences in English that I don’t understand.

There have been instances when I have felt like holding a dictionary in my hand and searching for difficult words every time one pops up, be it in a newspaper, in a book, or even when someone is talking to me. The last scenario would become uncomfortable for the other person as he/she would comprehend my actions as being a part of an English language class through which I am trying to survive, rather than understanding what the other is trying to say.

It’s a big jumble in my head. I have often wondered how to sort things out up there, but English as a language is expanding every day. And it’s becoming insanely difficult for me to recognize which words are used more in spoken English as compared to written English. I remember reading a book by Sir Richard Branson last year that had he mention of the word ‘discombobulated’, which means ‘confused’, and I was so obsessed by the word that I left no opportunity to use it while talking to anyone, and that certainly did leave a lot of people discombobulated at the end of our conversation.

This lack of ability, is pretty hard to overcome, and if anyone shares my thoughts about understanding and remembering words, feel free to let me know about that in the comments.


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