Welcome to The Hard Times
Charles Dickens

Issue Number: CD-001

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Mr Dickens and the Dictionary and Thesaurus.

'Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dogdays; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.'

One of the hardest things about reading pre 20th Century authors is the way they use words! Sometimes the words don't exist anymore or have become unpopular. Sometimes they refer to parts of pre 20th Century life that we don't know about.

If you try to read a text with lots of this sort of VOCABULARY then it can put you off.

Try this: underline or highlight words you're not sure of.

Look them up in a DICTIONARY. link to dictionary

You can use a hard copy, if you prefer. Note the meanings either under the extract or in your exercise book.

To practise, try those highlighted above. Record on your Word document. If you can't find the meaning, try another dictionary or check it out with your teacher.

Now try reading the passage again. It should make more sense.

Sometimes even using the dictionary doesn't help us very much. Using the THESAURUS to find SYNONYMS might give us more meaning.

To remind yourself how to use the on-screen Thesaurus click here link to thesaurus

Try the highlighted words to practise the Thesaurus skills.

You can use this approach to all text that you find off-putting because the vocabulary is too complicated.

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