Monthly Archives: July 2011

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Do we ever stop learning vocabulary?

Almost every hobby that lets you evolve from a newbie to an expert implies learning hundreds of collocations within the first couple of months of intensive practice, which amounts to thousands if you continue for over a decade. Every time I meet someone who is interested in something I have not been exposed to much before, I end up frustrated because I do not get it what they are talking about time and again, and have to read a book or two, or explore a few websites to feel more or less on a par. As a case in point, I went on a tour this afternoon, the aim being to visit several private gardens the owners of which had won prizes in the Best Garden of the Year Contest. Most of my groupmates were landscape designers, and I was probably the only person who did not know the ropes. Those people kept asking questions, discussing landscape features, naming plants and ways of taking care of the latter, and there were dozens of other minor subtopics. There are lots of words I have to look up now in order to be able to explain to my family what they can see in the pictures I took in the gardens and nursery I visited several hours ago. Having said that, I would like to emphasize it that I am quite knowledgeable about horticulture and various plants, but that did not help much in conversations with the more experienced. Some of my questions were pathetically simple and followed the “what’s-that-brown-thingy” pattern.