Dictionaries and thesaurus's seem to be going out of fashion these days. Most people simply Google any words they are unsure about. This is a shame as, personally, I feel that a good Dictionary still has a place in our lives.

Googling words is fine sometimes, and it can be very convenient, but it depends upon the source as to how accurate the answer is. Googling words also does not stretch the mind enough.

It is still far more stimulating, for your brain, if you search a dictionary or thesaurus for the word needed. This also means that the word is spelled according to your language and the dictionary will give you other information.

At home, we have a small pocket sized Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus, which has had much use over the years. It is perfect for when you are doing crosswords, filling in forms or writing letters. It is small enough to pop into a handbag or pocket and so has accompanied us on many holiday jaunts.

With time and practice, a person's spelling improves and these days we consult the dictionary less, but it still gets used. I have always been a pretty good speller, even at school but it was not one of Hubby's best subjects. Years ago, he loved crosswords but I would get sick of answering how do you spell this or that. In addition, I used to tell Hubby, quite truthfully, that, although I can spell, no one is infallible. So, a dictionary served its purpose and yes before we knew it, Hubby's spelling had greatly improved, as had his vocabulary.

Collin's Dictionary and Thesaurus.

Collins is a name that has long been associated with books, especially reference books. We had always had some sort of dictionary or another as, before the Internet and computer age, there were very few other means of checking words and their spelling.

The Collins Gem range of books tend to be available on a vast range of subjects such as Astronomy, Languages, Insects, Birds and much more. These books are quite small hence the name Gem as that is what they are, little gems. There is also a pocket sized handy dictionary.

Our dictionary, though, combines a Thesaurus.

It has the dictionary at the upper part of each page. This is a straightforward means of looking up a word, seeing its meaning and whether it is a noun or whatever. It will also tell you the word's plural and verb changes.

The bottom half of the page is the Thesaurus. A Thesaurus is a dictionary of words, relating to a particular subject. A more confusing definition is 'a book that lists words related to each other in meaning, usually giving synonyms and antonyms'.

An example will show what I mean better than any explanation:-

Carnage - Bloodshed, butchery, havoc, massacre, murder and slaughter.

As you can see, this is good if you are stuck for a word when, for example, you are doing a crossword and need to see some possibilities of alternative words.

Our Collins Gem Dictionary has 631 pages, is little, and fat. It is about an inch and half deep, by three to four inches wide and five to six inches long. It is lightweight, as it has a soft, but tough, cover and is handy to take on holidays, to college, school or on a training course.

The full price is usually around £5 but you can often pick a Collins gem up far more cheaply at Amazon or a similar site.

Despite the age of computers and the Internet, I still think a decent dictionary is a handy addition to any household, but especially a household with children.

The Collins Gem range of books is recommended as good value informative books, which are not tomes.