The TV writer for my local fish wrap recently reported that the average is now about 5 hours a day.
I suspect that computers, cell phones, and the like have picked up the slack.
A good dictionary will not only give the various meanings a word can have, but will also give examples of the word used in different ways.
Knowing the origins of words can help with understanding new words you come across that use the same prefixes, suffixes, or root words.
Some highly intelligent people are ignorant of the fundamental cognitive biases that hinder critical thinking.
If you don’t understand what a person means, you can’t evaluate that person’s claims or arguments."Red" does not mean blue even if all tomatoes suddenly were to become blue when they ripe.Explaining 'red' as 'a certain shade of colour' is of course not enough to distinguish the colour red from other different colours.I was fortunate to have the same English teacher for four years of high school. Without adequate background knowledge of a subject, one can’t tell whether claims are clear enough or whether relevant material has been omitted.In short, one can be a master of critical thinking skills, but without knowledge those skills won’t do you much good.This includes for example color words which we learn from examples.A dictionary might explain "red" as the color of ripe tomatoes, but obviously this is not what "red" means.A critical thinker must know how to use the library and the Internet to get accurate and up-to-date information.Since it is often impossible to do one’s own research, a critical thinker must be skilled at evaluating the claims of experts and authorities in various fields.Of all the things people are ignorant of, nothing hinders critical thinking more than lack of adequate vocabulary.A quick and efficient way to overcome this block to critical thinking is to use a good dictionary, one that doesn't just provide synonyms, but provides etymology and guidance for usage.