Of course we can learn that way, but we rely on other people to put us right when we get the wrong idea about the meaning of a word and use it incorrectly.QuotePersonally, I could probably count on one hand the number of times in my life I have used a dicitionary to get the meaning of a word.
In the light of what you've just told us, I can well believe that.
This is autism speaking. The way you know if you're using a word correctly is by observing if you have been understood or not. This is communication, but it requires high levels of awareness of other people. Autistic people, of course, have very low awareness and are therefore unable to detect whether or not they have been understood. So, I repeat, you learn your langaue in interaction with other people, not from dictionaries.
Your final comment either shows that you have not read many of my posts, or that your own language skills are insufficient to allow you to appreciate the very high level of language skills that pantodragon has. Indeed, if the rest of the people on this forum rely upon dictionaries as much as you do, then pantodragon's superior language skills are ample evidfence learning through interaction is far more successful than learning from a dictionary.
Pardon my frankness, but this is arrogant nonsense. This may apply to an extent in spoken commuication, as if you hear a new word you can simply ask what it means. If you're reading and you encounter a novel word, then "the way you know if you're using a word correctly is by observing if you have been understood or not" is irrelevant. If I'm reading and I don't understand a term, I look it up. Usually in a dictionary.
If you define words differently from other people, lets say "competition" and "cooperation" as examples, and simply expect people to understand and adopt your definition, then you're not a good communicator, and do not display "superior language skills". In fact, by not using accepted definitions of words (such as those definitions you find in a dictionary), you occlude meaning and create confusion.