You might be surprised to learn that a really big vocabulary is not necessary in order to express yourself clearly and to move others with your words.
Some of the most dramatic messages that have ever been uttered in the English language actually used very simple words to stir the blood, or touch the heart.
However, learning new words expands our understanding and improves our “mental muscles”. Every new word we learn entices our mind to stretch into new areas.
When we have a larger bank of words to draw on, we improve our ability to think and express ourselves. Our thinking will become more fluid and supple, and we will understand more of the world around us and within us, when we have a larger vocabulary. In the modern world the ability to use words effectively is often highly rewarded.
If you want to increase your vocabulary, there are many approaches you can use. Check out the following;
- One good way is to read books or articles that are slightly more difficult than what you are accustomed to. When you come across a word you don’t know, see if you can figure out its meaning from the context.
- Dictionaries: Though all dictionaries are not alike, you may find a certain version far more useful than the rest. Good dictionaries will do more than just give a definition of a word. Some will show you an example of the word used in a sentence.
- Get Involved: When you encounter a new word, write out a definition of it in your own words, and write one or more sentences using the new word in context. Visualize the word in its printed form. Say the word out loud, and spell it out loud. Say a sentence out loud that uses the new word.
- New Words Every Day: If you are committed to expanding your vocabulary, how many new words should you try to learn in a day? It’s up to you. Just two new words a day will add up to more than 7000 words in ten years. Ten words a day would add 36,000 words in ten years.
Don’t use an impressive vocabulary merely as a means of showing off, never use big words when small ones would do. People can often intuitively feel when you are using fancy words merely for effect, and not because you need them to communicate.
But if your new vocabulary really has become a part of you and has a useful place in your writing and conversation, by all means, go ahead and use it!
This article is adapted from the new downloadable book by Royane Real titled “How You Can Be Smarter – Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better and Be More Creative” Check it out at www.royanereal.com.