Grow your Vocabulary

“The truth was suppressed by the members of the Jury.”

“He deceived me although he was in good terms with me.”

The words in bold letters are different in nature from each other. One may be a verb, one may be adverb etc. but they are different in their meanings. Each word has its own importance  that suits the sentence according to the structure.

The term “vocabulary” has a special as well as a general meaning. True, all vocabularies are grounded in the everyday words of the language, out of which grow the special vocabularies, but each such specialized group possesses a number of words of peculiar value for its own objects. These words may be used in other vocabularies also, but the fact that they are suited to a unique order of expression marks them as of special value to a particular craft or calling.

In this respect the public speaker differs not at all from the poet, the novelist, the scientist, the traveler. He must add to his everyday stock, words of value for the public presentation of thought. “A study of the discourses of effective orators discloses the fact that they have a fondness for words signifying power, largeness, speed, action, color, light, and all their opposites. They frequently employ words expressive of the various emotions. Descriptive words, adjectives used in fresh relations with nouns, and apt epithets, are freely employed. Indeed, the nature of public speech permits the use of mildly exaggerated words which, by the time they have reached the hearer’s judgment, will leave only a just impression.

Ways to improve vocabulary can be:-

  1. Start by learning practical vocabulary.  Learn words that are actually important to you at work, at home and out and about.  Use stick it notes and label things around your home.
  2. Expose yourself to as much English as possible by reading, watching the TV, films or the news and listening to the radio or music.
  3. Read an English magazine. If you can afford it take out a subscription to a magazine or newspaper.
  4. Try to memorize whole sentences, not just individual words. When you have learnt a word, write about it in context.
  5. Create or play word games. Scrabble, Crossword Puzzles, Hangman etc. are all great ways to play with words.
  6. When you know you need to learn a particular word list for a test, start using the words immediately.
  7. Keep a notebook to help you remember what you’ve learnt.
  8. Build a vocabulary web to organize your vocabulary about certain subjects like your personal life, professional life, family friends and relatives etc.

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