A Vocabulary of Words

lightstock_322583_download_medium_angela_There are over a mil­lion words in the Eng­lish lan­guage yet the aver­age adult only knows between 10,000 and 20,000 words. How­ev­er, that num­ber can vary slight­ly depend­ing on life expe­ri­ence. For my pur­pose, those num­bers do just fine.

There is a vast num­ber of words that could be learned. Just think of the abil­i­ty to describe the sun­set which is before us with more than, “I saw a beau­ti­ful sun­set.” The options are lim­it­less.

You could describe the scene before you like this:

I stood on the ecru sand and gazed assid­u­ous­ly at the evanes­cent sun.”

Do you know all of those words? Doesn’t it sound so poet­ic? That is an exam­ple of the impor­tance of a large vocab­u­lary.

The abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate in writ­ing is based on one’s abil­i­ty to wield the Eng­lish lan­guage with pre­ci­sion and skill. This requires a large and grow­ing vocab­u­lary.

For most of us, there are so many new words we could learn. How should we go about learn­ing those new words? The answer is sim­ple. Read, read, read. I did say it was sim­plis­tic, didn’t I?

While you are read­ing, keep a pen­cil in hand and when you come across a word you don’t know under­line it. You might be able to deter­mine the def­i­n­i­tion of the word by read­ing the con­text in which it was used, but if not, use a dic­tio­nary and look it up.

If you want to increase your vocab­u­lary I also encour­age you to make it your goal to learn a new word every day. You can use those unknown words from the books you are read­ing or you can cre­ate a list from anoth­er source. Either way, it is worth the effort to increase you vocab­u­lary. Make flash cards of the words so you can review them.

Nev­er stop learn­ing and grow­ing as a per­son and expand­ing your vocab­u­lary is an excel­lent way to do just that.

Be sure to read the rest in this three part series on Words!

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