In life, you cannot go by without using language. Language captures the thoughts one has. Integral to language is vocabulary. Vocabulary is the number of words you know the meaning of. It is divided into:
- Active Vocabulary the words you use in your day to day life
- Passive Vocabulary the words you know the meaning of but do not use in your day to day life
Good speakers have the ability to bring words from Passive Vocabulary to Active Vocabulary and enrich their thought.
1. Why are words important?
Words are important because they capture and express human thought precisely. Gestures and body language, too, can express what’s on your mind, but words and language do that more effectively and extensively. There are words to convey every thought effectively and leave an impression. For instance if you want to express an extreme level of happiness, instead of saying, ‘I am very happy’, you could say, ‘I am ecstatic or I am on cloud nine’, which immediately adds variety to your speech and leaves an impression. Similarly, you can use words such as exemplary, honourable, incorruptible, and irreproachable to convey honesty or goodness. You could replace the word ‘beautiful’, as it is clichéd and over-used, with words like ravishing, divine, winsome, elegant and exquisite, to make more of an impression.
2. Keep adding to your Vocabulary
Building a strong vocabulary is an ongoing process. You never stop acquiring new words, only the speed of acquiring new words reduces with age. All you need is the will and keenness to keep your eyes out for words you encounter in your daily life, make an effort to find out their meaning and retain the meaning.
3. Understand and Feel Words
While words come naturally to some, it is difficult for others. A person with a knack for words feels the words he speaks and understands the words. The person makes the effort to find out the origin of the words, its pronunciation, builds linkages between the words and objects from real life so as to retain them, and generally feels the alphabets as they come out of his mouth.
4. Build Associations
Every word can be connected to other words, objects, feelings and so on. A good way to use and remember words is to make associations between various words. For example, the word ‘azure’ can be linked to clouds to sky, ‘garage’ to cars and so on. Furthermore, when you learn a new word, try to look at various other words with that word in it. For example, when you learn the meaning of the word ‘ego’ which is ‘I’, try to look at other words with ego in it, for instance, egoist, egotist, egocentric, alter-ego and so on. This will not only help you retain the meaning of ego but also help you acquire other words with the word ego in it. Such associations are retained by the mind for a longer time.
Usage of words enriches your vocabulary. A good speaker will be able to replace a particular word with many other words to make his language powerful and to convey his thoughts effectively.
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