Something which so many of us are guilty of after leaving education is failing to continue our improvement in terms of vocabulary. Now for some this may mean maintaining great vocabulary, for others it may be about seeking to improve it. I can remember the brilliant screenwriter Roger Wolfson speaking about the importance of vocabulary a couple of years ago and it was that which inspired me to improve the way that I used vocabulary, and I want to share some tips which may help you to do the same.
Be mindful and practice in order to increase your vocabulary.
One of the best ways in which you can increase the number of words which you have in your mind is to be exposed to words which you do not understand. To this end it will make a great deal of sense to read a high brow book by an intellectual, both as a way to see words in context but also to see words which you may never have read before. A great example would be someone like Christopher Hitchens, a wonderful wordsmith who will have you pretty bamboozled. When you read these books make sure that you are keeping a note of the words you don’t understand and then every 10 pages or so, compile a list of those words and look up their meanings. Practice in this way and those words will soon start to sink in.
Starting on the first page of a letter in the dictionary read down until you find a word which you don’t understand, look up its meaning and then find another in the same way. The mission for every day will be to use these 2 words in a sentence either when sending an email or text, or when speaking to someone. At the end of the week, look back on those words and this will help you to reinforce them in your mind. Practice this every day in order to learn and utilize 14 new words each and every week. Be sure to keep changing letters each day in order to freshen things up.
In order to learn these words you have to speak them often, or at least as often as you can, which is why you should never be scared to try and use them. For some absurd reason there are people who will mock you if you use lengthy or hard to understand words, but always bear in mind that they are mocking because they do not understand and they are overwhelmed and slightly embarrassed at your ability to use such vocabulary. You cannot learn additional vocabulary if you are scared to speak it, the result will be that you simply read about these new words but never end up really embedding them into your mind.
Practice hard, and find the way in which to use all of these brilliant new words which you are finding.