Monday, March 22, 2010

Crunching Words

Vocabulary is the stock of words used or known to a particular people or group of persons, according to Dictionary.com. As writers we know the importance of a broad vocabulary. How often do you test your range? Do you have goals to learn new words, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? 


Learning new words is a wonderful exercise, but we must keep in mind that they are to be used in the proper context and in the proper time. Just because we've become a rolling scroll of wordage doesn't mean we should use them all the time. 


In awe at how didactically my language flutters from my feckless lips or have you surmised I'm in need of some good 'ole fashion admonishing? I'm not going to bore you (or myself), with going into how lame that sentence is. The point being: we need to learn and re-learn words consistently and put them into the proper practice. 


Today, learn or re-learn three new words and find an appropriate place to use them. Could be a sentence, phrase, or constitute a paragraph. Also, try and use them verbally and picture the word in your head as you do. Finding a word and seeing it isn't enough. Commit yourself to using these three words today. Write them down a few times, using them in different ways in a sentence. Then read what you've written as the day goes on. Here's a great site to get you started: http://www.vintage-vocabulary.com/wordlist.html.


We must write them, speak, them, and see them in our heads for our vocabulary buttons to latch on to them permanently. Try and do this exercise on your own a few times a week. I have and it's amazing how quickly my vocabulary has grown. And not just my word bank, but my confidence in using them. Ironically, the more words I know and feel comfortable with, the less wordy I am. Go figure.
Lets love our words... 


Don't forget to come back and share what you've learn with others, and tell us if you have another approach to broadening your scope of words. Love to hear it. 

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