Daily Nugget of Gold 665
Building Our Vocabulary
When a person can speak or write well, they command respect and admiration. This is not to say that using big words to impress people is a good thing to do- but building our vocabulary so that we have expanded our linguistic toolbox is a great thing, because we aren’t reaching for the same old worn out tools again and again. For one thing, having the ability to communicate exactly what you mean to say depends on your ability to phrase it properly with words that fit the intended thought. So what if we aren’t in school anymore, what do we do then in order to enhance our ability to communicate by learning new words and terms which fit the ideas we wish to express?
Probably the best way to build our vocabulary is by reading books- and quality counts here. The author himself here at the Daily Nugget of Gold isn’t particularly fond of reading per se, but avails himself of audio books because they allow him to collapse time frames by accomplishing two tasks at once-maybe some filing or paperwork at the same time. Whatever format you choose for yourself, engaging in reading has vast rewards in improving our word skills because every author brings to the table some different words or usage of words that we were not previously aware of.
“The ambiguities of language, both in terms of vocabulary and syntax, are fascinating: how important connotation is, what is lost and what is gained in the linguistic transition.” – Marilyn Hacker
Another way to improve our vocabulary is one word at a time, learning the pronunciation and usage either from a dictionary or a book or audio presentation on improving our vocabulary. This can have it’s drawbacks in that sometimes we are limited to one explanation of usage, but it’s certainly better than embracing ignorance of the language because how you communicate will have a tremendous effect on how well your message gets across and your success in life in general.
“Writers fish for the right words like fishermen fish for, um, whatever those aquatic creatures with fins and gills are called.” Jarod Kintz
Having a large vocabulary also helps us appreciate humor otherwise missed by some people.
“We are what we eat” is one expression we usually believe to be true, but “we are what we read” and how we think based on that as well. The more we avail ourselves to other people’s thoughts and methods of expression, the greater our own skill becomes.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do to develop my vocabulary beyond what it is today?”
Copyright 2012 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.