Tired of having just a passive knowledge of words? You can read whatever text comes your way, but when it comes to speaking or writing something of your own it seems your vocabulary is lacking. Well it isn’t. Most people have a big internal word bank but when it comes to extemporaneously (now that’s a word!) accessing those terms–making them part of your active vocabulary–such effort often results in a blank page or a blank stare. Worse, lesser or incorrect words slip past the vault door and onto your page or into your conversation. What’s a person to do? Grow your active knowledge of words, naturally.
But how, you ask? Should you just leaf through the dictionary and pick out words at random? While I’m all for perusing the dictionary, I doubt you would find many words applicable to the integration of new terms into your everyday life. The idea is to increase the caliber not necessarily the number of words in your vocabulary.And to that end there are many ways to accomplish this goal.
Insofar as this is a vocabulary building blog, it is only one means of deposit into that word bank. You might also try listening to others’ speech. Your boss, your teachers, your friends and colleagues are ready sources. But as they are familiar sources, you likely already know their vocabularies. It is better to listen to people whose job it is to use words. For this, turn to news broadcasts. Listen to them, don’t watch the talking heads. Your best bets are the cable news channels, but any news show that discusses current events will supply you with at least one new word each day. And don’t forget to tune in while driving.
Next, log on to your favorite search engine and search for technical web sites.Browse those whose content seems only moderately challenging. After all, you are surfing for words, not trying to become an engineer (or maybe you are).Scholarly web sites are also treasure troves of terminology as are higher grade published works such as science and social periodicals (you do have a library card, right?).
Any and all of these sources will give you stacks of amazingly accurate and precise nouns and verbs with which to spice your conversations. But remember to incorporate only appropriate words into your dialogue and writing, words that will fit naturally into the subject matter of your life and work. You recognize them already when you see them or hear them. You just need to practice using them. Hopefully these tips and 3freewordsaday will help you pack your active vocabulary vault to bursting!