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How does one incorporate larger words into their vocabulary?


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Joined: Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119
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Posted Mar 08, 2006 at 6:53:06 PM
Subject: How does one incorporate larger words into their vocabulary?

Yes how do you advance your conversational skills by using larger words?

Just want to know how you can properly execute more intelligent conversation..

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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First, read a lot. Find anything at all you find interesting to read, and make a point of reading during your quiet times. Many advanced vocabulary words are rare in speech and are mostly met in reading.

Second, try to hang out with people who have interesting topics of conversation. College areas -- not just the campus, but the bookstores and cafes and pubs around them -- are places to meet interesting people. Listen first, and join in when you have something useful to say.
You can also get into the classroom without being in a diploma program and get a start -- audit courses without taking them for credit (still costs you but less pressure), take non-credit classes given for personal interest, and sign up as adult student and take courses in arts etc.

The thing NOT to do is to memorize dictionary definitions and try to shove long words into your conversation by brute force. This always sound artificial and makes you look less intelligent, not more, when you misuse or mispronounce a word.

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A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119

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I've been reading non stop as of late (just finished "my life" by Bill Clinton), anxiety and fear of being percieved by others as sounding like a dullard keep me from joining in on some conversations.

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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That's OK. There is a great shortage of good listeners. If you listen five times as much as you talk you'll learn a lot and make tons of friends.
Reading Clinton is great -- he has a good vocablary and expresses himself well.

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A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119

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Loved the book and the former prez!

But our current one is an inspiration in the sense that he shows that you don't have to have a high IQ to be successful..

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Hmmm.... I wouldn't define it as successful in my book. (If true, then any world leader from Ghandi to Stalin could be called "successful.")

Consciously thinking about words and waht they mean, and using them is a real key. When something happens or you see something, mentally think of words that describe it, and dredge deeply for interesting words already in your vocab - and then read to try to pick up more. When you read an interesting word, even if it's one you already know, look for deeper meanings to it. Make sure you're seeing what the author means.
I'm thiniing of some of my students now, who tend to simplify meanings as they read higher-level material. We had an article about "The Internet as a social phenomenon" and it was talking about the general effect on society (this was before "facebook" and the INternet as a social venue at all), and had a line about "posturing" business men... the student reading it interpreted social to mean friends-talking, and "posturing" to mean "how you stand" and made similar oversimplifications... she really didn't understand the reading because of it. (She did better after we'd straightened that stuff out.)

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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Joe Tag
Joined Apr 20, 2014
Posts: 102

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Posted:Mar 11, 2006 5:03:01 PM

Hi. Oh, *PLEASE* DO NOT use George H.W. Bush as a good model for vocabulary. His father was a better speaker (and I believe, a better college student).

Why the concern with using larger words in your vocabulary?
If you need to describe, define or re-define something or a situation, try to find the right words for it. You will learn the larger words in time, and apply them.

Is this for a college class, or your personal advancement or both?
You can find English Vocabulary texts in a local college bookstore (ask for ENGLISH 101 / 1000-1005 texts; or Freshmen Composition texts. ) .

Good luck. Best regards from northern New Jersey.

http://www.kean.edu

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A person
Joined Apr 22, 2005
Posts: 119

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I certainly don't consider his presidency to be a success at all, I meant what I stated in a sarcastic sense.

I'm doing this for personal advancment, but I wonder sometimes though- if the reason I have such a hard time conversing, is because of an intrinsic condition.

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Amber
Joined Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 74

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When my family homeschooled me from 7th grade on up to my senior year of high school they bought some inexpensive vocabulary and grammar workbooks at a school supply store. There were a lot of worksheets in these books and I would get my Grandma's huge dictionary to be able to do some of the activities as you had to have a dictionary on hand to do them. Call some school supply scores and ask if they have these kind of workbooks. The ones I used were called the Vocabulary Workshop and you can start from the easiest ( sixth grade level) and work up to the hardest ( freshman college level) as I did. These books are a great way to increase your vocabulary.

Also one thing to do is try to avoid listening to music or movies where there is constant bad grammar or vulgarities, and find books and music that will stimulate your mind. One of my very intelligent friends has an ex boyfriend who every other word in his vocabulary is a variation of the "F" word as he listens to loads of Enimen and gangster rap. I asked him once to try to say something without swearing and using bad grammar, and all he could do was stammer as he could not think of any adjectives or verbs which were not four letter words.

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Sue
Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Another thing to do is to read stories *slowly* and savor the vocabulary. Taste the words.

Read "closely" -- here's a good example

http://home.earthlink.net/~hiflyer/APbradbury/twcsr.htm


The f wrd... there's a song about that by Lou & Peter Berryman (anothe rgood source for diverse vocabulary, by the way - see
http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/pages/tiFWORD;ttFWORD.html


Gosh, that's definitely as bad as saying "Like" every other word... though I suppose not in *every* setting in life! Guess it would depend whether you were in a Valley Girl or Home Boy setting... hmmm.... now I'm trying to figure out whether any males I know are "like-a-holics," or females are stuck with the f word ...

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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totallygenius
Joined Apr 09, 2006
Posts: 28

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Everytime I hear a word (used by someone in my daily life or on TV) I want to know, I write it down and then find it in the dictionary. I learn one peculiar word at a time so that I can really think of how to use it in a sentence. You can even Google the word and that will help you to see it in and article or something. Audiobooks are good too. You can download them now from itunes. But don't worry you are probably very smart :)

~*totallygenius

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