The most worthwhile pursuit at which one can aim to be held as an intellectual by friends, family, acquaintances and clients is to have an extensive vocabulary. Vocabulary and our mastery of it is one thing that sets us apart from the animals. The advanced, flexible usage of vocabulary is what sets yokels apart from captains of industry, extremely smart people, and intellectuals. By simply having an excellent and thorough vocabulary at your disposal (even without much else backing it up) one can be perceived as being intelligent.
Want to learn a new language? All these steps apply to learning a new language as well, so you’re getting a double dose of helpful information. In fact, a robust vocabulary is the foundation on which new language learning is based. Begin by applying these tips to your native tongue to expand linguistic horizons, and it’s easy to apply the same steps to another.
Obtaining and practicing an expert diction can also be fun if you enjoy tackling new words. For those who have a fond appreciation for words, there is no finer joy than teaching someone for that matter, a new word, what it means, where it’s origins derive, and the different parts of the word. Speaking of which, there is a reason that Latin is still taught in schools and why one should garner a sufficient understanding of it: knowing the make up of words assist you in utilizing them more flexibly.
Whether studying for the SAT’s or GRE’s, working to win a new client contract, or you just want to impress that new Tinder date, having an ever increasing vocabulary will do great things in your life. You’ve got the motivation, let’s get you on the way to becoming a bona fide lexicon genius.
Ways to Increase Your Vocabulary
1. Turn off the Screen
Sit down with friends and just talk like the good old days before sitcoms and blockbuster movies. Media consumption is fine every now and then (and they might even assist in increasing vocabulary also), but talking with other people will help you think about what you say and how you say it. Don’t have time for a meet up? Call up a friend and have a conversation after reading this article. The objective here is to speak more with other people. The tongue is the only tool that gets sharper the more you use it.
2. Hang out with your smart friends
You’ve probably heard the old saying that an individual is the sum of their 5 closest friends. But if not, test this assumption by finding the average of the annual earnings of your 5 best buds and compare that to yours. The same goes for vocabulary and intellectualism too. Smart people tend to hang out with other smart people. Even if you’re the weak link, hang out with those friends who are not subscribed to a life of sitcoms and small talk, but those who actively discuss science, humanities, and sociology. You’ll gain more intellectually from spending time with the friend that spends her weekends visiting new art exhibits versus the one who watches Seinfeld reruns all Sunday.
3. Learn one new word each day
Set a goal right now to learn a new word each day. Grab the old dictionary off the shelf, blow the dust off it, and flip through the pages and find a word you’ve never used or heard before. No dictionary? No worries, Dictionary.com offers a “Word of the Day” as does Merriam-Webster and WordThink. Merriam-Webster also produces a print version of their vocabulary builder book (Buy it Here).Once selected, implant it into your daily vocabulary repertoire by using it at appropriate moments in the day (just don’t go overboard).
4. Read More
Reading is to the brain what vegetables are to the digestive system; It keeps it running mean and lean. Reading more will not only introduce more new words, but it will also facilitate in putting them in context.
5. Look up new words while reading
Now that you’re reading more, you will most likely discover words that are unfamiliar. Make a point to write them down and look up the meaning. It’s simple to replace a bookmark with a slip of paper to serve as a list and you can even add those to the growing new word of the day list.
6. Play word games and puzzles
Between smart phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, one could perceivably play a different word app or game a day and never play the same one in an entire life. Download a few and start playing. This will help build your vocabulary while having fun at the same time. A few of the classics are: Words With Friends and SpellTower. A more robust list in Applications for building your vocabulary can be found here.
7. Review your new words often
Whether learning a new language or how to play an instrument or how to navigate a new software program at work: repetition is key. I repeat, repetition is key. You have to practice, practice, practice if you desire to be exceptional at anything and vocabulary is no exception. Refer back to this new word list on a monthly basis and look for words you haven’t had the chance to fully integrate into your noesis(LINK) (my word of the day).
8. Listen to Alpha Waves
You’ll hear quite a bit about Alpha Waves and their many, many benefits in this site, therefore it stands to reason they would be found here. Listening to Alpha Waves or a mixture of Alpha Waves and music or nature sounds enhances memory. Thus: listen to Alpha Waves while reading or studying new vocabulary words, and you’ll have a healthier chance of retaining them.
9. Study Latin
Were you aware of that over half of the English dictionary are Latin? For those that aren’t directly Latin, there is a high chance they are derived from a Latin word. Furthermore, Latin is undeniably the language of the learned. You don’t have to get a degree in Latin, but if aiming to increase your vocab, taking a college course or reviewing the basics will aid infinity.
10. Write More
Content CREATION versus consumption is a huge trend now, and the reason it will build vocabulary is due to the insight you’ll have once your thoughts are written down. This can be achomished by keeping a journal, starting a blog, or even starting your own YouTube channel. Picture it as a litmus test for how large your vocabulary actual is, and the added benefit of creating content in a word processing program is that they typically will have the all powerful, built in thesaurus!