Being Marge: The Power of Vocabulary

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Power of Vocabulary

Excerpt from 31 Days to Improve Your Vocabulary

Introduction: The Power of Vocabulary

Do you ever feel frustrated because you can’t precisely communicate your thoughts and ideas to others? Do you sometimes misinterpret what others are attempting to communicate to you? If you answered, “Yes” to one or both questions, you’re in the majority of the population.

Most of us have ongoing opportunities to grow our vocabulary, which can be a satisfying, low-cost, and effective way to boost lifetime success.

Ultimately your success is dependent on how well you assimilate incoming information, process it with careful thought, and express exactly what you mean through your spoken and written words. 

The English language is one of the most difficult to master, even for those of us for whom it’s our native tongue. Many English words have multiple spellings, meanings, pronunciations, and parts of speech. Vocabulary building is a key to refining language skills.

When you master a word, you can actively and confidently use it appropriately. Each person’s reading, writing, and spoken vocabularies are a unique combination of mastery levels. 

Ceteris paribus, meaning “all other things being equal in Latin, a strong vocabulary can give you the edge in succeeding in all your endeavors. 

My own vocabulary-building journey has been constant. As early as grammar school, I had a high comfort level with words and ideas. That interest transformed into a lifelong love of language, reading, and writing. I’ve studied Latin, French, and Spanish, although I didn’t inherit my father’s gift for fluency in multiple languages. Nor did I inherit my mother’s ability to complete the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzles in ink at lightning speed. I married a writer who has an amazing vocabulary and has saved me many lookups in the dictionary. However, he can only count his Scrabble® victories on one hand!

Whether or not you’re a logophile like me, I encourage you to take the importance of vocabulary building seriously, while having fun with the tools and techniques I assembled in this book. Find the tips and action steps that work best for you and make them part of your success plan. 

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