1. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    How do you expaned your vocab.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by chandler245, Apr 5, 2009.

    How do put words into your writing that maybe you don't know the meaning to or the proper way to use them. I don't have time to memorize the the whole dictonary, help:confused:
     
  2. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    A great way to expand your vocabulary is to read. A lot.
    A thesaurus can help too.
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^ Yeah, that. Plus, try reading a few articles every day from NPR.org. The words are going to include a lot of SAT-type vocab words.

    Also, when I'm reading and come across a word I don't know, I look it up online, then save it on my computer. Every now and then I read over the list to try to refresh my memory. When I'm writing a paper, I'll look over the list again and see if I can use any of the words for my paper - it helps me remember the word that way.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is no substutite for reading, and plenty of it. Even a dictionary is not a reliable guide to correct usage. The dictionary definition is often too terse to convey the connotations of a word.

    Avoid using a thesaurus as a vocabulary builder. Only use a theasurus to remind yourself of alternate words that you already understand thoroughly.

    Word-a-day subscriptions or calendars can help with vocabulary, but you still run a high risk of misusing the words you learn that way.

    The only way is to encounter a word in a variety of contexts. Even then you can be misled by writers who misuse the word.
     
  5. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Reading, reading, reading, reading and... Oh, I almost forgot: Reading! You just can't have enough, as each book you read will expand your grammar and vocabulary. You first need to experience to let others experience (read to write).
     
  6. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Read and write. :)

    I also subscribe to Dictionary.com's Word of the Day and try to use it in my daily speech.
    In addition, I just tend to surround myself with people whose vocabulary is exponentially larger than my own and often ask for definitions. Nothing is more effective than simply immersing yourself.
     
  7. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    I have been doing all the reading and writing and reading yet I still feel like I am missing the point. I use the thesaurus, and the dictonary and I am missing something. I am starting to want to give up though I know it is a good story line
     
  8. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Don't just read, but also pay attention to the wording as well. One author that comes to mind is Lovecraft. Reading his literature may be even better than the dictionary.
     
  9. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    problem is Mercurial is that I don't have anyone to surrond myself with to ask those types of questions
     
  10. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Snap, that is a great idea, but I gop through all my books mark them up with highlighter with words I don't understand or words that I maybe able to use in the future but it still feel like there is something gone. (passion) maybe.
     
  11. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    marcelo.silverfrost,sweetchaos what do you thknk.
     
  12. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    marcelo looks like you are the only one who stuck around, any idea? Billyxransom how about you?
     
  13. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I do it by finding a word that means something interesting. (For example, the word aquifer, which is a formation of rocks holding a body of water, or through which water flows)
    Then, I either use that word in several short pieces of writing, or I use the word in real life, if it has such an application.
     
  14. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    with your word, how eles would you use that in your writing if you are only explainging a or stream, can you put blood in it? or does that word only applys to water?
     
  15. burned_out
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    burned_out Member

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    Take the english class I have now. Big words every single day.
     
  16. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    i am not stupid thank you, I do have a high vocab. just there are parts in my book that I want to explain something and I can't think of the propper word for it.
     
  17. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    reading, reading and more reading, a word looked up is still just a word, but a sentence around it makes sense to it
     
  18. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not going to add much new to what has already been said...

    Reading challenging texts. It could be magazine articles, nonfiction and fiction books, even some blogs. The goal is to encounter new words in context, a way that will help anchor their meaning and proper usage in your mind.

    Sometimes science-type and documentary television programming may help as well.

    Terry
     
  19. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    That isn't embarrassing at all?
     
  20. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Well, when I read The Lord of the Rings, I wrote down each word I didn't know, and searched for the definitions. Then, I wrote many texts in which I applied them. You could also learn the word's definition subconsiently when reading it a lot, since you'd probably guess its meaning because of the context. I can't really help you further than that, since I've been taking like advanced English classes since I was like 4 years old (To a certain point, I understand English better because I've studied, while I never really immersed myself into Spanish since I already knew how to write and speak it). But don't be desperate; With patience and practice you'll eventualy master it. :)
     
  21. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know this is about expanding your vocabulary, but I was just thinking how sometimes it's the simple words we use every day that is all a story needs.
    There's a popular vampire novel [I won't say the title because it brings out the fangs in a bunch of people here :p] that sold millions of books, and if you look at the vocabulary, it really was pretty simple.
     
  22. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    It is just a word. You can add to it.

    "An aquifer containing a pool of blood."

    (Aquifer: A body of rock containing water or through which water flows, is how it's written in my dictionary)
     
  23. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Honestly, a good many of the words in my vocabulary are ones I've picked up in my studies, technical terms that apply only in very rare situations and that I've never heard pronounced before. So, an education in the Humanities will give you an excellent vocabulary... but reading is indeed still the best way to develop one, especially if you want add new words into your writing without making it awkward or vague.
     
  24. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    Haha! Are technical words even worth mentioning? I doubt that anyone uses photosynthesis in his writing. (And that's an easy one)
     
  25. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Hierophany and Aniconic are words I might actually be able to use in my current work in progress. At least hierophany, it's one of my favourite words.
     

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