1. apocalist
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    apocalist New Member

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    Word problem

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by apocalist, Mar 14, 2008.

    i wish to have an extended vocabulary because i like to write and feel i dont have enough words to describe what im feeling or saying...

    i mean is there anything i can read or do... any ideas to extend my vocabulary

    lol sorta weird question but... its something i desire
     
  2. Smoke1
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    Smoke1 Member

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    I guess you've got to find a way to hear your Muse.

    Read Bukowski... and (consider this advisedly....) have a drink!

    He wrote from the gut, and about as raw as it can be done.
     
  3. apocalist
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    apocalist New Member

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    k ill research bukowski with jack

    just kidding i dont drink
     
  4. soujiroseta
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    soujiroseta Senior Member Contributor

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    i have the same thing going on in my head but i tend to read alot of my favourite authors and see how many things they can say in a different way. d'ya get it? seems to work for me.:)
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'd suggest two options, depending on the current state of your vocabulary.

    First, for general vocabulary building, read everything you can get your hands on. Keep a dictionary at hand, or put a shortcut to an online dictionary on the Links bar orf your Internet browser. Better yet, do both. Whenever you encounter a word you either don't know, or aren't absolutely sure you understand the context it is used in, look it up.

    Don't forget to practice the spelling while you are at it!

    Be warned - every word you see in writing, even published writing, is not always used appropriately, so try to find as many examples as you can to get a good sense of its proper usage.

    The other approach applies more to when you already have a pretty decent vocabulary. Many sites, including Dictionary.com, have a Word of the Day feature you can subscribe to, and recive a new word each day in your email. Choose one that provides several examples, and each day, try to find opportunities to use it in proper context. I don't recommend subscribing to several such lists, because you will find it harder to keep up with it.

    When writing, though, don't get too fancy with your vocabulary. Most of the time, the simplest way to say it is the best way. Save the more uncommon words for when the simpler ones just don't convey the right nuances, the right shades of meaning.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. diziet
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    diziet Member

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    i think cogito covered everything there :)
     
  7. Aiko_Ukai
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    Aiko_Ukai New Member

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    Dictionary

    The best advice I can give you is to read constantly and when you're writing use a thesaurus and a dictionary. It helps to change those simple words into something a little more meaningful.:D
     
  8. apocalist
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    apocalist New Member

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    k i will do so... i got to read more anyways lol thank you all
     
  9. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    It's rash to suggest a single book will greatly improve one's vocabulary (assuming the book is not an encyclopedia =P) but I do feel I benefited from The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    cog has covered this pretty well... to add my own advice, that i give to all new writers with less than great vocabularies, the best way to increase yours, other than reading a lot of good writing, is to do the ny times [or london times, if in the uk] daily crossword puzzle and graduate to the sunday one, when you're up to it...
     
  11. AWR
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    AWR Member

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    I also find using new words in my day-to-day conversations helps too. Okay, you don't want to sound like a stuck-up git, but if you don't go overboard then you'll become more confident in their use.
     
  12. Beth
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    Beth Member

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    When I'm reading a book and come across a word or a verb that I like, I just take it and put it the thing that I'm writing.

    ;)
     
  13. Still Life
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    Still Life Active Member

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    I do do a lot of reading, but I still have this "word problem" also. The thing is, I'm damn lazy, and can't stand cracking my fingers over a gigantic dictionary, or flipping through a thesaurus, unless it's the absolute last thing on earth that I've got to do in order to get my point across.

    What I usually do to make up for my lack of vocabulary, is to - well - describe. Even with a simple vocabulary, it's not hard to describe what color a seat is on the subway, or the colors of the tunnel as the train rides through it, or the sounds, or the smells.

    Biggest word I've used for writing in my life is : effervescent, lol. Although yeah, thesaurus' are very useful for finding the most accurate words.

    thesaurus > dictionary , any day.
     
  14. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    I do the Irish Times' one myself. Yeah, apart from reading, having a dictionary and thesaurus, I'd suggest taking time to 'connect' with everyday things and experiences. Sit, or walk, and appreciate those simple things we take for granted: shapes, colours, tastes, smells, touch, sounds, reactive feelings. If you take a moment or two to connect, your awareness is automatically expanded. Warning...don't do the blindfold thing where traffic is heavy!!
     
  15. Rickie writes
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    Rickie writes Member

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    Read a lot of different stuff from a variety of sources and backgrounds.

    Read stuff beyond your ability. Some authors love to flex their vocabulary and I think they are snobs but I learn stuff from them. Bastards.

    Read about and expose yourself to different cultures and situations.

    Explore the other side of everything, especially the issues you disagree with or don't like.

    I keep a dictionary and thesaurus next to my lazy boy where I read and write a lot. I've trained myself to just drop down my left hand and pick them up.

    I have two eletronic dictionaries/thesaurus. One next to each computer I write on. I don't like pulling up a seperate screens to look up words or spelling but I do it at times.

    Just write and write some more...

    Peace

    Rickie
     

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