1. WritingNoob
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    WritingNoob Member

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    Worth having a good 'speaking vocabulary'?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by WritingNoob, Jun 14, 2010.

    hey guys, not really sure where this should go as it's not related to writing, but i thought this would be the best forum.

    is it worth trying to improve my vocabulary when speaking to people in short sentences? for instance, instead of saying something is good, would it be better to say 'lovely' or 'wonderful'? a lot of people seem to recommend using large words words as often as possible, but this just seems like a waste to me when speaking.

    is there a big difference in speaking and writing?

    thanks guys
     
  2. Sonata
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    Sonata Member

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    Surely it depends who you're speaking to? I use a very different vocabulary with clients than I would do with my friends or anyne outside a professional environment. But I'd use a different vocabulary again at business meetings or with my boss.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    The important thing is to be able to talk in as wide a variety of contexts as possible. Even if you're just talking to your friends most of the time, ideally you should be able to easily switch to another diction if you need to have a conversation with someone else. That also means changing how you speak, not just what you say. For instance, with your question about saying something is "good"--while with your friends that's fine, if you are discussing art, or in a job interview, or talking to a client or something that requires a higher level of eloquence, you should be able to give more than mere value judgements like "good" or "bad", and be able to express your ideas and opinions more fully.

    So no, you don't need to use big words as often as possible, you simply need to be aware of the context and able to respond appropriately no matter what it is.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your speaking vocabulary should be rich, but that does not mean you need to subscribe to a Word of the Day feed.

    A good vocabulary need not feature words like lugubrious or pulchritude on anything like a regular basis, although it doesn't hurt to know them.

    No, a good vocabulary will use ordinary words like sparkled or gleamed when they convey a more vivid or accurate image than reflected.

    A powerful vocabulary is not characterized by its size, but in how well its owner selects the best word for each situation.

    Using your vocabulary well when speaking will make you better and more agile writer, because if you can choose the right word without losing the flow verbally, you can do so when writing without breaking stride.
     
  5. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Not only worth but more important than most people realize.

    Forget about a word's size and obscurity, concentrate on specificity. What makes a good vocabulary is knowing the exact word that means what you want to say.

    Also, most words have connotations. Knowing two words with different connotations, for the same meaning, will allow you to imprint the subconscious idea you choose, into your public.

    Tangentially, oral expression can get you a rise and a better job. Even for people who work in engineering. Most things in life are obtained by convincing someone else, and rhetoric is your main weapon.



    P.S.: Don't judge my words by my vocabulary, in English it sucks. :)
     
  6. valdein lawnstin
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    valdein lawnstin Member

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    the big 50 cent words don't ever seem to impress me because the people who use them are typically bad at proper use of them and of simple words.

    example 1: where did you learn to talk like that?
    the better way to say this is: where did you learn to speak
    example 2:myself and my brother went to the dog show
    when it should be stated
    my brother and i went to the dog show.

    if you have these problems in your speech pick up a book by sparknotes called Ultimate style and it will tell you which words to use and were to sound intellagent without having to do a thousand word dictionary report

    listen to people who use big words and you will hear this
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I believe what valdein lawnstin is attempting to make note of is that one should focus less on the large vocabulary gems and focus more on a grasp of syntax and grammar.

    Think of syntax and grammar is the frame and the foundation to a house. You can have all the amenities and architectural features (big words) of a palace in your home, but if the frame is poorly squared and the foundation badly poured, then the house is still crap.
     
  8. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Interesting. I wonder in what occupation oral expression is most likely to give a rise.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Many occupations put a premium on the ability to present material orally. Software developers are expected to be able to explain a proposed solution, managers are expected to present and defend business plans for the next quarter, engineers of all disciplines are expected to share knowledge about new technologies, doctors are expected to pass along knowledge on the lates procedures...

    In short, most professional careers value, or even demand, the ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing these days.
     

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