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How to Grow Your Vocabulary 

by Ken Nelson

In order to effectively express your thoughts in writing, it’s important to have a good vocabulary. This doesn’t mean that you constantly use inaccessible words so that your meaning is obscured, but it does mean that you have a veritable verbal arsenal at your disposal. Anytime you need to pull out a more refined, educated sounding word, you can do it with confidence and flair.

Building your vocabulary doesn’t have to be a difficult chore. In fact it can be fun to discover new ways to put your thoughts and ideas into words, provided you have a love for words and the way they fit together. But, then, you already possess that love if you are reading this article. You want to grow your vocabulary and here are three quick and easy steps:

Read and Read a Lot 

The best way to grow your vocabulary is to be a consummate reader. By reading, you not only learn the definitions of new words, you get to see them with their work clothes on. In other words, you get to see them in action. You gain invaluable instruction when you see how accomplished authors put words to work. There’s a certain rhythm and grace to the threading of words and you only get a sense of it if you read and read a lot.

The Dictionary is Your Friend

Part and parcel of the previous point is the truth that you can no longer ignore the dictionary that sits on your shelf. Forget any bad grade-school memories, take the tome by the spine, and conquer it! Or at least befriend it. Begin to make it your practice to look up every unfamiliar word you come across while reading. Too many people will criticize a writer for writing “over their heads”, when in all truth they should be criticized for not making the effort to improve their working vocabulary. If you come across a new word and you don’t have immediate access to a dictionary, write it down and look it up later. It’s not a lot of trouble and it will pay off exponentially.

Take a Vocabulary Building Course

Verbal Advantage is great one, packed with loads of useful information. It’s a little pricey, but well worth it. You don’t have to spend any money, however. You can find vocabulary-building programs for free at your local library. And the internet is chock full of sites that will email you a “Word of the Day” to get your vocabulary growing. You could also do a lot worse than regularly accessing Reader’s Digest’s regular column “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power”. Some of the words are not really useful, but many of them are.

If you consider yourself any kind of writer, then you have to take seriously your vocabulary. Words are your tools. Just as an auto mechanic has many tools in his chest (even the ones he rarely uses but are indispensable when needed), so also must you have a well-stocked vocabulary.

Sign up now and receive your FREE five-lesson vocabulary course. You'll be boosting your success, retaining more words and reaping the benefits of a powerful vocabulary in no time at all! Click now to start building your vocabulary.

Ken Nelson is a freelance writer and cartoonist. He markets his unique brand of humor at the Flogwear site where anybody can purchase t-shirts, mugs, aprons, calendars, and many other items printed with his cartoons and writings.

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