Author Topic: Enhancing vocabulary?  (Read 1228 times)

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Offline Faith2545

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Enhancing vocabulary?
« on: November 12, 2013, 11:56:01 AM »
Any suggestions as to how a person can enhance their vocabulary? What can they do to learn more words and use them correctly in syntax too? Buying an SATs book perhaps?

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 11:59:47 AM »
An exam prep book is great if you have to take that exam, but not necessarily for much else. It's about form, not content.

The only surefire way to learn more words is to read slightly above your current level, be aware of unfamiliar words and look them up. You'd be surprised how much we just skip over when reading casually.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 12:00:30 PM »
Read, read, read...especially quality, classic literature.
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Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 12:03:09 PM »
Read, read, read...especially quality, classic literature.

+1
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 12:07:24 PM »
Read, read, read...especially quality, classic literature.
+ 2...and keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy!

And when you come across an unfamiliar word, once you know its meaning and usage, find ways to use it in conversation....... and on this board. ;D
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 12:11:51 PM by J Michael »
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 12:15:44 PM »
Read, read, read...especially quality, classic literature.

+3

...best way to learn.

Also, if possible, hold conversations with actual people.
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 12:18:10 PM »
The above are all I what I would have said, too. Also, try to use a new word as soon as you can, even if it's no more than saying to someone: "I learned a new word today: ***".

You don't have to go far to come across new words: just pay attention to some of our Orthodox hymns!

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 12:20:20 PM »
The above are all I what I would have said, too. Also, try to use a new word as soon as you can, even if it's no more than saying to someone: "I learned a new word today: ***".

You don't have to go far to come across new words: just pay attention to some of our Orthodox hymns!

The Free Dictionary has some fun daily activities to help with that. ;)
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Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 12:24:47 PM »
Pull out your dictionary or get a window up on the screen with dictionary.com's search bar, and then go through this forum and read every single one of Mor Ephrem's posts.  I can scarcely get through a single one without having to look up a word.
Some of my questions might appear patently stupid to those well-versed in Orthodoxy, but I'm brand new, having no background in the faith.  Please grant me a great deal of patience and consideration as I learn the basics.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 12:34:08 PM »
Learning new words in a context would make it easier for you to remember them.

You could read classics (Charles Dickens would be my suggestion) and watch funny TV programs (for example, Golden Girls) on youtube.  8)
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 12:42:33 PM »
Learning new words in a context would make it easier for you to remember them.

You could read classics (Charles Dickens would be my suggestion) and watch funny TV programs (for example, Golden Girls) on youtube.  8)

Now, there's an interesting juxtaposition for you...Charles Dickens and The Golden Girls  :laugh: :laugh:.
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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 12:45:59 PM »
Much as I love Dickens (and Victorian literature in general), it's better to start with the 20th century. There will be less usage discrepancy there. It's not like the century of the Nobel prize lacks for classics. ;)
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Offline Adela

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2013, 12:50:42 PM »

This book, Meriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder is really, really good.  It teaches Greek and Latin word roots, and the words based on those roots. It has quizzes which are fun.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/book.pl?vocabbld.htm

I especially like reading with my e-reader (a Nook) because I just have to touch a word to see the dictionary definition.  Before I would just hurry past words I didn't know because I was too impatient to go get out a dictionary.  This makes it easier.

Offline Theophilos78

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2013, 12:52:53 PM »
Learning new words in a context would make it easier for you to remember them.

You could read classics (Charles Dickens would be my suggestion) and watch funny TV programs (for example, Golden Girls) on youtube.  8)

Now, there's an interesting juxtaposition for you...Charles Dickens and The Golden Girls  :laugh: :laugh:.

They are classics of the US TV history  ;D
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Offline J Michael

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2013, 01:00:06 PM »
Learning new words in a context would make it easier for you to remember them.

You could read classics (Charles Dickens would be my suggestion) and watch funny TV programs (for example, Golden Girls) on youtube.  8)

Now, there's an interesting juxtaposition for you...Charles Dickens and The Golden Girls  :laugh: :laugh:.

They are classics of the US TV history  ;D

Yes, I know that.   Still an interesting juxtaposition, you've got to admit.  I can't decide if, in doing that, you've raised the level of American t.v. (something exceedingly difficult to do, imo, even for a so-called "classic") or lowered the level of Dickens. :-\
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Offline Faith2545

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2013, 01:10:23 PM »
Thanks. Reading I do :) It's just the line of work I'm in, I don't have the opportunity to hold 'intellectual' conversations  or just anything beyond a 5th grade reading level with the customers I deal with. Okay, for some, and sadly few, I'd raise it to high school (though they claim college graduates.) I find myself having to use simplistic words and phrases that only diminish my attempts to raise the level of conversation. When trying to use different words of describing things I get, "Whaaaat?" or "what do you mean?" all the time! These people are sad! I'm looking for another job, as I'm trying to find what I really like and can do. So, I thought I have to go back to that college mind frame and develop my vocabulary, AGAIN!

Offline Faith2545

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 01:12:54 PM »

This book, Meriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder is really, really good.  It teaches Greek and Latin word roots, and the words based on those roots. It has quizzes which are fun.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/book.pl?vocabbld.htm

I especially like reading with my e-reader (a Nook) because I just have to touch a word to see the dictionary definition.  Before I would just hurry past words I didn't know because I was too impatient to go get out a dictionary.  This makes it easier.

I'll look into this, thank you!

Offline Faith2545

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2013, 01:15:06 PM »
Learning new words in a context would make it easier for you to remember them.

 watch funny TV programs (for example, Golden Girls) on youtube.  8)

I watch this!!! And have it on DVD! But I haven't heard of word or phrases unfamiliar to me, though :)

Offline Faith2545

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2013, 01:16:43 PM »
Pull out your dictionary or get a window up on the screen with dictionary.com's search bar, and then go through this forum and read every single one of Mor Ephrem's posts.  I can scarcely get through a single one without having to look up a word.

True! He knows his stuff! Wondering what line of work he's in..... :)

Offline J Michael

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2013, 01:20:12 PM »
Thanks. Reading I do :) It's just the line of work I'm in, I don't have the opportunity to hold 'intellectual' conversations  or just anything beyond a 5th grade reading level with the customers I deal with. Okay, for some, and sadly few, I'd raise it to high school (though they claim college graduates.) I find myself having to use simplistic words and phrases that only diminish my attempts to raise the level of conversation. When trying to use different words of describing things I get, "Whaaaat?" or "what do you mean?" all the time! These people are sad! I'm looking for another job, as I'm trying to find what I really like and can do. So, I thought I have to go back to that college mind frame and develop my vocabulary, AGAIN!

You know, you don't always have to lower your level of conversation.  Keep trying to raise the bar for both you and your esteemed customers ( ;D) by throwing in the "big" words now and then, especially new ones you've learned.  When you get the "whaaaat?" reaction, explain it to them.  You will more deeply impress the word and its context in your own brain, and you will have (possibly) enriched the vocabulary of the person you're speaking with. ;D  It's a win/win!!
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2013, 01:34:51 PM »
Pull out your dictionary or get a window up on the screen with dictionary.com's search bar, and then go through this forum and read every single one of Mor Ephrem's posts.  I can scarcely get through a single one without having to look up a word.

:)
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Offline IoanC

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2013, 01:36:47 PM »
Vocabulary can also improve naturally, assuming you are exposing yourself to various fields and that these fields actually fit you (words will naturally be absorbed). Of course, some people are fit for learning vocabulary for the sake of learning vocabulary. Others never accumulate a huge vocabulary (or even have a very simple one), but they excel in using what they have. In fact, you don't want to have a huge vocabulary, but nothing worthwhile to actually say. So, vocabulary is not something that one can necessarily force into himself and is accumulated over time from various sources. Syntax can be learned methodically or can also be intuitive. In fact, I believe syntax and intuition might be inseparably linked.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 01:38:16 PM by IoanC »

Offline Shiny

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2013, 01:37:39 PM »
Pull out your dictionary or get a window up on the screen with dictionary.com's search bar, and then go through this forum and read every single one of Mor Ephrem's posts.  I can scarcely get through a single one without having to look up a word.
But when it comes to orthornorms post you will need to pull something out of your butt...
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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2013, 01:46:29 PM »
Read Milton
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Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake

Offline newtoorthodoxy

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2013, 01:54:30 PM »
Pull out your dictionary or get a window up on the screen with dictionary.com's search bar, and then go through this forum and read every single one of Mor Ephrem's posts.  I can scarcely get through a single one without having to look up a word.
But when it comes to orthornorms post you will need to pull something out of your butt...

I'm not going to touch that one with stick.  rofl.
Some of my questions might appear patently stupid to those well-versed in Orthodoxy, but I'm brand new, having no background in the faith.  Please grant me a great deal of patience and consideration as I learn the basics.

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2013, 06:53:56 PM »
Great recommendations.  For fun, sign up for the word of the day at OED.com.  Then try using it during the day, even the archaic words.   ;)
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2013, 09:11:02 AM »
Read Milton
Besides the obvious, what else?
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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2013, 09:12:40 AM »
"April is the cruellest month, breeding
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memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain."
-T.S. Eliot

Offline Shiny

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2013, 09:20:08 AM »
Read Milton

And be a walking KJV?
I recall Iconodule wishing he could talk like Captain Ahab.

But lulz.
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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2013, 03:29:51 PM »
How about reading H. P. Lovecraft? His English seems somewhat cryptic at times.

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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2013, 03:42:48 PM »
How about reading H. P. Lovecraft? His English seems somewhat cryptic at times.

Not everyone is up for dealing with the Great Old Ones at bedtime. ;)
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Re: Enhancing vocabulary?
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2013, 05:30:42 PM »
How about reading H. P. Lovecraft? His English seems somewhat cryptic at times.

If you think Lovecraft reaches for obscure words, try his friend Clark Ashton Smith.
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