There are about 200,000 words in the English language and approximately 1,000 new words come to the fold of the language every year. Undoubtedly, the English language has so many words, and an average person can’t know the meaning and usage of every single word.
However, it is easy for an average person to build a robust set of vocabulary with deliberate practice and conscious efforts.
A person with a wide set of vocabulary is considered knowledgeable and interesting to talk with as he/she crafts the conversation in a very articulate and logical manner. A wide repertoire of vocabulary gives an advantage to a person to influence others and makes his/her point like a winner.
It is not uncommon to see that people with a great range of vocabulary are the most eloquent speakers, influencers, great salespeople, political leaders, change agents, and leaders. Similarly, people with excellent vocabulary bag their desired jobs, enjoy high social standing, have a lively friend circle and are the life of a business meet or an informal party.
It does not mean that those kinds of people are gifted with a photographic memory or read their favourite language throughout the day. Well, some of them might, but a majority of them achieved this feat by conscious effort and relentless practice.
You too can enrich your vocabulary by following these simple steps:
1. Read voraciously
When you read more, you come across many new words, and you tend to figure out the meaning of the words from the way a sentence is structured. It does not matter what books you read. It can be fiction, non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, or blogs, but the book has to be a notch above your difficulty level, then only you can learn new words.
2. Use thesaurus, or online search to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words
When you come across a new word, search it in the dictionary to determine its meaning and pronunciation. If you are not comfortable with the idea of turning the pages of dictionary or thesaurus every time you come across an unfamiliar word, you can search the meaning of the word in a search engine.
3. Write a journal to maintain an exhaustive list of the new words you come across
This not only provides you with positive reinforcement, but it also helps you refer back to the list time and again, and revise the words that you have jotted down in your journal.
4. Set yourself a learning target
You can start your day by setting yourself a goal to learn a specific number of words depending on your memorizing capacity. You can start your morning by jotting down five to ten new words on a piece of paper and try to memorize those throughout the day.
5. Play word games such as Scrabble, Crossword puzzles, Boggle, word jumble, and anagrams
Word games challenge you to use your brain in a fun way and enable you to discover new words and meanings as you play along. This is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends and also learn new words to enrich your vocabulary.
6. Take part in conversations with other people whom you consider good at the language
If you are a non-native speaker, then you can observe the way native speakers speak and the words they bring to fore in everyday usage. This will help you in making friends as well as enhance your vocabulary by leaps and bounds.
7. Take up some foreign languages such as Greek, Roman, and Latin
A major portion of the English language and vocabulary is derived from Greek, Roman, and Latin. One of the easiest ways to gain mastery over the language is to study the languages from which the language has been derived. By studying Greek, Roman, and Latin not only you can widen your vocabulary, but also decode the meaning of other unfamiliar words.
Although vocabulary is not a sign of superior intelligence, a strong vocabulary indicates extensive study, love for the language, and a genuine concern for the audience. A person acquires an impressive range of vocabulary by studying extensively, having a passion for the language, and going the extra mile to intrigue and inform their audience.