What's The Best Way To Increase You Vocabulary?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SamIchi, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #1
    I was just thinkin' maybe learn a new word a day, Constantly recite the defition, and write it down in a notebook. Anyone have soem good methods?
     
  2. Tahko macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2005
    Location:
    Finnland
    #2
    Write the word down and try to associate it with something familiar. Then find the word for that familiar thing and make a sentence. After that read it couple of times and speak it out, too.
     
  3. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    Apr 21, 2003
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    washington dc
    #3
    reading lots of different books, with a dictionary handy and nearby, is an excellent way to expand a vocabulary
     
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #4
    Isn't it easier just to read books every once in a while. There's tons of good literature out there. Just lookup any word you have trouble with (Apple's Dictionary is a good place to start). Your vocabulary should increase noticeably in very short time... :)

    Edit: Not unlike gwuMACaddict's advice... d*mn... beaten again... ;)
     
  5. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #5
    I don't read books at all... I'm just one of those people, yet I can sit in front of this computer screen for hours. I do look up words in articles i read, but that's about it. I should probably write those down.
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #6
    Reading good books and quality newspapers is definitely the best way to improve your vocabulary since you see the words in context and get some idea of the best way to use them.

    While flicking through the dictionary can be fun, you'll never take in the words sufficiently to ever really use them - and who knows whether your random word of the day will ever be useful.

    Doing compact crosswords can also be a good way of expanding vocabulary - if not a little frustrating initially.
     
  7. njmac macrumors 68000

    njmac

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #7
    My parents made me read the New York Times front page before I went to school. If there was a word I didn't know, I had to look it up, then use it in a sentence. You could try something similar with books, newspapers, magazines.
     
  8. MacHarne macrumors 6502

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    Mar 3, 2005
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    Virginia, U.S.A.
    #9
    This here's a winner. And now, with a dictionary in Dashboard, it couldn't be easier.
     
  9. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    Jul 3, 2004
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    Mac since 7.5
    #10
    Read. Books, newspapers, magazines, comic books... just read, baby.
     
  10. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #11
    Pick up a book and read it, this is the best way to increase "your" vocabulary. Reading is vital, it helps you learn, helps you escape, builds your creativity, expands your horizons; reading does all this and more.

    Also, kids that are read to often (as in every night) are shown to be generally brighter than those not read to by their parents so, if you ever have kids, read to them. Having kids is also a great way to build your vocab - you need to find as many ways to say "No" as you possibly can...
     
  11. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #12
    That is sound advice.
    SamIchi, is this in preparation for SATs or some other exam? I've always read books, lots and lots of them (books were the only items my dad would ever allow us to purchse:rolleyes: ) and when it came time for my SATs, I did NONE of those practice vocab drills or anything-- but my English score was fantastic! So reading reallly does help...
     
  12. stridey macrumors 65816

    stridey

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    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    #13
    You know, if you're not really a "heavy reading" person, why don't you ease into it? Try reading buying a collection of the comic "Calvin and Hobbes." Seriously. I know it's "kid's stuff," but that comic had more five dollar words than a lot of "serious" literature I've read. After you're used to that, you can work up to Dickens.
     
  13. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Location:
    downtown
    #14
    Webster.com offers a word of the day email. Click here to register!

    Today's word is:

     
  14. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #15
    Read, read, read! And not just on the computer either - there's something to be said for reading an actual book, newspaper, magazine, etc. There's something about having a physical copy of material and reading it in that manner which adds to the experience, rather than just scanning text on a screen.

    I read books all the time, magazines which actually have substance to them (not trash magazines), and another excellent method is crossword puzzles - I find they keep my mind sharp and build my vocabulary as well.

    I think far too many people are spending too much time on the computer and such when it comes to things like this, but that was already discussed in detail in another thread of mine - feel free to have a read through it as well, there were a great number of excellent points made. :cool:
     
  15. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #16
    In my younger days, I actually read a hardcover Oxford Dictionary. Then when I came across a word that described an action or expression I knew I wanted to express but didn't know the word, I would memorize it and try to apply the word to everyday conversations. Over time, certain words stick and then they become second nature in daily use.
     
  16. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #17
    Nope, no SAT's but I probably should have when I was in HS. The english part was hard. This is just for personal gain, and some other reasons.

    THe only thing I really go into was Manga (japanese comics) but that was about it, and I stopped reading those too. I read read online and magazines. I guess I could give books another shot *sigh*

    And thanks for the comments guys.
     
  17. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    Jun 4, 2003
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    1123.6536.5321
    #18
    Thanks for the link, I think I just might sign up for fun! :)
     
  18. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #19
    I did the "word of the day" thing from http://www.m-w.com for awhile. It was nice, but I found that, for me at least, learning words in such an "out of context" way just didn't cut it.

    As a kid I read a lot. I've got several hundred books on my shelves that, over time, helped me to develop a better vocabulary.

    Quick question for you folks - does someone with a large vocabulary who tends to use obscure words appear to you to be knowledgeable, or just pretentious? I find myself not using "big words," if you will, since I tend to think others look at that unfavorably. As a result, I wonder if my vocabulary has actually atrophied as a result.
     
  19. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #20
    Powermac 666's advice is the best. Keep a dictionary handy and read your butt off.
     
  20. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #21
    I concur! Hee. Seriously though, I think a lot of people really do see that sort of diction as condescending. My vocabulary was better in jr high and high school than it is now. Definitely experiencing brain atrophy, over here. :eek:
     
  21. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #22
    OTOH, I have added an entirely new dimension to my vocabulary that didn't exist 10 years ago. LOL. ROFL. BTW. IMHO. pwned. ;)
     
  22. FredAkbar macrumors 6502a

    FredAkbar

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    #23
    This is a little different from what most of us are suggesting (and I, too, upon seeing the question, immediately thought, Read!), but last year in HS I took a class called Latin Origins in which you learn hundreds of Latin (and Greek) prefixes and roots. I found that my vocabulary, and especially my ability to figure out what an unfamiliar word might mean, greatly improved. That was way more fun for me than just memorizing random words would have been.
     
  23. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #24
    Ah, etymology. Really is a great idea, if you have the option of attending a class on this. Being able to determine the meaning of a word through either context or component parts is extremely valuable - since you won't always have a dictionary.
     
  24. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #25
    That's a really good suggestion-- learning Latin. Don't know any place around here that offers it though. Sounds like fun. :(
     

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