Yikes! it’s the photo of the white dictionary again (from the post two weeks ago). But notice the key. I discovered that students who were erudite with words usually found the key to accomplished their goals. But that was no surprise.
A person’s strong vocabulary is a way to access his/her intelligence.
But then that’s no surprise either. We build on a foundation of understanding, and the more we understand the more knowledge we acquire. Thus, the more we know, the more intelligent we are.
But here’s the thing, our intelligence isn’t a fix amount of something. It’s dynamic, it fluctuates, and that’s probably dependent on our state of health, our emotional status, and our changing environments. It’s very much a part of what we do and what we’ve done. The more experiences we have, the more enriched our life, and the more we will know.
In my post two weeks ago (Are You a Wordsmith?) you had the opportunity to test your vocabulary skills compared to others in your age group. Here’s a website that gives you a new word a day and also has a ten-item vocabulary timed test. There are many of these sites out there, but I like this particular one because if I’m in the mood I can take the ten-item test over and over (the words change for each test). Again, you can compare your score to others in your age group. I think getting a new word for each day is rather cool, too.
When we write, we’re cautioned to not over state, “My computer program blew up.” When we mean, “I found an error and my program failed.” And we’re warned against using complicated nouns when simple ones work better. Just watch television for a few minutes and the reason is obvious: rain = a high likelihood of precipitation, meeting = conference to facilitate communication, and fired=terminated.
When you improve your vocabulary, you increase your ability to make the right word choices for what you write. If you know the shades of meaning of different verbs, you’ll write with strong verbs that can do the work of weak ones without those “ly” adjectives. “He angrily walked out of the room.” “He stomped out of the room.”
We need to keep that collection of new multi-syllable words out of our writing, but they do help us to understand and build other word connections. When that happens, our writing becomes stronger. We want to make our writing coruscate. Besides, it’s rather fun to impress friends and family.
Have fun with the word of the day and the ten-word quiz at this website.