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• I Give You My Word: A Sure Way to Improve Your Vocabulary

October 31, 2012

If you’re interested in improving your vocabulary in a simple, quick way, here’s one approach that has worked for me. I’ll give you a little background first: when I was in junior high (many, many years ago) I got this urge to improve my vocabulary. I don’t know why, I just did. So, I bought a mini-sized pocket dictionary and decided I would learn a new word a day. Each day, I randomly turned to a page, chose a word I didn’t know but thought was interesting, and I learned that word. Now that I am a professional writer, maybe this early strategy worked.

You can do exactly the same thing. Choose a pocket dictionary (it doesn’t have to be a mini; any paperback will do; something portable might be preferred) and choose one word a day to learn. No need to “learn” each word all in one day. Just keep adding it to your list of new words. I suggest highlighting each chosen word in the dictionary and putting a small “bookmark” (a small post-it; even made smaller with scissors will do) on each page that has a new word on it.

Try to remember the definition of each new word and use each word as often as possible verbally or in writing when appropriate and/or think about the word(s). Refer back to the dictionary and your bookmarks as often as you wish to start memorizing the words and their meaning.

This process worked for me. I believe it will work for you.

Happy word mining—may you “dig up” many, many interesting new words.

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