When it comes to speaking or writing, are you lost for words? Or do you use the same ones over and over and over and over and – you get the point.
Having a limited vocabulary can be extremely frustrating, causing you to struggle to find ways to express yourself eloquently and concisely. It may even hold you back in your career. Writers, for example, need to possess a wildly varied vocabulary in order to engage, inspire and inform. Repetitious language, on the other hand, is just not on.
While Word’s Thesaurus is a godsend when it comes to document writing, it’s never ideal to become reliant on something (calculators are a totally different case, cough). Furthermore, what about your everyday conversations? How will you effortlessly articulate how wonderful that affogato dessert was, or what the scenery was like during your trip to Tuscany?
If you’re serious about cramming more words into your brain, here are five ways to go about it.
Read like You’ve Never Read before
Undoubtedly the Number One thing you can do to transform yourself into a wordsmith, reading is one of life’s greatest joys. Branch out and read genres you’ve never read before; not only will you open yourself up to new expressions, but you may just surprise yourself and enjoy a different style of writing!
A great way to keep yourself reading is to join or create a Book Club with your friends. At each meeting, you’ll analyse and discuss a book that someone has chosen. Alternatively, you could challenge yourself to read for at least 20 minutes every day. Try sneaking in some downtime before you go to bed – it’s a great way to relax and get ready for some serious snoozing.
Play Word Games
Scrabble. Words with Friends. WordFeud. Good old fashioned crosswords. There are so many games out there designed to sharpen and test your language skills. What are you waiting for? Get playing!
Broaden your Social Reach
It was St Augustine who said, The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. Apply this concept to the people in your life and you’ll realise that you are missing out on dozens upon dozens of fascinating conversations, stories and points of views. It’s amazing how quickly the mannerisms and sayings of others naturally rub off on us. Sometimes this can be good and sometimes this can be bad. It’s like, totally cray cray.
Make a Note of all those Unfamiliar Terms
If you really want something, you have to work for it. Start consciously thinking about all the new and exciting words, expressions or phrases that you come across. Keep a notebook handy and jot them all down. It may take the fun out of reading a little, but it will also give you a new appreciation for the author.
Word of the Day
This is probably the simplest and most practical way of introducing new words into your life. To get your daily dosage of words, you could purchase one of those cute little flip calendars for your desk, subscribe to a website/blog that emails them out, or install a specialised app. Try and incorporate the word of the day into your writing, whether it be in an email or formal piece of work.