Learning New Words And Their Meanings

I used to love learning new words and attempting to use them in my speech or writing. I remember the lovely workbooks we had in school which were meant for vocabulary building. How I wish I had kept one! They were so well designed. There was meaning, pronunciation, roots and usage. We were then asked to use those words in sentences.

Of late, I’ve been attempting to learn new words again and am enjoying the exercise. I’m certain that this learning will help me express myself better. I might insert a few new words into my posts too, so watch out! (only kidding!).

So what’s a good way of going about learning new words and their meanings?

Here is what I do. It may or may not work for you, but will give you a rough idea.

  1. I read a lot. All sorts of books.
  2. And whenever I come across a new word, I look for the meaning in the dictionary.
  3. I check the pronunciation. I’m fortunate enough to have studied phonetics. But I also have a ‘talking dictionary’. If I’m online, I check the pronunciation on the internet.
  4. I look at the root word. This is one of the best ways of learning new words. Many English words come from Latin or ancient Greek. E.g. Latin – obscura / Meaning – dark / English word derived – obscure
  5. I’ve started to keep a journal to write down all the new words I come across.
  6. I’ve also signed up Dictionary.com’s ‘Word-of-the-Day‘. There are several other similar sites.
  7. I attempt to use these words in conversation and will slowly move them to my writing.
  8. I play word games online. There are a lot of word games that you can play online and offline – Scrabble, Boggle, Lexicon, etc.

So one Day 5 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words #4, attempt to use a few new words in your writing.  Here are some you might like to try out! 🙂

  • gainsay
  • geminate
  • hidebound
  • quidnunc
  • eternize
  • tatterdemalion
  • middling

Even better if you used all 7 words in a story/ a paragraph! I know I would love to read that!

Do you like learning new words? What’s the method you use?



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