By Shashank Saurav:
What comprises a good vocabulary? Why do we need it? How can you improve your vocabulary? The root of the word Vocabulary is ‘Voc’ a Latin root meaning word or name. The root also appears in words like advocacy, vocal and vociferous. However we are not concerned with studying word roots because that is an archaic method generally meant for experts, not beginners.
Coming back to vocabulary, it is a vital and essential part of today’s learning. If you want to succeed in any enterprise or industry, you need to have a good vocabulary. It not only helps in polishing your personality but also helps boost your confidence level, thus, in essence, preparing you for interviews and newer challenges in your career, and helping you efface the doubts and trepidations residing in the minds of individuals with poor vocabulary.
Words are as important as the art of speaking itself. Without proper words the channels of communication remain barricaded. It is words that can prevent war and words which can bring about diplomatic solutions. Then again it is words who decide the fate of a leader and a government. The perfect words spoken in the right context can make helots the leaders of their clan and managers the heads of their department. Improper choice of words can lead to wrong conclusions creating pandemonium, and perhaps describes the many scandals and tragedies. Hence it is valuable to add powerful and nifty word to your arsenal. These when unleashed at the right moment can catapult you to unfathomable heights of success. Add a stentorian voice to this and we have for ourselves a future leader in the making.
Again it is important not only to know power words but also their correct usage. For example a verb like Lacerate can be used to depict both a physical tear and a mental fatigue. Say the knife lacerated his wound; her remarks lacerated his feelings. An adjective like halcyon denotes a state of peace and tranquility. Example: they spent several halcyon days by the sea shore. However it generally represents a state of calm and a mind free of disturbance in this particular situation and not everywhere else. So such words have to be used carefully.
Another advantage associated with improving your vocabulary is that it helps you in expressing your thoughts and feelings clearly and vividly. A combination of power words could pack a mighty punch when used profoundly. For example the word ‘Helot’, used above in this article, if preceded by ‘inarticulate’ can make a potent combination; ex: these inarticulate helots do not deserve the freedom of speech. In almost all top level foreign institutes a vocabulary test is conducted before granting admission to a candidate. In most of the cases it is found that those who have a good vocabulary are also able to maintain a decent grade point average throughout their academic career.
Undoubtedly there are other ways of achieving success; however this is the easiest one. Even if you spend 15 minutes daily on improving your vocabulary, it can work wonders for you within a year. An average adult’s working vocabulary is almost the same as that of a 15 year old teen. So isn’t it easy for you to surpass him by making the minimal effort?
Words like noisy, hatred, creepy, shout etc. are also forceful but these are known to most literate individuals. In order to create a gap and rise above this moribund vocabulary you need newer and stronger words that can replace a large number of weak and overused words in sentences.
You will need to improve your vocabulary anyways to crack major national and international entrance tests. So why wait, start now. How many words used in this article were you unfamiliar with?
The writer is a Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and also a student of BITS Pilani – Goa Campus.
Image by b_d_solis