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  1. #11
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Buy a couple vocab building books and switch off between them. Memory storage works better when you elaborate on the information you're fed. So, make associations, think about them, whatever it takes. Using the words in real life at the risk of sounding stupid is, I'd say, the most important factor. It's fun too. Make it as fun as you can, otherwise it'll get stale. When it slows down, change it up somehow.

  2. #12
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    A thesaurus is more useful than a dictionary for expanding your vocabulary.
    Actually, Merriam-Webster's synonymic families (e.g., here and here) have been essential to my understanding of language and subtle but decisive nuances in meaning.

    Make flash cards from folded post-it notes. Slip them in your pocket and memorize them.

  3. #13
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Read.

  4. #14
    The Unwieldy Clawed One Falcarius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    What have you found to be the best way to expand your vocabulary?
    Listen to your grandma and grandpa.

    Trust me, if they are anything like mine then half of their words don't exist any more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thalassa View Post
    Oh our 3rd person reference to ourselves denotes nothing more than we realize we are epic characters on the forum.

    Narcissism, plain and simple.

  5. #15
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Do you need it for a test?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #16
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    Pick a random word a day and try and use it in conversation.

  7. #17
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    Read.
    Yeah...

    I can't believe there's even a question.

    Until we can plug ourselves into computers like they can do in the matrix, the axiom is, read to expand vocab.

  8. #18
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    SIGN UP FOR ANU GARG'S "Word.A.Day" e-mail list! It's fantastic... great definitions, always a couple of examples of the word in use... massive archives in case you want to look at more... sometimes they'll have themes for the week, like "portmanteau words" or "Ancient Greek"... even if you do know the word, their breakdown of the etymology will often furnish you with a lot of new information that adds to your understanding of a word which you thought you knew a lot about before... for instance, where do "juggernaut", "taboo", and "hocus pocus" come from? (they're all from completely different sources)

    A.Word.A.Day Home Page : Word of the day, vocabulary, wordpower, words, language, quote, quotes, quotation, quotations, english, dictionary, lexicon, logophile, wordsmith, vocabulaire, vocabulario


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    Read... okay... read... but read what?!?!??!! You may not be into certain 19th-century authors... so there are others who'll expand your vocabulary while making you interested in finding out exactly what the hell they're talking about when they use words like "marmoreal" or "nacreous" or "nictitating".

    For a great 20th-century novel, read William Styron's "Sophie's Choice"... high-brow vocabulary... and while being literary he's also very hardcore... it's just a well-written book, worth reading entirely for its own sake.

    There are others but I sincerely doubt you're going to run to a bookstore and read all ten of my recommendations, so I'll leave you with Sophie's Choice...

    _______________________

    Oh, it should be obvious, but when you read, you should be noting these words down (either in a separate exercise book or on some of the blank pages at the end of the book you're reading)... if you're into the story and don't want to stop every time you need to look a word up (though in the age of Google it hardly takes 20 seconds), then when you write down the word, note the page number too...
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  9. #19
    Senior Member 6sticks's Avatar
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    Well I don't know about you lot but reading a dictionary cover to cover worked for me. But that's just how I trundle.
    No offense.

  10. #20
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6sticks View Post
    Well I don't know about you lot but reading a dictionary cover to cover worked for me. But that's just how I trundle.
    Reading a dictionary cover-to-cover is fine for getting the bare minimum... but words have histories which can't be discovered even through a tome as august and brilliant as the OED (and I know you haven't read the OED cover-to-cover)... you need to read them in action...

    It's like trying to understand people by reading psychology manuals instead of interacting with them on a daily basis...
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

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