The Importance of Having an Extensive Vocabulary

Did you know ‘Lexicon’ is a synonym for vocabulary? Well, I didn’t know before my research. Vocabulary has few more synonyms: wordbook, dictionary, wordlist, glossary, concordance and thesaurus.

Vocabulary is defined as the body of words in a particular language. I would simply say, it is all the words a person knows in a particular language.

We don’t have to learn all the words in the dictionary to have command over a language. We must know enough words and their synonyms to express our emotions or convey our message effectively.

As a child, my dad was quite determined that we converse mainly in English, so he used to talk to us only in English. According to him, to have command over a language you have to converse in that particular language every day. And I can’t agree any less. We can articulate better if we converse in that language every day. However, as a child I did have few difficult situations where I couldn’t express myself and I would run to my mom and secretly express what I want in my regional language. But I thank my dad for making me speak in English right from childhood. It is important to express and let others know what you need and feel, despite the communication gap. It’s a basic human need to communicate and express oneself. Having said that, we wouldn’t always have the luxury to run to our mom if we are in a business meeting or when we are speaking to our customers or clients. Our best choice would be to get better with communication skills and vocabulary.

Many of us may have experienced the below situations:

  • There are times when you are in between a conversation and you just can’t remember the right word to express something at that moment. We experience this tip-of-the-tongue moment and we try to think of that specific word. You may remember the first letter or syllables of the word, but not the exact word. Then we might end up adding a lot of fillers in our sentences to complete the conversation. This could be because we don’t use that word regularly
  • We don’t know the exact word that we want to use to express. We know it in our regional language. So we try to fill in with some other word that is close enough to end the communication. However, it may not be the exact word or emotion we would like to express

Some of us may have experienced the above situations. This could be due to our limited vocabulary or it could also mean that we are not fluent enough and it definitely impacts our communication.

For an effective communication, it is important to have an extensive vocabulary. Vocabulary definitely creates a good impression and it also boosts your confidence level. Nobody likes to get stuck during a conversation. The worst is someone else filling in words while you’re speaking. Everyone loves to be as articulate as possible. Like our body needs workout or exercises every day, our communication skills also need to be worked on. There are few tips from my end, but you can always plan the best approach for yourself.

  • Reading a newspaper or book
  • Writing – Writing not only improves your language skills but it also channels and improves your thought process
  • Listening to News
  • Watching some famous TV shows or series
  • Word Games
  • Learn a word a day and use that word during the day in your conversations
  • Always keep a dictionary handy – either online dictionary or a hardcopy –Dictionary will not only give you the meaning of the word but also synonyms, how to use the word in a sentence, word origin, word forms (noun, verb) and also listen to how they are pronounced (online dictionary)
  • A Collocation is a familiar grouping of words, especially words that habitually appear together and thereby convey meaning by association. For instance: school premises, heavy rain, play ground
  • Learn words in group and use them in sentences. For instance: throw a party, apply for a job
  • Learn through reading story books. Beginners can start with children’s story book and then move on to more challenging books
  • If you love listening to music, find songs which are not fast so that you can listen to the lyrics. Songs use colloquial language or slang words. You can learn these words by downloading the lyrics

If you have any more suggestions, please feel free to comment. Thanks!

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About the Author: Sharmila Mathew

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shillpa gajendra
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superb. I am from vernacular medium. on every stage I faced this problem but yeah now I read a lot and i am little better.

Salil phatak
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Salil phatak

Nicely written shams..!!

Jayanti
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Jayanti

Well written, liked the follow of article!

Julie Anto
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Julie Anto

Well said. Keep them coming. Today I learned too what a Lexicon is 🙂

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