Building a Killer Vocabulary
By: Akash Gautam (India’s favorite Motivator, Mentor & Success Coach)
A powerful Vocabulary’ is a deep desire with almost everyone who I meet; wherever I go.
It is an irony that people in China & Russia speak in Chinese & Russian; but we in India feel gladder speaking in English. This serves a few advantages too. We Indians; despite our ‘Indlish’ get accepted more well- globally.
In fact, it becomes increasingly difficult to make any kind of progress – be it a career progress or a progress even in the relationship with the opposite gender; if you do not bring with you- the charisma of hygienic English. Vocabulary is like the make up of the bride (very few genuinely understand it, but it looks good).
Vocabulary gives one the confidence of a notorious kind. Women with good vocabularies, feel all the more beautiful carrying themselves. Men, on the other hand- feel more powerful – when they speak ‘Vocab intensive English’, which is unlikely to get understood by the person listening. MACHO MEN!! Add to that the slang- words like waana, gonaa, etc.. – one begins to feel ‘COOL’. It is unfortunate, that we have changed the original meaning of the word ‘COOL’ so much.
People, with good vocabularies- who I have met – have
1) Either been good readers in their school/ college days or
2) Have had a great public schooling background.
The lesser mortals thus shall need to work it out- else very soon a strange feeling shall start creeping in their minds; a feeling of diffidence- which only grows with time. This shall be an unfortunate situation then.
First things first- I recommend you to take a ‘Vocabulary Test’ at www.akashgautam.com . This will test your present Vocabulary Status.
Further, I recommend the following for having a powerful vocabulary:
‘How voracious you are’ – is going to decide- where you’ll be at the end of next one year (after you’ve finished reading this article). It comes down to two things ultimately: 1) hunger & 2) tenacity to carry on. I have met 1000’s who I saw starting; but failed to carry on. The choice is yours. People fail to carry on here – because they feel –“I am doing so much, still results are not coming fast”. Please understand – ‘Ye 20-22 saal ke paap hain; itni jaldi kaisey dhulengay’( Your sins in English are pretty old; they’ll take time to get purged).
A lot of us start- do note down words here & there & then somewhere loose those notes. The trick is to snowball your effort by doing it at one place only. I recommend a big, fat, thick register- something you think is going to stay with you for a lot of time. It shall be your repository of words; your- one point of contact for all your efforts in Vocabulary.
- MAINTAIN A REGISTER:
A register has a left hand page & a right hand page. On a single side –do not make notes of more than 2 or 3 words. I mean – give due respect to the words you are choosing to remember.
When you write a particular word e.g. ‘SAGACIOUS’ – dedicate 6/7 lines of the register page for that word.
It is very important to maintain this register. You will never be able to remember it fine – if you do not write. In a way, you are making your own little dictionary in that register.
On any day – do not try to write/ learn more than 10 words (If you are doing 5-6; it is perfectly fine).
I strongly recommend that you take words only from the day’s newspapers. I would not recommend novels because they shall not provide fresh & contemporary associations for remembering. A newspaper would; on the contrary give a fresh example with the sentence- which is likely to get remembered e.g. <sachin is="" the="" pinnacle="" of="" his="" form="">.</sachin>
- FROM WHERE DO YOU TAKE WORDS?
Start picking up words from the newspapers & start filling the registers. Next- when you choose a particular word- go to a good dictionary & transcribe / write all the meaningful stuff from the dictionary to the register.
- WHAT NEXT?
Connect the word to people, places, events & things around you. Think – this word can get associated with whom? It is a patience game. Go slow. Enjoy your slowness. E.g. if you are doing a word say, ‘CORPULENT’ – it means fat, link it up with a very fat person that you know e.g. Chadha aunty. The trick is to connect the new information with an old information that already exists in your mind; the same reason- why we ask for landmarks.
Then leave 4-5 lines blank. This has a purpose. Whenever you will revise this word- write a sentence / use that word in a sentence in that space. If you have used that word in 3-4 sentences after 3-4 revisions- it is likely that the particular word becomes a part of your active vocabulary.
Remember the first day of your college. Were you acquainted with all the people in your class? No- I guess. How is it – that you know, most of them now? This is because- you frequented them – met them again & again, noticed peculiarities about them. The same is the case with words- the more you meet them, the more they will be yours.
- REVISE / FREQUENT:
Back it up with one hour plus of daily ‘Good English News Channels’ & loads of good reading. Remember- there is no substitute for a good reading habit. Other ways which will come handy are: Remembering word roots / prefixes / suffixes. These have a multiplying effect on your memory e.g. if you know the root- ‘somno’. It means ‘sleep’. You certainly should end up guessing the words- ‘Somnambulism’ or ‘Somniloquism’ or ‘Somnolent’. But do not worry – there are so many roots/ prefixes / suffixes to remember & they are also difficult to memorize. So, do that much only – which easily gets remembered.
- BACK IT UP WITH:
1) Enjoy doing all of this
- THE MOST IMPORTANT POINTS:
2) Feel energetic while doing all this
3) Do it religiously for 6 months & then see the difference.
English se ghabraao mat. Wo kehte hain kee ‘Ghabraa kar mar jayyengay…Main kehtaa hoon- kee agar mar ke bhee chain naa milaa – to phir kahaan jaaogay’…
Akash does a magical session on ‘Bollycabulary- Bollywood + Vocabulary’. It is a must attend. It helps one remember some 150+ difficult vocabulary words in just 3 hrs.Academic Institutions of repute, Corporate organizations etc. can ‘INVITE’ Akash to do this special event for them. Visit www.akashgautam.com for ‘INVITING AKASH’.
TWO SMART ‘MUST Dos’ for a fabulously rich & better Vocabulary:
- Use FaceBook more purposefully. Join Asia’s biggest & craziest FB Community on Vocabulary & Grammar. Click on www.facebook.com/akashkavocabdhaba for the same.
- Subscribe to Akash Gautam's blog and receive notifications of new posts (especially on Communication etc.) by email. Click on http://akashgautam.com/blog for the same.