How To Develop A Good Language

Good, charming, and captivating language is not reserved for few. Almost every writer can acquire it with some effort. Here are some suggestions:

1-Make it A Life-Long Quest: Using language is an art, and there is nothing there like final perfection. There is always a scope for improvement. Therefore make it a life-long quest to improve your language. Never think that you have reached the top, and never stop.

2-Read Good Writers: Every book-lover instinctively recognizes good writers — people who write with authority, but who are highly readable and enjoyable at the same time. Book-lovers are automatically drawn to such writers.

Read good writers and note how they use language. Notice that the effectiveness of their language is not because of using heave and indigestible words, but because of the natural and spontaneous language they use. Emulate them.

3-Read Things Written About Language: Many magazines carry a regular column related to language or vocabulary. Some call it Increase Your Word Power, while others call it Mind Your Language. The Towards More Picturesque Speech of the Reader’s Digest is another such column. Read all of them regularly.

Other magazines carry an occasional column, and still others occasionally carry full-length articles about language, usage, and abusage. Read them, and even clip and file them if possible.

Plenty of books related to language usage are available. Buy them if you can. It will be a great investment. Never ignore an opportunity for reading things written about language.

4-Acquire Tools: A lot of linguistic tools are available today. Paperback editions within reach if you plan your purchases thoughtfully.

Do acquire thesauruses, dictionaries of usages/abusages, prepositions, phrases, or anything else that you find useful. (Do not wait for writing till you find them. That is a lazy man’s excuse !) Consult them regularly.

5-Keep Studying: Acquiring tools and books does not guarantee proper use. Develop a strategy to use the tools regularly. Even join a course if necessary.

Several universities and private institutes offer course in “Good English”. Many of them even offer these courses through distance-education so that you do not have to take leave from your job to study them. Join one of them if needed. 6-Make a Life-long Commitment: Language is a writer’s only medium of communication. If you are deficient here, you will never become an author of any standing. Make a life-long commitment, therefore, to keep improving your language.

Never feel that you have finally arrive, and that no more improvement is possible. Be humble, and be a student of language all your life !