Improving Your Vocabulary

Contrary to what many people believe, improving and enlarging one’s vocabulary does not work against simplicity of language. The larger the vocabulary to which a writer has access, the better will be his comprehension and communication with his readers.

What Is The Value Of Having A Good Vocabulary

Having command over a large vocabulary helps the writer in more than one way. It results at least in the following.

1-Increased Comprehension: A writer might be an ordinary person, but his call to write is definitely an extraordinary challenge. He cannot hope to succeed if he continues at the intellect and comprehension of his readers. He has to rise above them, and must acquire a mastery over numerous subjects.

A larger vocabulary will help him to read at a level higher than that of his readers. It will also ensure that he comprehends these subjects — written probably at a greater depth — accurately and without unduly straining himself. The teacher or guide should definitely have a comprehension at least one step above that of his followers.

2-Increased Accuracy In Thinking: No man can think without using words, and none can think with a greater accuracy than his vocabulary would allow.

Consider a man who thinks of salvation. If he does not have vocabulary enough to distinguish between potential salvation, positional salvation, experiential salvation, and ultimate salvation, then he will never be able to understand salvation accurately. Consequently he will misread Biblical statements related to experiential or ultimate salvation as positional salvation. If he has only the word love to express ideas as varied as lust, longing, intimacy, commitment, passion, attraction, and infatuation, he will never be able to think sensibly on these subjects.
The greater the vocabulary that one has, the greater is the accuracy of one’s thinking. One does not have to stress the implications of this for potential writers !!

3-Increased Accuracy of Expression: Just as one needs a good vocabulary for accurate thinking, one needs it also for accurately expressing oneself.

If a writer has only the word “fix” in his vocabulary to denote dilemma, predicament, crisis, emergency, plight, trap, trouble, repair, secure, fasten, arrange, adjust, establish, attach, affix, bind, connect, etc, he will never be able to express himself accurately on these subjects.

Using words heavier than necessary shows pride, but using wrong or ambiguous worlds shows poverty of mind. This will only hinder clear communication. When the correct word in context is “connect”, using “fix” will only produce ambiguity.

The richer one’s vocabulary, therefore, the greater is the choice for words available, and the greater is the possibility of discovering the apt word.

4-Greater Mental Growth: Mental growth and maturity depends upon how much a person is able to use his mind. Since words are the vehicle needed to set mind into motion, the greater the vocabulary, the greater will be the growth.

If a person’s vocabulary is no bigger than his infant’s, his mind is also going to be no more than infantile. The greater the vocabulary, the greater is a person’s perception — in depth as well as in breadth. Consequently, greater will be the mental growth