One fine evening I decided to begin work on improving my vocabulary. The task seemed quite arduous as the decision came out of the sheer necessity to succeed in the competitive exams. To qualify for any these exams it is important to have a sound command over the English language and along comes a good vocabulary. After spending a decent amount of time in scanning the long list of words for days and months, I was pretty confident of one of my existing vocabulary, which was decent if not extraordinary. But gradually, I found myself not very confident about having a good vocabulary and at times I was frustrated as all my efforts seemed to go in vain. It was a revelation for me that one word can has so many meanings, so many connotations and varied usage forms, which left me all the more confused and dilemmatic. I wondered why we are expected to know everything about words. This brought me to a halt in my quest for a while till I was convinced that my efforts will last.
And then something clicked in my mind, I thought is it a blessing in disguise that a single word can help us express varied things or vice-versa, because if words are not used appropriately, it can change the whole meaning. Are words enough to mirror what we experience and what we feel? Can they symbolize the inherent meaning of what we want to convey? I found that the answer to these questions is sometimes yes and sometimes no. Remember the last time you wanted to convey something but found yourself short of words and the other time you had so much to say but you were not able to. When you think about all this, you will know that this is a game which is pretty amusing and interesting at the same time.
Did you know that Oxford English dictionary has some 5, 00, and 000 words listed excluding all the scientific and technical terms? On an average, an educated individual knows about 20,000 words and uses about 2,000 words in a week. So my personal word list is already good, it is just that I need to keep myself updated now and then.
After a lot of introspection, I finally came to the conclusion that association with words can’t just be drawn from the meaning only. It needs a profound understanding of words. With time some words become obsolete and new terms are coined. So the need is to keep oneself updated like we keep ourselves updated on all the new trends in case of technology, clothes, accessories and lifestyle.
So this time when I again started this word game; it no longer seemed a cumbersome effort. Rather it became an enjoyable one. Now my interaction with words grew many fold as I started recognizing words not from mere scanning the word lists but by reading more and more and getting well versed with the usage of words along with their connotations. So recognize the power of words as they equip you to express yourself better. And the next time you get paranoid on the mere thought of scanning the long word lists again, don’t panic instead try making friends with words.
In words of George Bernard Shaw “Words are like postage stamps delivering the object for you to unwrap.”
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