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Anyone have any tips/resources for expanding vocabulary?

Blake_Foxx

Member
I think in writing, and even just in general communication, a person can only go as far as their vocabulary. I would like to find new words, new phrases, and new ways to describe things. I think going through the dictionary from A to Z might not be the best way to do that though. Does anyone perhaps have any useful advice on this?
 

Aleu

Deuces
A thesaurus.

As for phrases, just look up common ones online depending on the character and where they are from. Or just make it up.
 

Conker

Destroyer of Nazi Teddy Bears
Honestly? Read a lot. Enjoyable and it can build your vocabulary up.
 

Blake_Foxx

Member
Thanks for the advice. I'll have to keep it in mind. I've been taking to reading some of the stories on FA lately. Some make me cringe, and others are really amazing so I suppose that's been useful in its own way.

Also Thesaurus might be a great idea, though it does have the limitation of only being applicable to things I already have a word for lol
 

Jashwa

Member
Honestly? Read a lot. Enjoyable and it can build your vocabulary up.
^ This, and not most amateur stuff. Read legit books by good authors. Game of Thrones taught me a lot of words I didn't know before. Granted, most of them are pretty out of date by now, but there are a few new ones.
 

Conker

Destroyer of Nazi Teddy Bears
Thanks for the advice. I'll have to keep it in mind. I've been taking to reading some of the stories on FA lately. Some make me cringe, and others are really amazing so I suppose that's been useful in its own way.

Also Thesaurus might be a great idea, though it does have the limitation of only being applicable to things I already have a word for lol
A Thesaurus is a great resource, but be careful. I've read some books/stories where it seemed pretty obvious the author was abusing the thesaurus.
^ This, and not most amateur stuff. Read legit books by good authors. Game of Thrones taught me a lot of words I didn't know before. Granted, most of them are pretty out of date by now, but there are a few new ones.
Yeah. I feel like every Stephen King novel I read I learn three or so new words and have a grand time in the process.

H.P. Lovecraft has one hellova vocabulary too, though most of his crazy words have fallen to the wayside. Still worth a look if you want some variety.
 

Gnarl

The Arcane Sage
Read the rambling orations of Samuel Clemens. If that doesn't spark you then perhaps... ... ... Monty Python?
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
1) Go to the "Reference" section of a bookstore, and look for the shelves devoted to Writing. There are a number of dictionaries, glossaries, and thesauri created just for writers and researchers. My favorite is the "Describer's Dictionary" by David Grambs.

2) Read the classics of literature. https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/classic-literature

3) Check out the Grandiloquent Dictionary. It's a great, fun resource.

4) Keep writing and speaking! Practice, practice, practice!
 

Blake_Foxx

Member
I've been doing so. My latest read was Richard Dawkin's 'The God Delusion' I'm currently working on a complete collection of Sherlock Holmes. :3
 

Blake_Foxx

Member
I love Stephen King! <3

I especially loved 'Insomnia'

Thank you everyone for the advice, and apologies on the double post. I'm not fully used to the forum here yet xD
 

Conker

Destroyer of Nazi Teddy Bears
I've been doing so. My latest read was Richard Dawkin's 'The God Delusion' I'm currently working on a complete collection of Sherlock Holmes. :3
God Delusion is a good book.

Here's another tip when it comes to reading: Read outside your norm and genre. You're more apt to find some new vocab words if you hit up say, science books (like Dawkins) when you don't really venture much into science.

Plus it might learn you a bit :p
 

Alexxx-Returns

The Sergal that Didn't Vore
You should try hanging out with other people who have a broader vocabulary than you. You'll pick up so much from them.
 

Blake_Foxx

Member
Reading outside of my norms might be a great idea. I'll be sure to keep that in mind. I suppose my dad has been trying to get me to read Atlas Shrugged for awhile now. It's supposed to be fairly good, but I'm not so all about the philosophy behind the book. It's always best I think though to explore an idea even if you don't necessarily agree. Gets you out of your own worldview.

Unfortunately that's hard to come by where I live.
 

Cain

Guess what mood I'm in today.
Reading! Yes, reading.

If you can't find the more eloquent pieces of prose, take a look at fanfictions. Yes, the mere mention of that word may bring shivers down people's spines, but seriously. Good fanfictions, and I cannot stress that enough, good fanfictions, are effectively good books, provided you like that fandom and aren't particularly offended by the author having his/her own take on events outside or inside the realms of canon, they can be incredibly good. Like, really good. From experience, I have read fanfics where I have been absolutely blown away by both the quality and literary prowess of the authors, and some remain some of the best things I've ever read.
Also, they're online, so easy access.
 

ACraZ

Member
Reading outside of my norms might be a great idea. I'll be sure to keep that in mind. I suppose my dad has been trying to get me to read Atlas Shrugged for awhile now. It's supposed to be fairly good, but I'm not so all about the philosophy behind the book. It's always best I think though to explore an idea even if you don't necessarily agree. Gets you out of your own worldview.

Unfortunately that's hard to come by where I live.

Ayn Rand... ugh... I hate her. Not to do with her writing, just the philosophy of her and those who follow her... anyway the main thing is reading fiction. There is a higher standard of writing for fiction over nonfiction, though of course you must read good fiction, the greats like Hemingway or John Stienbeck. Thoreau is a great read if you want to look at nonfiction though
 

Conker

Destroyer of Nazi Teddy Bears
Ayn Rand... ugh... I hate her. Not to do with her writing, just the philosophy of her and those who follow her... anyway the main thing is reading fiction. There is a higher standard of writing for fiction over nonfiction, though of course you must read good fiction, the greats like Hemingway or John Stienbeck. Thoreau is a great read if you want to look at nonfiction though
While I don't think you need to read the Literary masters out there, it sure won't hurt. The language/prose style of books of yore is very different than it is now, and I do think it's valuable to have some knowledge of it. It's cool to see how things evolve, and that includes writing.

Plus its fun to be pretentious and "well read."

The good part about those older authors is most of their works are in the public domain, so you can find them online for free.
 

Blake_Foxx

Member
Reading! Yes, reading.


If you can't find the more eloquent pieces of prose, take a look at fanfictions. Yes, the mere mention of that word may bring shivers down people's spines, but seriously. Good fanfictions, and I cannot stress that enough, good fanfictions, are effectively good books, provided you like that fandom and aren't particularly offended by the author having his/her own take on events outside or inside the realms of canon, they can be incredibly good. Like, really good. From experience, I have read fanfics where I have been absolutely blown away by both the quality and literary prowess of the authors, and some remain some of the best things I've ever read.
Also, they're online, so easy access.


Actually I love reading fan-fictions. They are sometimes really good. I need to read a bit more in the area of published works though. I'm always open to reading, I really enjoy it to be honest. I think I've got more than a few books in mind already, and I intend to keep myself open to new suggestions. So please feel free to suggest away.


Ayn Rand... ugh... I hate her. Not to do with her writing, just the philosophy of her and those who follow her... anyway the main thing is reading fiction. There is a higher standard of writing for fiction over nonfiction, though of course you must read good fiction, the greats like Hemingway or John Stienbeck. Thoreau is a great read if you want to look at nonfiction though


I'm not the biggest fan, but I understand that the book is apparently a really good work of fiction. I intend to read it next I think. Once I finish with Sherlock Holmes, I've been rather eager to start on that one. :)
 

powderhound

Member
Supposedly reading the Wall Street Journal. To improve the verbal scores on standardized exams a subscription is included in your test prep course. I didn't read any of them. My proffesors say reading a copy during the jury selection process will keep you from being picked as well.
 

Hooky

Was hermiting.
Honestly? Read a lot. Enjoyable and it can build your vocabulary up.
If you happen to see an unusual word, write it down. Then try to use that word as much as possible over the next few days. Afterwards, it should sit comfortably within your vocabulary, ready to be exhumed when necessary.
 
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Blake_Foxx

Member
If you happen to see an unusual word, write it down. Then try to use that word as much as possible over the next few days. Afterwards, it should sit comfortably within your vocabulary, ready to be exhumed when necessary.

I used to do that all the time when I was younger xD
 

Benji

HOMO CRUSADER o.O
Keep it interesting for yourself! That's really important. Read all the books you can. The Chronicles of Narnia series is a top pick.

However, I know from experience that reading gets tedious. I recommend watching British television like Sherlock or Downton Abbey. If you want a laugh, go on Youtube and watch some old skits from Monty Python's Flying Circus. Brits know how to use good words well.
 
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