What Can You do to Improve Your Vocabulary?

A key focus of my blog is General Education. No matter which sector you’re in, your vocabulary is absolutely critical. It will open and close doors for you, and it will shape people’s view of you. The following contributed post is entitled, What Can You do to Improve Your Vocabulary?

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Having a strong vocabulary can put you at an advantage in several ways. It’s not all about sounding clever and confusing people with words that they don’t know. When you have a large vocabulary, you also have the knowledge behind the words. You can talk to people about different topics and understand a range of contexts. A larger vocabulary can also make you a good speaker and a good writer, not just by giving you big words to use but by helping you understand when it’s appropriate to use which words. If you want to expand your vocabulary, take a look at these ideas to do so.

Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus

Having a dictionary and thesaurus on hand can be really handy when you want to improve your vocabulary. You can look up words whenever you want, to find out what they mean or to find synonyms. Of course, it’s now much easier to carry a dictionary and thesaurus everywhere you go. You can have an app on your phone or find a website to use whenever you want to look up a word. And if you’re particularly dedicated to expanding your vocabulary, you can even read a dictionary or thesaurus for fun.

Challenge Yourself

Setting yourself word-related challenges can help you to learn more words. There are lots of different games you can play and ways you can challenge yourself. When you have a phone or tablet, you can take word games with you wherever you go. And if you want to cheat a little, you can also get Wordscapes answers and answers for a range of other mobile games. When you challenge yourself, you can find that you’ll push yourself more to learn new things. Compete with your friends or other people, and you will want to improve so that you can beat them.

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Expand Your Horizons

You don’t necessarily have to focus on learning words to pick up new vocabulary. You can learn new words by reading, watching and listening to new things. You’re especially likely to learn new words if you explore topics that you’re not familiar with or enjoy things from different eras or countries. When you expand your horizons and open your mind to new things, you’re sure to come across new words to add to your vocabulary. Speak to new people too, and you could pick up new words from them.

Put New Words Into Use

Having a wide vocabulary isn’t much use if you never use it. Putting the words that you learn into use will help to cement them in your vocabulary. Whether you use them when you’re writing or employ them when you’re talking, it will give you the chance to show off what you’ve learned. However, it’s also important to know when to use new words. If it’s something obscure that most people won’t know, you could end up just having to reword what you’re saying so that people understand.

If you want to improve your vocabulary, you can work on it in a number of ways. Your improved vocabulary could even help you to find new opportunities in life.

Keywords: 3 Essentials For Online Entrepreneurs

Two of the key focuses of my blog are Business and Entrepreneurship and Technology. With so much business being conducted online these days, an important consideration is how potential customers will you find your business and your products. The following contributed post is thus entitled; Keywords: 3 Essentials For Online Entrepreneurs.

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It is impossible to say that there is a magic formula when it comes to business. Some businesses appear, on the surface, to break all the established rules of what constitutes a “good” business – but they seem to succeed anyway. Other companies seemingly do everything right and make all the smart decisions, but for some reason, the business never quite thrives.

However, there are some aspects of business that greatly lend themselves towards success, and enjoy a far higher level of importance than other areas. While these elements alone cannot guarantee success, it could certainly be said that the absence of these elements can make success incredibly difficult to achieve.

Keywords are a business element that fit this description to a T; while your business could succeed without understanding and utilizing keywords effectively, it’s going to be a very tough road without their assistance. In an effort to enhance your understanding of this element – and particularly how their usage has changed over recent years – we’ve put together three simple facts that all business owners should know about keywords.

#1 – Keyword stuffing is obsolete (and potentially harmful)

SEO is a young industry, but even in its short time as a factor for businesses, it has changed hugely. Perhaps the biggest change has happened to a technique known as “keyword stuffing”. Where keyword stuffing was once the way to get your business noticed online, it’s now more likely to earn a violation from Google – from an essential tactic to a substantial detriment, keyword stuffing is a technique that burned bright and fell fast.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t quite seem to have gotten the memo, and keyword stuffing is still found across a variety of business websites. If you’re still using this technique, it’s time for a change.

#2 – Keywords are changing due to voice search

Long tail keywords are nothing new, but they are becoming far more important due to the advent of voice search. When people use voice search on mobile devices or smart speakers, they tend to phrase their search as a question, for example: “what are the best restaurants in New York?”. This is very different to how people search when typing – which would usually be more along the lines of “best restaurants New York” – and has opened up a new form of keyword usage that focuses more on natural speech patterns rather than the more abbreviated short tail keywords that have reigned supreme for the last 10 years.

#3 – The power of keywords extends far beyond SEO

Thus far, as is common, we’ve talked about keywords in relation to SEO, but keywords have an importance far beyond appearing in search terms. From using tools such as WordTree to ensure your products appear high in results on Amazon, to keyword research helping to shape social media posts, a modern business owner has to appreciate the importance of keywords across almost every area of their business’ online presence.

In conclusion

Keywords may have changed somewhat over the 20+ years the internet has been a force for businesses, but their importance cannot be overlooked. By using keywords correctly, and avoiding outdated techniques, you can be sure to benefit from their incredible power, and your business should hugely benefit as a result.

The benefits and challenges of using articulate speech

articulate-speechThe following article was my inaugural submission for the Examiner back in November of 2012, and it’s very appropriate for my inaugural post on the Big Words Blog Site.  It hit upon one of the main themes of this site; the use of articulate speech.  One of the major rules for contributing to the Examiner was not writing in the first person point of view, something the publication policed very closely.  Hence in the piece, I’m not referring to myself directly.

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“Why do you use those big words all of the time?” a middle school student was asked by his classmates in the late 1980s. It was a diverse school, but these particular students were from Buffalo’s East side which, for the most part, consisted of African American families.

Articulate speech, and big words were normal in his home. Both of his parents were college educated. His mother encouraged learning professional skills such as using proper typing techniques, though the importance of such skills were not well understood at the time by her sons. There were also plenty of books to read in the house. Public speaking was also encouraged at Sunday School every week at church.

Using big words helped him to earn his Ph.D. from a world renowned university. They allowed him to make very technical presentations, publish research articles, and to present himself well on job interviews.

As a scientist within the federal government, he made decisions that affected the health of the entire United States population. Articulate speech, the use of big words, and proper grammar were a part of his job performance; whether it was setting new policies, preparing documents, making presentations, and even collaborating with colleagues in foreign nations.

Ultimately being a major part of his success, his articulate speech caused difficulties throughout his life, particularly as a youth where it made him stand out from his peers, causing him to be perceived as different. He later found that being different was actually okay. As an adult, people continued to form opinions about him, positive or negative, based upon the way that he spoke. Nevertheless, his articulate speech ultimately opened several doors for him as he grew older.

The United States faces several challenges in the 21st century, one being the competition with other countries in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). A strong command of the English language is key for success in these fields. Asia’s brightest scientists, for example, spend considerable time and energy learning the English language in order to establish their careers in the United States.

Speaking and writing often go hand in hand. In his book, Inside American Education, Thomas Sowell writes that the educational system in the United States needs to get back to the basics of teaching children how to read, write and how to do mathematics. The late Dr. Joseph Fail, Jr., of Johnson C. Smith University, published numerous articles encouraging students to be able to write effectively, particularly students of color.

In some communities speaking articulately is viewed as speaking proper or “white”. It also represents not having “street credibility”, which can be very important at an early age and even in adulthood, depending upon the social circle. This can be devastating for young people, ultimately locking them out of opportunities later in life.

In the Rich Dad Poor Dad series by Robert Kiyosaki, several compelling arguments are made for expanding one’s vocabulary, and ultimately speaking correctly. Even though financial literacy is the focus of the book, the importance of words is discussed as well. Robert eloquently describes words as important tools that unlock doors to life’s multiple possibilities.

Young people (and adults) need encouragement to the extent that a large vocabulary and articulate speech are valuable assets. They need affirmations that it is okay to read books and to speak well, even though it may make them feel different than their peers. They need confirmation that having a strong command of the English language is important in that it creates opportunities, opens doors, and builds bridges no matter what the professional field or discipline.

Thank you for taking time to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy:

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