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Repetition: the Key to Retaining and Using New Words

By John Francies Subscribe to RSS | November 30th 2011 | Views:

Repetition is vital in anyone’s quest to develop an impressive, working vocabulary. Just because you have learned a word at some point does not mean it is going to be a tool readily available to you in your word arsenal the next time you need it.

As an illustrative example, think of a timer attached to each vocabulary word (figuratively, of course). The time on the timer represents how long it has been since you have used, heard, or read a given word. The more time that has lapsed since being exposed to the word, the less likely you are to use it. And, when I say less likely you are to use it, I mean the less likely it is that the word will come to your mind in the moment when you wish to communicate the its meaning. When you hear, read, or use a word the clock is reset to zero, making it more likely to come to your mind in the short term. Obviously, a word you learned or quickly studied that day would be on the front of your mind and ready for use.

It would be no coincidence if you were to use the word philanthropic to describe someone charitable just a day after you heard a coworker use that same word. It would also be no coincidence if dogmatic came to your mind to describe someone opinionated if you had just heard it used on the radio that morning.

Remember that it only takes using one or two educated words a day (or less) among coworkers or friends to make a lasting impression.

Repetition is the key to vocabulary building and everyday usage of educated vocabulary words. Subscribing to a word of the day service will ensure that you not only obtain, but also retain a verbal advantage in your career and life. Learning one word a day is incredibly easy. Simply commit to opening up the word of the day email every morning. Spend 60 seconds to learn the word and think of how you can use it in your communication sometime throughout the day.

Even if you already know the meaning of the word of the day, don’t disregard it! A person is much more likely to use a word that he/she has recently heard or read. Repetition is not just important for learning the definition of a word. It is also important as it pertains to using the word in your daily communication.

John Francies - About Author:
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