Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Professor's “How To” Writing Improvement Series Part 5

Vocabulary - learn “how to” develop your own Extensive Vocabulary
What Is It?
The online “Oxford Dictionary” defines the term “Vocabulary in this manner and I quote them here:noun (plural vocabularies)
1 the body of words used in a particular language:a comparison of the vocabularies of different languages
the Sanskrit vocabulary
a part of such a body of words used on a particular occasion or in a particular sphere:the vocabulary of law[mass noun] :you will want to learn vocabulary that is used frequently the term became part of business vocabulary
the body of words known to an individual person:he had a wide vocabulary
a list of difficult or unfamiliar words with an explanation of their meanings, accompanying a piece of specialist or foreign-language text.
2 a range of artistic or stylistic forms , techniques, or movements:dance companies have their own vocabularies of movement
Here is the Link as verification

The Online Encyclopedia known to all as “Wikipedia” gives us the following interpretation found here in brief And I have included the link below for all who would like to see the entire entry for themselves.

A person's vocabulary is the set of words within a language that is familiar to that person. A vocabulary usually develops with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge. Acquiring an extensive vocabulary is one of the largest challenges in learning a second language.

Knowing and using a word
Vocabulary is commonly defined as "all the words known and used by a particular person".[1] Unfortunately, this definition does not take into account a range of issues involved in knowing a word.
[edit]Productive and receptive
The first major distinction that must be made when evaluating word knowledge is whether the knowledge is productive (also called active) or receptive (also called passive) and even within those opposing categories, there is oftentimes no clear distinction. Words that are generally understood when heard or read or seen constitute a person's receptive vocabulary. These words may range from well-known to barely known (see degree of knowledge below). In most cases, a person's receptive vocabulary is the larger of the two. For example, although a young child may not yet be able to speak, write, or sign, he or she may be able to follow simple commands and appear to understand a good portion of the language to which he or she is exposed. In this case, the child's receptive vocabulary is likely tens, if not hundreds of words but his or her active vocabulary is zero. When that child learns to speak or sign, however, the child's active vocabulary begins to increase. It is possible for the productive vocabulary to be larger than the receptive vocabulary, for example in a second-language learner who has learned words through study rather than exposure, and can produce them, but has difficulty recognizing them in conversation.
Productive vocabulary, therefore, generally refers to words which can be produced within an appropriate context and match the intended meaning of the speaker or signer. As with receptive vocabulary, however, there are many degrees at which a particular word may be considered part of an active vocabulary. Knowing how to pronounce, sign, or write a word does not necessarily mean that the word has been used to correctly or accurately reflect the intended message of the utterance, but it does reflect a minimal amount of productive knowledge.
[edit]Degree of knowledge
Within the receptive / productive distinction lies a range of abilities which are often referred to as degree of knowledge. This simply indicates that a word gradually enters a person's vocabulary over a period of time as more aspects of word knowledge are learnt. Roughly, these stages could be described as:
1. Never encountered the word.
2. Heard the word, but cannot define it.
3. Recognize the word due to context or tone of voice.
4. Able to use the word and understand the general and/or intended meaning, but cannot clearly explain it.
5. Fluent with the word – its use and definition.
[edit]Depth of knowledge
The differing degrees of word knowledge imply a greater depth of knowledge, but the process is more complex than that. There are many facets to knowing a word, some of which are not hierarchical so their acquisition does not necessarily follow a linear progression suggested by degree of knowledge. Several frameworks of work knowledge have been proposed to better operationalise this concept. One such framework includes nine facets:
1. orthography - written form
2. phonology - spoken form
3. reference - meaning
4. semantics - concept and reference
5. register - appropriacy of use
6. collocation - lexical neighbours
7. word associations
8. syntax - grammatical function
9. morphology - word parts
[edit]Types of vocabulary
Listed in order of most ample to most limited:[2][3]
[edit]Reading vocabulary
A literate person's reading vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when reading. This is generally the largest type of vocabulary simply because it includes the other three, though in some cases, notably Chinese characters, as in Chinese and Japanese, where the pronunciation is not transparent, some words may be part of the oral vocabulary but not the written. For example, a Japanese speaker may not recognize that ?? is pronounced kirin.
[edit]Listening vocabulary
A person's listening vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when listening to speech. This vocabulary is aided in size by context and tone of voice.
[edit]Writing vocabulary
A person's writing vocabulary is all the words he or she can employ in writing. Contrary to the previous two vocabulary types, the writing vocabulary is stimulated by its user.
[edit]Speaking vocabulary
A person's speaking vocabulary is all the words he or she can use in speech. Due to the spontaneous nature of the speaking vocabulary, words are often misused. This misuse – though slight and unintentional – may be compensated by facial expressions, tone of voice, or hand-gestures.
[edit]Focal vocabulary
"Focal vocabulary" is a specialized set of terms and distinctions that is particularly important to a certain group; those with a particular focus of experience or activity. A lexicon, or vocabulary, is a language's dictionary, its set of names for things, events, and ideas. Some linguists believe that lexicon influences people's perception on things, the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis. For example, the Nuer of Sudan have an elaborate vocabulary to describe cattle. The Nuer have dozens of names for cattle because of the cattle's particular histories, economies, and environments. This kind of comparison has elicited some linguistic controversy, as with the number of "Eskimo words for snow". English speakers can also elaborate their snow and cattle vocabularies when the need arises.[4][5]
[edit]Vocabulary growth
During his/her infancy, a child builds a vocabulary by instinct, with zero effort. Infants imitate words that they hear and then associate those words with objects and actions. This is the listening vocabulary. The speaking vocabulary follows, as a child's thoughts become more reliant on his/her ability to self-express in a gesture-free and babble-free manner. Once the reading and writing vocabularies are attained – through questions and education – the anomalies and irregularities of language can be discovered.
In first grade, an advantaged student (i.e. a literate student) learns about twice as many words as a disadvantaged student. Generally, this gap does not tighten. This translates into a wide range of vocabulary size by age five or six, at which time an English-speaking child will have learned about 2,500–5,000 words. An average student learns some 3,000 words per year, or approximately eight words per day.[6]
After leaving school, vocabulary growth reaches a plateau. People usually then expand their vocabularies by engaging in activities such as reading, playing word games, and by participating in vocabulary-related programs.
[edit]The importance of a vocabulary
An extensive vocabulary aids expressions and communication.
Vocabulary size has been directly linked to reading comprehension.[7]
Linguistic vocabulary is synonymous with thinking vocabulary.[7]
A person may be judged by others based on his or her vocabulary.

The rest of their entry can be found with this link

So What is the Correct Term for Someone with a Highly Developed Vocabulary?

Both of these highly touted and accepted authorities are correct in their defining of the term and how they apply it to people. But is that the whole story? Is that what we all accept as what it means to be “A Wordsmith” A wordsmith is someone whose use of words comes from an extensive, impressive and highly developed Vocabulary! Such a love of words gives one a significant advantage in many facets of Life. Vocabulary to the ability whereby a person develops their way of expressing themselves to others using words.

Can You Get It?
Yes every person who is capable of thinking, seeing, hearing, and or touching has the cognitive apparatus to get in touch with what we call “Language”! Even those who are unable to function in any of these because of sensory limitations are now able to participate with modern adaptations. The only reason not to be lucid in vocabulary is if one isn't sentient because the ability to “Think” and “Reason” is the result of Communication through word usage!

Do you Need It?
Making oneself understood by whatever means necessary is vital to our very existence so yes it is both helpful and indeed necessary. Vocabulary allows the user to access and activate their greatest marvel from which everything we have has come into existence. What is That you ask? That my dear Readers , Followers and friends is your IMAGINATION”

Never look at learning anything as a drudgery! Instead embrace it as an opportunity to increase your true awareness of yet another facet of living. With all the areas to do research on the internet, please try to stay focused. Remember it is all too easy to get distracted from your task at hand especially if your mind isn't disciplined enough yet!

With practise, diligence and patience you can develop the correct study habits to achieve success. If you do find yourself easily distracted, then try the library where you can get books on the various types of related subject matter instead. If you allow yourself to become discouraged Stop! You need to take a break. Remember a fresh approach can be just the ticket.

Better to train yourself persistently to attain the right mindset for consistent proper study habits. Experience is, in my opinion, the greatest aid to achieve your goals in developing an extensive and lucid grasp of the words and their meanings. I have found that in the long run you'll benefit more from doing it yourself, than from watching others or reading about how something is done. But start and start now!

Don't fail because you didn't try. If you failed before, don't give up! Instead learn from your failures whether they be in spelling, pronunciation and or defining the words. Many words may have the same spelling but have different meanings which you will learn from the sentence that they are used in.

Example 1: The Old Clock required a key be used to Wind it up periodically.
Example 2:The Wind blew so hard that the hat flew right off the gentleman's head.

In both cases the word wind is spelled the same but the meaning is different as seen in the way it is used in the two sentences.

One of the best ways to get better is reading more of the works of writers that share your interests. Also research those topics that appeal to you to educate yourself with the verbiage used and the speech tones and inflections that aid in the vocalization of the language being used. By concentrating on those areas that you want to know more about, your progress will grow accordingly.

Vocabulary doesn't have an age limit, nor is it the exclusive domain of any one race, color, creed or social class. Good Writing, like breathing, comes naturally, when allowed to be what it is meant to be. It is the expression of ones ideas, emotions and indeed the essence of who and what we all are.

So there you have it friends!Vocabulary covered in the way that I have found is best attained. Thanks for reading and as always your comments are welcome in the comment section below! Be sure to return for the next part in this series. Until next time then I shall remain, your host Mike Aka the Professor.

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