Increase Your Vocabulary

Calling all Comms people, smarty pants and scrabble fans – shutdown Angry Birds, cease covert glances at cute commuters and bleary-eyed stares at window graffiti and grey gum – why not increase your vocabulary on your early morning train commute?

There’s no need to spend hours reading former PM Kevin Rudd’s parliamentary transcripts to learn a new word or few, or risk losing street cred by reading a dictionary on the train. No, no no! I have a slightly less boring option, that will at least keep you awake long enough till your next destination.

Exercise– Chunking your Vocab

Pick a topic or theme. For example – Hunting.

Write the word Hunting in the middle of your paper and create a mind map with all the words that you can think of that relate to hunting. For example, dogs, horses, rabbits, tweed coats, blood, forest etc.

Now write separate sentences for every word from your mind map e.g. – “The dog sniffed the soil in anticipation, and the horse stamped its hoof, impatient for the hunt to begin.”

Try to recall as many synonyms and antonyms to the verbs and adjectives in every sentence and write them down in a list. Pick up a thesaurus to help you out.

Now write a short 300 word story with a twist, based on your theme e.g. The Hunting Trip that Went Wrong. It must include the synonyms and antonyms from your list.

Learning new words is a bit like learning the time tables; if you say it enough, in different contexts/arrangements, it should stay with you, ready to be plucked from your bag of rhetoric at a moment’s notice!

Till next time, crack a queer whid!

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