Perils of a limited vocabulary

Perils of a limited vocabulary

I met someone the other day. He had such great command over English. It sounded as though every word was carefully chosen to express his ideas, beliefs and visions.

It suddenly got me thinking. Does my vocabulary match up?

I started to listen to myself – beautiful, nice, awesome. The same words repeated over and over again till the held no more meaning. Not only was I speaking in vague, overused words – but I was THINKING in them too.

How long had it been since I learned a new word? How long has it been since I paused reading to look up a word?

Suddenly scared : I realized that I haven’t been doing much to master my beloved medium for the art we call communication.

Are you sailing in the same boat as me? Well, if you are – there are things we can and should do to rectify this problem.

1. READ.

Yes. I read too! But, I have noticed – I don’t pick up books where I need to look up 10 definitions on a page, even 3 or 4 will put me off. I have become lazy. Lethargic. [And my newly learned word – languid.]

Go back to the classics. They used beautiful language. Go back to the authors who have been talked about for ages and decades. They are filled with the most poetic usage of language.


If you see or hear a word that you “kind of know the meaning of,” please look it up. Learning the real meaning will give you the confidence to use it in your daily language.

I just realized – there is something I really love about English. We have lots of synonyms but they all mean slightly different things.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the word success- here are the synonyms:

accomplishment, achievement, prosperity, fame, happiness.

All so different right – nothing with the ring, meaning and intrinsic joy of the word success.


Most of the time – we read, learn and forget. The more you use your new word – the more it gets cemented. The more it will come in handy when you are looking for the right word to express yourself.

Soon, these out-of-your-ordinary words will become a part of your daily speech – and you will be able to think and speak with crystal clear precision.

Coming back, I don’t think this man knew – just how much impact his words had on me. I am impressed. I’m thinking. I’m inspired. I’m looking up and learning new words. I feel like a better person. Because of that one conversation – and he was just being himself.

If we keep up these 3 steps – we can use the seductive power of our slightly better than decent vocabularies soon!

Good luck!


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