Dale Carnegie once told the story of a New York speaker who was often complimented upon the firm texture of his sentences and the simple beauty of his language. During a conversation with him, the speaker told Carnegie the secret to his power to choose true and incisive words:
Each time the speaker discovered an unfamiliar word in conversation or reading matter, he noted it in his memorandum book. Then, just prior to retiring at night, he consulted his dictionary and made the word his own. In had hadn’t gathered any material in this fashion during the day, he studied a page or two of Fernald’s Synonyms, Antonyms and Prepositions, noting the exact meaning of the words which he would ordinarily interchange as perfect synonyms. A new word a day—that was his motto.
This means in the course of a year three hundred and sixty-five additional tools for expression was at his disposal. He stored each new word away in a small pocket notebook, and reviewed their meanings at odd moments during the day. The speaker found that a word became a permanent acquisition to his vocabulary when he had used it three times.
Try this technique out for yourself. It only takes a few moments, and it will lead to a richer, fuller vocabulary for you to draw upon when you need it most!
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