Today I tidied my bedroom after a busy month. I know that isn’t a spectacular revelation. Or is it an occurrence worth a whole blog post about (…I guess it is). However today whilst tidying my room, I discovered something that I used to do quite well.
I used to write words down that I didn’t know.
I admit it. My vocabulary isn’t that amazing. I read quite a bit and find words I don’t understand all the time.
I think my tool shed (vocabulary) is packed with a few good ‘tools’ (words, adjectives, nouns) but nothing mind blowing. To be honest, it takes me a little time to construct a really good sentence. Why?
Well I’m just a slow thinker. I want to make sure that each word, sentence and paragraph is saying exactly what I want it to say. I also want to write it in the simplest and easiest to understand method possible.
However that doesn’t mean I can forget about my vocabulary. If words are my “weapons”, then I’m gonna need bullets.
What I found today was a Vocabulary Book.
What I used have was a separate book (a normal exercise book), and when I came across a word I didn’t know, I simply wrote it down. I would, after each reading session, decipher these words with a little sentence beneath it to describe how it could be used.
What a great idea! Why on earth did I forget about it!
I don’t know why I’ve forgotten to carry on this little training tip of mine. What is even more sad, is that I can’t remember a time where I actively used one of the words inside. I must forgotten, along with the book, about the words too.
My memory needs a lot of jogging. And I’m going to force him to get up and run.
I came across too words today that I didn’t know whilst reading ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee.
1. Apoplectic : overcome with anger, extremely indignant (“Jem was apoplectic with rage”)
2. Camellia: an evergreen eastern Asian shrub related to the tea plant, grown for its showy flowers and shiny leaves.
Others in my book that I really loved:
“The rheumy shine of his brown eyes”
“A predawn hush fell upon the forest”
“Consciousness had receded, sinking her into a black bin of terror”
“The fat cheeks were two cherubic mounds beneath spider black eyes”
Now I won’t of course be using them word for word. But they are nice to spark off the imagination.
I don’t know why, but I also remember that it was actually kind of fun. Like I was decoding a puzzle.
I’m making it a point to do this whenever I come across a word I don’t know. At least write it down if a note pad is handy. It just makes the whole reading and writing experience much more enjoyable.
Plus, at the end of the day, I can truly say I’ve learned something.
So why don’t you give a little thought to habits you used to practice. Do you have any that are helpful to you?
Perhaps somewhere lurking in your room, there’s a good one just waiting to be unearthed…