Word Power (deep links post)

When you stop and think about it, words are pretty darn important. They are symbols for our ideas which we code into a form that others can understand. With differences in language, culture, experiences, and education, it is a wonder we can communicate at all. Words often have multiple definitions, and their definitions have varying connotations or emotional values associated with them. Colloquialisms and dialect usually give special meaning to words in specific geographic areas. While jargon uses words that are related to a certain profession or subject are. Then there’s slang, which is often perpetuated by pop culture.

In celebration or our ability to communicate effectively, I’ve put together this deep links post to spotlight the wonderful world of words.

Morphology or the study of words can be fun as well. Here are some interesting and curious observations about some of the more special words in the English language. I’ve nicknamed them: wacky, crazy, randomweird,and  unique.

There are also wonderful words with silent letters. There’s the world’s longest word, and the word consider most difficult to translate.

Different levels of education are often associated with the extent of a person’s vocabulary. However, reading and other exercises can increases the size of your vocabulary as well. It seems logical that the more words a person knows the easier it would be to communicate with other. But that’s not always the case. Here are three fun exercises on interesting words that can give you more word power (if the folks your talking to happen to know them as well): Exercise one, two and three.

After you’ve become satisfied with the depth and breadth of you English vocabulary, it might be rewarding to consider the importance of learning a new language. Besides the satisfaction of speaking to foreigners in their native tongue, a side benefit of tackling a second or third language is that mastery of one’s native language is often improved. Check out these easy (and tricky) Spanish words that you may come across in your travels.

For those interested in digging a little deeper. Exploring the origins of words can give us an insight into how the English language evolves over time to accommodate the needs of its users. Here’s a fun column on the etymology of English words as well as another post on the power of popular usage.

The potential for miscommunication is multiplied by some particularly pesky words which seem to be uniquely effective in confusing even the most careful communicator. Have a look at this post of commonly confused words and then have a go at the quiz at the end to see how your fare.

Finally, even the best of us run into a little writer’s block every now and then when you feel like you’ve just run out of words to say. Fortunately it’s usually not so much that you don’t have anything important to say, it’s more likely that you just haven’t tapped into your reservoir of ideas. If you fit this description from time to time, a look at overcoming writer’s block might be helpful.

Words are wonderful when used wisely. Here are three wise and wonderful resources that I recommend for further consideration.

World wide words, Wordsmith.org, Word spy

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About robertstevenson

Dr. Robert Stevenson is a Professor of Journalism and Director of Student Publications for the Department of Mass Communications and Theater at Lander University in Greenwood, SC. He received the Distinguished Faculty of the Year award for 2007-'08, and the Lander University Young Faculty Scholar Award in 2005-06. Stevenson also serves as chair of the Lander University American Democracy Project. First and Formost I am a dad of two wonderful boys.
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3 Responses to Word Power (deep links post)

  1. timethief says:

    Thanks for writing this great post Rob. It’s packed with solid information and authoritative links. (stumbled) 🙂

  2. leafless says:

    Good stuff! Thanks for the links.

  3. Pingback: Words: mixed up meanings « Rob’s Megaphone

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