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It's been a problem of mine for some time that I use a very limited vocabulary in my writing. I have an understanding and can read a ton more words than I use in my speech or writing.

Any suggestions, tips, tricks, on how to add words into my vernacular?

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I have the same problem. When I'm reading a book I rarely encounter a word I don't know the meaning of, but when I'm writing these words never occur to me. The thesaurus thing works well enough, but like somebody said, if you do it too much you lose your own voice and using a fancy word improperly is worse than using a simple word correctly.
On increasing your vocabulary, I would advise for you not to use a word unless you've heard/seen it in context a few times, and try not to use new or favourite words too much. I think it's awesome when you read a sentence were some words don't quite fit, so I guess the author has been making friends with the dictionary/thesaurus. Then again, without irony or teasing, I think it's fantastic when someone mispronounces a word because they've only ever read it in a book.
Nadia Brady said:
Then again, without irony or teasing, I think it's fantastic when someone mispronounces a word because they've only ever read it in a book.

This always makes me smile too, or where someone tries to write a colloquial phrase but they misheard it originally. Can't think of any examples at the moment but there have been many!
ummm i have never heard it pronounced any other way but OX-EEE-MORE-ON
never heard your teacher's pronouciation of it before either!
ok si mor on...acute on syllable #3
always put the dictionary
before
your teacher.................most especially Webster's II...1934

I'm Not Lion / Zacery said:
On the topic of mispronouncing words, I saw the word "oxymoron" in a book and pronounced it:

"ox-eee-more-on"

but my teacher said it was pronounced:

"ox-im-er-un"

and now I just don't know! I always do this with song lyrics too.
Hmm! It doesn't sound like your problem is lack of words - just that you've fallen into certain habits when expressing yourself. Like, it's probably more a way of thinking rather than a small vernacular.

Maybe when around people outside your usual social circle, pay more attention to their tone and turns of phrase - then when writing, adopt some of that into your mental voice & persona. Same again with wordy tv shows like Dexter, or Kevin Smith movies - unusual words and personalities you can pinch for your arsenal. :)

Also helps to make a conscious decision to ditch some of your usual phrases. This forces your brain to find new ones to work around it.
Thanks for the input Sandy!

sandy said:
Hmm! It doesn't sound like your problem is lack of words - just that you've fallen into certain habits when expressing yourself. Like, it's probably more a way of thinking rather than a small vernacular.

Maybe when around people outside your usual social circle, pay more attention to their tone and turns of phrase - then when writing, adopt some of that into your mental voice & persona. Same again with wordy tv shows like Dexter, or Kevin Smith movies - unusual words and personalities you can pinch for your arsenal. :)

Also helps to make a conscious decision to ditch some of your usual phrases. This forces your brain to find new ones to work around it.
I'm serious about Bad Religion lyrics! With words like misanthropic, rectilinear, discomfiture, prescience, and entropy left me scanning the pages of my dictionary and underlining things a la Diane Court in Say Anything. Not only that but some of them lend well to use in metaphor like entropy or Diogenes.

I also like to try and break down words I see but don't know into what the root words seem like and take a stab at them before looking them up. Greek and Latin words are pretty easy for me to glean something from.

Hey Nicole! Let's play word games when I'm at your house in two weeks!
Yes! I am all about playing some word games! It will be a blast!

I may have to go search to see if i still have a couple of my Bad Religion albums.

Alex Wrekk said:
I'm serious about Bad Religion lyrics! With words like misanthropic, rectilinear, discomfiture, prescience, and entropy left me scanning the pages of my dictionary and underlining things a la Diane Court in Say Anything. Not only that but some of them lend well to use in metaphor like entropy or Diogenes.

I also like to try and break down words I see but don't know into what the root words seem like and take a stab at them before looking them up. Greek and Latin words are pretty easy for me to glean something from.

Hey Nicole! Let's play word games when I'm at your house in two weeks!
Stick to Suffer, No Control, Against the Grain and Generator!

I keep making to write a zine about crossword puzzles with often used words and tricks. We should also play Scrabble.

NicoleIntrovert said:
Yes! I am all about playing some word games! It will be a blast!

I may have to go search to see if i still have a couple of my Bad Religion albums.

Alex Wrekk said:
I'm serious about Bad Religion lyrics! With words like misanthropic, rectilinear, discomfiture, prescience, and entropy left me scanning the pages of my dictionary and underlining things a la Diane Court in Say Anything. Not only that but some of them lend well to use in metaphor like entropy or Diogenes.

I also like to try and break down words I see but don't know into what the root words seem like and take a stab at them before looking them up. Greek and Latin words are pretty easy for me to glean something from.

Hey Nicole! Let's play word games when I'm at your house in two weeks!

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