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Part I. A Word to the Wise > Chapter 5. Tips for Learning New Words - Pg. 7

7 Chapter 5. Tips for Learning New Words Here are some tips for learning new words. As you review them, place a check mark next to those that you plan to use. · Use new words.Over and over. Choose a few words you want to learn, then bore everyone to tears. Use them in the office cafeteria, during meetings, while chatting with friends. Use them at the risk of making mistakes or appearing foolish. You must use them regularly to retain them. Count each time you use a new word. Try for fifty times in one week. By making new words a game, you will enjoy it more. Be sure that the words you select are useful to you and fit easily into your everyday vocabulary. · Carry a pocket dictionary.You do not need the lap-breaker size to find most of the words you need; however, some pocket dictionaries are not always exact. You might want to verify the definition in a college dictionary later. Carrying a small dictionary in your purse or pocket allows you to look up words on the spot. · Use mnemonics (nih-MON-iks).A mnemonic is a mental game to help you memorize words more easily. Acronyms and poems are examples. Remember the acronym for recalling the col- ors of the rainbow. ROY G BIV--red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet; or the poem for remembering a spelling rule: i before e, except after c. Choose a word you want to remember, and associate it with something familiar or even naughty, or create a rhyme. Example: To spell the word piece, think of a piece of pie. · Write down new words.Use a folded piece of paper as a bookmark and write down new words as you read. Keep a vocabulary notebook and add new words when you hear them. Check the dictionary for the correct spelling, definition and pronunciation. Use 3×5 note cards as flashcards, with the word you want to learn on one side and the definition on the other. Pull these out and practice them at odd moments. · Visualize.Create crazy mental pictures of your word. Suppose you want to remember anony- mous (meaning "not named" or "unknown"). In your mind create a character with no face, named Anon A.Mess. Visualize his clothing as rumpled, with that freshly slept-in look (a mess). Exag- gerate your image as much as possible. If you have to struggle a little to come up with a creative visualization, you will remember your word even better. After reviewing these learning techniques, you can see that you have to work a little to learn new words. Thinking nice thoughts and swallowing little green vitamins will not improve your vocabulary. Learning new words is like dieting. You have to exercise your mind, choose your intake and stay focused.