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Preface - Pg. ix

ix Preface This is a book about words. It is especially for self-starters who want to improve their basic vocabu- lary and word-use skills. Some of you are learning English as a second language. Some found vocabulary study in English class boring. Now you have had a change of heart. Others want simply to reinforce your foundation of word skills by reviewing the basics. All of the words that you learn in this book are words that you should have in your vocabulary. You will know some of them already. Put a check mark by those you know and work on the ones you do not know. How would you answer the following questions? If you must say "no," but would prefer to answer "yes," you are ready for this book: · Do you know always which words to use when you speak or write? · Can you express your ideas confidently and paint clear word pictures for others? · Does your language express your real ideas, thoughts, and emotions? · Do you "clam up" because you are self-conscious about your vocabulary? · Are you worried that you will not use correct English? By working through the exercises in this book you will gain confidence and move quickly toward building the vocabulary that you want. While you are studying, think of words as your hobby. Be curious about them. Become an expert at using them precisely. Spend time with them the way you would with a close friend. Each section teaches you about words from a different point of view. Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 In this section, you will find answers to the important questions, "How can I improve my vocabulary, and why is it important?" Stroll through a fascinating history of the English language, from thous and thees to DNA and killer bees. You will get to know the dictionary as more than a doorstop. Learn to use this important reference book, and the thesaurus as well. Vocabulary Improvement Discover the secret of learning a thousand words at once, with prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Review fifty vocabulary words that you should know, with exercises for practice. Learn how Standard English and slang can exist comfortably in the same language. Play word games and build your ego, while you sharpen your vocabulary skills. Section 4 Section 5 Section 6 Section 7 To learn new words, you will have to work a little. But gaining a new vocabulary is not as difficult as you might think. In fact, it is fun, and it has many rewards. A good vocabulary is an acquired skill, not a special gift. It is a skill that belongs to those who earn it. May this book help you do so.