11 ways to increase your vocabulary.

Intelligent people have it way too easy. They sail through life on their diligent approach to studying, active interest in cognitive stimulation, and praise from their teachers and employers for all their hard work. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the time to become intelligent. Some of us don’t even have the time to watch both Mad Men and Game Of Thrones each week.

To be competitive and claim those jobs that’ll earn the big bucks, the best alternative is to feign intelligence, and what’s the best way to do that? Using big words, and lots of ‘em! Here are our top tips for gigantifying your vocabularium:

1. Buy a Word Of The Day calendar for your partner – Soon enough, they’ll be speaking with a whole new set of words, and with any luck, some of them will rub off on you.

2. Attempt to solve a Rubik’s Cube – You’ll almost certainly end up inventing your own curses, because sometimes, calling your Rubik’s Cube a “c**t-faced f**k-tard” just doesn’t cut it. Alternatively, try stepping on a nail.

Photo: Andrew B. Myers

Amen, sister. Photo: Andrew B. Myers

3. Learn a new language – You could effectively double your vocabulary. Learning Spanish is as simple as adding an accented ‘e’ to the end of your words. Excellenté!

4. Spend some time with your grandparents – They can teach you some out-dated slang, and besides, if they’re going to be a burden on your family and the taxpaying public, they may as well make themselves useful.

5. Make up some new words – It gives your creativity a workout, and people will be impressed by your inthrasmectitude.

6. Familiarise yourself with the Oxford Dictionary and/or Thesaurus – Or if reading isn’t your thing, try the audiobook or film adaptation.

7. Listen to vocabulary-building cassettes while you sleep – And all for just four easy instalments of $19.95, plus postage and handling.

8. Go a whole day without using the letter ‘e’ – It will goad your brain into using words auxiliary to your quotidian platoon, postulating an abnormally innovatory approach to forming locutions.

9. Attend a production of one of Shakespeare’s works – If you didn’t understand a thing, you’re on the right track.

10. Look at the crossword solutions page of the newspaper – Not only will you learn new words, it’s much quicker than working out the clues yourself.

11. Take up a new hobby – Every field of interest has hundreds or even thousands of technical jargon to learn, so there’s never been a better excuse to kill time. If you’re looking for a hobby with near-endless jargon, we recommend Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics – good luck!

VINCENT VARNEY is a Sydney-based writer regarded as Australia’s leading expert on synonyms and anything of a lexical nature, at least until someone – anyone, really – challenges him for the title. Follow him on Twitter.

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10 thoughts on “11 ways to increase your vocabulary.

  1. This is adorable. Especially the grandparents thing. I always leave the nursing home enlightened as to what was considered socially acceptable “back in their day.”

  2. I’m going to try every single one of these. And then get a giant poster version of that rubik’s cube you have on here, frame it, and put one in every room of my house.

  3. I think I might set about memorizing all of Shakespeare’s plays. It can’t be that hard, right?
    Plus, I’ve already tried the Rubik’s cube one.

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