Friday, September 30, 2016

Vocabulary Quizzes For Fun and Profit

The best way to acquire new words is the easiest and most natural way-by wide reading, new experiences, and stimulating conversation. But the natural way is not the only way; there are a number of somewhat artificial means for improving your vocabulary, which, properly used, can be quite helpful. You are familiar with most of them. They include printed quizzes, word games, dictionary study, and books on vocabulary building. These are worth exploring, although anyone who puts his whole trust in such devices is doomed to disappointment.

By far the most popular of the artificial methods of vocabulary building is the printed quiz. The printed quiz seems to be a magazine publisher’s delight. Scores of popular magazines have employed it at one time or another, and the largest selling magazine in the world, The Reader’s Digest, has printed a vocabulary quiz every month for many years. There is probably not a literate adult in the United States who has not tried his hand at least once on “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power.” This is a useful quiz, for it contains words you really should know but may not.

Most people, I’m sure, take the quiz in a spare moment, then forget it. They also forget the words they have just “learned,” which is the primary fault of all artificial vocabulary building devices. However, it is entirely possible to take this quiz, mark the words you have missed, out the page out of the magazine and save it, along with future quizzes, in a Ele folder Then occasionally you can go back and re-test yourself on the tough words. If you miss them again, make a special effort to use the words in your conversation. In other words, learn them. Don’t just toy with them. Re-test yourself on them until you are absolutely certain you know their meaning. This is the only way “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power” and similar quizzes can be made into anything more than mildly diverting games.

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