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Word Course

Written Sunday 02/12/06 by Joe Rossini

Four years or 208 weeks ago, I set out on a mission to learn a new word each weekday and share it with the visitors of eHappyLife.com. Like all disciplines that don’t seem very exciting, this was not easy to get started on. However all processes tend to grow on you as you begin to realize the results from sticking to a discipline over time. During this 208 week period I reviewed 5 words a week and tested myself repeatedly with a weekend word test that I post on the website – to make sure that I won’t forget what I learned. That simple discipline allowed me to review 1040 words over 4 years. That may not sound like much, but considering that the average American has an active speaking vocabulary of around 1000 words, learning another 1000 in four years seems rewarding to me.

As you know I continue to discuss the art of accomplishing things “a little bit at a time” and learning new words fits nicely into this category. I just wish I would have started this discipline forty years ago instead of four, because I would have learned 10,400 new words during that time span and may have had most of them incorporated into my active speaking vocabulary.

During the last four years, my daily word discipline evolved into choosing a specific topic each week to feature a specific category of words. Every hobby, profession or interest group has their own glossary of words for their specific field. The categories are unlimited and these glossaries are all available for free on the internet. In the process of choosing these words each week, I attempt to expose myself to an entire glossary of topic specific words. This process makes the challenge of learning so much more interesting. The metaphor that “the more you know – the more you realize how ignorant you are” holds true when it comes to words. It would be virtually impossible to learn or even expose myself to every word and phrase in the English language. But with some type of system in place – utilized over a long period of time, I believe you can expose yourself to and learn an awful lot of new words and phrases.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to express your thoughts with more precision? Or understand with greater comprehension more of what you read or hear? When someone is talking about medicine, weather systems or sports – wouldn’t it be nice to have a greater understanding of the jargon used in those areas of interest? Over time, I believe that you can amaze yourself at the level of understanding and comprehension you can achieve – by constantly adding to your vocabulary weekly.

Learning and growing intellectually through word comprehension can evolve into one of the most exciting games you take part in during your lifetime. If you approach this learning process as a fun experience, you will be shocked at the results. Understanding what you read with more clarity, will promote you to read more often and delve into wider areas of interest. You will develop a greater understanding of the jargon of different professions and your sphere of interests will constantly expand. This process will be equivalent to rolling a snowball down a hill as it gathers more snow sticking to it on the way down. The limits are only bound by your enthusiasm, passion and your efforts to keep the process going.

Keep in mind that the toughest part of this word learning process is to get started. Most worthy achievements are very difficult to plan for or get started on. Thus it should be no surprise that the toughest steps are usually the first steps. My goal here is to entice you to take the first step on your journey. If you can visualize the wonderful possibilities of living your life with an expanded comprehension of words, you may be more willing to stretch your knowledge of words every day.

If you have no idea on how to get started, you can begin by taking the Word Tests on eHappyLife.com. You’ll find a link to the complete directory of Word Tests listed on the homepage, and you can navigate your way through 207 previous tests at your leisure. Don’t try to attempt taking these tests all at once. One of the worse things you can do when you start something new is to get overwhelmed and frustrated at the beginning. That will surely encourage you to give up and quit. You can test yourself on 5 tests at a time every few days and mark down what you got wrong. Study those wrong answers so the next time you take that same test you will remember the right answer.

Then join in on the progress each week at eHappyLife.com, as we travel through the world of words. Make it fun and watch your knowledge and comprehension of words expand. If I can do this, you can too! A few minutes a week, invested over time – can make a big difference in your vocabulary and the quality of life you will lead!


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