Build vocabulary everywhere you go?

<p>Should you look up ALL the words that you don't know? I'm looking through Barron's 2400 SAT book right now and there are a lot of words that I don't know such as nonchalant and verbatim. I've looked up the word meanings and they seem to be very useful. Should I start replacing these words so I can use them in everyday conversation? Do you guys use hard SAT words when speaking to your friends?</p>

<p>For example, with the word nonchalant, I could say, " I'm nonchalant" instead of, "I'm cool."</p>

<p>If you can incorporate the word into your vocab, go for it. That way you're guaranteed to remember it.</p>

<p>As for talking with friends, I'm not sure which crowd you hang out with, but certain ones do not appreciate advanced vocabulary (certain other ones, though, do). Be sure that you don't alienate anyone by doing this.</p>

<p>I highly recommend using more advanced vocab in your essays. That way you'll get better grades and SAT scores :) At the risk of sounding cheesy, that's two birds with one stone.</p>


<p>what i have always tried to do is look up a word or a couple of words that i did not know, lookup their meaning and try to find an oppurtunity to use that word in a converstation, that way the word and the meaning is gonna be in the back of your head all day.</p>

<p>the best way to acquire an advanced vocabulary is to be around it in everyday situations. if you acquire your vocabulary from a dictionary, you'll end up mis-using words and sounding like this guy:</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>(a friend of mine just sent me that link yesterday as an example of horrible writing.)</p>

<p>"nonchalant" and "cool" may be synonyms on, but "i'm cool" and "i'm nonchalant" are not interchangeable. in a social context, "i'm cool" means something closer to "i'm okay" or "everything is normal with me, don't worry about me." "i'm nonchalant" means neither of those things; it makes no more sense than saying "i'm casual."</p>

<p>words have shades of meaning that dictionaries can't possibly capture. if you try to learn words from a dictionary, you'll end up sounding inauthentic. compare it to a teacher who tries to learn what students think is cool by reading articles in fashion magazines. if you want to know what words really mean, you have to use them, and hear them used correctly in the correct context. many of the essays posted on these bulletin boards demonstrate exactly the kind of inexpert usage i'm talking about--in fact, this poor usage is one of the main reasons i don't recommend people study vocabulary for the SAT.</p>

<p>if you really want to acquire a better vocabulary (and you should, but not necessarily for the SAT), the thing to do is to elevate the level of the vocabulary you're exposed to. read books and magazines of high quality. in the beginning, i'd recommend <em>not</em> looking up words you don't know. just sort of read them and see if you can get a sense of their meanings. over the course of months and years you'll notice that you're suddenly able to use these new words--and use them correctly--even though you've made no conscious effort to acquire them. when you do that, your usage will be authentic instead of forced, and you won't say "nonchalant" when you mean "cool."</p>

<p>think about the words you know by heart--words like "chair" and "family." you never looked them up, and you never use them incorrectly. that's what you're going for with all new words.</p>