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  Category: Articles » Education & Reference » Language » Article

The Word Game

By Lisa M. Laird

What is it about words? What is it that makes them so fascinating, or so difficult? Way back when, when I was in school, I was a perfectionist. Of course, I still am, but back then one of the ways that those traits came out was in my writing. I have always loved to write. It was a point of pride to never use the same words to describe the same thing twice in anything that I wrote. One thing that I did that enhanced my ability to fulfill this quest was taking foreign languages. In high school, I took French, Spanish and Latin. It was so cool how learning these languages improved my English, especially Latin. I can remember my Latin teacher telling me that someday in the future, "agricola", or farmer, would probably be the only Latin word I would remember. Even then, Latin was a language that was "dying" in popularity. Of course they were close to right, although I do remember "amor" or love, as well. (That's the romantic in me, I suppose.) The cool thing about learning new languages was the understanding they provided me in understanding English. Agricola, for example, is a root word for agriculture. Amor is a root word for amorous. When I was in school we had the choice of taking French or Spanish in 7th grade. I chose French because that was the language that my best friend at the time chose. I was always glad that I did, because after learning English and French, Spanish, and then Latin, were a breeze. How many times in your life have you heard someone talk about their "fiancÚ" or about going to a "rendez-vous"? What about eating "tortillas" or "enchiladas"? Every language has added to ours in some way. Latin is the root language for all three of the others, as well as several other languages, including Italian.

Now, why would anyone care about my foreign language experience? Well, what it all comes down to is my vocabulary. While I, admittedly, have lost quite a bit over the years, the experiences that I have had have given me a basis to remember. When I speak, or when I write, it is natural for me to do my best to use words that are a perfect fit. I cannot relax when I am writing if I cannot think of exactly the word I need to make my meaning understood. Having a Thesaurus helps, of course, but what about when I am not at home, or in a situation where I have to have instantaneous recall? That is where having a large vocabulary can make a huge difference. It makes a difference in how employers look at me. It makes a difference in how others perceive my intelligence. It really comes in handy when helping my children in school.

All that is well and good, but what if you haven't had the opportunities that I have had to learn? What if you are a student, struggling in school? What if you are a parent and your kids are struggling, but you are unable to help them? What if you lost your job and are in the market for a new one? What if you are trying to climb the corporate ladder or just move up in your company? Or even, what if you are retired and just want to travel or volunteer, and you end up helping children with their schoolwork? Whatever place you are in in life, a substantial vocabulary will help you. If you don't already have one, I know just the place to get one.

Check this out, you will not be sorry.
About the Author
proud wife and mother of four; Bachelor of Business Adminstration

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  Some other articles by Lisa M. Laird
Cooking Like a Pro
Do you like to cook? I have been cooking since I was a little girl. My mother liked variety and installed in me a love for many different foods. While cooking ...

What was school like for you?
When my oldest daughter started school, I believed what "everyone" said. Every student could be a straight "A" student if they only worked hard enough. ...

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