Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Words are Life Enhancing

"Words can either Build Up or Tear Down, Strengthen or Weaken, Emancipate or Enslave…THE CHOICE IS OURS!"
Roger Anthony

As we've discussed, many times in this blog, words are the tools you use to understand, filter and construct meaning and reality. They're also the tools you use to communicate, negotiate, influence and inspire others.

So it won't surprise you to hear that the larger your vocabulary, the more life enhancing it is. It's like being a carpenter or trades-person and only having a couple of tools in your toolkit. If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail...

The more tools you have at your disposal, the better a crafts-person you become, the better you are able to do your job. It's the same with language.

The more distinctions you have for describing and articulating your world, the more refined you'll be in the outcomes you create. Meaning is created in large measure through language, so enlarge your skills in languaging and enlarge your vocabulary.

Word of the Day

What prompted today's blog entry was the arrival of the following 'Word of the Day' in my email inbox:

The Word of the Day is:

enhance \in-HANS\ verb
: heighten, increase; especially : to increase or improve in value, quality, desirability, or attractiveness

Example sentence:
The newspaper company hopes that including more full-color illustrations and adding extra news features will enhance their product and reverse the decline in circulation.

Did you know?
When "enhance" was borrowed into English in the 13th century, it literally meant to raise something higher. That sense, though now obsolete, provides a clue about the origins of the word. "Enhance," which was spelled "enhauncen" in Middle English, comes to us from Anglo-French "enhaucer" or "enhauncer" ("to raise"), which can be traced back to the Vulgar Latin verb "inaltiare." "Inaltiare," in turn, was formed by combining the prefix "in-" with Latin "altus," meaning "high." Although "enhance" initially applied only to physically making things higher, it developed an additional and less literal sense of "to exalt especially in rank or spirit," and quickly acquired extended figurative senses for "raising" the value or attractiveness of something or someone.

Why not subscribe...

Yes... many years ago, knowing the importance of an enhanced vocabulary, I subscribed to: the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary - Word of the Day

Every day I get a great email teaching me a new word, or giving me details about etymology, usage etc. of words I may already know, but don't know the history of or the deeper meanings of.

It's so easy. The emails are short, concise and interesting. Each day my vocabulary expands and the thinking tools at my disposal are enhanced and augmented. Now how cool is that. It costs me nothing and adds immense value to my life.

The 'Word of the Day' is Life Enhancing! I highly recommend you sign up for it, or to some other online word/dictionary service.

Perceived Intelligence

And if you want further motivation to enhance your language and vocab skills... did you know that research in the field of Intelligence has shown that "Total vocabulary has the highest correlation (0.8) with overall IQ of any individual measure of intelligence."

Yes that's right. Higher vocab is correlated with higher intelligence. It's also linked with perception of intelligence, that is, people rate those with a large vocab as being more intelligent.

So by increasing your vocab and ability to articulate you will change how others see you and how they rate your level of intelligence.

Higher levels of intelligence have also been correlated with work remuneration. Within limits, higher intelligence means higher pay. So by increasing your vocab you increase your IQ and therefore the likelihood of getting paid more.

This makes sense, because it's a natural mix of Perception Management - managing how others perceive and respond to you, and the fact that you can think more deeply and wide-rangingly when you have better tools for thinking - more and better linguistic distinctions in which to understand and influence your world.

Words are Powerful!!!

Is this making life enhancing sense to you? Do you get why Words are so powerful? And why you want and need to learn more words and increase your languaging skills!!!

As I like to think: 'The dictionary is your friend" :-)

So subscribe to the 'Word of the Day' and start to expand and enhance your tools for thinking, learning and creating meaning.

Happy Generative and Life Enhancing Wording,
and many smiles,

and here are some great books I recommend about the power of words and how to use them to enhance your life:

1 comment:

  1. Some of my best childhood memories are of being in the kitchen with my mother, cooking and reading, with the gigantic unabridged dictionary open on the table. When I was seven, I read Jane Eyre aloud to my mother as she cooked. When I came to an unfamiliar word and asked her about it, my mother's reply was always "Look it up in the dictionary." Of course, I didn't realize at the time what a tremendous lesson she was giving me.


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