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I don't often ask friends for recommendation on books as I believe that people have different tastes when it comes to books reading. However, this book is recommended to me by one of my friends and I am thankful to her for the excellent recommendation.
I have to admit that I am obsessed with words. I enjoy playing all kind of words games. Scrabble is my all time favourite. When it comes to playing online games, all those mini games which are categorized under "words and puzzles" are my favourites. On the other hand, my job requires me to do a lot of writing. I am expected to pick words with extreme accuracy. For example, to us, "hit" and "collision" are totally different in meaning and cannot be used interchangeably.
With my obsession in words, it comes as no surprise that I always find myself unable to express myself clearly due to lack of vocabulary. I do not mean that I get the meaning across but I am often frustrated by failing to find the most accurate word.
I remembered I was having a casual chat with my friend on how to improve on vocabulary and she recommended the book "Word Smart: Building An Educated Vocabulary" to me. Unlike the vocabulary books which mostly target on students, the Princeton Review analyzed newspapers from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal, magazines from Time to Scientific American, and books from current bestsellers to classics. They tried to cover the words that most people know and focused on the words that people misunderstand or misuse.
As the nature of the book suggests, it contains lists of words that the writer describes that helping the reader to build an educated vocabulary. Each word comes with a brief description of its meaning and also examples on how to use it. The write will also add a few sentences on how to use the word in appropriate cases. Apart from that, the writer has also included sections on common usage errors, word roots that one should know and vocabularies from the arts, computers and finance.
What I also like about this book is that the writer also includes a section on how to memorize the new vocabularies. Flashcards and notebooks are the one we often use back in the school days and I still find that useful. However, instead of keeping a separate notebook for the vocabularies, I like to write the words and brief meanings in my schedule book. What I often do is to spend about 10 minutes once a week skimming through "Word Smart" and find one or two words I like. I then write it as one of the entries in my schedule book for the week. I have learnt quite a few new vocabularies by now.
I bought this book a few years ago and I still read it from time to time. It is a good book for busy people who want to improve their vocabularies but do not have a lot of time. I am glad that my friend recommended it to me and I think I will do the same and recommend it to whoever I know.