English Vocabulary, Introduction
Are you a word lover? Do you subscribe to a-word-a-day? Are you preparing for SAT or GRE? If yes to any of the above, then you may find this word list useful. Else, do you swoon by the sway of your sensibility? Do you cackle for the pang of nettlesome far-outs? Do you dig the incomprehensible writs of a heart? Then, you need this page.
When I was learning English back in 1985, my methodology was to build a vocabulary and ignore all other aspects of the language. I reasoned that the essence of knowing a language is no more than understanding all the words. So, for the first few years I thumbed through English-Chinese dictionary hundred times a day as the primary means of learning the language. I disregarded any conventions and methodologies such as learning from ESL materials or progression from frequently used words to esoteric or literary vocabularies. (At the time, i did not even know that a language's vocabulary has these different classes. It was a simple naive logical thinking and headstrong will.) Now I know how wrong and inefficient I've been. The habit of writing down words and checking dictionaries nevertheless continued.
A Word about SAT
SAT used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test. Then was changed to Scholastic Assessment Test by the movement of social thinking, known asPolitical Correctness. The Aptitude in Scholastic Aptitude basically means brain size. So, if you have a low score, it implies that you are a moron, which does have some scientific soundness. However, today, it is wrong to call a cripple cripple or a idiot idiot. Also the test and the scoring has mutated significantly since its inception in USA 1926.
SAT is a necessity if you want to engage in pop universities in United States of America. If you can do or did well, fine, but otherwise screw it.
Princeton Review publishes a book called Word Smart There are quite a few vocabulary books, but I heartily recommend this one, which i read the first edition in the early 1990s. This book contains a selection of just the right words — frequently used but not obscure. They give a brief definition, usage example, and contains a short section that teaches you about the roots of English vocabulary.
Doesn't matter whether you study words for fun or for exams, a software dictionary on your computer is very convenient: Highlight a word, press a button, and ZAP you see its definition and synonyms. Click on any word and ZAP, you got cross-referenced. If you are in a dictionary look-up binge, just zap, zap, zap, and zaaaap! Almost as fun as shooting aliens. I would highly recommend the electronic version of American Heritage Dictionary, and i would recommend against the highly popular Merriem-Webster's 9th Collegiate. Also, these dictionaries are available free online today.
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