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Click on any of the words within that construct and a new pattern of connections will emerge.Try the Visual Thesaurus with several different kinds of wordsverbs, adverbs, nouns, adjectivesand try adjusting some of the various controls on the bottom of the window.So a philanthropist must be someone who loves humans and does something about itlike giving money to find a cure for cancer or to build a Writing Center for the local community college. Ante, for instance, means before, and if we connect bellum with belligerant to figure out the connection with war, we'll know that antebellum refers to the period before war. The dictionary should be one of the most often used books in your home.(And an anthropoid, while we're at it, is an animal who walks like a human being.) Learning the roots of our language can even be fun! (In the United States, the Authority for this table: The Little, Brown Handbook by H. (We'll allow room for sacred texts here.) Place the dictionary somewhere so that you can find it immediately and use it often.Read journals and newspapers that challenge you in terms of vocabulary.
Play dictionary games with your family in which someone uses the dictionary to find a neat word and writes down the real definition and everyone else writes down a fake (and funny) definition.
In fact, you might well discover that the words you've written down are rather common.
What's happening is not that, all of a sudden, people are using words you never saw before, but that you are now reading and using words that you had previously ignored.
Witnesses were aghast, amazed, astonished, astounded, bemused, benumbed, bewildered, confounded, confused, dazed, dazzled, disconcerted, disoriented, dumbstruck, electrified, flabbergasted, horrified, immobilized, incredulous, nonplussed, overwhelmed, paralyzed, perplexed, scared, shocked, startled, stunned, stupified, surprised, taken aback, traumatized, upset. Make sure you correctly understand the definition of a word (by using a dictionary) before using it in some important paper or report.
Your bookstore salesperson can provide plenty of examples of an inexpensive thesaurus.