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CSAT

English
Vocabilary

Vocabulary -------- What does the word signify? Vocabulary is the sum of words used by, understood by, or at the command of a particular person or group. It is a supply of expressive means; a repertoire of communication. E.g., a dancer's vocabulary of movement. The word vocabulary has the root voc in it meaning voice, which indirectly refers to words. So, in simpler terms, we could say that vocabulary means ones wordstock. The standard units of prose texts in English-from the humblest office memo to the longest novel-are words, sentences and paragraphs. What should we know about a word???? Now we know that the term vocabulary refers to words in general.the question that comes to our head is what all we need to take care of while looking up a word in a dictionary?

Lets take some examples from the above diagrams: Let the word be: PRAISE: (verb) Now, it being a simple word, all of us know its meaning, spellings, pronunciation and even usage. Lets think of some synonyms of this word: appreciate, appraise, adulation, eulogize, applaud, admire, laud, compliment, and the list goes on and on.. All these words are associated in some way, thats why they are synonymous with one another, yet they differ connotatively, thus you cannot interchange one word for the other while making the sentences with these words (excepting a few). Here, Appraisal is a monitory appreciation. Adulation is excessive praise, which leads to flattery. Eulogy means praise in written format. Admiration includes respect vis--vis appreciation. Moreover, if we do not know the part of speech of a particular word, we will find difficulty in using it in a sentence. E.g, bath is a noun, which most of the students mistake for verb. One should take bath everydaytake in this sentence is a verb and bath is a noun. The verb form of it is Bathe. One should bathe everyday. These simple but important things have to be taken care of. And from this, we can make out that vocabulary is related to grammar also in one way or the other, not to talk of Reading Comprehension.
Some more carefulness one needs to show w hile dealing w ith v ocabulary or English Language as a w hole: Redundant words: Two words which more or less give the same meaning or idea when put together in a sentence become Redundant. Try to avoid using redundant phrases, especially in business correspondence, articles, and other written documents.

Here are a few, that people use regularly: (a) 12 midnight (midnight) (b) 12 noon (noon) (c) Absolutely essential (essential) (d) Added bonus (bonus) (e) Both of them (both) (f) Crystal clear (clear) (g) End result (result) (h) Exact same (exact or same) (i) Fewer in number (fewer) (j) Final outcome (outcome) (k) Free give-away or free gift (give-away or gift) (l) Inasmuch as (since, because) (m) Past history (history will work most of the time) (n) Point in time (point, time, or then) (o) There is no doubt that (how about "clearly"?) (p) Until such time as (until)

Why is vocabulary important? We use our vocabularies to communicate our thoughts & ideas to the world. A person with a large vocabulary is thus seen as having the advantage of better self expression. When we read the powerful speeches by Churchill or Nehru, we wonder at the apt choice of words made by them. Hence vocabulary is an important component of effective communication. Thus, we can say that: The first and foremost importance of vocabulary is Power of Expression And for different individuals, learning vocabulary has different purposes. (a) College students crave for good vocabulary for obtaining better grades and it also assists their understanding. (b) Individuals may seek good vocabulary for effective communication at work. (c) Some learners originate from a non-English speaking background and wish to learn English for work and study purposes. (d)It enhances better comprehension and application of reasoning too. (e) Moreover, a hesitant, fumbling person, even if he is incredibly intelligent, will not be able to pull it off at an interview. To be successful, you need to be able to express yourself effectively. Pausing to think of the right word is not something that you would like to do when facing the interviewer. Expanding your vocabulary will make you look better even when you are sure what to say.
Classification: When we talk of vocabulary in general, there is a vast universe of words we are unfamiliar with. So one should make a conscious effort to get words into ones listing/reading vocabulary & move them into ones writing & speaking vocabulary. Thus, we can classify vocabulary into: A speaking vocabulary: The words & expressions we use every day to communicate. A writing vocabulary: Words that we use when we write letters or essay but do not fill comfortable to use them in speech. A listing vocabulary: Words & expressions that we have read & can understand but have never used in speaking or writing. Vocabulary broadly has two major elements, which a person should be able to grasp, to make his/her vocabulary strong. 1. Denotation of a word. 2. Connotation of a word. Denotation of a word signifies the dictionary meaning of the word; its literal meaning; what the word actually denotes; what it stands for; its limited and explicit meaning whereas, Connotation of a word means the contextual meaning of the word; its figurative meaning; what it actually connotes; the additional suggestion that it carries with it.

Not all words possess connotative powers. Articles, conjunctions, prepositions, and many common adverbs lack connotative qualities because they are words used to connect idea and- to show relationships between them; these parts of speech do not themselves stand for ideas. But most words which stand-for ideas have connotations, even though they are often scarcely perceptible. That is because ideas themselves have connotations; they produce some sort of inteI1ectual or emotionaI reaction inside us.

We often find 10-20 synonyms of a particular word and we take all of them as the different meanings of the word, but actually they are the different connotations of the same word. Broadly speaking, a word has only one meaning (exceptions are always there), but it can have more than 10 connotations

So the basic idea is, cramming the dictionary would take us nowhere, not even would help us cracking any Management Entrance Exam. So, the kick here is, to be thorough with the contextual usage of the word, which will help you not only cracking the exams, but will take you to your respective desired destinations.

Lets take some examples:

The words home and house, both mean the place of living; ones residence, but the word house does not carry any connotation. It simply signifies a residential structure or building, and the word home signifies a lot more ideas as: comfort; security; family; warmth; emotions; coziness, etc.

Connotation of a word is an association (emotional or otherwise) which the word evokes, thus it can be positive, negative or neutral.

For example, both "woman" and "chick" have the denotation "adult female" in North American society, but "chick" has somewhat negative connotations, while "woman" is neutral. For another example of connotations, consider the following:

There are over 2,000 vagrants in the city. (Negative) There are over 2,000 people with no fixed address in the city. (Neutral) There are over 2,000 homeless in the city. (Positive)

NOTE: Denotation of a word is not altogether different from the connotation of a word, connotative meaning comes from the denotation only..e.g., Snake, as we all know, is a reptile of the suborder Serpentes, comprising venomous and non venomous species inhabiting tropical and temperate areas (Denotation), but it reminds us of evil and danger also (Connotations).

As a verb, it means to move, twist, or wind, as in, The road snakes (verb) among the mountains.

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