The English language is beautiful. It gives users a variety of methods to articulate similar ideas, each one of them unique and specific to the situation. In fact, English has more words than any other language. The total word count is somewhat hard to figure out, after all, many English words have different meanings or can be used idiomatically. The current Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words that are in use today, and 47,156 obsolete words.. It would be incredibly difficult to memorize all of these words, but one should study the dictionary often to improve their knowledge of English words, as an extensive vocabulary comes with many advantages.
First of all, having a large vocabulary allows you to communicate more effectively. Every word in the English language is used to signify a different object, action, description, thought, or idea. While some words may seem to mean the same thing (extensive vocabulary and large vocabulary, for instance), there are actually small differences in the definition that change the meaning of the overall phrase. Learning the word “extensive”, and all of its synonyms, gives you plenty of options when speaking or writing and allows you to choose the best word for the job. The idea is similar to choosing the right screwdriver for the job. While it is possible to tighten a Phillips head screw with a flat head screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver will tighten the screw better, and you don’t run the risk of stripping the screw.
Studying the English dictionary is also imperative for writers or professional speakers. It is a writer’s job to illustrate ideas in the most effective way possible, and the best way to do that is through improving his vocabulary. Take the previous sentence, for example. Instead of saying “Illustrate ideas in the most effective way possible,” one could say “It is a writer’s job to write things in a manner that is easily understandable.” While the latter sentence gets the point across, the first sentence, well, illustrates it better.
Readers will have an easier time understanding certain concepts if they have a large vocabulary, especially in an academic setting. Doctors and scientists have to possess an extensive vocabulary in order to talk about ideas related to their respective professions, and someone reading their work will understand it better if they are familiar with the words that the professional is using. Studying the English dictionary helps tremendously with this. English is also the language of the entertainment industry, so songs, TV shows and movies can all be better understood if you have a wide vocabulary.
You can buy a physical copy of the English dictionary or you could use an online resource. Many different online dictionaries give you a “word of the day”. Learning one or two words a day will help your vocabulary immensely. Try to use the word in writing and conversation, and by the end of the year you will have learned at least 365 brand new words!