Author Kimberly K. Parker opens the pages of her soon to be released book, Vocabulize: How to Maximize Your Vocabulary at Any Age. Class has now begun!
When I was a child, my love of words began! I just liked the way they sounded; the way it felt when they rolled off my tongue. I looked forward to my teacher assigning me a new list of vocabulary to look up and define. The icing on the cake was using the vocabulary in a sentence! I loved doing this because it guaranteed an easy ‘A’ on the Friday spelling test.
The more vocabulary I learned, the more confident and effective I became at using them. My teachers started taking notice of my love of learning and often chose me as their helper. I will never forget being in the seventh grade and serving as the Mistress of Ceremonies for my school’s Black History Month program. My Social Studies teacher, Ms. Bailey, lovingly guided me throughout the entire process. Along the way, she gave me the reigns because she saw just how well I completed my assignments. What came next was definitely the surprise of my life! I’ll tell you more in my next blog.
In my soon to be released book, Vocabulize: How to Maximize Your Vocabulary at Any Age, I reveal the strategies I’ve used to help me (a pretty average, everyday woman) learn new words year after year. Maximizing vocabulary is not just for a highly intellectual group of people. Anyone can learn to maximize vocabulary! It all begins with having the desire, a great strategy and strong commitment.
So, let’s get started! In today’s blog, I’m going to teach you the first three strategies to use when maximizing your vocabulary:
- Learn the Prefix – A prefix is a combination of letters placed before the root of a word and usually changes the meaning of that root word. There are several known prefixes: pre-, which means “before;” re-, which means, “again;” and un-, which means, “not.” Take the root word “organize.” If you add the prefix re- to “organize” the word now becomes “reorganize.” This word means, “To organize again.” Learning most prefixes requires the use of a good dictionary. Other prefixes are more commonly used and may already be familiar.
- Learn the Suffix – A suffix is similar to a prefix, but instead of adding it before a root word, you add the suffix at the end of the root word. Suffixes are less common than prefixes. However, they still change the meaning of the root word. There are several known suffixes: -less, which means “without;” –ful, which means “characterized by or able to;” –ish, which means, “belonging to;” and –able, which means, “fit for.” If you add the suffix -less to the word “care” the word now becomes “careless.” This word means, “not paying enough attention to what one does.” Just as with prefixes, learning most suffixes requires the use of a good dictionary.
- Learn the root word – The English language is comprised of millions of different root words. A root word is a word that can stand by itself and has its own meaning. Reading is an excellent way of learning new root words and expanding your vocabulary. A few common root words you may use are -photo-, -path-, -tele-, and -gen-. From these root words, we get the following words: photograph, empathy, telecast, and generate. Understanding the meaning of these and other root words helps us to understand the overall meaning of a word. Be cautioned: root words have more than one meaning. It is a good idea to find the word in the dictionary or use the context of the text to figure out the correct meaning of the root word.
Here’s your assignment for today: I want you to learn at least one new word that has a prefix and a suffix. If you’re really up for a challenge, go for three new words. Be sure to pay close attention to the root word. By knowing the prefix, root word, and suffix of a word, you will fully understand the meaning of the word.
Be sure to send me your new word at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you do, I’ll send you a free gift!