Your magic number: 26.
How many words do you speak and write per day? How often do you see a word in an article, report, book, headline, letter or e-mail that you don’t know and yet don’t bother to look up? Let’s say you do look it up, do you remember it? Do you use it again and again in order for it to imprint your brain so you’ll always remember it?
Repitition equals learning.
Remember when you first learned how to drive a car? If you learned on a stick shift, I’m certain you had one or two neck jerks before you smoothly changed from first, to second, to third, to fourth and possibly fifth gear. Repetition. Remember your first day on the job? How many questions did you ask? How long did it take you to feel comfortable and knowledgable about your position? Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Words make up our worlds – Universe. Are you bi-or multi-lingual. (If so, I’m so jealous!) Words make the world revolve, and their tone make the world either stop or fast-forward! In one of my favorite movies: “My Fair Lady,” Eliza Doolittle sings, “Word, words, words, I’m so sick of words…!” Her message is to “show me!” Verbal and non-verbal are the most powerful communication tools we have. How do you use them?
Watch people interact at the check-out counter, at the movies, in restaurants, at work, at home, with friends, co-workers, family and the like. Each time we open our mouths we’re making our thoughts known.
Like stopping at a red light, or running through a yellow! – we don’t stop to think about what to do, we just do it. When we form and write sentences with our thought patterns, we don’t really stop to think about what words to use. (Sometimes, I wish I had, but then again, my brain works too fast when I’m talking!) Words: one-letter words or twenty-letter words, they all come from the same 26 letters.
Your world, my world, most Romance-language worlds, and your best friend’s world all revolve around 26 letters that in turn form an amazing amount of power.
Use those powerful 26 to your advantage and teach yourself 10 vocabulary words a month. Look up the words you don’t know and then through repetition, use them. Of the 250-plus-thousand words in our dictionary, you can master up to 60,000. And all of them stem from those initial 26 letters in our alphabet – imagine!
Just think the e-mail you just wrote, the words you just read, the report you’re about to deliver all come from those might 26; cherish them and use them to your advantage.
Happy Passover, Easter and Friday.