Vocabulary: Limited Knowledge Can Diminish Intelligence

(everyone needs to constantly increase his or her word knowledge)

A limited vocabulary limits one's effective intelligence

There are multitudes of words, many of which are not known

There are in English over half a million words, of which most Americans probably recognize fewer than twenty thousand. Those who rarely read and whose interests are narrowly confined may actively use a hard core of only a thousand words for ordinary conversation.

Obviously, no one can hope to master more than a fraction of the 125,000 words included in most abridged dictionaries and this is even more obvious with the 600,000 plus words in each unabridged dictionary.

Despite the limitations of our vocabularies, words are still our primary means of communication and a limited vocabulary places limits on our understanding.

Language is equally essential for thinking and without it, no one can communicate. Before it learns speech, a baby can communicate no better than a puppy and often not as well.

Too many people have impoverished vocabularies

Unfortunately, many adults have vocabularies that have not progressed much beyond the elementary school level; and while they have more experiences, their communication and perceptions of ideas through language is so restricted as to hinder them in the area of mature and critical thoughts.

For this reason, vocabulary is one of the main elements in intelligence tests. These are formal measurements, and people are not necessarily more intelligent because they have had more formal education because we learn most of our vocabulary through other experiences than formal studies in educational institutions.

Most of our words come from the various media

Most people spend very little time studying dictionaries; instead, they work at their professions and hobbies. Did they have to consult a dictionary to learn such words as, "cinema, transistor, carburetor, computer, internet, spam," or the latest teenage slang?

Most people probably learned these and many other words from conversations, newspapers, television, politics, science, hobbies, or with things that they observed or were interested in; just as children learn to say "water, more, ice cream, kitty," or "mamma" and "daddy" to express their needs, desires, or interests.

Varieties of experiences are important elements in expanding our vocabulary and understanding

The more people read, the more they study the arts and sciences, the more they work with car motors or radios or music or any other field of activity; then the more they automatically pick up their terminologies.

Despite the expansion of vocabulary via a variety of activities, there are times when people must focus on a specific word, or word groups, so they can understand and appreciate some of their complications based on evolutionary changes through the centuries and learn more about their current meanings and acceptable applications.

So, the purpose of this Word Info site is to provide as many clarifications and acceptable usages of confusing and misused words as the various "authorities" that are available can provide.

Self-scoring category-subcategory vocabulary quizzes and tests.
A click on this banner will take you to three types of quizzes
for greater vocabulary challenges and experiences.