Apr

27

How to Build a Better Vocabulary by Nurnberg & Rosenblum is the sort of book I want my daughters to steal and grab away from me so that they adopt it now while they are half the same age compared to the age at which I found a certain zealous attachment to this book.

So, with the recently started summer vacations of the schools me and my wife brought over a new Scrabble Board. The two of us have been playing a few rounds every day creating much WWF style mental teasing at the wins and losses. In the resultant spike of competitive spirits the daughters have started playing the game of Scrabble for far many more hours of the days and the evenings.

In some days we are hoping that the competitive spirits would have soared to a point betwixt the two daughters that they would come to improvising and get at beating Dad at his own game. That's when I intend to leave the very old copy of this book which I used in the ever-competitive MBA entrance tests in India for the vocabulary sections of the exam under a pillow. I am hoping that a surreptitious caught red-handed look on the face would just be the finale of my act at selling the best book on the subject to my daughters at the age where they could gain most by beginning to build a system of continuously enriching their vocabulary.

Across the years, I have yet to discover a better system of building as rich and as utilitarian a vocabulary as this one book has in between its covers. It's a system that it helps with its readers acquire rather than just a focus on memorisation of word lists.

The closing sentence at the preface of the book says it all what lies ahead in the pages, "I love you" is all you would still need to say when you need to despite a vocabulary of the sort you are going to build with this book.

Commonsense, systematic approach to building a knowledge structure on the origin of words, outstanding ways on classifying and connecting with the origin, usage, context and meanings of words are just some of the things I would say in praise here. The rest of the weight of the recommendation would have already been gauged from my sales plan. Think of getting a Scrabble, this book and your own ingenious plan for this summer. Kids would grow up richer with access to more words and stronger with a richer power of expression, over course.

Adam Robinson comments:

Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis is the best vocabulary book out there, bar none, even better than mine (though I took a more scientific approach to which words to include, whereas the inimitable Lewis chose words that lent themselves to easy etymological analysis).

An excellent, excellent game, for children and adults, is Rush Hour, which has graduated challenges so can be done by 6 year old (or an Aubrey-esque 3 year old, no doubt!!), or a 60 year old. What I love about the game is that to advance one must be willing to move backwards. Reculer pour mieux sauter, for those who speak French (a good martial proverb in any event).


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