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Information from 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary

Dr. Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis tell you why you will get ahead by acquiring a larger vocabulary, how to acquire one, and have fun doing it.

Experience the wonder of words by focusing
on the various approaches to vocabulary learning.

Introduction to 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary

Scholars who have been searching for the secrets of vocational success over the years with experiments and years of testing have come to the conclusion that:

There are certain factors in success that can be measured as scientifically as the contents of a test-tube, and it has been discovered that the most common characteristic of outstanding success in a career is an extensive knowledge of the exact meanings of English words.

The study of words is not merely something that has to do with literature. Words are your tools of thought. You can't even think at all without them. Try it.

Without words you could make no decisions and form no judgments whatsoever.
—Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis

If you are planning to go down town today, you will find that you are saying to yourself: "I think I will go down town this afternoon." You can't make such a simple decision as this without using words.

A command of English will not only improve the processes of your mind. It will give you assurance; build your self-confidence; lend color to your personality; and increase your popularity. Your words are your personality. Your vocabulary is you.

Words have changed the direction of history. Words can also change the direction of your life. They have often raised a person from mediocrity to success.

If you consciously increase your vocabulary, you will unconsciously raise yourself to a more important station in life, and the new and higher position you have won will in turn, give you a better opportunity for further enriching your vocabulary. It is a beautiful and successful cycle.

—"First Day", 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary,
Pocket Books, Inc., New York, 1942, pages 1-3.

The Romance of Words

Words, like living trees, have roots, branches and leaves. The story of the root of a word is the story of its origin. The study of origins is called etymology, which in turn has its roots in the Greek word etymon, meaning "true" and the Greek ending; logia, meaning "knowledge." So etymology means the true knowledge of words."

After the roots of words. We next come to the branches. The branches of our language tree are those many groups of words that have grown out from one original root.

For example, the Latin term spectare which means "to see" contains the root spec, and from this one root have sprouted more than 240 English words.

We find the root hidden in such words as spectacle, those things you "see" through; in respect, the tribute you give to a person you care to "see" again; inspect, "to see" into; disrespect (dis, "unwilling"; re, "again"; spec, "to see"); therefore, when you treat someone with disrespect, you make it plain that you do not care to see him/her again; introspection, looking or seeing within; spectator, who who "sees" or watches.

If the roots are the origins of words and the branches are the word families that stem out of them, the leaves of this language tree would be the words themselves and their meanings.

Each given word, probably had only one meaning, but words are so full of life that they are now continually sprouting the green shoots of new meanings.

Is it any wonder that our unabridged dictionaries contain as many as 600,000 living and usable words that are continually shifting and changing in their meanings?

—"Third Day, The Romance of Words", 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary,
Pocket Books, Inc., New York, 1942, pages 20-24.


Pointing to English words for our modern age from Latin Greek sources English words for a Modern Age, especially those from Latin Greek sources or etymologies (prefixes,roots, suffixes).

This site includes many words that are used in our modern age,, especially those from "Latin-Greek sources".

Web Focusing on Words Site   

This is another way to find information on this Word Focus site or on Google.

The more words you know, the more clearly and powerfully you will think and the more ideas you will invite into your mind.
—Wilfred Funk

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