Exercise: Level up your style!
In order to diversify your vocabulary, here is a strategy that can help you.
1. Visit the Oxford Dictionary Online.
First, visit the Oxford Dictionary Online. (You can access it by typing oald8.com into your browser’s address bar.)
Find the following words there: commence, terminate and endeavour. You will see that they are all marked as “formal”.
Read the definitions and think of an informal alternative. Then, click on “Show solutions” to see whether you were right.
Now these were only a few words that you now know in a formal and an informal variant. How do you expand your vocabulary now with all different sorts of words?
2. Open thesaurus.com next to the Oxford Online Dictionary
For this next step you need another website called thesaurus.com.
“I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it up there,” she said. “I got it down with a stick and put it on a fence post.”
Say is such an overused word – I am sure that you can do better than that! For this, look for all different kinds of synonyms on thesaurus.com.
When you have found one you like (for example, state), go to the Oxford Online Dictionary and enter it there. Check out what it really means and if it corresponds to your initial idea. Also, note whether this word is considered formal, neutral (nothing is mentioned then) or rather informal.
If you practise this routine over and over again, as time goes by you will find many alternatives – and your language will become a lot richer in detail and word range.