#6 Look it up!
This might shock some of you(:p) but I do, regularly, use a dictionary and a thesaurus! It is true. I realize that this might get me in trouble with some of the more serious bloggers who use the words "sagacious" and "dendrite" on a regular basis and would be thinking I'm playing a part when I use words that are more of the impressive genre but I'm not embarrassed to say it, I do look things up! Those who would judge once opened their Websters as well, whether they admit it or not, and I'll tell you why.
1) Because reading, where we often stumble upon new words, is not only an opportunity to use one's imagination but to expand one's knowledge. If I were to simply graze over the meaning of "presentiment," without a glance at my dictionary, I might just lose the meaning of a sentence, completely, which is a travesty in it of itself. The author used that word for a reason. But by not investigating it's meaning I am also limiting my current vocabulary and my ability to engage readers as similarly in my own writing. This leads me to my next point.
2) Why? Because a vocabulary adds to the beauty of composition. A sentence could read," The little boy was sad" but where is the luster, the pow, the piece de resistance in that? It is far more glorious to say,"The child was inconsolable, despondent, doleful," and I have inferred that dutiful inspection of a word as well as how that word is used is more than vital to one's writing. Otherwise, one finds their writing to become dull and tad bit boring, full of commonplace descriptors and analogies.
I have become more aware of the ever rarer population of word lovers and just simply, literature lovers nowadays and it sadly shows. It seems that one need only to listen to two people converse in a coffee shop, a bar, the gym, at Panera to know that we have become nothing more than primordial sloths limited to uninspired discourse: " And like, she didn't have to say that, it was completely rude and stupid." " Ya, she was a total !@#% to you." Now please, don't get me wrong, I am not a grammatical nazi who gets hacked off every time someone uses the word "like" too much or uses a word incorrectly. I'm guilty on both counts of literary negligence. However, it does cause me to wonder about our future children whose vocabulary will be nothing more then a collection of primary sentiments and colorful expletives.
So I guess there are two recommends here, in one. 1) Read more folks! 2) And look up your dang words!
The manner in which we communicate separates us from the animal kingdom. Those of which are limited to grunting, barking and a variety of other noises. I don't know about you, but I much prefer words.
P.S. If you're reading this, odds are you hold some respect for literacy. I realize I'm preaching to the choir.