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A good dictionary will not only give the various meanings a word can have, but will also give examples of the word used in different ways.Knowing the origins of words can help with understanding new words you come across that use the same prefixes, suffixes, or root words.
Also, the main aim of a general dictionary is often to give enough indication of the main usage of a word so that a speaker can use the word adequately in everyday life.
Because of the limitation of space the definitions might not capture adequately the exact meanings of words.
A good way to build a strong vocabulary is to set aside a block of time every day for learning new words.
About ten years ago, the Nielsen folks reported that the average American watched about 7 hours of television programming a day.
A good critical thinker knows that conclusions, decisions, or actions should be knowledgeable ones.
He or she knows that the best thinking is done when all pertinent data is presented.But if this scientist does not worship or submit to these beings, surely this does not mean she has a religion in the usual sense of the term.Finally, many technical words, such as "microwave", "hyper-inflation", and "a priori" are used in rather specialized ways."Red" does not mean blue even if all tomatoes suddenly were to become blue when they ripe.Explaining 'red' as 'a certain shade of colour' is of course not enough to distinguish the colour red from other different colours.This is actually a misconception, for various reasons.First, many words in the language are difficult, if not impossible to define. A reportive definition should capture the correct usage of the term that is defined. This includes the "bachelor" example above, or the definition of "prime number" as referring to any integer divisible only by 1 and itself.Of all the things people are ignorant of, nothing hinders critical thinking more than lack of adequate vocabulary.A quick and efficient way to overcome this block to critical thinking is to use a good dictionary, one that doesn't just provide synonyms, but provides etymology and guidance for usage.