Here are the 43
most useful words in the English language. The first nine words do one fourth of our verbal work; the remaining thirty four words do one half of it. The 43 words include
: are, be, have, it, of, the, to, will, you
; about, all, as, at, but, can, come, cry, dear, for, get, go, heart, her, if, in, me, much,
not, on, one, say, she, so, that, there, they, this, though, time, we, with, write, your. Words fall naturally into groups; they huddle around ideas like old friends.
When and where and how we use them depends altogether on our ideas behind them. As we develop and expand our ideas, me must use words to keep pace with them. The activity of writing constantly takes on new turns and phases; this means we are constantly developing new ideas, and consequently, new words.
A writer must know not only the words that belong to what he is writing. He must also
have an extensive general vocabulary, so that he can write and talk on current subjects in casual conversation, as well as communicate his own special interests to the average person. He uses his "special" vocabularies at work with his co-workers and with those engaged in the same or related pursuits. He uses his "general" vocabulary outside of work where he communicates plainly, frankly and conversationally with the everyday person. Take this dialogue as an example
"Sorry, sir," said a salesperson to a scientist who had come to buy a new TV, "but we're just closed out in that stock."
"Do you mean," asked the scientist, "that the species is extinct?"
"Yes," interrupted the scientist's wife, "he means that you cannot get it here anymore."
The salesperson had used a word group peculiar to retail trading; the scientist had interpreted him in a word group peculiar to science; the wife, making use of general words, had brought the two to an
Accumulate as many word groups as you can. Keep adding to them and revising them all the time. New situations and verbal emergencies constantly arise in life and business; and unless you have a reservoir of varied vocabulary, you will be unable to meet them. Above all, train yourself to translate and simplify your special words into everyday language that everyday people can understand.