What's happening is not that, all of a sudden, people are using words you never saw before, but that you are now reading and using words that you had previously ignored.
Most bookstores carry books on building a more powerful vocabulary, some of them with zany names such as Thirty Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary.
Two trucks loaded with thousands of copies of Roget's Thesaurus collided as they left a New York publishing house last Thursday, according to the Associated Press. It is often useful in discovering just the right word you need to express what you want to say.
Witnesses were aghast, amazed, astonished, astounded, bemused, benumbed, bewildered, confounded, confused, dazed, dazzled, disconcerted, disoriented, dumbstruck, electrified, flabbergasted, horrified, immobilized, incredulous, nonplussed, overwhelmed, paralyzed, perplexed, scared, shocked, startled, stunned, stupified, surprised, taken aback, traumatized, upset. Make sure you correctly understand the definition of a word (by using a dictionary) before using it in some important paper or report.
When people use a word that puzzles you, ask what it means!
You'll find that most instructors, especially, are not in the least bothered by such questionsin fact, they're probably pleased that you're paying such close attentionbut if they do seem bothered, write down the word and look it up later, before the context of the word evaporates.
The tricks of the trade you learn over the next few months will help you in every other research assignment you'll have as a student..beyond.
in English to veterans in journalismknows the frustration of not having the right word immediately available in that lexicon one carries between one's ears.
Often you'll find that learning one new word leads to other new words, little constellations of meaning that keep your brain cells active and hungry for more.
Make reading these articles one of your daily habits, an addiction, even.