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In fact, you might well discover that the words you've written down are rather common.
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.
Books that group words according to what they have in commonmore in meaning than in spellingare especially useful.
Pursue words actively and become alert to words that you simply overlooked in the past.
Click on any of the words within that construct and a new pattern of connections will emerge.
Try the Visual Thesaurus with several different kinds of wordsverbs, adverbs, nouns, adjectivesand try adjusting some of the various controls on the bottom of the window.
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.
At least half of the words in the English language are derived from Greek and Latin roots.