Levels of Vocabulary - How The Tiers Work

by Jerrico_Usher

Quick overview of how language communication developes and matures

Vocabulary is one of those great powers we all use in order to communicate with others and to comprehend our life’s purpose. With vocabulary many learn how to understand other people but more so we often use vocabulary as a way to give others a way to communicate with us.

Through learning how vocabulary works, the words themselves, the potentials of utilizing the different levels of communication through the three tiers of vocabulary use itself, we can only come to the conclusion that vocabulary is one of our most essential and powerful gifts.

Developing vocabulary is based on our meshing our goals and needs with how we need to communicate them. Each tier is structured subconsciously for use in different ways.



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|█████████████████ Tier 1 █████████████████|


Tier one is the most natural tier of vocabulary, for it is made up of the most basic words, connector words, words we use every day and interchangeably with each other. In this tier there is very little need for memorization or definition teachings as often this tier is learned as you move about and talk to others. Your parents taught you this tier just in passing, telling you about the “sky” or words that connect other words like to, but, and, brother, sister, run and so on.


|█████████████████ Tier 2 █████████████████|


The second tier is the first tier of actual instruction and involves memorization of definitions and learning how to use them properly in conversations, writing, and so on. In the second tier, children are first exposed to the world of maturity, of using words for purposes that mean something.

Where talking in the first tier, the language most predominant in children five years old and younger, you're not really saying much, nor are your words designed to give personalization and purpose of will, the second tier offers this dimension of thought.

The second tier is where we start to pick and choose our words carefully, backing them with meaning like money used to be backed by gold. When we speak in second tier we utilize the first tier to connect these words and give it buoyancy.

Many spend the first 18 years of their lives developing and learning the first and second tier, only diving into the third by accident (i.e. known as using "big words") - they will read a book and a strange, to them, third tier word will lace the tier one and two sentences and they will get curious about it and go look it up.

This starts the journey and seeds the curiosity that inhibits the learning of tier three vocabulary structures.



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|█████████████████ Tier 3 █████████████████|


Tier three is the advanced levels, where words start to really make people think. Tier three words are more complex, the highest maturity and contain the most pointed and directing words in the language. Tier 3 words are not only potent but powerful consolidators of ideas- less words say MORE in this tier.

When people use these words they are not in mere conversation, they are utilizing all three tiers and displaying their maturity, their evolution of education, growth of wisdom, and often in this tier the ego is exposed in those not confident enough to speak in third level vocabulary naturally.

When speaking in second and third tier vocabulary you have to be careful not to use your words too loosely that they lack context or sound as if you're trying to sound more intelligent than you are. Many people tend to misuse words because they learned the word and its definition but lacked proper training of its use. Many do this out of laziness or some rush to get ahead quicker without having to do the work, then lack the experience of holistically comprehending the language to the point of using it dynamically and naturally.


|██████████ Vocabulary And It's Importance █████████|


When you boil it down, vocabulary is one of the most important things you can learn. Communicating at higher levels in corporate america or even to higher (financial class) class individuals used to hearing certain words all the time. 

In some circles if you don't use certain words and use the correctly, you can be shunned as an outsider. One place this really holds true is in high earning job interviews. How you talk and what words you use can show your astute or a poser, words can convey intelligence and even class.

Years ago I came to realize that words are much more than just communication tools, they can make or break an article, a meeting, even a job interview. 

I got a program called "Verbal Advantage" and it changed my life. Besides just teaching you all the powerful vocabulary commonly used by all classes (some specific to higher classes) they explain the entire history of the word, the proper pronunciation of the word, and how it's used. You learn as you go adding more and more words to your vocabulary.

The system uses a tiered system where by you learn gradually and gradually the terminology your learning gets more complex. By the time you finish the course you not only know fluently the words, can say them and even explain how they came to be, but you will use them correctly and see your life change around you. I never thought vocabulary alone could change everything but it really can!

You also realize that using certain words, for example, in an article that's supposed to appeal to several levels of people, you don't use elusive words (elusive if you never heard them before). You save those for power emails (i.e. to a corporate body) and the like. You can also use them in different potency for different things to make yourself look pretty astute, and in reality- you are.

Good Luck out there! 


Updated: 10/03/2012, Jerrico_Usher
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Jared on 08/02/2014

Great read, Jerrico_usher!

You bring up a good point in how people often misuse higher tier vocab words. I see it all the time. Knowing the definition alone just won't suffice when it comes to actually using the word in written or verbal conversation.

I want to recommend this site http://wordsinasentence.com which uses the vocabulary words in sentences. The sentences contain strong contextual clues which scream out the word's meaning. I find contextual sentences far more effective than forgettable, and sometimes difficult to understand definitions.

It's so cool so see how the pretentious and pompous sounding words can be used the right way with numerous sentence examples. That's why I'm not a big fan of dictionaries because they provide little guidance in how to use the word.

The site contains over 1,000 of the tier 3 words and has personally helped me tremendously in building my vocabulary ;)

And I'm certainly check out the products you listed here.

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