Why Do Old People Have A Large Vocabulary?
You may appear younger than you are. You may have good health and seem so. Your movement may be more upright and quick. Nevertheless, all that is forgotten when you speak. Your vocabulary and choice of words always give away your actual age. Although change of vocabulary is an aging factor that’s not given much attention, it’s an aspect worth reflecting on.
The term vocabulary is basically associated with a compilation of words known by a person or a group of people. Active vocabulary refers to words you use in your daily conversations, while passive vocabulary is words you recognize, but do not use frequently. Older adults have a larger vocabulary and are more precise in language usage. This is not so with younger people who are often sloppier in their communications, or simply don’t give heed towards mastering the language.
Can your vocabulary reveal your age?
If you are not linguists, it’s a fact that you’ll hardly stop to think of the terminologies used by those you communicate with. But if you become more alert, you’ll realize that vocabulary and phrasing pinpoints the age of the speaker with much precision.
The vocabulary you acquire at your young age from parents, family, and other close people is anchored in your brain all through your life. Even if it eventually gets out of fashion and disappears, once in a while it comes back to your mind for whatever reason.
The language you use to express yourself or get across your ideas is part of you that can’t or shouldn’t be faked. It doesn’t sound well when older people pepper their conversations with words that are used by the younger generation, as that would make them sound unserious.
Does Your Vocabulary Depend On How Much You Read During Your Young Age?
Leisurely reading as a child has been linked to vocabulary skills development for teenagers. But does reading still influence the depth of adult vocabulary? Do the books you read count, or is it just the general reading that matters?
Learning doesn’t stop when you’re through with your school years-whether you read a lot or not. Researches demonstrate that there is a huge increase in vocabulary between the ages of 16 years to 42 years. Teenagers at the age of 16 register a vocabulary test score of 55% while adults at 42 register 63% for the same test.
Reading for pleasure for both children and adults makes a difference in the amplification of vocabulary growth from adolescence all the way to the middle-age. Those who continue to read frequently after the age of 42 gain more vocabulary than those who do not read. Readers of fiction materials get the highest vocabulary gains. Hence, what you read makes a huge difference, not just the quantity of how much you read.
Does Exercise In Old Age Help to Overcome Age-Related Problems?
Seniors who regularly exercise are more likely to remember language terminologies and have less chances of becoming tongue-tied. Levels of aerobic fitness for adults are directly related to language issues that come with age.
This includes a state known as the tip-of-the-tongue. People who experience this condition believe they know a certain word but they are unable to pronounce it when speaking. It happens mostly as age catches up.
Other factors that contribute to vocabulary improvements in old age include quality sleep and a healthy diet. They provide resources needed by your brain to function well, boost your memory, and keep all your senses alert. The aftermath is the overall wellness of your body, as well as the ability to overcome language-related problems.
How Can You Learn A New Vocabulary As You Get Older?
One of the proven ways of maintaining good memory and healthy brain is being bilingual. Acquiring new vocabulary is a basic thing while learning a foreign language. Without vocabulary, it’s impossible to get across, write, or understand what’s being communicated to you.
This presents a major problem for most seniors who are learners of the language. They experience difficulties in terms of memory when communicating unfamiliar vocabulary. But even though it gets harder to memorize new terminologies as you age. There are some tactics that can be of help along the way.
Learn what interests you. Focus on words that you are happy to learn and speak. Learn vocabulary that interests you- could be related to your background, favorite pets or hobbies
Learn at your pace. Concentration span reduces with age. Have a schedule that suits your ability to learn at specific times.
Focus on one step at a time. Multitasking your way to gaining new vocabulary is not a good idea. Focus on one sector at a time, and polish it up before you move to the next.
It’s interesting that the elderly have a better command of language compared to young people. As you get old, time allows you to accumulate more vocabulary, especially if you read and communicate more. A childhood love of reading yields positive and lifelong outcomes in terms of vocabulary improvement. Some other aspects that influence the fluency of older adults include exercise, good sleep, and a healthy diet.
If you’ve spent a lot of time learning new things at an early age, you’re likely to have an easier time while learning a new language in your old age. Still, no worry if you haven’t, there are many ways to make your learning of a new language painless. This includes taking it slow, concentrating on a single language aspect at a time, and creating a schedule that accommodates your needs.