Vocabulary Prowess
People who worked for and with the late deputy prime minister of Singapore, Dr Goh Keng Swee, observed that he would hone his vocabulary in meetings, writing out synonyms and antonyms of some of the words under discussion.

Concise Clearness
He would even aim for at least five synonyms and five antonyms. Reportedly, he even did this in cabinet meetings. Evidence of a mind that was always thinking, he also believed in clear and concise writing.

Better Standards
Dr Goh would give some civil servants a book – The Complete Plain Words by Sir Ernest Gowers, a British civil servant. This was part of his quest for better standards as he had encountered writing that was long-winded, unclear and contained grammatical errors. Waffling was another writing and speaking no no for him.

According to The Straits Times, in the 1970s Dr Goh persuaded Mrs Joanna Hennings, the wife of the then British High Commissioner to Singapore, to conduct writing courses for civil servants.

Clear Success
When you are at college you may learn a lot of words and want to use them. As a result of this, there may be a tendency to want to show off. However, in the business world people just want to see the proposals and recommendations you have in the most clear and concise way.

Good Mental Exercise
Take a leaf out of Dr Goh’s book and whenever you get a chance – think of synonyms and antonyms for the words you are using. It is good mental exercise and will increase your vocabulary and thought processes.

Is your audience with you?
There is a story that says that when Dr Goh saw the sentence, “This is sufficient,” he asked would the word “enough” do? The moral of the story is – when it comes to the final content of your communication – think of your audience and think what word they will understand the most.

Vocabulary Strengthener
Think of synonyms and antonyms as much as possible. The double win is at work here: It is good mental exercise and also strengthens vocabulary at the same time.

Life Long Quest
Maintaining and improving your standard of English is a life-long quest for all speakers of English whether English is your first or second language.

Author's Bio: 

I am an English specialist with I CAN READ. I have worked for major British institutions: British Council, British High Commission, British Railways Board and Linguaphone. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. I am an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). Connect: Email susanmckenzie2003@yahoo.co.uk http://sg.linkedin.com/in/susanmckenzie https://twitter.com/#!/abetoday http://www.facebook.com/pages/Teacher-Su-McKenzie-English-Expert-Total-L...