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Why do newspapers and magazines use difficult words in their articles?

Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help. The best way to increase your vocabulary is by reading. When you encounter a word you do not know, look it up in a dictionary and make it part of your working vocabulary. If you keep a list of the words you do not know, in the context in which it is used, you will find often that the same words are repeated. Often you can "guess" the meaning of the word by how it is used. In fact, you might make a "game" of seeing how many words you can understand before you look it up! Remember that something only seems difficult when you haven't encountered (met) it before.

Excellent ideas from SraJMcGin.

I've been told (but haven't checked these things out for myself) that the LA Times and the NY Times have higher reading levels (longer sentences, more difficult vocabulary) than most other newspapers in the country. If that's true, then my conclusion is that they expect their readers to be among the best educated in the country.

For example, I put the text of this article into a Word file, and learned that it has a reading level of 12.8 (that is, 12th grade, 8th month). That's very high.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/world/middleeast/20lebanon.html?hp&ex=1156046400&en=29d5a780e1d505a5&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Most newspapers in the country have an average reading level of about 6.0-9.0, I've been told. It'd be interesting to know if that's true.

=)

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