Have Some Color-coded Fun With English Word Origins

English word origins visualized

Grammar can be a pain in the butt, but who says it can’t be fun? Etymology, today’s topic, technically doesn’t fall under grammar, but my discovery is too fun not to share with all of you. A guy who runs the blog Ideas Illustrated has taken it upon himself to apply some color-coding technology to English text to make the concept of English word origins more visual. If you are a visual person like me, then this endeavor is definitely a welcome one! What he did was to rely on Douglas Harper’s online dictionary of etymology to determine the language [Read more…]

The Art of Dishing Out Insults

insults

Why would anyone want to dish out insults? I am a firm believer in courtesy and respecting other people. As much as I can, I keep insults to the minimum. However, I have to admit that there are times when you just can’t help but think insulting things. You might even be justified on certain occasions. If you are a writer, you’ll probably have more reason to make an insulting remark or two. I think that this is especially true if you write fiction, and your characters have a rough edge to them. So is there an art to dishing [Read more…]

Refudiate: 2010 Word of the Year

sarah-palin

Sarah Palin may not have succeeded in her quest to become the Vice President of the United States, but her time in the spotlight is not really over. While she did not` seek to be re-elected as the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has been busy with a host of other activities. Her own TV show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, is attracting some attention, together with her Twitter account: @SarahPalinUSA. Some time this year, Twitterverse was abuzz with Sarah Palin’s tweet using a one-of-a-kind word. Can you spot it below? “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, [Read more…]

Are You Ingenuous or Ingenious?

Confused

When I was teaching ESL, lessons on confusing word pairs were inevitable.  The level of the learner was irrelevant.  My students all needed clarification on certain word pairs.  Interestingly enough, I have discovered than even native speakers of English have similar issues.  The words in question may be of a more advanced level, but the confusion remains.  Just take some time to browse blogs, and you’ll find at least one example! For this week’s grammar post, let us take a look at some of words that are used interchangeably, when they shouldn’t be. Ingenuous and Ingenious I’ll be honest here [Read more…]

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