August 25, 2012

Weekly Finds: August 25, 2012

A Man With Magnifying Glass by digitalart
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every week, we’ll be sharing a list of posts, stories, news, or opinions that we've run across the Internet during the past week or two. We won't be discussing them in detail here, but we do encourage you to check them out as they could contain valuable ideas and insights for your IELTS exam.

If you're ready, here we go...

Common Misused Words In English

A post outlining 4 commonly misused words.

"Versus"

Learn how to use "versus."

11 Quick Grammar Refreshers For Fashion Bloggers

The author took some of the most common grammar errors in the English language and put them into hypothetical sentences for fashion bloggers.

“For example” vs. “for instance”

Is there any difference between “for example” and “for instance”?

10 English phrases for extreme emotion

More idioms for you.

It’s 2012 — Nix Latinisms in Your Legal Writing

Learn why Latin words and phrases are destructive to legal writing?

How Our Brains Stop Us From Achieving Our Goals (and How to Fight Back)

The author explains how to combat your brain's own brilliance, overcoming the instinctual reactions which often have devastating effects on your long-term goals.

Vocabulary test -- Spilled Catchphrases

List of catchphrases to improve our vocabulary skills.

Differences Between “Tend To” and “Intend To”

Both “tend” and “intend” are transition verbs which are very close to each other. we invite you to learn the differences though.

Zombie Nouns

Learn why nouns formed from other parts of speech - nominalizations - are called “zombie nouns.”

English Evolving Much More Slowly on the Internet than During the Renaissance

This article argues that text and internet speak is not destroying the sanctity of the English language.

The origin and meaning of the word “boob”

Boob, as the author discusses, has nothing to do with female body parts. It is a dunce, idiot, stupid or bumbling person, etc.

By popular demand: Transliteration vs. translation

Understanding the difference between language and the writing system is essential to understanding the difference between translation and transliteration.

Synonyms Words

Learn what synonyms are.

Writers should not fear jargon

The author argues that researchers use complex language for a specific purpose, and science writers should be clear about what those reasons are.

Why no "all in all" peeving?

The author presents a good discussion about the expression "all in all."

Zero Tolerance can’t work for grammar

Read the author's view on why this can't work for grammar errors.

What was the most common phrase in English 500 years ago?

MatjaĆŸ Perc of the University of Maribor, Slovenia has crunched the numbers, and analyzed the most commonly used words and phrases in English, stretching back to the 1500s.

Grammar Rules: Subject and Verb Agreement

Learn the various grammar rules surrounding subject-verb agreement.

Titled or Entitled?

Is a book titled or entitled?

Do we think with language or concepts?

Do we use conceptual or linguistic thinking? Does the question itself have a real meaning?

Phonetic re-analysis

This is one of the reasons why you should should improve your listening skills.

Communication skill includes words, voice, and body language

The key idea is that words, by themselves, are necessary but not sufficient to create meaning.

Quotable Quotes, or is it Quotations?

Which should you use?

NINE WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR ANXIETY WHEN SPEAKING

The author shares valuable tips that we could use for our IELTS speaking exam.

August 18, 2012

Weekly Finds: August 18, 2012

A Man With Magnifying Glass by digitalart
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every week, we’ll be sharing a list of posts, stories, news, or opinions that we've run across the Internet during the past week or two. We won't be discussing them in detail here, but we do encourage you to check them out as they could contain valuable ideas and insights for your IELTS exam.

If you're ready, here we go...

The Lightning Bug vs. the Lightning

Here’s what the great American writer Mark Twain wrote about the importance of choosing the correct word: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Basic Rules of Punctuation

We'll direct you to guidelines for correctly using the most common marks of punctuation: periods, question marks, exclamation points, commas, semicolons, colons, dashes, apostrophes, and quotation marks.

SEMICOLONS; SO TRICKY

Read the authors discussion on the use of semicolons.

How You Write Matters

What you write is a proxy for who you are, and careless and sloppy writing reflects strongly on the impression the acceptance committee or reviewers will have of you.

5 Smart Ways To Improve Your Writing Skills

The author provides simple yet effective tips on improving your writing significantly.

Everything You'll Ever Need to Know About Language

The author shares some pieces of advice for those aspiring to use the English language while fending off the grammar critics.

And: The Rule That Never Was

Is starting a sentence with the word "and" wrong?

Top Four Guidelines for Using Commas Effectively

The author reminds us that these are only guidelines. There are no unbreakable rules for using commas.

The Problem with Plurals

The problem lies squarely with foreign loan words and the people who insist on using them correctly.

Who vs. Whom: The Official Guide

The rules for when to use “who” and when to use “whom” are based on the distinction between subject and object.

The strawberry and the bear – Let’s make anagrams!

Why would you spend your precious time making anagrams? Well, this could be a way for you to improve your vocabulary.

37 essential rules of writing

Grammar rules/misused words—or common mistakes that virtually all of us make at some point or another.

Are You Good?

Read about the author's findings on the origins and uses of this expression.

Are you FOR sure about that?

Check if this expression is correct.

Top 20 Figures of Speech

The author focuses on 20 of the common figures of speech.

August 11, 2012

Weekly Finds: August 11, 2012

A Man With Magnifying Glass by digitalart
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every week, we’ll be sharing a list of posts, stories, news, or opinions that we've run across the Internet during the past week or two. We won't be discussing them in detail here, but we do encourage you to check them out as they could contain valuable ideas and insights for your IELTS exam.

If you're ready, here we go...

Three syntactic canons

Find out how the Last-Antecedent Canon, the Series-Qualifier Canon, and the Nearest-Reasonable-Referent Canon could be of use in your IELTS Reading exam.

5 high school grammar rules to break (sometimes)

The author provides a collection of five of rules that could help us with our IELTS Writing exam.

Long Live Adverbs: An Ode to Rebellious Writers

Talking about the rules, here are just a few examples of how writers have successfully broke them.

Settle down! 6 guidelines for using the exclamation point

Here are sensible guidelines for the use of exclamation points.

Okey-dokey! The story of the birth of OK’s playful grandchild

Here's a history of one of the common phrases that we use.

Homograph/Homophone Venn Diagram

If you have difficulty remembering the difference between homophones, homographs, homonyms, heterographs, and heteronyms, this post could be helpful.

Writing & Grammar: Answers to Last Week's Comma Challenge on Compound Sentences Versus Compound Predicates

Good examples on how to properly use commas could be seen in this post.

"Decimate"

Does it only relate to a "reduction by 10%."

40 Helpful Words Ending in -Ade

Words ending in -ade (or -cade) often denote a vivid action (including, frequently, military activities or endeavors) or a product or outcome of an action.

Grammar Tips: 7 Words You're Probably Misusing

Mignon Fogarty mentions seven commonly misused words. She advises us to "get them right."

Rose is a Rose is a Rose: How to Search the Meanings of Words and Phrase Origins

Here are some web resources on word and phrase origins and a few print resources.

How dare you learn a second language imperfectly!

Is this what we have become as a society? Are there no more pressing concerns in this world than whether non-native speakers make minor spelling mistakes?

V is for Victory, and the Value of Vocabulary – The Alphabet Series Continues with Letter V

Often what defines the mark of a truly gifted writer, mastering vocabulary is key to rising above the noise and building a solid community of people who are anxious for the next post, the next article, the next commentary.

15 ridiculous new terms that might make the dictionary

A nearly 200-year-old dictionary wants you to help build its bank of words.

YOLO to Become a Real Word?

Recent reports have stated that, Collins, a leading British dictionary publisher since 1819 has been itching for new language, and who better to turn to than the public itself to suggest some new words?

Word Snobs, Mass Murderers, and Prestidigitation

The author shares his thoughts on the use of big words.

PODCAST: JACK HITT ON LANGUAGE DETECTIVES

The article discusses about forensic linguistics and what it can tell us about how we communicate.

A Matter of Fashion

The author argues that people must be taught the moment’s fashions with regard to grammar. However, those fashions cannot be equated in any logical sense with intelligence or moral worth.

HISTORICAL FORMS OF THE POSSESSIVE

Informative article about the origins of possessives.

8 Types of Parenthetical Phrases

Learn the different types of parenthetical phrases.

How to learn English on the Internet

The author has a list of companies that could help you learn English.

Parts of speech simplified

Each word in English belongs to one of the eight categories called parts of speech. Let's learn the basics again.

Coordinating Conjunctions and How to Use Them

Infographic discussing something about coordinating conjunctions.

Extraneous vs. Superfluous

What’s the difference between extraneous and superfluous? Are they redundant to each other, and how do these terms relate to redundant and other synonyms?

12 idioms about time

Infographic listing some idioms about time.

August 4, 2012

Weekly Finds: August 4, 2012

A Man With Magnifying Glass by digitalart
Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Every week, we’ll be sharing a list of posts, stories, news, or opinions that we've run across the Internet during the past week or two. We won't be discussing them in detail here, but we do encourage you to check them out as they could contain valuable ideas and insights for your IELTS exam.

If you're ready, here we go...

How To Speak Like A Native

Should perfect accent be our goal in the language learning process?

Pedal or peddle?

Avoid mixing up these two words.

Thanks for asking

Why do so many people respond to a “Thank you” with an answering “Thank you”? Whatever happened to the traditional “You’re welcome”?

502 (give or take) short tips on grammar, usage, style

The author wrote down the grammar tips he shared on twitter since 2009.

Mignon Fogarty: “OK,” “Okay,” and How to Deal with Other Troublesome Style Choices

Which between the two words should you use?

The woe that is in teaching English

The author here presents a very open-minded view on English language usage.

Cursive May Die, But We'll Talk About It Endlessly First

If cursive indeed disappears, what would happen?

Top 10 Rare & Amusing Insults, Vol. 2

More words for you.

8 Bite-Sized Tips for Staying Laser-Focused While You Write

8 Practical tips that we could also use for our IELTS preparation.

Infographic: The 12 most misunderstood English words.

Cool infographic on some commonly confused words.

An Illusion that Explains Why Typos Are So Hard to Catch

Every time you type an email or a document, errors are likely to creep in — and no matter how carefully you proof read, you might not catch everything. Why do we have such a hard time noticing typos and repeated words?

Top 3 Grammar Games

3 grammar games that will get students excited about learning grammar!

Essay writing guidelines

Why is essay writing so difficult to some and yet easy to others?

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

The author shares the grammar errors he sees, not only in editorial queries and submissions, but in print: in HR manuals, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and even best selling novels.

Is it Toward or Towards? Upwards or Upward?

Which between the two could be used?

Ghost like Swayze: a bit of hip-hop slang

Check out the author's thoughts on the usage of the words "ghost" and "swayze" in hip-hop.

How awkwardly to avoid split infinitives

The author discusses the implications of avoiding split infinitives.

Commonly Misused Words and Phrases, Part Deux

"Tow the line" vs. "toe the line?" "If you don't mind me asking" vs. "if you don't mind my asking?"

Do You Recognize These 7 Tricks Your Mind Is Playing on You?

More insights that could help you during your IELTS preparation.

How to Rock an Audience: from stage fright to stage presence

Here are very useful tips you could use before you take your IELTS speaking exam.

All or None

The author here addresses a common grammar error for writers: verb agreement with the pronouns all or none.

E.B. White's Books: Cute Pigs Correcting Your Grammar

The author celebrates E.B. White's birthday by pairing wordage rules and pictures of adorable piglets

The English Verbs - conjugated verbs

The English language concentrates on verbs to quite an extend and uses them very frequently. And yet, the verbs are easy to use as they are hardly conjugated. Read more about the author's discussion on this subject.

Why don’t we say “eastnorth”?

Q: We say “northeast” and “southwest” in giving directions, not “eastnorth” or “westsouth.” Why do we mention the up or down word first and the left or right word second?

Best Practices To Get The Most Of Your Writing

8 tips for improving one's writing skills.