September 1, 2012

Weekly Finds: September 1, 2012

A Man With Magnifying Glass by digitalart
Image courtesy of digitalart /

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...

OUPblog » Blog Archive » Puzzling heritage: The verb ‘fart’

Fart (“not in delicate use”) looks like a product of our time, but it has existed since time immemorial.

The Internet Isn’t Changing The English Language As Quickly As You Might Imagine

Research conducted at the University of Slovenia suggests that word frequency for the most common phrases in English was much more variable 500 years ago than in the present day.

Oxford English says goodbye to 16,000 hyphens

About 16,000 words have succumbed to pressures of the Internet age and lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Bumble-bee is now bumblebee, ice-cream is ice cream and pot-belly is pot belly.

Basis points

Is there any basis for using the word basis as a shortcut for based upon?

What the ampersand is an Oxford comma?

Your guide to the history and nuance of four common, and not so common, punctuation marks.

Ingenious vs. Ingenuous

What’s the difference between these 2 words, and are they even related?

“Take one capsule of this two or three times a day; it'll help ease the pain.”

Learn how to properly use the English phrases here.

3 Misplaced Modifiers

Here are examples on how to avoid misplaced modifiers in your sentences.

8 Tips To Prevent Writer’s Block – Exercise Your Writing Muscles To Become A Powerhouse Writer

The author shares tips that may help you start writing or keep writing if you struggle to finish.

Duz Txting Hurt Yr Kidz Gramr? Absolutely, a New Study Says

Middle school students who frequently use "tech-speak"—omitting letters to shorten words and using homophone symbols, such as @ for "at" or 2nite for "tonight"—performed worse on a test of basic grammar, according to a new study in New Media & Society.

8 Things You Shouldn’t Accept in Life

Starting to get depressed on your IELTS scores? The author shares good insights on how to overcome our trials and obstacles.

The Body Language of Power: How to Gain Status and Confidence

Do you know how to use body language effectively? To gain status and confidence, learn these simple yet powerful techniques that could be used for your IELTS speaking exam.

In Which We Consider Banned Food Writing Words

The author shares her thoughts on lists containing overused words and phrases in the foodie genre.

5 Stupid Grammar Myths (and Why You Should Follow Them at Work)

Ending a sentence with a preposition isn't actually wrong—it's just that everyone thinks it is. Grammar Girl weighs in on this and other common rules.

35 Modern Words Recently Added to the Dictionary

From Bromance to Twitterati, here are some more recent additions.

What happens when a language dies?

Check out the author's discussion on language death.

Columnist Annie Murphy Paul: Why Chatspeak Might Influence English Learning

Language change is largely a bottom-up affair — and the moment is ripe for a mass movement to simplify English spelling.

Feeling the pressure or feeling the excitement?

How do you label your public speaking nervousness? Do you say, "I hate public speaking?" How about saying to yourself, "I'm excited to have the opportunity to share my message with this audience?"

Holmes & Watson Amid the Apostrophes

Read an article about forensic linguists.

How We Talk About "Other" Men and Women

A married man's lover is his mistress. What's the name for a woman's illicit lover? Searching for an answer to that question points to the many gender-related asymmetries in English.

A funky thing happened (on my way to understanding)

Every language has words that its own speakers, or speakers of other languages, deem untranslatable.


Text messaging may offer tweens a quick way to send notes to friends and family, but it could lead to declining language and grammar skills, according to researchers.

What Does Letter Writing Teach Us

When was the last time you sent or received a letter? Letters are your legacy. Something to remain after you’re gone. Isn’t that one of the reasons every writer writes and every artist creates?

What is the role of emotion in public speaking?

The author suggests that you should find the right emotions and make them a part of your presentations.


The author suggests that we should try to do something you are bad at too whether that is singing, speaking or drawing. "Just do it!", she says.