December 8, 2012

Weekly Finds: December 8, 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...


Changing Rules

The author expresses his dislike of word usages that have become acceptable just because they have become so common.

The Fundamentals of Nouns

Parts of speech serve our communication needs with hardly a conscious thought on our part, but they operate according to a complex, interdependent set of rules and procedures. Here are the basic principles of the noun.


Writers' Favorite Punctuation Marks

The author gathered some thoughts on punctuation favorites from a few of her favorite writers and word-minded folks around the web.

Humor for Writers - Punctuation Parable

The author shares 2 letters in the article and asks what percentage depends on punctuation.

4 Punctuation Marks for Forming Appositive Phrases

An appositive phrase extends a sentence by adding more information in apposition (meaning “related to” or “juxtaposed with”) to a word or phrase preceding it.

Hyphens and Dashes

Hyphens and dashes are two distinctly different punctuation marks and a proper understanding of each will avoid embarrassing mistakes in your writing.


5 Quick Hacks to Kill Your Excuses and Pursue Your Dreams

Making excuses is easy, but taking action is hard. The stars will never align and the conditions will never be perfect, so you might as well get started now.

How to Practice the Art of Detached Focus to Achieve Your Goals

Having the ability to decide at each moment what merits your attention is to me one of the secrets of success. It’s been proven time and again by sports stars and high achievers If there is something you want, fearlessly focusing on it will give you a much higher probability of achieving it.

Improve Your Memory with The Chunking Technique

Most of us are able to store only about four to seven different items in our short-term memory. One way to get past this limit is to use a technique called chunking.


Eight Tips to Decrease Public Speaking Anxiety

We could pick up valuable tips in this article for our IELTS Speaking exam.


Flew v. Flied

The author studied the number of incidents these words were used.

The astonishing life of “Wow!”

What is “wow” supposed to be? An expression of disbelief? Surprise? Awe?

The Longest Word in English (Pronounced)

The chemical name of titin has 189,819 letters.

The Whys and Hows of Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing, rewording of spoken or written content, is a necessary skill for every writer. This post discusses the purposes of process of paraphrasing.

Language Use Is Simpler Than Previously Thought, Study Suggests

For more than 50 years, language scientists have assumed that sentence structure is fundamentally hierarchical, made up of small parts in turn made of smaller parts, like Russian nesting dolls. A new Cornell study suggests language use is simpler than they had thought.

The Secret Lives Of Little Words

What's that word doing there? When it comes to spoken language, nothing is accidental. Linguists are working on finding meaning in every 'oh,' 'um,' 'well,' and 'okay.' The results might surprise you.

There’s a First World. There’s a Third World. Is There a Second World?

We often hear about the plights of the Third World, and most of us have our share of First World problems. But is there something in between—a Second World?

Wednesday Words: Touchception, Politico Hipsters and More

Time NewsFeed's weekly highlight of our vocabulary includes useful, new and surprising words (as well as some that are just fun to say)...

Eschewing Comfort Words in Legal Writing

Vice President Biden’s convention speech illustrated the problems comfort words pose to persuasive legal writing—literally.

When Did Yoda Start Writing CEO Speeches?

The "backloaded business sentence" must. Go. Away.

Classical Words of the Day

Improve your vocabulary with these classical words.

Vocabulary Word of the Day - Dunderhead

Did you know that “Dunderhead” is an actual word?

Vocabulary Test: Know Your Psychoses

It's amazing how loosely the terms in this post are used (and misused) in everyday writing and conversation. Take this vocabulary test.

Language Evolution in 50 Words

How did structure evolve in human language?

20 Words the English Language Borrowed from Others

The words in this post are 20 loanwords and phrases used in the English language that have undergone little or no modifications from the donor language.