Tag Archives: culture

Word Nerd: 8 Quirky Phrases Which Make Your Language Colourful

6 Mar

Blue moons, green thumbs & red carpets – these colourful phrases are a staple of our vocabulary. So much so that we are almost unconscious of how quirky a take on reality they are! For instance, do Prince Charles & his royal mum really have blue blood in their veins? Unless royals are octopuses in […]

What Traveling Around the World in 2016 Taught Me

1 Feb

I think it’s safe to say I travelled quite a lot in 2016.  It all started in May with a trip to Australia, and only finished with November in US. Funny thing is that not one of them was ever an actual vacation. If you keep up with BrainGain magazine, you may remember that Meha […]

Word Nerd: How 8 Cities Got Their Famous Names

30 Jan

Ever wondered how a city or town gets its name? Places get their names from histories, geographies, and relentless change. For example, several Indian towns and cities have frequently changed names in order to reflect different perspectives. And in the UK, place-names are how invading armies – Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Norsemen & Vikings left their indelible […]

Word Nerd: 5 Creative Definitions of Success & How to Form Your Own

23 Jan

Success is a popular term. It is also a nuanced one; as much a personal definition, as a cultural construct. The word is derived from the Latin successus, which comes from the verb succedere – come close after. The question hidden in the word’s etymology then is – to come close after what? A lot […]

How a Rejection Letter from Oxford Became Viral Artwork

17 Jan

Claudia Vulliamy, an 18-year old from London, applied to study Classics at Wadham College, one of Oxford University’s 38 constituent colleges. If accepted, she would have started her course in September. But, with more than 24000 applications for approximately 3200 seats, Oxford proved a tough sell. And her application was rejected. What she did next […]

Word Nerd: Curving, Carrying & Dropping Balls – 8 Fun Idioms You Should Know

16 Jan

In this Word Nerd, we are talking about balls, because, apparently, we talk about balls a lot! And not just in the context of sports. It is a common metaphor in politics, business, or any kind of conversation. Not surprising, given that humans have been preoccupied with balls for millennia. There are handball drawings on […]

Word Nerd: 19 Words Banned in 2017 For Misuse, Over-Use and General Uselessness

2 Jan

In our Word Nerd blogs last year, we’ve talked about words to use, as well as how and why. For 2017, we start by sharing a list of words that ought to be banned, according to popular opinion. Every year, since 1976, the Lake Superior State University has been publishing the “List of Words Banished […]

Word Nerd: 6 Wintry Phrases You Can Use All Round the Year

26 Dec

Winter is not only coming, it is well & truly here. If not in the Game of Thrones, at least in the northern hemisphere. For Monsoon, we did a piece on how weather is a great source of creative inspiration in literature. So, for this week’s Word Nerd, we will look at 6 idiomatic phrases […]

Word Nerd: 5 expressions for the December holiday season

5 Dec

December is here, and that means holiday season in many parts of the world. Sure, everyone is familiar with the more common holiday traditions, like Santa Claus and decorated trees. But if it’s your first December as an international student, you’re probably on a learning curve. Let us help you out! 1. Snow Day This […]

Word Nerd: Quirky Phrases from British and American English

28 Nov

“I love Americans, but not when they try to talk French. What a blessing it is that they never try to talk English.” Saki, The Chronicles of Clovis In an earlier Word Nerd, we’ve discussed how accents divide us even when we speak a common language. Today, we want to talk about how idioms and […]