Tag Archives: Humour

Word Nerd: 8 most commonly mispronounced British place names

10 Apr

The UK has bizarre place names. We’re not just talking about the tiny Welsh town with a name 58 characters long – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, or Pity Me – a village in Durham County. Between these two places – the first of which we doubt you’ll ever wrap your tongue around, and the second you will never […]

Word Nerd: 7 Impossibly Sophisticated and Smart Insults

27 Mar

Recently, we argued that poems can be as funny as they can be serious. In this Word Nerd, we’re making the same case for insults. Add enough wit to insults and they become glorious – masterpieces which are likely to offend and impress in equal measure. And if you’re finding it hard to think of […]

5 Funny Poets You Need to Read

22 Mar

Poetry, for most of us, is like an embarrassing aunt. The one we want to avoid at social gatherings, the one we nod at absently when she grabs us and talks nineteen to the dozen, the one we are reluctant to be seen with in public, for fear that she will bore or embarrass the […]

Word Nerd: 8 words for boring nonsense that just won’t stop

20 Mar

Every party has a crashing bore who will corner you and launch into a labyrinthine story. Every seminar has that one gasbag in the audience who will share a personal opinion disguised as a never-ending question. Every family gathering has that dreaded relative with a chronic case of verbal diarrhea. Verbosity is a common hazard, […]

Word Nerd: What You See is Not What You Say

13 Mar

Is English a phonetic language? Yes. No. Maybe. If it was as phonetic a language as Hindi or Spanish, we would speak it just as we spell it. Instead, we have the silent k’s (knowledge, knight, kneel) and g’s (gnash, gnostic, gnome), the moody oe sound (shoes, does, goes), and the troublesome th (Thames, Thomas, […]

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 […]

Word Nerd: 5 English phrases that only Indians truly get

27 Feb

English is a language that often seems to divide rather than unite its speakers from various parts of the former British empire. For example, when Americans speak of ‘boots’ and ‘bonnets’, they are referring to things you wear, but in British English, of course, the words refer to the front and back of a car, […]

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 […]

How nerdy can the Mannequin Challenge get? This lab has it down to a science

20 Dec

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a US government-funded research facility, recently issued a serious challenge to other research units: can they beat the nerd quotient of their amazing mannequin challenge? Established by the University of California in 1952, LLNL is a government-funded research and development facility that focuses on national security, especially nuclear weapons. […]