Tag Archives: language

Word Nerd: 7 words of wisdom that India gifted to the English language

16 Oct

Language and history often go hand in hand. The words we use – or don’t use – often contain fascinating stories within them that carry a good deal of meaning beyond the dictionary definition. Here are a few – feel free to add some of your own in the comments! 1. Ahimsa This Sanskrit word […]

Word Nerd: An English-speaker’s guide to funny Americanisms

25 Sep

By now, many Americanisms have crept into English around the world, thanks to pop culture and Microsoft Word. Perhaps you say ‘restroom’ for ‘toilet’. Or you may be one of those people who say ‘from left field’ even though they’ve never played baseball. And you probably know that a ‘cheeseburger’ is a mere shadow of […]

Word Nerd: How the passive voice can ruin your college application

11 Sep

It is well known that the passive voice should be avoided. The question is, who does the well-knowing and the avoiding? The answer, of course, is you and me. But it’s not always that obvious. When to use the passive voice First, without getting bogged down in a yawn-inducing grammar lesson, let’s look at what […]

Word Nerd: 5 zany words with a z that will expand your vocabulary

28 Aug

Z is the 26th and final letter of the English alphabet. Not a whole lot of words start with a z, only about 0.45%. But that’s no reason to miss out on this exclusive tribe of words. For this week’s edition of Word Nerd, we bring you 5 words that start with the last letter […]

Word Nerd: The silliest languages of the internet

21 Aug

In the beginning was the word, and the word was LOL, and from it, all memes were made. First came the cat jokes. They soon became so popular that even this €5.6 billion telecom company felt that this was a good way to impress people: The story goes back to 2006, when a Hawaii-based software […]

Word Nerd: 10 quirky words starting with a Q you will enjoy

31 Jul

Think of a word that begins with q (queen, queue, quintessential, querulous). Chances are you’ll flounder and fumble after you’ve listed 4-5. And you’re not alone. Q is one of the least popular initial letters in the English language. Approximately only 0.22% words start with an q. Keeping it company are the alphabets k (0.45%), […]

Word Nerd: How many of these world-famous fake languages do you know?

24 Jul

Many of us have, at some point in our childhood, conversed in a language that is fake, or perhaps made up a “secret” code with our friends. Here are a few fake languages that people around the world share, thanks to pop culture, books, and movies. Pig Latin: This is a “secret” language kids sometimes […]

Word Nerd: Why is spam called spam?

17 Jul

At every stage of civilization, human beings have battled different scourges ranging from the plague to dandruff. One of the scourges of our digital age is spam. The word generally refers to intrusive advertising on the internet. If you have email and a mobile phone, you have probably received such messages from strangers urging you […]

Word Nerd: 5 weird words heard at Wimbledon

10 Jul

It’s Wimbledon season, and tennis fans can’t stop talking about it, while their cricket- and football-loving friends keep trying to change the subject. Have you ever wondered about how strange the vocabulary of tennis is? Here are a few terms – feel free to add more in the comments! 1. Racket Selling match tickets illegally […]

Word Nerd: 8 weird definitions that you never thought belonged in a dictionary

3 Jul

Open any dictionary today – whether online or print, and look up a word. Even if you look at a word that’s funny, for instance a name you can call a person, the definition will be simple and precise. It’s easy to forget that these definitions have been written by real people with opinions and […]