Tag Archives: vocabulary

Word Nerd: 11 essential words we have Shakespeare to thank for

12 Jun

Why was Shakespeare one of the best writers in English? He had the best stories, characters and words. How? Stories he improvised, characters he invented, and words he borrowed. Now, before belligerent bardolaters barge in, we’d like to say that yes, the Bard’s genius was just that – genius. And far be it from us […]

Word Nerd: 5 types of people with a big, black cloud over their head

22 May

Mondays – that manmade scourge – are the favorite day of no sane person. People who love Mondays usually fall somewhere between ‘annoyingly enthusiastic’ and ‘mentally disturbed’. The only reasonable response to Mondays is an ill-tempered grunt. So, without further ado, here are a few ways to describe most people on Mondays (unfortunately, some people […]

Word Nerd: ‘Apposite unfoldments’ and other words too fancy to understand

24 Apr

For some reason, some people think that the harder something is to read, the smarter it must be. But a long word or a complex sentence is not necessarily more effective than a short word or a simple sentence. Indeed, the opposite is often true.  We have discussed before why verbosity is a terrible way […]

Word Nerd: 9 Awesome Alternatives to Awesome That You Need to Know

17 Apr

Life is awesome, right? So is pizza, The Walking Dead, and your favourite pair of Converse shoes. The word gets tired and loses its glow with overuse. Ask Dean Winchester. So, for this Word Nerd, we came up with 9 lesser-known alternatives to awesome that you can sprinkle liberally on your conversations. We hope that […]

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: Everyone speaks Romani, the language of the Gypsies

20 Feb

Languages are often more interconnected than we realize. They reflect centuries, or even millennia, of migration, trade, and cultural borrowing. Although many of us may feel no connection to the Roma people (a.k.a. Gypsies), we do, in fact, share quite a bit of vocabulary with them. If you’re a Hindi or Urdu speaker, for instance, […]