Tag Archives: word nerd

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: 5 Hinglish words that don’t travel well

18 Sep

If you’re an English-speaking Indian, there are bound to be some words that you fully believe are English. And with good reason: they can be found in an English dictionary. But to someone from another English-speaking country, their peculiarly Indian usage can be a head-scratcher. And that’s the best-case scenario – in the worst case, […]

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 words to help you brag about your beautiful campus

4 Sep

They don’t make buildings like they used to any more. No, really, they literally don’t. That’s why most of us have no idea what to call those little decorative thingies. You know, those fussy-looking thingummyjigs above the whatchamacallit. Problem is, unless we have a particular interest in historical architecture, we are unlikely to know the […]

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: 7 knockout words that start with K

7 Aug

K, you will be surprised to note, is considered the funniest sound in the English language by comedians. It is also not a popular choice as an alphabet to begin words. Only 0.45% words start with a k. That’s no reason to not include the following words in your vocabulary. So here are 7 weird, […]

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: 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 […]