Archive | October, 2016

Word Nerd: 5 expressions from the US presidential election

31 Oct

Cartoon of elephant and donkey standing against background that says 2016

One of the most historically significant elections of our lifetime is coming up on November 8 in the US. Unfortunately, each presidential election seems longer and more absurd than the last, resulting in trivialized campaigns riddled with half-truths and lies, and a bitterly divided electorate. Developing new shorthand for all kinds of absurdities seems to […]

Word Nerd: 8 English Words Inspired by Literary Characters

24 Oct

New words are constantly entering a language. Especially if that language is English (The Oxford English Dictionary adds approximately 1000 words each year). Words can be added by way of catastrophic wars, technological inventions, or simple and persistent mispronunciation. Quite often, the new words which are added are “authorisms” – which Paul Dickson defines as […]

Food adventures of a first-year international student

20 Oct

I’m a pretty easy-going person in terms of what I will or won’t eat. I am happy to be vegetarian – or not. I like spicy food, but do not equate hotness with taste. I’m willing to try strange foods even if I don’t quite know what they are. I’m just as happy with a […]

Word Nerd: How to Swear at Someone Like a Pro

17 Oct

Swearing is mostly impolite, sometimes necessary and rarely fun. But it is an indispensable part of human existence. Stubbed your toe against the chair at night? Got a ridiculously unreasonable colleague? Stuck in traffic while on the way to an exam? Favourite character dies in the cliffhanger? Letting your favourite rude words rip is a […]

How to Nurture Your Child’s Passion – Advice for Parents

12 Oct

Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan is Executive Vice President and Chief Research and Innovation Officer of Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University. He is also a parent. As part of a conversation with BrainGain Magazine, he discussed the unique path his daughter took while deciding what she wanted to do with her life. He also talked […]

6 funny exclamations from around the world

10 Oct

Recently, the Tamil word ‘aiyoh’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. It is unclear who might want to look up ‘aiyoh’ in an English dictionary. But anyway, the question is: how can a dictionary define exclamations like these? Here are a few from India and around the world that are hard to explain. Take […]

Word Nerd: 5 made-up words that are now part of the English language

3 Oct

If I were to ask you to say some made-up English words, what would be the first one you’d think of? The first that came to my mind was ‘Google’. But it’s more adapted than made-up. Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin took an existing word, googol, and changed the spelling. Today, when we […]