Archive | November, 2016

Word Nerd: Quirky Phrases from British and American English

28 Nov

“I love Americans, but not when they try to talk French. What a blessing it is that they never try to talk English.” Saki, The Chronicles of Clovis In an earlier Word Nerd, we’ve discussed how accents divide us even when we speak a common language. Today, we want to talk about how idioms and […]

5 ‘facts’ about engineering students

25 Nov

When it comes to STEM fields, many people rely on stereotypes that don’t always match up to the reality. We take a look at 5 ‘facts’ about engineering students, and see whether they are true or false. 1. They’re nearly all men Not quite all. The number of women enrolled in engineering colleges has doubled […]

Why Are Indian Students in Pursuit of a Western Education?

22 Nov

Being one of the growing number of CBSE students opting to go abroad for higher studies, I have been questioned on the same often. Questions like ‘Why abroad?’, ‘What is so different there?’, and ‘Is it not a wasteful expense?’ are staple in such conversations. The answer, however, is not something everyone can easily understand. […]

Word Nerd: Do All Words Attract Opposites?

21 Nov

Maybe you’ve been chided for being disheveled, but have you ever been complimented for being ‘shevelled’ or ‘hevelled’? And there must’ve been times when you were dismayed, but were you ever just ‘mayed’? Chances are, you’ve answered no to both questions. It’s because English, like life, is not made of binaries. Not every word has […]

Word Nerd: ‘Black money’ and other currency-related Indianisms

14 Nov

Since the Indian government scrapped Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes – amounting to some 86% of the country’s cash – on November 8, at just four hours’ notice, everyone in the country seems to have money on the brain. Here are some money-related words that any English-speaking Indian will understand without any trouble. But […]

The dilemma of switching majors from undergrad to grad school

8 Nov

Photo of journalists with cameras by UNclimatechange

As an 18-year-old, stepping into college was one of the most awaited moments of my life. I majored in the sciences in 10+2, and enrolled in an engineering school soon after. What happened since then has dramatically changed my life. Undergrad school kicked off with some intense pressure for me right from the first semester. […]

Word Nerd: Should Your Valedictions be Sincere or Faithful?

7 Nov

In this Word Nerd, we are talking valedictions, which sounds fancy; cucumber-sandwiches-and-Earl-Grey-with-the-Queen-and-Archbishop-fancy. But it’s just Latin for farewell. As Robertson Davies once said, “When John Ryder, for instance, writes I utter valediction to the author of my being, he means simply that he said goodbye to his mother.” And farewells are as important in the […]