Tag Archives: Indian English vs British English

Word Nerd: 9 Weird Words for Body Parts

19 Dec

The human body fascinates all of us endlessly. It’s front and center – on magazine covers, in poetry and medical journals, in cultural debates and literary criticism, in rites and experiments. There are ways in which we talk about it, ways in which we should talk about it, and ways in which we never should. […]

What makes studying at United World College a wonderful experience

15 Dec

I had never even changed school before. All my life I had studied at one place. So, it was difficult leaving DPS Ruby Park: friends, memories, even teachers and the school itself. It was not just about school though. I was leaving my city, where I had lived all my life; I was leaving my […]

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: 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 […]

Word Nerd: How We Are Divided by a Common Language

5 Sep

359 million of us may speak English but accents still distinguish us – just like the brand of our watch or sunglasses, the degree we hold, or the clothes we wear. When we travel, accents can seem like verbal passports – they announce who we are and where we’re from. They also help us build […]

Word Nerd: How to Weaken Your Writing

1 Aug

Think of good, vigorous writing in human terms. It’s athletic: wakes up at daybreak, jogs 5 miles, then goes for a game of tennis. And it still looks like it just stepped out of the shower. In other words, good writing is fresh, confident and precise. Now, let’s think about mediocre or weak writing. It […]

Word Nerd: The perils of translation

23 May

Whenever we speak with someone whose native language or culture is different from ours, we are essentially translating. Good translation requires much more than a vocabulary – it takes a nuanced understanding of both language and culture. Japanese, for instance, has different verbs for the same action, and using a less respectful verb in a […]

Word Nerd: 5 Common English Mistakes That We Love to Hate

2 May

Last Monday, we argued about how language rules aren’t just for fools. This week we are going to look at 5 mistakes which are common and contrary to rules of good English usage. Language rules work like traffic rules – a combination of widespread practice and good sense. But common as these 5 errors might […]