Tag Archives: language

Are you a serious word nerd? Here are 7 signs that give it away

13 May

BrainGain Magazine started this Word Nerd series in March 2016. Since then we’ve written about Americanisms, the secrets to writing a good sentence, to best way to insult someone, accents, and other oddities of this common language we speak. For this edition, we thought about the series itself, and its name. We thought too about […]

Word Nerd: 5 English words that owe their cool factor to hip-hop

16 Mar

By Anandamayee Singh In 2018, rapper Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize for his album DAMN. At 31, Lamar became the first hip-hop artist to win a Pulitzer in a category normally overrun by classical composers. His win came fifty years after the explosion of hip-hop in the streets of Bronx, making it, more than […]

Changemakers: How one teen’s love for reading is starting a literary movement in Delhi

15 Mar

By Rajveer Sardana It struck me as unjust that these stories weren’t available in Hindi. That their magic was lost for some children because of the circumstances of their birth. Little faces stare up at me, bursting into cries and requests “One more story bhaiya! Please!”” I cannot resist them. I reach into my backpack […]

Word Nerd: 10 German loanwords that English is never giving back

11 Mar

When stepping out of your comfort zone to study abroad, learning a new language is often one of the major reasons. At least it was for me when I traveled westward from Germany as a foreign exchange student to spend a year at an American high-school. For me, learning a language in a classroom, online, […]

7 posh French phrases that are now popular in English

8 Oct

Author: Pratibha Alagh What if we told you English belongs to same language family as Dutch – Germanic, but that it has more features in common with French, an offspring of the Romance languages? Strange, right? But, when it comes to languages, it’s not all about the roots. What is at play is another very […]

KWHS alumna gives TED-ed talk on valuing young voices

19 Mar

A student ambassador for BrainGain magazine, Ananya Grover studies at Amity International School in Noida. She thinks of herself as a nerd with a head full of questions about existence and experience. Ananya has an artistic side too – she loves dancing and calligraphy. In 2017, she attended Session A of Knowledge@Wharton Global Young Leaders’ […]

Word Nerd: 6 magical English words from Greco-Roman mythology

17 Jan

Since ancient times, mythology has helped form a bridge between abstraction and personification, between imagination and belief, and mind and speech. Myth is a feature of every culture. In fundamental ways, it helps explain the world to us. The means of that explanation is language. Naturally, myths are embedded in our vocabulary. Often, we use […]

Word Nerd: German, the original hashtag language

4 Dec

You know how hashtags work. A hashtag is a hash sign followed by a word. Sometimes a phrase is compounded into a single word. People can intuitively understand its meaning from either the word itself or the context. Sometimes, though, it’s possible to take it #TooFar #BeyondAllReason #DoesItEvenMakeAnySenseAnyMore #ICantEven. Well, if you thought this was […]

Word Nerd: 5 colorful expressions that are not really about color

13 Nov

Color can mean a lot of things besides the wavelengths that reach your retina. It can refer to embellished rhetoric, or imparting a certain tone to a story. In music, it can refer to timbre, which is what enables us to distinguish a note played on a violin from the exact same note played on […]

Word Nerd: 5 Aztec words that you definitely know

6 Nov

Technically, the language spoken by the Aztecs is known as Nahuatl, and there are many variants of it. It’s the language Europeans heard in the 16th century, when they first arrived in the great city of Tenochtitlan (the site of today’s Mexico City). Nahuatl has been spoken for more than 1,000 years in Mexico, where […]