Category Archives: Language & Terms

How Hot Is It?

Summer is winding down (coming to an end) in the U.S., and Matt Pace is probably glad to see it end. Pace is the weatherman for a TV station in Phoenix, Arizona. And in a recent interview, he said that he … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 7 Comments

Danger! Dumpster Fire!

In the U.S., our national elections are less than 100 days away. For the next three months we’ll read and hear a lot of what some call “politalk” – political talk – in news stories, TV ads, speeches, and interviews. … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms, News and Current Events | 6 Comments

Saying “It’s a Thing” Is Now a Thing

According to one source, “thing” is among the ten most commonly used nouns in English. It’s so common that if you are able to read this blog post, you probably already know what it means. Or do you? Certainly you … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 20 Comments

They Voted Them Out

Words come and go. Most words come into English – and other languages – rather quietly. One person uses a new word, then two, then a few. And when a large enough number of people use a word often enough … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 19 Comments

What to Say When You Get Unwanted Attention

We recently received a question from Victoria living here in the U.S., in New Jersey, who wants to know how to tell a man to stop bothering (annoying; troubling) her. She wants to know what she can say to him … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 12 Comments

The All-Time Most Important Blog Post in History Ever

You may not have heard the term “pleonasm” before, but we’ve all encountered (seen or heard) many pleonasms in our lives. Pleonasms — pronounced “PLEE – e – naz – ums” — are terms that use more words than are … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 18 Comments

Warning: TOEFL Ahead

“I need to take the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language). Can you help me?” I get a lot of emails like that every year, often just before TOEFL scores are due (need to be sent to universities). I frequently have … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms, Life in the United States | 10 Comments

The Other “They”

Here’s a short quiz for you: Which pronouns would you use to complete these sentences? 1. Someone left _____ lunch in the office. Would _____ please come get it? 2. When a student wants to study, _____ should try to find … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 11 Comments

5 Words I’d Better Not Hear You Using in 2016

Every year a group of professors and staff members at a small public university in Michigan (Lake Superior State University) publishes a list of banished words. To banish usually means to force someone to leave his or her home city … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 17 Comments

Are You A Hoarder?

“Hoard” is not an everyday word, but the idea of hoarding often appears even when the word isn’t used. Let me give you a couple of examples. Some of my students have enjoyed The Hobbit and Treasure Island – two … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms, Life in the United States | 24 Comments