Category Archives: Language & Terms

It’s All About “I”

Have you ever wondered why some words in English are capitalized (in big letters; type of letters at the beginning of sentences) and some words are not? Lucy has written about this topic before (see a couple of interesting posts here … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 5 Comments

The Word Of The Year Is . . .

. . . is surreal. In the early 1800s, Noah Webster wrote the first American dictionary to show how American English is different than British English. His dictionary, now called Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, is probably the most-used American English dictionary. Most … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms, Life in the United States | 12 Comments

What am I, Chopped Liver?

Hello, everybody! Today, I’m going to talk about a phrase you might hear in conversation, one that sounds just a little bit strange. Jeff:  “I heard that you need a singer for the show.” Lucy:  “Yes, I’m thinking of asking … Continue reading

Posted in Language & Terms | 7 Comments

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