English: what is a rebus?

Tutoring English, you discover new modes of communication. The tutor mentions rebus.

A rebus is a puzzle that suggests an idea partly with letters or symbols, but partly by placement or pictures.

Following my previous post about subtext, my little rebus example follows:

Do you understand the text?

Source: wikipedia

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: subtext

Tutoring English, you know it has its own terms. The tutor brings up subtext.

Subtext refers to the point the author intends to convey to the reader. It’s not the literal meaning, necessarily, but rather the true meaning. A quick example follows:

A sign hung on the wall: Non-members please have papers ready.

The subtext of the sentence above is that non-members will face more hassle than members.

Source:

Barber, Katherine et al (editors). Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what does equanimity mean?

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always of interest. The tutor brings up equanimity.

Equanimity means calmness: a state of mental peace.

The politician faced the hostile reporters with equanimity.

Source:

Gilmour, Laura. Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary & Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006.

Lifestyle: the origin of “tin foil hat”

Tutoring, the origins of common phrases can make fun topics. The tutor shares the origin of “tin foil hat”.

A couple of years back, someone described a conspiracy theorist to me as “a tin-foil-hat guy…when he’s not dead right.”

I surmised what tin foil hat must mean, having never heard it. I thought it a funny, charming phrase, but wondered about its origin. Since then, I seem to hear it often.

Wearing a tin foil hat suggests paranoia. It derives from the fictional premise that wearing a metal hat can prevent thought-detection.

Source:

www.businessinsider.com

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what is a morganatic marriage?

Tutoring English, you may encounter a surprise anytime. The tutor shares a find.

Apparently, a morganatic marriage is one between a high-status person and one less prominent, wherein the social standing of the partner of lower rank doesn’t change.

Source:

Gilmour, Laura (ed). Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary & Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins Publishers, 2006.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what does prolix mean?

Tutoring English, new, short, descriptive words are welcome additions to the vocabulary. The tutor mentions prolix.

prolix: using more words than needed, in a clumsy way; overly long for its meaning.

The essay was prolix; the student had padded it to fill the word count.

Source:

Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what is blank verse?

Tutoring English, blank verse is a term you might need to define. The tutor explains it.

Blank verse, in the traditional sense, is unrhymed iambic pentameter. (For an explanation of iambic pentameter, see my post here.)

In Shakespeare, members of the nobility typically speak in iambic pentameter, especially when delivering ideas that span many lines. The common people typically do not.

In Julius Caesar, Antony speaks in iambic pentameter at Caesar’s funeral (III,ii,116-135, for example).

Source:

Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 1996.

Coles Notes: Literary Terms. Toronto: Coles Publishing, 2009.

English: is some singular or plural?

Tutoring English, new ways to see familiar words can be interesting. The tutor brings up the case of some.

I would have said, spontaneously, that some is plural:

We bought some pens.

However, I got schooled by a handbook today:

Some wine is sweet.

We bought some sugar.

On the other hand:

Some wines are sweet.

We bought some flowers.

Apparently, some is singular when it describes a singular noun, but when describing a plural noun, some is plural.

Source:

Hodges, Horner et al. Harbrace Handbook for Canadians. Scarborough: Nelson Education, 2003.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: vocabulary: what does parlous mean?

Tutoring English, unfamiliar, two-syllable words are always great finds. The tutor shares parlous.

I thought parlous would be related to talking, but it’s not at all.

parlous: dangerous; risky

She views cliff-jumping as a parlous activity.

Source:

Merriam-Webster. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: vocabulary: what is a kegler?

Tutoring English, short, unfamiliar words are great finds. The tutor shares kegler.

I’ve been researching bowling lately, and have run across the word “kegler”. “Kegler” means bowler.

Source:

bowlmovementswy.blogspot.ca

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.