Month: August 2017

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:

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Math: Excel: square roots of negative numbers

Tutoring college math, complex numbers will likely arise. The tutor mentions using Excel. Square roots of negative numbers (aka, complex numbers or imaginary numbers) may not be encountered by many high school students. However, in college math they are used,

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School supplies: stick pens

Tutoring, school supplies are ever-present. The tutor brings up stick pens. Stick pens (ball-point with a cap) are perhaps my favourite kind. One reason I like them is they don’t make noise. Plus, they’re cheap enough that it makes sense

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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

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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

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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:

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Lifestyle: microwaving coffee or tea: a safety precaution

Tutoring, I drink coffee. (What academic doesn’t?) The tutor gives a hint for those who microwave coffee but drink it black. I’ve been told that, when you microwave a cup of liquid, an air bubble can develop beneath the surface.

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Lifestyle: taking the transit bus

Tutoring, I rarely go offsite, but it can happen. The tutor shares his recent experience taking transit. As a student, down in Victoria, I never owned a car. For years I bought a monthly bus pass; transit was how I

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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

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School supplies: pens

Tutoring, you see all manner of school supplies. The tutor mentions two kinds of pens. I love good pens. By “good” I mean they write well. There are a few classifications of pens, from my point of view: stick, click,

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