Category: english

English: expressions: more or less

Tutoring English, the literal meaning of a word or phrase is important. The tutor opines about the expression “more or less.” Here is my definition of the expression “more or less”: more or less (adverb): true for practical purposes, if

English: idea completion in formal writing

Tutoring English, the difference between everyday and formal communication is important. The tutor mentions idea completion. Consider the following sentence: Life in a small town is easier. Informally, people likely assume what is meant is Life in a small town

English: words I didn’t know: plunk

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor mentions the word plunk. plunk (verb): to drop abruptly. Source: Mish, Frederick C. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

English: what does emolument mean?

Self-tutoring about news: the tutor mentions the definition of emolument. emolument:payment or gift, often due to position. It can be salary or other benefit. Source:

English: Sheryl Crow: “A Change Would Do You Good”

Self-tutoring about lyrics: the tutor reflects on a few lines from Sheryl Crow. Sheryl Crow’s lyrics have caught my attention numerous times. Her song “A Change Would Do You Good” contains a few examples. “Wear your fake fur on the

English: homonyms: yolk vs yoke

Tutoring English, homonyms continue to be a favourite topic of mine. The tutor mentions yolk vs yoke. Occasionally I forget, between yolk and yoke, which means which, so have to re-check. Yolk means the yellow centre of an egg. On

English: opposites in writing

Tutoring English, you notice devices that catch attention. The tutor mentions the use of opposites. I think people are interested when they hear opposites in the same sentence. I know I am, and still recall a couple of examples from

English: redundancies?

Tutoring English, you try to discourage redundancy. The tutor observes an apparent redundancy that perhaps isn’t. Sometimes the phrase “for some reason” is used. For example, someone might say, “I didn’t think you’d want coffee, for some reason.” For a

English: opposites: aptitude and ineptitude

Tutoring English, word curiosities are always interesting. The tutor mentions a pair of opposites. Aptitude means ability even without training, whereas ineptitude suggests scarcity of ability even past lack of training. The words are close to opposite, if not actually.

English: everyone vs every one

Tutoring English, subtleties can be important. The tutor mentions an interesting one. The pronoun everyone means everybody, so it can only stand for people. However, every one is general purpose. Consider the two following cases: She drove the large van