Category: english

English: recalcitrant

Self-tutoring about vocabulary: the tutor mentions recalcitrant. recalcitrant (adj): defiant of authority or duty. Hilariously, as a kid, I was called recalcitrant by someone who truly was. Perhaps it “takes one to know one:)” I hear recalcitrant rarely nowadays. Source:

Spelling: adapter or adaptor?

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor checks a fact. Adaptor or adapter? Either one, apparently: both are correct and have the same meaning. Source: Mish, Frederick C. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Vocabulary: surveil

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor “unveils” a word that’s indeed real: surveil. surveil: verb form of noun surveillance. To surveil is to carry out surveillance. Source: merriam-webster.com

English: scofflaw

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor mentions a word he’s never known. scofflaw: a habitual, unrepentant law breaker. Source: Mish, Frederick C. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004. Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University

English: hyphens in numbers

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor mentions hyphenating numbers. Indeed, numbers like 74 should be hyphenated, if written: seventy-four. I’ve never known so. Source: Hodges, Horner et al. Harbrace Handbook for Canadians. Scarborough: Nelson, 2003.

English: vocabulary: “self-effacing”

Tutoring English, new words are new discoveries. The tutor mentions one. I don’t know if I recall hearing “self-effacing.” However, I encountered it today. It means “tending to avoid attention.” Source: Mish, Frederick C. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

English: non-words: “irrecognizable”

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor relates a story. For years I’ve used “irrecognizable.” I guess I just didn’t type it. When I did yesterday, the spell-checker complained. (I think the spell checker and I have been ready to divorce numerous

English: transition: a noun

Tutoring English, you watch it evolve. The tutor comments on the common use of transition as a verb. I just checked two dictionaries: neither lists transition as a verb. Yet, since the late 90s, I’ve heard sentences like “I found

English: what is a “missive?”

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor mentions “missive”. A missive is a written message: a letter. It may be more formal than casual, perhaps urgent rather than entertaining. Source: Barber, Katherine et at. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current

English: morass

Tutoring English, words can return. The tutor recalls the word morass. morass: an impairment to motion or mental clarity, akin to a swamp one would try to traverse. I first heard morass decades ago, and hear it rarely now. Source:

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