Category: english

English: what does endemic mean?

Tutoring English, words are always interesting. The tutor mentions an example. I still recall the first time I heard “endemic,” almost 25 years ago. A radio broadcaster used it. (That was in the days when people made commentary without worrying;

English: ideologue

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor mentions the word ideologue. An ideologue is someone who lives their code of beliefs. It’s the first ‘o’ I find interesting here: ideologue, yet idealist. Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current

English: obviate

Self-tutoring English: the tutor mentions a word he noticed. Obviate means to relieve from need or from peril. Finding your own pencil can obviate the requirement of borrowing one. As well, one can obviate holiday panic by starting their Christmas

English: Homonyms: syntax vs sin tax

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor notices another pair of homonyms… Calling syntax and sin tax homonyms might be a stretch, since sin tax is two words. People might hear them similarly, however. syntax: the rules of order and construction in

Spelling: “forgivable” misses

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor mentions an interesting notion. In English, consonants are easy, but vowels can be a challenge. Perhaps that’s why we might forgive wrong consonants but can’t forgive wrong vowels. For instance, consider the word “meant”: spelling

English: platitude

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor mentions the word platitude. platitude: a meaningless remark made automatically. A platitude might be “You’re soaked” when someone comes in from the rain. The common “I’m so sorry” when someone encounters misfortune is another example.

English: trite

Tutoring English, vocabulary, especially uncommon, short words, is always interesting. trite: overused; automatically said, so apparently insincere. Examples in italics: I fell down the stairs. -You should be more careful. I caught the flu. -I’m so sorry to hear it.

English: using “it” as a subject

Tutoring English, common constructions can cause review. The tutor mentions using “it” as a subject. Scenario 1 Speaker A: What’s the weather? Speaker B: It’s raining. Scenario 2 Speaker A: How can you tell someone is lying? Speaker B: It’s

English: phonics: digraph vs blend

Self-tutoring about English sounds: the tutor shares about digraphs and blends. A digraph is two consonants that combine to make a single sound not recognizable from the combining ones: th and ch are examples. A blend is two consonant sounds

English: obfuscate

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor mentions a word he recently noticed: obfuscate obfuscate: to make more confusing; to hinder understanding. Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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