Category: vocabulary

English: august, the adjective

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor recalls…. I remember, decades ago, hearing that august can be an adjective. I’m sure my sister told me so. What does it mean? august:impressive by way of grace, dignity, or greatness, and earning spontaneous respect

English: what does excise (tax) mean?

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor notices a word and finally checks it. An excise is a tax levied on the sale or production of an item. An event has to happen for an excise to be due. Source: Mish, Frederick

English: vial and phial

Tutoring English, questions can linger for years before the answer is sought. I’ve long heard of phial, but didn’t know for sure. Yet, its meaning matches vial: a small bottle, perhaps for medicine. Source: Gilmour, Lorna, Editor. Collins Essential Canadian

English: approbation

Tutoring English, you might often see words you can’t recall. The tutor mentions approbation. approbation: good feelings, positive response Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

English: concision

Tutoring English, you might encounter a new word anytime. The tutor mentions concision. concision: conciseness Source: dictionary.com Gilmour, Lorna. Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary and Thesaurus. Glasgow: HarperCollins, 2006.

English: what is kerning?

Tutoring English, new words – especially plain ones – are always interesting. The tutor mentions kerning. kerning: the space between adjacent letters in a word. Source: Carey, Patrick. New Perspectives on HTML, CSS, and Dynamic HTML. Boston: Course Technology, 2013

English: light, or alight

Self-tutoring about poetic English: the tutor mentions a find. . A bird can alight on a branch, or light on it. Either way, the bird settles on the branch. Source: Mish, Frederick C (editor). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Vocabulary: irrupt

Tutoring English, new words – especially short ones – are always interesting. The tutor mentions irrupt. irrupt (verb): to suddenly arrive, or else increase. A population can irrupt, for instance. Source: Mish, Frederick C (editor). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster,

English: initiate, the noun

Tutoring English, unfamiliar words can surface – or less familiar uses of common ones. initiate (noun): someone accepted into a group, perhaps in a ceremonial manner. Source: Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford

English: “Minder”

Self-tutoring about English: the tutor reminisces, mentioning the term “minder”. When I was a kid, I used to watch a British TV show called Minder. I’d say it wasn’t a comedy, yet was very funny. It was about a small-time

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