I've been complained about the sheer number of English words for a long time, especially when a lot of words can be used to describe one thing, each representing a slightly different shade of it, the subtlety of which can be easily detectable by native speakers but often escape notice from everybody else. However when … Continue reading New Word #32: Humor
There are countless confusing pairs in English that it is very easy to mistake one for the other. Here I list a few that I encountered recently. wreck and wrack wreck: a vehicle or ship that has been destroyed or badly damaged wrack: 1 : ruin, destruction. 2 : a remnant of something destroyed. These … Continue reading New Word #28: More Confusing Pairs
Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash I have never been very comfortable with this issue since there are so many exceptions to the rule that I often wonder if I would be making a mistake if I follow the rule--as a non-native speaker, this is nothing new to me. At first I was quite frustrated … Continue reading New Word #26: Singular Or Plural
Some words are created to communicate, while others just to confuse. I thought I read "ruminative" on an article about what Fran Lebowitz has to say about her current state of staying at home, but it is actually "remunerative". I don't know about native speakers, but as a person learning English as a second language, … Continue reading Word Confusion
"Somnia" is not a word; "insomnia" is. That's just English. Non-native speakers (like me) beware. There are as many exceptions to the rules as those that follow the rules. Not only many words starting with "in" don't have corresponding antonyms that lose the prefix "in", but also some "in" and non-"in" pairs completely disregard the … Continue reading Insomnia vs. Somnia
"Have you registered to vote?" The lady behind the thick plate of glass asked. "No." I answered."Why do you answer for her? I am asking her?" The lady said, pointing to my friend W. I translated for W and W shook her head. So I said "No" across the glass barrier again."Do you want to … Continue reading Event Before Election
What does the word "russet" mean? Also words like "orb", "presage", "quaff", "brogue", "dirigible", "druid", "patisserie"? I have no idea. Some of them I've already looked up at least several times, but still I forget what the meaning. It must be my disappointing memory, but that's another story for another day. It sounds rather exhausting … Continue reading What Does It Mean?
Click Here For Part 1 One week later, they met again. Pammy looked haggard, her under eye circles darkened, her eyes more guileless and fierce than usual. "My old man (her term of endearment for her husband which sounds more of a term of respect in her native tongue than in English) and my father-in-law … Continue reading Short Story: Trouble With Language (Part 2)