Handle with care

Play a while

Roger E. Axtell relates an interesting tale of translation: "An educator from the US was in Japan and working through a translator. He said to his Japanese hosts that he was "tickled to death" to be visiting them. At this, his hosts looked confused. Later, he learnt that his interpreter had said in Japanese that he had "scratched himself until he died" in order to visit them."

Learn a little

When you need to appear for any examination that demands writing answers within a specific time-frame, make sure you have covered these steps much in advance: one, researched past years papers and made a list of possible questions, two, written down the answers to each question, three, kept the time allotted in mind while collecting material to frame answers and four, discussed every aspect of your subject with teachers and classmates. Teaching and learning are not enough; you MUST devote time to writing in order to score well. The most articulate of people remain poor at writing just because the curriculum leaves writing practice to the teacher’s discretion.

Intriguing words

Undoubtedly, the word ‘blog’ remains at the heart of activity. Coined in the last decade of the 20th century, this blend of ‘web’ and ‘log’ has created offshoots like ‘moblog’ and ‘phlog’, words that refer to sharing photos, sometimes via mobile phones. Just as the blog became the cyber-diary, the ‘plog’ is the politician’s blog and the ‘vlog’ is the video shared in a blog. The latest to join this series is the ‘life stream’ — a continuous digital record of a person’s life on the internet that works as a virtual home and acts as a three-dimensional online identity.

Precise usage

The word ‘female’ has reached the slide of the politically correct microscope. So, you can’t say "Most females want to continue their careers after getting married" as you would surely offend somebody and lose a lot of friends. "Women" is the right choice here. "Female" is used mainly in the scientific or technical field as in "The male birds are mostly more colorful than the female".