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January 25, 2014

How to boost word power
Sharda Kaushik

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,/Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces/That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
—George Gordon Byron
Thoughts and words are interdependent and aid each other's development. Words, therefore, form a core element in comprehension of texts. In the popular sentence completion activity, the learner selects a pair of options, which on being used separately produce sentences alike in meaning. Errors can be common but strategies help to figure out meanings, as seen below:

January 4, 2014

Modals and nuances
Sharda Kaushik
Controversies surrounding English usage interested David Foster Wallace who made them the theme of some of his essays. The complexities of English usage can compel the best of writers to seek occasional guidance.

December 28, 2013

Puzzles in prepositions
Sharda Kaushik
he comical phrase “up with which I will not put” is attributed to Churchill. It marks his protest against the so-called rule that sentences in English cannot end with a preposition. Apparently, Churchill reacted to a minor change made to his speech.

December 21, 2013

...a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
Sharda Kaushik
risp looked at euphemisms as words which behave like secret agents in delicate missions. That is only partially right. Euphemisms operate in a much wider range of situations — from helping individuals and organisations to sound politically correct to diffusing the harshness of realities.

December 14, 2013

Sounds of silence
His contemporary George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, in his desire to reform the English spelling too had something similar to say about it: an old foreign alphabet of which only the consonants-and not all of them-have any agreed speech value. There are many reasons behind the arbitrariness in pronunciation and spelling in this language. A few instances follow:

December 7, 2013

Games the articles play
Sharda Kaushik

I am afraid we are not rid of God
Because we still have faith in 
grammar.” —Friederich Nietzsche

grammar is integrated in English language teaching, the articles continue to challenge the unsuspecting learner. While students of most Western European languages like French and Greek are familiar with the use of articles, those of Indian languages find the concept alien. Their struggle is evident in the following sentences:
“Tutor was good at making simple things difficult,” said Saina.

November 30, 2013

Parlance at ease
Sharda Kaushik

“The word is the Verb, and the Verb is God.” Victor Hugo
It is perhaps due to the role the verbs play which compels writers to make such statements. Amidst them, the phrasal verb finds expression in the English language to lend an air of informality to what is being said. A phrasal verb is a combination of two or three words and the unit together carries a single meaning but one phrasal verb can have more than one meaning.

November 23, 2013

How to be word friendly
Sharda Kaushik
s true for all walks of life, observing conventions is crucial to English language and usage too. One among such conventions is collocation or word partnership. As David Crystal puts it, it is “the likelihood that any particular lexical items will occur in the immediate environment of any other" though one can never claim to have the last word on statements made about collocations.





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