A Portmanteau : ‘Pixel’ and ‘Modem’

Have you ever heard the word PORTMANTEAU. Well, it is a word made by combining two different words and their meanings. Now answer me what two words make up ‘ Pixel’, which is ‘a minute area of illumination on a display screen?’ and what two words make up ‘ Modem’, which is ‘an electronic device that makes possible the transmission of data between the digital data of a computer and the analogue signal of a telephone line?’ Let me tell you, the word ‘Pixel’ is made by combining two different words Picture(Pix) and Element while ‘Modem’ is a combination of Modulation … Continue reading A Portmanteau : ‘Pixel’ and ‘Modem’

Learn a new word today; Slipshod

Have you ever heard this word before? Well, When you say that a piece of work is SLIPSHOD, what you’re suggesting is that it is not a well thought out or executed work and is crude and full of mistakes. Let’s take an example, His boss fired him when he gave a slipshod presentation. I thought the construction work was pretty slipshod. Continue reading Learn a new word today; Slipshod

When there is no electricity, we use the word ‘blackout’. Is there a word to describe a situation when the voltage is low?

Low voltage is a common problem in India — especially during the summer months. When this happens, the tube lights keep flickering, and some of the other bulbs burn rather dimly. The Americans have a term for this dip in … Continue reading When there is no electricity, we use the word ‘blackout’. Is there a word to describe a situation when the voltage is low?

Mind Boggling English, “Start From Scratch”

How is the word ‘dotard’ pronounced?  When Kim Jong-Un took a jab at Donald Trump by calling him a ‘dotard’, people made a beeline for the dictionary. For several hours, it was the most referred to word in most online dictionaries. The first syllable ‘dot’ rhymes with ‘boat’, ‘coat’ and ‘goat’, and the final ‘ar’ is like the ‘a’ in ‘china’. The word is pronounced ‘DOAT-ed’ with the stress on the first syllable. It comes from the German ‘doten’ meaning ‘to be foolish’. The word is used nowadays to mean an old person who has become feeble — both physically … Continue reading Mind Boggling English, “Start From Scratch”

Use Them Correctly: “Pin drop silence” , “washed-up ” , “Feedback” and “Laughing all the way to the bank”

“The writer has nice things to say about your company’s cultural programme.” “That’s to be expected, I guess. He was our former employee.” “Really? He says there was pin drop silence when the CEO’s wife sang. Is that true?” “Of course, not! People were chatting away. By the way, the expression ‘pin drop silence’ is an Indianism. Native speakers of English don’t use it.” “Really? What do they say?” “They normally say, ‘hear a pin drop’. Everyone was so stunned by the announcement, you could have heard a pin drop.” “In other words, there was absolute silence. The funeral home … Continue reading Use Them Correctly: “Pin drop silence” , “washed-up ” , “Feedback” and “Laughing all the way to the bank”

Ready “To Eat Crow”

Scholars believe that the expression is based on a true incident. A British officer captured an American hunter who had just shot a crow. In order to humiliate him, the Englishman ordered the American to eat a small portion of the bird. The officer then returned the gun and the bird to the hunter and told him to be on his way. The American humiliated the officer by turning the gun on him and making him eat the rest of the crow. This American expression is mostly used in informal contexts to mean ‘to be humiliated’. When you are made … Continue reading Ready “To Eat Crow”


People who have read the comic books or watched the movies featuring the exploits of Superman know that he was born on Krypton. When the planet exploded, kryptonite or the radioactive material from it, was hurled into space. Superman’s enemies discovered that kryptonite was the only thing that could be used to either hurt or kill him. In everyday contexts, the word ‘kryptonite’ is used to refer to someone’s weakness or something that can be used to hurt someone who is strong. It has more or less the same meaning as ‘Achilles heel’. Many tennis buffs believe that Nadal is … Continue reading Kryptonite

What is the difference between might and may?

May and might have the same meaning when used as a modal (or helping verb.)   Examples:  She may go shopping.  She might go shopping.  The only difference is may is slightly more formal to some people.  Many people use might more often in speaking and may more often in writing.  But they can change depending on the person and their mood. Remember, though, may is also used to asked for permission.  Example:  May I use the telephone?  It is very rare to use might to ask for permission. Continue reading What is the difference between might and may?

What is a FRENCH LEAVE ? Is it same as ENGLISH LEAVE ?

“You look extremely tired and grumpy. Why don’t you take a few days off?” “No chance! My boss won’t grant me leave even if I ask for it. She’s upset because two people on her team have taken French leave. They’ve been…” “French leave? Really? Have they gone to France on holiday? Why didn’t you…” “That’s not what the expression means. When a person goes on ‘French leave’, he takes off without permission. He just…” “He just doesn’t show up for work. He doesn’t have anyone’s okay to be on leave either.” “That’s right! The Principal became extremely angry when … Continue reading What is a FRENCH LEAVE ? Is it same as ENGLISH LEAVE ?

Throw You Under the Bus

This is an expression frequently used in American English in informal contexts. When you throw your friend under the bus, you betray him; in order to save yourself from the trouble you are in, you sacrifice him. Be careful. Rajiv will throw you under the bus when you stop being useful to him. The media have accused President Trump of throwing several of his top advisers under the bus. Continue reading Throw You Under the Bus

Which Is The Correct Plural Spelling?

Referenda & Referendums     Definition: a public vote on a particular issue Latin has given English a sizable portion of its vocabulary, and one of the reasons that so many of our words are descended from that language is that they have entered our tongue at a number of distinct points. Some, such as butter, date back to the Roman invasion of Britain. Others came to us in the middle ages, from the Norman Conquest. Others still did not arrive until the 19th century, often as part of an expanding scientific vocabulary. Referendum is one of those late arrivals, initially used to describe a vote … Continue reading Which Is The Correct Plural Spelling?


These English idioms are used quite regularly in all over the world. You may not hear them every day, but they will be very familiar to any native English speaker. You can be confident using any of them when the context is appropriate. Idiom Meaning Usage A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush What you have is worth more than what you might have later by itself A penny for your thoughts Tell me what you’re thinking by itself A penny saved is a penny earned Money you save today you can spend later by itself … Continue reading THE MOST COMMON ENGLISH IDIOMS- PART II


If you are a student, can you use the word ‘colleague’ to refer to a fellow student? First, let us deal with the pronunciation of this word. The vowel in the first syllable sounds like the ‘o’ in ‘hot’, ‘pot’ and ‘got’, and the second syllable is pronounced like the word ‘league’. The word is pronounced ‘KO-liig’ with the stress on the first syllable. Many Indians tend to pronounce the ‘o’ like the ‘a’ in ‘china’ and put the stress on the second syllable. ‘Colleague’ comes from the Latin ‘collega’ meaning ‘partner in office’. Native speakers of English use this … Continue reading KNOW YOUR ENGLISH (EDUCATION PLUS-EDGE)

How to Use Since, Before, and Ago

This post contains tons of examples of how to use since, before, and ago.  By the time you finish reading this, you’ll be a pro at using them! These are just three of the 10 or so commonly-used prepositions for time. Future posts will cover additional prepositions of time. I would suggest that you try memorizing these in context or as “chunks.”  Don’t try to just memorize the rules of when to use them; memorize entire phrases like “since I started learning English” or “I met my wife 6 years ago.” Doing this helps you remember these words more automatically. Since Use “since” … Continue reading How to Use Since, Before, and Ago


During exams you are permitted to look down for inspiration and up in exasperation, but you are not permitted to look side to side for information.

“What are you doing here? I thought you would be cramming for tomorrow’s exam.”

“Cramming? Does it mean the same as studying?”

“When you ‘cram for’ a test, you study hard for it. You try to learn as much as possible in a short period. You start studying just before the test or exam.”

“I goof around most of the semester. I usually spend a fortnight cramming for the exams. How does that sound?”

“Sounds good! When I was a student, I used to switch off my cell phone whenever I had to cram for a test.”

“That’s what my friends seem to be doing as well. I can’t get hold of any of them.”

“Why aren’t you cramming for tomorrow’s exam? Have you finished…” Continue reading “CRAMMING FOR THE EXAMS?”

Does this blook sit right with you?

“Sorry I’m late. The traffic was really bad today, and I had a horrible time trying to…” “No need to explain. Tried reading this book I found on your table, and I…” “The book on the table? Oh, you mean the ‘blook’?” “Blook? I’ve never come across that word before.” “It’s a combination of ‘blog’ and ‘book’. A blook is actually…” “Let me guess. It’s a blog that’s been published as a book. It is…” “Very good! It may not be the entire blog. Sometimes, it’s just a few selections from it.” “This blook I’m reading is pretty bad. The … Continue reading Does this blook sit right with you?


Learning to use common idioms and expressions will make your English sound more native, so it’s a good idea to master some of these expressions. The tables below are organized by how common the idioms are in American English. You can start by learning the very common English idioms, since these are the ones you’ll encounter regularly Continue reading “THE MOST COMMON ENGLISH IDIOMS- PART I”

Who/Whom-Its not as Complicated as You might Think

If you’re like most English speakers, you know that there’s a difference between these pronouns, but you aren’t sure what that difference is. Knowing when to use who or whom is not as difficult as you think.

If you can replace the word with “he”’ or “’she,” use who. If you can replace it with “him” or “her,” use whom.

  • Who should be used to refer to the subject of a sentence.
  • Whom should be used to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.

Let’s take an example,

Keep in mind that you may have to temporarily rearrange the sentence a bit while you test Continue reading “Who/Whom-Its not as Complicated as You might Think”