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The Eruption of Mt. Saint Helens Posted by on May 6, 2021

Image by Keith Hardin from Pixabay In the United States, we rarely think about volcanos. Iceland, Japan, and several sites south of the Equator are seeing dramatic activity as I write this. A live, erupting volcano in the US, however, is quite rare, especially in the 48 contiguous states. Oh, sure, we all know about Kilauea in Hawaii…

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Do you want a shot? Posted by on Apr 30, 2021

What’s up, guys? If there’s one thing we can’t stop talking about since the beginning of the year, it’s the vaccines. A lot of people must be wondering when they might be getting their first shot and long they should wait in between shots. But since mass vaccination might still be a while, let’s change…

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The Vocabulary of Mysteries Posted by on Apr 29, 2021

There is nothing quite so satisfying as a good mystery. Peel back all the layers of the story, from the crime to the suspects, to the motive, to the various clues, and you have the answers that you’ve been seeking since page one. Add to this the fascinating characters who solve the crimes, whether they…

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Confusing Paronyms and Homophones Posted by on Apr 23, 2021

As confusing and maddening as English can be sometimes, learners and even native speakers have particular difficulty dealing with paronyms. In fact, to make matters worse, we even have trouble figuring out the difference between paronyms and homophones! Homophones are words that sound exactly alike, are even pronounced alike, but have very different spellings and…

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Us or We? Posted by on Apr 15, 2021

Welcome to another example of why English may be the most infuriating language in the world. Two of the most commonly used words in English are the pronouns Us and We. They are both first-person plural pronouns which mean a group of two or more people. Yet, they are very commonly misused even by highly…

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English Words and Phrases for the Library Posted by on Apr 8, 2021

Surround me with books! Fill my head with knowledge, enrich my life with imagination, improve me with wisdom! Take me to the Library! As a child, I was extremely fortunate to live just up the street from a small library. It only had a few rooms, but it was always an adventure to walk there…

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English Phrases from Baseball Posted by on Mar 31, 2021

I probably spend too much time referencing baseball in this blog. After all, this is a page devoted to helping you learn and understand the English language. However, American English is filled with words and phrases which come directly from baseball. It has been called the national pastime for a reason. Even if you know…

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