English Language Blog

Archive for December, 2016

What is a Janus Word? Posted by on Dec 30, 2016

Every so often you, as a student of English, will encounter a word in a sentence that will seem utterly confusing. You’re going to think that it contradicts your understanding of that word’s meaning. Not to worry. There are, in fact, words with completely opposing definitions. Words which have two opposite meanings aren’t common in…

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White Elephant – A Fun Christmas Game Posted by on Dec 28, 2016

You may know about Christmas traditions like putting a tree in your living room and singing carols, but have you ever heard of a game called White Elephant? This is a fun and easy gift-giving game you can play with friends and family. See what it’s like playing White Elephant and learn the rules in…

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For the Holidays, a Rice Salad with the Colors of the Season Posted by on Dec 22, 2016

I like to entertain for the holiday season. I have hosted Christmas at my house for many years, usually have at least one holiday party, and may find myself cooking for other gatherings as well. Of all the things I serve, one recipe invariably gets shared with friends – my holiday wild rice salad. Wild…

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Christmas Through Emojis Posted by on Dec 19, 2016

These days, people are using emojis more and more to communicate. They’re fun, cute, and very easy to use. Look on social media or in your text messages, and you’ll probably see a whole lot of emojis. With Christmas approaching, there are a few you can use for the holiday. Let’s practice English and learn…

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Hygge and the American Dream Posted by on Dec 16, 2016

Hygge (n): a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. It is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture. The Oxford English Dictionary, as it does every year, selects a “Word of the Year” from a list of ten finalists selected by its editors. This year, the…

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48 Hours in Chicago (Part Two) Posted by on Dec 12, 2016

Our first day in Chicago was a busy one. It included a walk past the fountain in Grant Park and then continued along Lake Michigan to Navy Pier and Lincoln Park. There’s lots more to see and do in the Windy City, so get ready for a great second day. In Part Two, take a…

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What is a Pun? Posted by on Dec 9, 2016

A pun, or paronomasia, is a play on words which exploits the vagaries of language. Since many English words often sound alike, and have multiple meanings, puns are everywhere. A pun may be a joke, but not all jokes are puns. Jokes may contain clever wordplay, but they don’t have to. All puns are made…

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