jueves, 23 de octubre de 2014

Language on the Internet


[Infographic provided by Grammar.net]

Currently the most hated word on the internet, it is associated it with the word “selfish” and with duck-lipped teens and twenty-somethings adding hourly photos of themselves to social media. “Me at the mall.” “Me at Fred Meyers.” “Me in Mom’s van.” In addition, adding -ie to anything makes it sound stupid.
Overuse has pushed some handy and helpful words into areas where they do not belong. When used correctly, “literally” means “in the strictest sense” and it should not swap out with “virtually.”
“I literally laughed myself to death.”
You are talking and breathing so I am going to call you on that.
“It was pouring; the dog came inside literally soaked to her skin.”
This is physically possible and therefore correct.
This phrase topped the lists last year but is not dying quickly enough. To annoy those who use it while speaking, this author adds “with possum bits” to the conversation and has actually experienced some success.
Sample conversation:
22 year old: “That new movie was awesome sauce.”
42 year old: “With possum bits?”
22 year old: “Possum–what?”
42 year old: “Awesome sauce with possum bits?”
22 year old: “…”
The first two are so overused that they have escaped the interwebz and now appear in spoken conversation. The third simply makes no sense. Generally, something is repeated to add impact, but since the original abbreviation means “Laughing Out Loud,” LOLOL is meaningless: “Laughing Out Loud Out Loud.” LOLOL was probably invented because LOL now has the impact of skim milk. More -OLs may indicate a drama queen/king.
Sample text message:
Mom: “Bring some antacids, your dad is cooking.”
Me: “LOL”
Mom: “Bring some antacids, your dad is cooking.”
One blogger states that “amazing” is so overused that it nearly brings physical pain to her. This word should indicate an overwhelming wonder or great surprise, with the root pointing to confused and stunned astonishment (Old and Middle English, pre-1000). Because “stun” appears repeatedly in the definition, it seems to be a word drained of its strength by internet drama. “Amazing” is regularly found in incredibly underwhelming sentences.
“This cup of tea is amazing.”
Is your mouth hanging open as you stare into your cup? Are you paralyzed in astonishment?
“The view of Mt. St. Helens was amazing.”
Volcanos can be amazing, especially when erupting.
These suffixes were cute the first 50 times. After Snowmageddon and Carpocalypse (and vice versa) were used ten times each, it got old quickly. The Alpacalypse image on social media managed to get a snicker but only because llamas and their fuzzy alpaca kinfolk are already funny. Overuse of anything wears it out.
Great is the outcry against this over-used abbreviation, which means “You Only Live Once.” It seems to be used most frequently as an excuse for acts of daring (or stupidity), such as bungee-jumping or binge-drinking.
Placing a # before a word/phrase in social media shows a link to messages in that topic. People froth over hashtags because some folks use them for emphasis in environments that are not programmed for hashtags; they are tools and not figures of speech.
SomeoneSomewhere: “I am sooooo bored. #howboring”
SomeoneSomewhere: “Getting ready for the #portlandmarathon this weekend.”
This phrase always accompanies a statement that is guaranteed to offend the listener. Internet folk seem to see it as a lazy way to pre-excuse a mouthful of rudeness.
For instance:
“No offense, but you have bad breath and you can’t dance. Also, you’re ugly.”
This is not a word or phrase but an action, yet it drives people to such a rage that it must be mentioned. To those who use the internet much, writing with the caps lock on is akin to screaming.
Sample chatroom conversation:
SomeFella: Hi Bob, how are you?
SomeFella: Whoa, caps off, Dude!

- See more at: http://www.grammar.net/annoyingwords#sthash.ceCuB5vM.dpuf

lunes, 20 de octubre de 2014

"Say": Synonyms

Here is a list of synonyms for the verb "say" that will help not to sound too repetitive in your essays

domingo, 19 de octubre de 2014

One Reason Why Learning English is Important

Did this really happen or is it a joke? Click here to follow the debate - and, remember, always beware of what you read and/or see on the internet...

viernes, 17 de octubre de 2014

Pay Per Laugh

Before you go on with this post, answer this question to yourself: what do you understand by "pay per laugh"? Now watch the video and read the text below - were you right? 

Switch off the volume for the first 30 seconds: read the text there, can you understand it? if you cannot, watch that part again with the sound on (you will get the audio in Spanish)

Pay per Laugh | TeatreNeu from edududu on Vimeo.

The Teatreneu comedy club in Barcelona has begun experimenting with a new business model that uses facial recognition technology  to charge its customers each time they laugh;  the software is installed on tablets attached to the back of each seat. The club has reduced its entry fee to nothing, while installing tablets with the technology on the backs of seats to charge customers €0.30 per laugh ($0.38) up to a maximum €24 ($30).

Why do you think they have developed this project? 
Do you think it has been successful so far? 

Click here to read more about this and to get the answers to the questions above (piece of news from BBC News Technology) 

martes, 14 de octubre de 2014


Ebola is all over the news these days (click hereso here is a post for you to get some information about it in English.

Let´s start with the pronunciation; click here to listen to someone say "ebola"

Now read some facts about ebola: click here.

Lots of resources on ebola: click here (you will be linked to Larry Ferlazzo´s list of resources).

How did Ebola evolve to affect humans? Learn about it in this video, narrated by Morgan Freeman

The video below explains some things about the virus; it is a video from July so the figures  (number of cases, number of deaths) are outdated, but it is accurate as for the transmission of the virus and the way of dealing with it.

Protective ebola suit : taken from the BBC (click on the link to get more information about it)

Fast-spreading deadly viruses are not uncommon in the movies: click here or here and you will be linked to Outbreak, a 1995 sci-fi movie about this. By the way, the link to the full movie online was available in YouTube until the ebola virus outbreak, now it is not - can you think of any reason why this is so?

domingo, 12 de octubre de 2014

What Is Happiness For You?

Dear, 2nd BAC students, I could´t help remembering our lesson about "What makes you happy?" when I saw this video

"What is happiness for you?" is the last sentence mentioned in this video

Read more about this video, published on Feb 6, 2014,  here : why and how they recorded - start by reading this explanation: 

We spend the early 2014 together with the protesters in Kyiv on the Maidan barricades. During those emotional days we were shooting a film inspired by the „Happy" video by Pharrell Williams.
But can Ukraine say it‚"Happy" today?
What do Ukrainians need to feel happy?
Polish filmmakers Gosia Molska and Leszek Molski hope to inspire support for Ukrainian protesters with a music video that contrasts joyful moments with the brutal reality of what's been happening in Kiev.

The conflict in Ukraine, a historical perspective: read about it here

sábado, 11 de octubre de 2014

Fake or Real Trick?

Watch this video tutorial , make sure you understand the text, pay attention to the images and … keep yourself busy this weekend!!!

For English language learning purposes, repeat the actions to yourself in English before you get down to it - as if you were telling a friend how to do it.

Now, do you think it is a real trick or it is just fake? Why? If you have serious doubts about it, remember that is how you should feel about most videos and pieces of news you read online. The internet has its downsides, too.

jueves, 9 de octubre de 2014

How Good Are You At Spelling?

The Telegraph has published a list of 50 common words Britons have problems to spell.These are some excerpts from the article on "The Telegraph": 

Researchers who studied 2,000 adults found that more than half had problems spelling commonly used words.
The research, commissioned by the television channel Nick Jr. UK to mark its new literacy-based show, Wallykazam!, found that 40 per cent of people confessed that they rely on autocorrect technology to monitor their spelling.
More than one in five would panic if they were forced to abandon spellchecking technology and rely on their own knowledge. Nearly half of people admitted they judged others if their spelling was poor, while just under a quarter of people admit they have been embarrassed by a spelling mistake they made at work.
One in five said they tended to Google a word to check its correct spelling.
Click here to do the quiz and rate your spelling ability

Thanks to The English Blog  for the idea

miércoles, 8 de octubre de 2014

The Fun of Learning Languages

The fun of learning languages, according to Mathew Youlden. Mathew works at Babbel  - a language and translation company

viernes, 3 de octubre de 2014

Song Of the Week: "Littlest Things," by Lilly Allen

Sing along Lilly Allen´s Littlest Things for pronunciation and intonation practice - remember singing helps you get the rhythm of the language.

Lily Allen is a singer songwriter; she was born in London in 1985 and moved around a lot as a child, attending 13 different schools before finally quitting when she was just 14. "I never had time to make enduring friendships," she says. "(So) music became a lifeline to me. I listened to punk, ska and reggae, courtesy of my parents' record collections." Her eclectic tastes in music — from punk to ska, and from T. Rex to Kate Bush to Eminem — have influenced her pop music, which reveals stories and vignettes about love, friends and life in London
After leaving school, Allen's interest in music grew and she began to write songs. In Nov. 2005 she started a page on Myspace.com and began posting some of her songs. "Since then it's gone mad," she says. "The online support I got for my music grew quickly, then the next thrill was hearing it on the radio. The reaction has been so positive it's left me reeling a bit. But I'm happy and I know the songs can live up to people's expectations."

Have you found any grammar or spelling mistake in the transcript?

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