Words in the news: Hush Money

A short explanation of a word you newsnerds are sure to be seeing a lot in the news: hush money.

You will see this word in news articles about an upcoming case. Soon the Manhattan district attorney’s office will begin presenting evidence to a grand jury about Donald Trump’s role in paying “hush money” to a porn star. (more…)

Words That Work: Blowout, Blowback, Feedback, and Fallout

Let’s look at four words you might hear in conversation, in the news, or more likely — at work.

Blowout, blowback, feedback, and fallout are easy to confuse terms that aren’t always easy to translate.  They each have different meanings and they are all commonly used.  (more…)

Don’t Louse This Up! Using Lousy in Everyday Speech

Pearson Scott Foresman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Lousy is a simple two syllable word that almost all native-English speaking Americans use. It’s not an “SAT word “ or a word you’re likely to encounter on the TOEFL. It probably won’t appear on your medical licensing test if you’re a doctor or a nurse, but it’s a word that your patients are likely to use. If you want to sound more natural and more like a native speaker, this is one to add to your everyday English. (more…)

Eight Idioms You Can Learn In a New York Minute

Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_york_times_square-terabass.jpg

Here are some idioms with the word “minute.”  All of these are fun to learn and used frequently in conversation, on the news, and in the workplace. (more…)

It’s Elementary: How we talk about school in the United States.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/75th_St-Elderts_Ln_45b_-_FK_Lane_HS.jpg
Courtesy wikipedia commons: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/75th_St-Elderts_Ln_45b_-_FK_Lane_HS.jpg

Some of my students are immigrants who’ve started families in the United States or brought their children here. Others might be here for a few years for work. If they have children, they are going to have to navigate the educational system, so here’s a primer for parents with some basic information.  (I’ll do this as a blog series with more to come.) (more…)

Words in the News: Woke

My advanced English students, many with high-level positions and graduate degrees, have lately been stumped by a one syllable word: woke.  It appears not only on social media, but often in news stories and opinion pieces. (more…)

Funky town! Words of the day: Funk and Funky

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/James-Brown_1973.jpgAre you tired of being cooped up? Has lockdown put you into a funk? Do you feel like you are under house arrest?  If so, maybe it’s time for a little English vocabulary lesson focusing on the words funk and funky. If you are having trouble with any other words in this post, don’t worry! There’s a short glossary at the bottom of the page!  (more…)