AS YOU KNOW, THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS AN EVOLVING, EVER-CHANGING CONSTRUCT. THE WORDS WE SPEAK AND WRITE CAN CHANGE IN MEANING, BECOME FORGOTTEN, OR MORPH INTO SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT. THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS THAT LANGUAGE, AND LINGUISTICS, IS SUCH A CHALLENGING DISCIPLINE.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the leading resources for English, officially added 840 words in September 2018. While not all the words are new in other cultures, or among those of us who use slang and abbreviated terms, they are certainly new to the dictionary. The words now have a status that they did not possess before.

This is important because slang often enters our lexicon but may never become so common that it enters the dictionary. The sheer number of words added this year indicates that English is rapidly growing. The broader scope of language, with digital access through social media sources like Twitter and Facebook, means an increased awareness and acceptance of terminology and vocabulary from all facets of our global society. Embrace the change, or be left behind.

Words like iftar, the end-of-day meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast during Ramadan, were added. So was gochujang, a Korean chili paste now beloved by many foodies. They also added guac, an abbreviation of guacamole. We are also fond of mise en place, a French term for setting out your ingredients before the start of the cooking process.

Here are some of the other words recently added, particularly those which are commonly used.

Adorbs – an abbreviation for adorable. “That video of the woman covered by kittens is positively adorbs!”

Bingeable – An adjective for the type of television show that you sit and watch multiple episodes of at one time. “If you’re looking for something bingeable, try that new thriller on Amazon.”

Biohacking – An unconventional biological method, such as gene splicing, used to better someone’s condition or lifestyle. “The clinic was able to add years of quality living to him through some experimental biohacking technique.”

Bougie – An abbreviation for the bourgeois, meaning someone who is preoccupied with wealth and status. “That guy she’s dating is a real bougie, isn’t he?”

Fave – An abbreviation of the word favorite. This is a slang term which has been in popular use since the 1930s! “He’s my absolute fave singer!”

Fintech – Technology and businesses serving the digital and online financial communities. “His new job in fintech keeps him very busy.”

Generation Z – Born in the 1990s or 2000s? You are Gen Z. “One of the nicest people I know identifies herself as Generation Z.”

GOAT – An acronym for Greatest of All Time. It specifically applies to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but is now used in any context. “When it comes to NFL quarterbacks, the discussion is closed. Tom Brady is the GOAT.”

Hangry – If you are irritable because you haven’t eaten, you’re hangry. “Don’t even try talking to him right now, he’s hangry.”

Hophead – This old, outdated noun meaning a drug addict is finding new life as a word meaning a beer enthusiast. “He’s such a hophead that he’s starting his own brewpub.”

Latinx – This is a gender-neutral word to identify someone of Latin American origin. “My co-worker is a Latinx.”

Mocktail – This is another word that I’ve heard for years. It refers to a drink which looks like a cocktail but contains no alcohol. “Give me the keys, and order me a mocktail. I’ll be the designated driver.”

Rando – A disparaging term for a random person who just appears without any introduction or apparent reason. “We were having a quiet drink at the bar when this rando showed up and tried to buy us a drink.”

TL; DR – An abbreviation for the phrase too long; didn’t read. “He sent me his blog for review, so I replied, TL; DR.”

And before you say that about this blog, we’ll end it here. Do you have any words that you think belong in a dictionary? Let us know!

Aside from other important holiday to-do’s like taking a family Christmas photo and getting your shopping done, another significant item on your Christmas checklist is your annual Christmas card. This season, we’re here to help you get your Christmas cards signed, sealed and delivered. Our guide will help you create the perfect Season’s greetings for everyone on your list. The last thing you need to worry about is what to write in your Christmas cards!

WHAT TO WRITE IN A CHRISTMAS CARD?

= Start your Christmas card message with a Christmas greeting like “Happy Holidays!” or “Merry Christmas!”

= Write a personalized messaged based on your relationship with the recipient.

= For business Christmas cards, write Christmas messages that are cheerful yet appropriate.

= Write a few funny Christmas card lines if you know your card recipient is the type to enjoy a good laugh.

= Write a few religious sayings or Christmas bible verses for those recipients who celebrate their faith during the holiday season.

= Write Christmas card quotes to share the magic of the season.

= Don’t forget to sign your Christmas cards.

IN DETAIL: WHAT TO WRITE IN A CHRISTMAS CARD

It’s not always easy to put your feelings into words or sum up the memorable year that your family had. We have you covered with everything you need to know about what to write in a Christmas card to jump start your writing. Follow the steps below to create the perfect Christmas card sayings for your holiday greetings:

1. Start your Christmas card message with a Christmas greeting. The beginning of your message should include short and sweet greetings that serve as a festive way to address your card recipients. A Christmas wish can go a long way and is the perfect opening for your tailored greeting. Traditional sentiments include, “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!”

2. Write a personalized message based on your relationship with the recipient. If you’re close with the card recipient, write a heartfelt message. This will show your card recipient just how much you’re thinking about them this holiday season. Use details specific to the person opening the card to personalize your Christmas card sentiments. Make comments about some big news, a special occasion coming up or a new addition to the family to go along with the rest of your greeting.

3. For business Christmas cards, use Christmas messages that are cheerful yet appropriate. Remember to use formal or professional titles when addressing your Christmas cards, especially when writing on behalf of your business.

4. Write a few funny Christmas card lines if you know your card recipient is the type to enjoy a few laughs.

5. Write a few religious sayings or Christmas bible verses for those recipients who celebrate their faith during the holiday season.

6. Use Christmas card quotes to share the magic of the season. Quotes are the perfect way to inspire your loved ones during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to use cheerful or jolly quotes that spread your festive spirit.

7. Don’t forget to sign your Christmas cards. Use a warm closing for close family and friends, use formal titles for those recipients’ you are not as close with and utilize a more professional closing for your business Christmas cards.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

It’s grammatically incorrect and sounds awkward to native English speakers. The word “news” is one of those words that sounds plural (meaning there’s more than one) but is actually singular (there’s only one). It’s called a mass noun and is usually used with a singular verb.

In English, most nouns add “-s” or “-es” to the end of the word to make it plural; cat becomes cats, house becomes houses. Sometimes, the entire word changes in the plural: mouse becomes mice, goose becomes geese. Some words can be plural or singular, depending on the context— moose is one example that can be one animal or a whole herd.

So, back to your question. “News” is like the word “scissors” or “trousers”. It’s generally understood that although it sounds plural, it’s actually singular. These kinds of nouns are called ‘plurale tantum‘.

(Plurale tantum is a noun that appears only in the plural and doesn’t ordinarily have a singular form (for example, jeans, pyjamas, tweezers, shears, and scissors). Also known as a lexical plural. Plural: pluralia tantum. Jeans, scissors, trousers and glasses are great examples of plural tantum nouns in the English language.
There is, of course, the opposite as well. Singular tantum, a noun that appears only in the singular form, such as dirt, is known as singulare tantum.)

In order to use the article/adjective “a”, you’d need to change the way you phrase it.

“I’ve got a bit of good news.”

“I have a lot of good news.”

Otherwise, the correct way to say it is, “I have good news.”

The most successful essays are well planned. Essays that go off the point with lots of extra detail will get poor marks.

STICK TO THE QUESTION

Underline key words in the essay title so you really understand the question being asked. It’s not about writing all you know about a topic.

Words like ‘discuss’, ‘compare and contrast’, ‘evaluate’, ‘account for’ are used as ways to direct your answer; make sure you know what they mean.

Other questions may start with ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’ or ‘when’.

WRITE A PLAN

Brainstorm your ideas on the essay topic to get started. Spider diagrams are good for this.

Plan the structure of the essay by numbering each of your ideas in order of importance. At this stage, you may wish to leave some of them out or develop others by breaking them into sub points. Redo your original spider diagram as necessary.

You may have to present your argument for the essay under broad themes like ‘economic’, ‘social’, ‘political’ or ‘religious’ reasons. Make sure you understand which theme suits each of your points, then group your all points on the same theme in order of importance into a separate paragraph.

WRITING THE ESSAY

1. INTRODUCTION

Your essay must have an introduction. State the main points you will discuss in order to support your answer to the question set in the title of the essay.

2. DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR ARGUMENT

After the introduction, add further paragraphs to build your argument, make the most important points first. Remember the way these points are ordered makes your argument clearer to the reader.

Start a new paragraph for each new important point and any linked points that relate to the question. You may include quotations from other historians and refer to primary sources (such as you can find on this website) to support a particular point.

Make sure your essay makes chronological sense. Try to present any factual points in date order.

Avoid telling the story of what happened. If you refer to an important historical event, you must make a point or comment about it. This will stop your essay from becoming a simple narrative and it shows you are trying to analyse events rather than just describe them.

Aim for five to seven paragraphs, depending on the essay and level, of course, you are following.

3. CONCLUSION

Sum up the main points and briefly restate your argument.

RE-READ YOUR WORK, CHECK FOR SPELLING ERRORS, AND REDRAFT IF NECESSARY.