All posts by alicesaraswati

Content creator to www.englishtips4u.com

#EngKnowledge: Labour Day 2021 and Improving Working Conditions

The first day of May is internationally celebrated as Labour Day, so let’s take a moment to honour and commemorate those who have struggled and advocated for better working conditions and let’s work harder to create a no-discrimination and safer workplaces for everyone.

We as today’s workers can enjoy around 40-45 hours of work a week (8-9 hours daily), receive minimum wages, social and health benefits, and paid leaves thanks to those who worked hard for these changes in the past.

Does this mean that the work is done for us? As the world is constantly changing, we also need to adapt. There are still works to do to cultivate healthier working conditions. What are those?

International Workers’ Day illustration inspired by Frederick Douglass.
Source: Facebook CWA Local 1033

1. Environmentally-friendly industries
As the climate change poses a threat to everything on earth, we can start by adapting environmentally-friendly policies in our offices. Things like reducing carbon footprints, unplugging devices when not used, maximising natural light, minimising the use of papers and plastic wrappings, as well as giving back to the environment through social works and charities can help.

2. Humanisation
Except for artificial intelligence, all workers are humans and not machine or robots. Sometimes we get tired, we underperform, or we have health issues that could affect our performance. The best way to handle this is to treat our coworkers sympathetically.

3. Open the door
Open more opportunities for people with physical challenges. Try to connect with NGOs that empower people with physical challenges to see if we can give some training and eventually employ them.

4. Stand up against discrimination, harassment, or alleged abuse
Discrimination in workplaces can be in any forms: race, skin colour, ethnicity, gender, or other social backgrounds. Harassment and abuse can also happen in verbal or written forms, from microaggression, bullying, to sexual misconduct. If anything like this happens in the workplace, please stand with the victim and bring up the issue to people team or the higher management.

5. Support career advancement
A good workplace should not only obligate us to come to work and get paid. Trainings and opportunities to learn new skills that can be beneficial to our careers are also important.

6. Interns are workers, too
The year is 2021 and we should have moved past the mindset that interns are paid with working experience. As they usually do a portion of work for the company, they should also receive payment and benefits.

7. Working overtime is not to be glorified
Some still think that working as long as possible, whether it is at the office or from home, is a sign of dedication, while it could be stressful and detrimental to our health in the long run. Remember that burnout is not a badge of honour. Instead, try using our regular working time as effectively and as efficiently as possible so we don’t have to carry the workload to home, to later hours, or to the following days.

8. Leaves are for taking a break
People who are on a leave should take a good rest without their workloads looming over their heads. Whether the employees are single, married, or have children and family of their own, their leaves are for them to use.

9. Medical benefits for workers
This should be of a top priority especially for high-risk jobs. Not only should it cover physical injuries, it will be ideal if the medical benefits also provides support for psychological treatment.

10. Transparency
There should be a clear understanding between the employees and the employers regarding the company’s policy. Policies made should be socialised before applied to allow for any input from the employees.

11. Support for working parents
The needs of working parents, especially mothers, to care for their children as well as provide for the family are often neglected. Instead, we can try to support the parents by allowing a place for children in the office, providing nursing room, or flexible parental leaves for both mothers and fathers.

12. Empower women
There are still many issues related to women and those who identify as women in the workplaces, whether it is discriminative treatment, unequal opportunities, or even pay gap. We could try to allocate a certain percentage of female employees especially in the role of decision-making.

Those are what we can suggest to improve our working conditions. Try to propose them to the people management team in the company that we are working for to see if we can make any changes.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 1 May 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#BusEng #EngVocab: Types of Job and Types of Work
#EngKnowledge: Short History of May Day
#EngQuote: Work
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#IOTW: Idioms about Hard Work

#EngClass: Analogy

This article will discuss something that is still related to writing: analogy.

What’s an analogy?
An analogy is a comparison between two similar things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

In English, there are other purposes of making a comparison, but an analogy emphasises on giving an explanation.

Forming an analogy
To form an analogy, we need to make a comparison between two things, using ‘to be like’ or ‘as (adjective/adverb) as.’

Examples
Now, on to some examples. Here is my favourite analogy in case I need to explain a mental health condition to someone who’s not yet aware of it.

“Telling someone with mental health conditions to be grateful because ‘other people have it worse’ is like giving a candy to someone who just fell and hurt themselves. The candy is tasty, sure, but it doesn’t solve the main problem.”

By saying that sentence, I don’t necessarily mean to give a candy to someone who just fell. Instead, I’m explaining to my interlocutor that to treat mental health issues, we might need to go deeper than giving advices.

“Many people told me to go have fun or travel or treat myself with something nice whenever I’m depressed. I’m thankful for the advice, but it’s like telling me to have fun whilst my leg is broken.”

Another popular, albeit debatable, example of an analogy is this line by Forrest Gump:

“My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'”

Forrest Gump (1994). Image credit: on the picture

On one hand, the line was meant to say that when opening a box of chocolates, we never know what flavour we will get. This is just like life, when many things are unpredictable.

On the other hand, a box of chocolates contains chocolates, that surely taste similar, so a box of chocolates is not really comparable to the unpredictable life. Which is why some might say that the line could be an example of analogy, but it’s a weak one.

Does an analogy have to be long and detailed?
Not always. Sometimes, it can go just as simple as the following examples:
“My puppy’s coat is as white as snow, so I call it Snowy.”
“The ballerina looks like she’s as light as a feather.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 17 April 2021.

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#EngClass: ‘Very’ vs. ‘So’ (REVISIT)

This article is a revisit and rewritten version of #EngClass: “very” vs “so” (2012).

“The weather is very hot.”
“The weather is so hot.”
“The weather is so very hot.”

Is there any difference in using ‘very’ and ‘so’ in a sentence?

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

1. Adverb of degree
As adverbs of degree/degree adverbs, also known as intensifier (adverbs that tell us the intensity of a state), both ‘very’ and ‘so’ can be used interchangeably. They are followed by adjectives or adverbs.

Example:
Followed by adjective
“The painting is very beautiful.”
“The painting is so beautiful.”

Followed by adverb
“The painting is very nicely done.”
“The painting is so nicely done.”

NOTE:
Some would argue that ‘so’ signifies more intensity than ‘very,’ whilst I personally think that ‘very’ is more intense. Regardless, both uses are correct. However, whilst ‘very’ can be followed by adjective + noun, rarely do we find such use for ‘so.’

Example:
“That is a very beautiful painting.” (common)
“That is a so beautiful painting.” (uncommon)

We can fix the second sentence by moving the article (a/an), but even so, replacing ‘so’ with ‘such’ is more common.

Example:
“That is so beautiful a painting.” (correct, but less common, unless followed by another clause. See point 2: cause and effect)
“That is such a beautiful painting.” (correct and common)

What about ‘so very?’ This form is used to further intensify the situation.
“I’m so very worried about you.”

2. Cause and effect
Even though ‘so… that’ is more commonly used to introduce cause and effect, we can also use ‘very,’ ‘such,’ and ‘too,’ to some extent.

Example:
“The painting was so beautiful that we couldn’t look away.”
“The painting was very beautiful that we couldn’t look away.”

I hope you feel confident now using ‘very’ and ‘so’. Remember that their roles as adverbs of degree or intensifier can be replaced with a more suitable adjective.

Example:
Very/so pretty = beautiful.
Very/so bad = terrible
Very/so cute = adorable, etc.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 10 April 2021.

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#EngClass: “very” vs “so”
#EngClass: Intensifiers
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#GrammarTrivia: Expressing Cause and Effect with “Such… That” and “So… That”

#IOTW: Idioms to Express Sadness

We are saddened over the massive flood that happened in West and East Nusa Tenggara. Our condolences to all the victims. May the disaster be contained soon.

Photo by George Becker on Pexels.com

Some idioms to express sadness and grief:
1. Down in the mouth
This is to describe the shape of someone’s lips that is downward because of feeling upset or sad.

Example:
“He’s been down in the mouth since he received his test results.”

2. Be reduced to tears
This idiom is used to describe someone overwhelmed by grief or sadness that they begin to cry.

Example:
“Jane was reduced to tears when she spoke to her ill father.”

3. Cry one’s heart/eyes out
Describing someone who cries for a long time.

Example:
“Lisa patiently listened to Santi as the later cried her heart out.”

4. One’s heart sinks
This idiom is used to express the sudden feeling of unease or unhappiness.

Example:
“My heart sunk as soon as I heard the news.”

5. A heavy heart
‘A heavy heart’ describes someone’s heart being heavy due to the weight of sadness.

Example:
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation from the company.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 5 April 2021.

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#EngKnowledge: Easter and Paskah

Hi, hello, everyone! How was your Holy Week celebration? Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate and happy long weekend to the others. Remember to always practice safety precautions and comply with health protocols.

Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com

Fellas, especially Indonesians, have you ever wondered why the word Easter is translated to Paskah in Indonesian language?

After doing some readings, I found out the word ‘Paskah’ used in Indonesian language came from Latin and Greek ‘Pascha,’ a word derived from Aramaic ‘Paskha,’ which came from Hebrew ‘Pesach.’

This word is used to refer to what is known in English as Passover, a commemoration of Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt. Around the 1st century, the word was applied to Christianity. To this day, save for Germanic languages, such as English, the word Pascha is still commonly used.

So, what about the English version, Easter?

Easter, as well as other words from the same origin, such as Dutch ‘ooster’ and German ‘Ostern,’ referred to an Old English word ‘Ēosturmōnaþ’ or the month of Goddess Ēostre, a West Germanic spring goddess.

Feasts used to be held during April, believed to the first month of spring, in honour of the spring goddess, but this tradition died down by the 8th century, and replaced by Christian Paschal month.

I hope this answers your question. Have a safe celebration tomorrow and take care.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 3 April 2021.

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#EngKnowledge: April Fools’ Day History

As it is the 1st of April, we will have a little story-time on the history of April Fools’ Day.

In modern times, April Fools’ Day is synonymous with pranks and jokes, which involve not only individuals but also brands and media.

There are many versions of how April Fools’ Day came to such an importance. First, we will talk about the transition from Julian calendar to Gregorian calendar, which happened in France in 1582.

In Julian calendar, the new year was celebrated on 1 April, the spring equinox. Those who didn’t get the memo that year and didn’t realise that the beginning of the year had been moved to 1 January were referred to as ‘poisson d’avril’ or April fish.

The term itself meant a gullible person or ‘April fools.’ Those who still celebrated the new year during the last week of March through 1 April were made fun of by having a paper fish stuck onto their backs.

The second version said that April Fools’ Day is related to ‘Hilaria’ (Latin for ‘joyful’), an ancient Roman festival celebrated at the end of March which included citizen dressing up and mocking fellow citizen or public officials.

Who would have thought that Mother Nature and the weather are related to April Fools’? It is said that the unpredictable weather at the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere is Mother Nature making a fool of us.

Finally, the April Fools’ spread throughout Britain in the 18th century. This version of April Fools’ was probably the closest to what we know now, as it sometimes involved sticking ‘kick me’ sign on someone’s derriere (back side). Since then, April Fools’ Day became an unofficial holiday in many parts of the world, where people are allowed to do harmless pranks, jokes, and hoaxes, and the targets are not usually mad or upset.

Source: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/april-fools-day

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 1 April 2021.

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#EngTips: Learning English As Adults

Some people said that it is harder to learn something new as an adult. To some extent, the saying carries some truth because our brains need to create new cognitive frameworks or consciously do intellectual activities.

Besides, adults have less free time that can be allocated to studying. If children, teenagers, and young adults go to school, adults need to go to work and do other adult things. So, to help you get started, we’ll share some tips on learning English as an adult.

Photo by Nicole Berro on Pexels.com

1. Make time
Allocate 10-30 minutes daily to study, be it early in the morning or before you go to bed. It might not seem significant but if you use this time to study regularly, there will be some improvement.

2. Find a supportive community
We are likely to pick up words or habits from people we interact with. Try joining English learning communities and have conversations in English as often as possible.

3. Use technology
Apps, online dictionaries, thesaurus, or word games are there to help you brush up your English skill. Have fun with them!

4. Read the English edition of a familiar book
Start with something simple like bedtime stories, fables, or fairy tales that we know by heart. For example, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Pinocchio. We will eventually be familiar with the English version of the tales.

5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t rush ourselves
“Malu kalau salah berbahasa Inggris.”
Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because that’s how we learn. Try to be open to correction and suggestion and think of mistakes as something we can fix, not something that should stop us. If you get overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a break and repeat what you’ve learned so far.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 22 March 2021.

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#EngQuote: Inspirational Women

Happy International Women’s Day! We hope that all women get the opportunity to always be the best version of themselves. In this article, we are going to share quotes from inspirational women. I hope they can be a motivation to you.

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”Lupita Nyong’o, Kenyan-Mexican Oscar-winning actress.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”Maya Angelou, American poet and Civil Rights activist.

“Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water.”Eleanor Roosevelt, American activist and First Lady of the United States.

“The power to question is the basis of all human progress.”Indira Gandhi, First Female Prime Minister of India.

“I don’t go by the rulebook; I lead from the heart, not the head.”Lady Diana Spencer, British nobility and philanthropist.

“We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”Marie Curie, Polish physicist and chemist.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”Mother Teresa, missionary and humanitarian leader.

“Just do what you want to do. Don’t be restricted by the thoughts, ‘I’m a woman, I shouldn’t be doing this.’”Susi Pudjiastuti, Indonesian businesswoman and Former Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 8 March 2021.

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#WOTD: Touché

“I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. We can never compare with her.”
“The grass is always greener because it’s synthetic. I’d rather be myself than be fake.”
“Touché!”

This article is going to discuss an interjection, ‘touché.’ In Indonesian language, the word is comparable to, “Iya, juga, ya!” or, “Benar juga, ya!”

Fencing, a sport where the word ‘touché’ is used a lot. Image: Wikipedia

“Is ‘touché’ an English word?”
It’s a good question. ‘Touché’ is a passive form of French verb ‘toucher,’ which means ‘to touch.’ It has been adopted by English-speaking people with a slight change in its meaning and use.

Origin
In English, ‘touché’ is an expression acknowledging a clever response in a discussion or debate. Essentially, it’s another way of saying ‘well said.’ Rarely will we hear French-speaking people use ‘touché’ in this context.

In French, ‘touché’ as an expression is more commonly used in fencing. It’s to acknowledge that a contender has been hit by the rival. In everyday French conversation, ‘touché’ is used in the same context as ‘being moved.’

The use of ‘touché’ as an expression is believed to have started becoming popular in 1897. It’s pronounced ‘tuːˈʃeɪ.’

Usage in English
How do we use ‘touché’ in English? Generally, we use it whenever we are unable to counter an argument or a valid point. In the speechlessness, we can only admit that we don’t have a response by saying ‘touché.’

Other examples:
“I don’t eat junk food.”
“Really? You always have carbonated drinks with your meal, though. What’s the difference?”
“…touché.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t talk right now. Can I call you back once I get home?”
“But you said your place doesn’t have good reception.”
“Touché! All right, what’s wrong?”

“This song breaks my heart.”
“Wait, you have a heart?”
“Touché.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 6 March 2021.

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#EngClass: Redundancy in English

Indonesian classes at school teach/taught us different types of figure of speech. One of them is pleonasm, the usage of more words than necessary. ‘Maju ke depan’ is a popular example of pleonasm in Indonesian. This article will be talking about something similar, redundancy.

Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

Some say redundancy can take a pleonasm form; others say pleonasm is a more general classification of redundancy.

How are they different?
Pleonasm generally refers to the using of too many words, while redundancy is using two or more words with the same meaning.

“I listened to their confession with my own ears.” <— this is a pleonasm because in order to listen to something, we use our ears.

“The description is sufficient enough.” <— this is a redundancy because sufficient and enough mean the same. We use only one of them.

Other examples of redundancy:
Global pandemic
A pandemic refers to a widespread of a disease on a global level. Use ‘pandemic.’

Reread again
The prefix re- means ‘back’ or ‘again.’ Saying ‘reread again’ is saying ‘read again again.’ Use ‘reread’ or ‘read again.’

Extra bonus
A bonus is something ‘extra,’ something additional. Use ‘bonus.’

Close proximity
‘Proximity’ means ‘close to one’s location.’ Use ‘proximity.’

Gather together
‘To gather’ means ‘to come together.’ Use ‘to gather’ or ‘to come together.’

End result/final outcome
The words ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ indicate that something has come to an end. Something is final. Adding ‘end’ and ‘final’ to modify ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ is redundant.

Still remains
We find this phrase a lot in love songs: “My love still remains…”
‘To remain’ means to be still in one place.

Repetition and redundancy
In writing, we also come across ‘repetition,’ that is repeating one word to put emphasis, to make a point, or to add a dramatic, exaggerated effect.

Example:
“I could not forgive him. He hurt me over and over and over again.”

However, redundancy is more often shunned than repetition, because not only will it make the sentences unnecessary long, leading to boredom, redundant words or phrases don’t add anything new. They don’t give new information.

This is where proofreading comes in handy, especially if what we’re writing is related to academic or professional aspects of our life. It’s important to find the right balance to avoid being tedious and keep our readers engaged.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 4 March 2021.

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#ENGCLASS: CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING (REVISIT)

This article is a revisit and rewritten version of #EngClass: Code-switching vs. Code-mixing (2015).

“Hujan-hujan begini, I feel so lucky that I got to work from home. Semoga orang-orang yang literally have to be out there to make a living bisa survive.”

Have you ever said or typed something in this manner, fellas?

Indonesian younger generations (millennials and younger), especially those who live in capital cities and are heavily exposed to foreign languages, often do code-switching and code-mixing.

This could happen with many different languages at once, as Indonesia is immensely rich in culture. I often find myself code-switching and code-mixing with my Indonesian friends, using Javanese, Indonesian, Balinese, and English, all in one conversation.

What are code-switching and code-mixing and why do we do them? Are they bad or incorrect or wrong?

Some argue that code-switching and code-mixing can be used interchangeably. We tend to go with a more specific definition for each.

Code-switching is changing from one language to another during a speech, especially on a clause or a sentence level.
Example:
“Hujan terus. It’s very cold outside.”

Code-mixing is adding one or two words of another language into the speech, not enough to make a clause or a sentence.
Example:
“Mana my umbrella? Hujannya deras sekali.”

Here are the possible reasons why someone or a group of people code-switch or code-mix:

1. Talking about a secret
In a group dominated by English-speaking people who don’t speak Indonesian, we might speak in Indonesian if we want nobody to find out what we’re saying.

2. Failing to find the compatible words or terms/words or terms from the other language come first to our mind when we are required to make quick decisions or quick responses
On some occasions, we might struggle to find the suitable words or terms from the same language and we end up inserting one or two words from another language.

Example:
“Bisa tolong print ini, nggak?”
We know the Indonesian equivalent of the verb ‘to print’ is ‘cetak’, but in a rush, we might forget about it and blurt out ‘print’, even though the rest of the sentence is in Indonesian.

3. To soften or strengthen a request or a command
Some requests seem more earnest and some commands sound less bossy if we add the English word ‘please’ to the sentence.
Example:
“Tolong bantuin aku, ya, please…”
Please, jangan ribut, teman-teman!”

4. To emphasise what has previously been said in another language
Example:
“Ingat, besok jangan telat. Don’t be late.

5. To sound smart
Some people do think that using foreign languages during an argument will make them look smarter and will get the point across. We see this a lot during a Twitter-war amongst Indonesians. Some of us might switch to English in order to be taken seriously.

Are code-switching and code-mixing bad or wrong or incorrect, linguistically speaking?

We even have a joke about it now, ‘byelingual.’

Well, we Indonesians speak at least 3 different languages: our mother tongue (for each province or regency might use a different one), Indonesian, and English. Add other languages we learned over the course of our lives, we can collectively cry in multilingual.

Linguists might say that code-switching or code-mixing is a sign that we cannot be consistent with one language, but I would argue that at some point we will inevitably code-switch or code-mix, especially if we interact with people from many different backgrounds on a daily basis.

Besides, there are quite a few English words being adopted by Indonesians that using the Indonesian counterparts might confuse our audience. For example, we will be easily understood if we say ‘keyboard’ instead of ‘papan ketik.’

Considering the above points, I wouldn’t say either code-switching or code-mixing is wrong. I would still propose that for the sake of being on a mutual understanding, we stick with the language that will be understood better.

Using English in a Twitter debate with a fellow Indonesian might make us feel better as we can say what we want to say clearly, but if it ends up confusing our interlocutor even more, we won’t reach a middle ground anytime soon.

Share your thoughts on code-switching and code-mixing by mentioning us or write on the comment section below!

@unclee_eman: Keminggris. Sama 1 lgi minlish, kalo debat kudu di mix pake english biar dikira pinter dan berbobot bacotanya hehehe

Colloquially, yes. In Indonesian, English-Indonesian code-switching and code-mixing is known as Jaksel dialect, or bahasa daerah Jaksel, as people from southern Jakarta are considered by many to be the ones who popularised them @kaonashily: I thought it was bahasa Jaksel

@slvywn: code-mixing waktu kuliahnya biasanya dibarengin sama code-switching, pembahasan bagus ni

I know, right? I personally think it’s cool for us Indonesian to be able to use 3 different languages in one go. P.S.: The word ‘pisan’ that means ‘sangat’ or ‘sekali’ is also found in Balinese. @Inisinene: pada suatu hari “any idea? buntu pisan parah” me as sundanese proud but make it baker street lol

Exactly. @AM_Ihere: Lebih paham download daripada unduh.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, 23 February 2021.

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#EngClass: Code-switching vs. Code-mixing
#EngKnowledge: English Words of Indonesian Origin
#EngTalk: English Words as Bahasa Indonesia Slang (2)
#EngTalk: Learning English vs. Indonesian Nationalism
Further #EngTalk: Penggunaan Bahasa Inggris di Indonesia

#WOTD: PRODIGY

Did you know, fellas? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart started composing when he was five. He was a musical prodigy.

On this article, we will discuss the word ‘prodigy.’

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

A prodigy is a highly talented child, especially under the age of ten years old, who is capable of producing a meaningful output in a field which the child is interested in, in a level of an adult expert.

In the course of history, there are several different areas where a prodigy could be found: mathematics and science, arts, and sports, particularly chess.

Some researchers believe that prodigious talent tends to arise as a result of the innate talent of the child, and the energetic and emotional investment that the child ventures. Others believe that the environment plays the dominant role.

For example, a chess grandmaster might train their children starting at a very young age, resulting in an emotional investment of the children in the game. We also see how children of famous actors or performers tend to acquire the same talents as their parents’.

There could also be occasions where, even though the environment a child grows up in doesn’t necessarily provide support to the child’s development in specific areas, the child still becomes prodigious. Researches suggest that working memory and the cognitive function of the cerebellum are what makes a prodigal child. This theory is supported by brain imagery.

The term ‘prodigy’ itself initially only meant ‘an omen’ or ‘something extraordinary’ when it was first used in English around the 15th century. It came from the Latin word ‘prodigium.’ ‘Wunderkind’ is a German word (literally: wonder child) that is often used as a synonym to ‘prodigy.’

Aside of Mozart, prodigies we might be familiar with are Frédéric Chopin and Blaise Pascal.

“My mother said that I should finish high school and go to college first.” – Saul Kripke, an American philosopher and logician who is a prodigy, in a response to an invitation to apply for a teaching position at Harvard.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 22 February 2021.

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#WOTD: Cast
#WOTD: Flexing
#WOTD: Gesticulative
#WOTD: Rambunctious
#WOTD: Trouvaille

#GRAMMARTRIVIA: LOWERCASE AESTHETIC

Fellas, have you ever heard of ‘lowercase aesthetic?’ It’s the act and art of turning our auto-capitalisation off and type all letters in lowercase. Examples, as taken from Billie Eilish’s YouTube channel:

How, when, and why did this trend start?

In English, and many other languages from every part of the world, we begin a sentence with an uppercase or a capital letter. The title of something also carries the capitalisation rule with it. The word ‘I’ is always typed as an uppercase.

But when it comes to internet language or online conversation, particularly a social media post or text messages, we often disregard grammatical rules including capitalisation as long as it doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence.

Lauren Fonteyn, a linguistics lecturer at the University of Manchester who studies language on the internet, concluded this phenomenon, as quoted by Mashable on this article: the surprising reasons we turn off autocaps and embrace the lowercase.

The lowercase movement can be traced back to 2015 or even earlier, when social media started seeing its ever-increasing popularity. It’s become an unwritten norm on the internet, what’s more with notable public figures or celebrities popularising it.

Those who favour lowercase believe that lowercase is more than just a utility; it subtly conveys that the person using all lowercase is hip, casual, and chill, doesn’t get riled up by little things. In short, all lowercase helps with one’s online persona. Uppercase is reserved for specific context, like conveying excitement or putting emphasis on certain word(s).

Some of the lowercase users also believe that using all lowercase in non-professional setting is somewhat liberating. It means that after hours and hours being constrained by grammatical rules while at work, one finally gets to be themselves by using all lowercase. By this, we can assume that lowercase users feel that using all lowercase is a way to express themselves.

Another interesting point to note is that many lowercase users are found on online communities, namely fandoms, where using all lowercase gives them a sense of being a part of something, a sense of belonging.

What do you think about this phenomenon, fellas? Share your thoughts.

@slvywn: i’ve been dong this for years because it looks better on my eyes

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 18 February 2021.

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#IOTW: IDIOMS THAT MENTION ROME

Rome. A city full of myths, legend, and history. Rome’s influence to the whole world is such that we have four idioms in English that mention Rome. We Indonesian will at least be able to name one of them, as it has an Indonesian version.

Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

‘Banyak jalan menuju Roma’ is the Indonesian version of ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ In Indonesian, it’s commonly interpreted as there are a lot of ways to achieve something, which essentially means ‘never give up.’

The English version has a slightly different meaning. It means that all methods of doing something will lead to the same result. However, the idiom ‘all roads lead to Rome’ had a literal meaning once.

To mark the starting point of the Roman road system to the rest of Italy, Emperor Caesar Augustus of the Roman Empire instructed the building of Milliarium Aureum or the Golden Milestone around 20 BCE. All roads were considered to begin at this monument and all distances in the Roman Empire were measured relative to it.

Next, we have ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ The first known reference to this idiom was actually made by a 12th-century cleric in the court of Phillippe of Alsace, the Count of Flanders, in present-day Belgium.

It was recorded in a mediaeval French poem around the end of the 12th century as ‘Rome ne fu pas faite toute en un jour’ and then it was included in the book Li Proverbe au Vilain by Swiss linguist Adolf Tobler in 1895. This idiom means that everything takes time and effort.

Another idiom is ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ It means wherever we are in the world, it’s expected that we respect local people and local culture. The phrase’s origin can be traced back to the 4th century, written by Saint Augustine.

During that time, Saint Augustine moved from Rome to Milan to become a professor of rhetoric. In his previous Roman church, there was a custom to fast on Saturdays, but he didn’t find such tradition in Milan. Thus, he found the place quite different.

Saint Ambrose, a bishop of Milan, then advised Saint Augustine, “When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend if you do not want to give or receive scandal (create controversies)?”

These wise words left such a deep impression that Saint Augustine wrote it in a letter. Later on, similar phrases started gaining popularity and came to a conclusion as ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’

The last one is ‘fiddling while Rome burns.’ It means to continue our regular activity to avoid dealing with something unpleasant or to do something trivial in the midst of an emergency. Sounds like celebrities and influencers who attend or host parties during a pandemic.

All shades aside, in July of 64 AD, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half of its population homeless. Emperor Nero, who was notorious for being a tyrant, was believed to quite literally play music, specifically a fiddle, during the fire.

However, historians debate this theory as Nero was at his villa in Antium, around 35 miles from Rome. Music historians believe the viol class of instruments (to which the fiddle belongs) was not developed until the 11th century, making it disputable for Nero to have played one during the fire.

Nero returned to Rome immediately and began disaster relief measures, but as he was known for being an ineffective leader, his people didn’t trust him. Many Romans accused him of instructing to start the fire in order to empty some lands which would then become his Golden Palace and its surrounding gardens. Nero himself accused and subsequently arrested and executed the Christians.

He cast the blame on the Christians because Christianity was a relatively unknown religious sect at the time. But the story that Nero played a fiddle during the Great Fire is considered more of a legend than a fact.

There they are, fellas, 4 idioms that mention Rome, each with its origin and history. Feel free to add anything that we’ve missed or correct us if there is any inaccuracy.

Source:
Wikipedia
Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionary
https://theculturetrip.com/europe/italy/articles/the-origin-of-the-saying-rome-wasnt-built-in-a-day/
https://www.romecitytour.it/blog/why-do-we-say-when-in-rome-do-as-the-romans-do/
https://www.history.com/news/did-nero-really-fiddle-while-rome-burned

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 8 February 2021.

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#ENGKNOWLEDGE: MANY, MANY TYPES OF CITRUS FRUITS

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients to maintain our immune system, especially during rainy season. The first thing that comes into our mind when talking about vitamin C is probably an orange.

In Indonesian, oranges are often referred to as ‘jeruk,’ regardless of the species. There are jeruk purut, jeruk nipis, jeruk bali, jeruk keprok, jeruk mandarin, and many other types. However, these fruits go by different names in English. On this article, we will discuss the many, many types of citrus fruits, the genus which oranges are a part of.

1. Sweet orange (Citrus × sinensis)
This species is what we refer to as an orange. It is a hybrid of pomelo and mandarin orange. It is sweet, relatively easy to peel, and it has only a few seeds, if not seedless. It has a spherical shape.

Image source: Wikipedia

2. Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata)
A mandarin orange is generally smaller than a sweet orange. It has a sweeter and stronger flavour and is often less sour. The rind is easy to peel and the fruit is often flat on the pole (oblate).

Image source: Wikipedia

3. Pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis)
The largest citrus fruit of the family Rutaceae. It is 15-25 cm in diameter and is a natural (non-hybrid) type. It is considered as the ancestor of grapefruit and many other hybrids. Native to Southeast Asia, a pomelo has a thick rind, which probably requires a knife to peel, and white or pinkish flesh. The one with white flesh is usually sweeter than the one with pinkish flesh. Inside the rind, there is a membrane that is chewy and bitter. It is what’s known in Indonesian as ‘jeruk bali.’

Image credit: Wikipedia

4. Grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi)
Grapefruit is a hybrid of sweet orange and pomelo. The colour of the flesh varies from pale yellow to dark pink. It is generally smaller than a pomelo, with 10-15 cm in diameter, more sour or bitter. Native to the Barbados, it grows in grape-like clusters, which is probably why it is named grapefruit.

Image source: Wikipedia
A grapefruit cluster. Image source: Wikipedia

5. Tangerine (Citrus x tangerina)
A hybrid of mandarin with some pomelo contributions, a tangerine shares a lot of mandarin features that sometimes it is hard to differentiate them. It is sweeter, smaller, and less-rounded than a sweet orange. When it is ripe, it could be slightly soft.

6. Clementine (Citrus × clementina)
Another one that carries a lot of mandarin orange traits is clementine. The exterior is glossy and the rind is easy to peel. Juicy and sweet, it is less acidic than a sweet orange. A clementine is generally smaller than a tangerine, thus earning it the commercial name ‘cuties.’

Image source: Wikipedia

7. Blood orange (Citrus × sinensis)
A blood orange is considered a natural mutation of a sweet orange, which is probably why it goes by the same Latin name. The flesh of this fruit is blood red and the taste is a mix of an orange and a raspberry. As it originated from Europe, it is hard to come by in Southeast Asia.

Image source: Wikipedia

8. Tangelo (Citrus × tangelo)
This variant got its name from tangerine and pomelo. Also known as honeybells, the fruit is juicy and has a tart and tangy taste.

Image source: Wikipedia

9. Bitter orange/Seville orange/sour orange/bigarade orange/marmalade orange (Citrus × aurantium)
Having sour and bitter taste, this type of citrus is rarely eaten fresh and is more commonly used in cooking or liqueur (a type of liquor that requires additional flavours from fruits, herbs, or nuts).

Image source: Wikipedia


10. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot is a probable hybrid of lemon and bitter orange. It is the size of an orange with dark green to yellow exterior similar to a lime. The extract of bergamot is often used to add scent to food, perfume, and cosmetics.

Image source: Wikipedia

11. Yuzu/yuja (Citrus junos)
Yuzu (Japanese) or yuja (Korean) is native to East Asia. The fruit looks somewhat like a small grapefruit with an uneven skin, and can be either yellow or green depending on the degree of ripeness. It has various uses, from culinary to skincare. Have you ever heard of yuzu bath or yuja skincare?

12. Kumquat (Citrus japonica)
Kumquat closely resembles an orange in color and shape but is much smaller, being approximately the size of a large olive. The fruit is often eaten whole with its peel and sometimes is a part of a fruit salad.

Image source: Wikipedia

13. Citron (Citrus medica)
Citron is a large fragrant citrus fruit with a thick rind. It is one of three natural citrus fruits (the other two being mandarin and pomelo) from which all other citrus types developed through natural or artificial hybridisation. It has culinary and medical uses.

Image source: Wikipedia

14. Lemon (Citrus limon)
Lemon is native to South Asia, primarily Northeastern India. Lemon juice is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade and lemon meringue pie.

15. Lime
There are several species of citrus trees that are called limes, including the Key lime (Citrus aurantiifolia), Persian lime, kaffir lime, and desert lime. Limes are sour and sometimes bitter, often used to accent the flavours of foods and beverages. In Indonesia, the most popular one is probably ‘jeruk sambal’ or ‘jeruk limau’ (Citrus amblycarpa), whose fruits and leaves are often used in condiments.

Source:
https://www.homestratosphere.com/types-of-citrus-fruits/
https://www.seriouseats.com/2018/01/know-your-citrus-a-field-guide-to-oranges-lemons-limes-and-beyond.html
Others are mentioned above.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 6 February 2021.

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#WOTD: RAMBUNCTIOUS

Our #WOTD for this article is ‘rambunctious.’ Having read it on various news portals, I found the word quite intriguing.

Firstly, I like how it sounds and how easy it is to remember. When I read the word for the first time, I thought it came from British English; it just sounded like it did.

As I looked into it further, the word is actually an informal American English word, which means exuberant, lively, cheerful, boisterous. Essentially, ‘rambunctious’ is used to describe someone or something that is overly-energetic and has a cheerful manner.

Photo by Emily Rose on Pexels.com

My guess about the word coming from British English was not entirely baseless, however, as there is another word that has similar meaning, ‘rumbustious,’ and the latter did come from British English.

According to Merriam-Webster, ‘rumbustious’ first appeared in Britain in 1700s. It was probably based on ‘robustious,’ which could mean both ‘robust’ and ‘boisterous.’

‘Rambunctious’ began gaining popularity in the United States by 1830. At that time, the States was a fast-growing nation that encouraged the coinage of some new words and terms that represent the nation’s optimism and exuberance.

Example of ‘rambunctious’ in a sentence:
“Bali beaches are packed with rambunctious people every weekend.”
“The rambunctious puppies apparently chewed on one of my shoes last night.”

On the same note, ‘rambunctious’ could also carry a meaning of being too full of energy that we become noisy and unruly.

Example:
“Rambunctious concert-goers caused injuries to their peers as they pushed each other to get closer to the stage.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 4 February 2021.

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#WOTD: Gesticulative

#WOTD: GESTICULATIVE

Fellas, have you ever lost words in the middle of a sentence and decided to use your hands to deliver the message instead? Or have you ever met someone who moves their hands a lot while talking?

In English, we have a word to describe that type of person, ‘gesticulative.’

Photo by u795d u9e64u69d0 on Pexels.com

The word ‘gesticulative’ came from late Middle English ‘gesture,’ which came from medieval Latin ‘gestura,’ which we can trace back to Latin ‘gerere,’ that means ‘bear, wield, perform.’ Hence, ‘gesture’ means ‘the use of posture and bodily movements for effect in oratory.’

Most English speakers would opt for the verb ‘to gesticulate’ or the noun ‘gesticulation,’ which is probably why it is hard to find the definition of ‘gesticulative.’

Examples:
“He gesticulated a lot during the debate.”
“Her gesticulation is more effective than words.”

Another similar word, which is also an adjective, is ‘gesticulatory.’ Both ‘gesticulative’ and ‘gesticulatory’ mean ‘of or relating to a gesticulation.’

Example:
“He didn’t say much, not with words, at least. It was quite a gesticulative/gesticulatory conversation.”
“Pardon me for being gesticulative; I was too nervous during the speech.”

Now that we have the word ‘gesticulative’ as an addition to our vocabulary, try using it on our everyday conversation to get more familiar with it.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 25 January 2021.

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#ENGVOCAB: POPULAR INTERNET TERMS AS OF JANUARY 2021 T-Z

Hello, everyone! This article is to the last one of our series on popular internet terms as of January 2021. Here are the previous articles on the series in case you missed it: PART 1PART 2PART 3, PART 4

REMINDER: Most of these terms are slang and SHOULD ONLY be used in an informal interaction.

  1. That’s a you problem (phrase)
    Meaning: an informal way of saying ‘that’s your problem.’
    Example:
    “I’m telling the truth and I have witnesses. If you don’t believe me, I think that’s a you problem.”
  2. That’s just me (phrase)
    Meaning: an informal way of saying ‘that’s just my opinion.’
    Example:
    “I don’t think it’s right to meet up and hang out now, but that’s just me.”
  3. Thicc (adjective)
    Meaning: curvy, slightly overweight.
    Example:
    “I feel like I’d rather be thicc than being underweight.”
  4. This could have been an email (phrase)
    Meaning: of a professional gathering that seems to be a waste of time.
    Example:
    “This whole meeting could have been an email.”
  5. This isn’t even my final form (phrase)
    Meaning: ‘I can improve or do better than this.’ Originated from Songoku’s or any Saiyan’s transformation to a Super Saiyan in the Dragon Ball franchise.
    Example:
    “Wait, wait, wait, this isn’t even my final form. You will be shocked.”
Credit: Meme Generator

  1. Three much (adjective, adverb)
    Meaning: more exaggerated than ‘too much.’
    Example:
    “Girl, you are really three much! Stop making a fuss.”
  2. Throw someone under the bus (phrase)
    Meaning: to betray someone.
    It gained popularity because of the movie Mean Girls (2004) despite not being actually said on the movie and despite having been coined a long time before the movie was released.
    Example:
    “How do you expect to have loyal friends if you constantly throw them under the bus?”
  3. Tiny (adjective)
    Meaning: someone or something being small and cute.
    Example:
    “She’s adorable when she speaks in tiny voice.”
  4. Toxic (adjective)
    Meaning: of an environment or a person’s behaviour that could be detrimental to someone’s mental health.
    Example:
    A: “Why did you deactivate your Instagram account?”
    B: “No specific reason; I just think it’s become toxic.”
  5. Trigger (noun)
    Meaning: something that could potentially upset someone, especially someone with mental health issues.
    Triggering (adjective)
    Meaning: upsetting.
    Triggered (adjective)
    Meaning: getting upset or worked up by something.
    Example:
    “Don’t show her this; it could trigger her.”
  6. Unbothered (adjective)
    Meaning: of someone not being affected by something negative said about them.
    Example:
    “Despite the rumours, she remains unbothered.”
  7. Unpopular opinion (noun)
    Meaning: an opinion that is different to the opinion of the general public, sometimes controversial.
    Example:
    “Unpopular opinion: working overtime is not something we should glorify.”
  8. Uwu (expression)
    Meaning: a written version of this smiley (◡ ω ◡). Nowadays, it’s also said as a response to something adorable.
    Example:
    “I just found out that Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t know how to pronounce ‘penguin.’ I’m uwu-ing so hard right now.”
  9. We stan (phrase)
    Meaning: we support.
    Example:
    “Michelle Obama is so inspirational. We stan an intelligent woman.”
Credit: Pinterest.

  1. Weird flex, but ok (expression)
    Meaning: a reaction we give to other people who act over the top or outlandishly.
    Example:
    A: “Yes, I won 500 Candy Crush levels, all with three stars!”
    B: “Weird flex, but ok.”
  2. Whipped (adjective)
    Meaning: being obsessed or controlled, often used on someone dominated by their significant other.
    Example:
    “Getting home right after work instead of out drinking with your friends is not being whipped. It means you prioritise your family and health.”
  3. Who hurt you? (expression)
    Meaning: a question we ask to someone who seems to be unreasonably upset.
    Example:
    “Did you really fight with a shop assistant just because they ask you to wear a mask? Really, who hurt you?”
  4. Wholesome (adjective)
    Meaning: heartwarming or feel-good.
    Example:
    “During my lunch break, I often look at some wholesome memes. They always cheer me up.”
  5. Wifey (noun)
    Meaning: an affectionate term for a husband to refer to his wife.
    Example:
    “Wifey got mad at me for leaving the front door unlocked.”
  6. Wild (adjective)
    Meaning: exaggerated, extreme, over-the-top, unusual.
    Example:
    “This mukbang with living animals is so wild. I can’t watch it.”
  7. Yeah, right (expression)
    Meaning: a double positive words that somehow carries a negative, sarcastic tone.
    Example:
    “You said you didn’t study but you still got an A on the math quiz. Yeah, right.”
  8. Yee to one’s haw (noun)
    Meaning: something or someone that makes us feel complete.
    Example:
    “Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture is the yee to my haw. It’s a piece that can cheer me up anytime.”
  9. Yeet (expression, verb)
    Meaning: an expression that was initially used to show excitement, approval, or surprise, but is now also used as an informal version of ‘to throw something away.”
    Example:
    “He accidentally yeeted his phone out of the window on the second floor.”
  10. Zen (adjective)
    Meaning: a peaceful and relaxed feeling.
    Example:
    “My zen side was tested during the entire 2020.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 16 January 2021.

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