Category Archives: conversation

#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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#EngKnowledge: Michelin Star
#EngKnowledge: Written Laughter from All Around the World
#EngVocab: English Words of French Origin
#WOTD: Debutante
#WOTD: Embezzle

#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.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#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

#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.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of Mid-2018
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 A-C
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 C-I
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 I-P
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 P-T

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

Hello, everyone! This article is to continue 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 2, PART 3

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

  1. Protec, attac… (phrase)
    Meaning: the intentionally misspelled version of ‘he protects, but he also attacks,’ accompanied with the third phrase that rhymes with both words.
    Example:
    He protec, he attac, but most importantly, he wants some snac.
  2. Pumped (adjective)
    Meaning: excited.
    Example:
    “I’m so pumped to get 1,000 subscribers.”
  3. Reality check (phrase)
    Meaning: a phrase to use to bring someone back to reality.
    Example:
    “Yes, some of us do make less than Rp 20,000 a day that we can’t barely afford decent clothes and housing. I bet it’s a reality check for you.”
  4. Receipt (noun)
    Meaning: a proof of a scandal, a claim, or an accusation.
    Example:
    “Do you want me to dig up some receipts? I’m sure there’ll be plenty on the internet.”
  5. Relatable (adjective)
    Meaning: a state of something that we can relate to, something we can understand, or something that can make us say, “It’s so me.”
    Example:
    “This quote is so relatable.”
Credit: @tinybuddha on Twitter

  1. Rn (adverb)
    Meaning: short of ‘right now.’
    Example:
    “This song is so beautiful. I’m dying rn.”
  2. Sadboi/sadgirl (noun)
    Meaning: someone who is being very open about their emotions that are usually related to a complicated love life.
    Example:
    “He’s just being a sadboi right now, always emotional.”
  3. Sassy (adjective)
    Meaning: of someone, usually a woman or a girl or those identify as such, to be unapologetically bold.
    Example:
    “Sassy remarks are to be expected from her. Be prepared.”
  4. Screen-capture (verb, noun)
    Meaning: to capture a screen where a piece of important information is shown.
    Example:
    “I have screen-captured this conversation. Just in case.”
  5. Serving (verb)
    Meaning: providing a good look, good internet posts/contents, or good artistic material.
    Example:
    “He’s been serving us a lot of behind-the-scene from his latest movie.”
  6. Shaking/quaking (verb)
    Meaning: someone or something is possibly intimidated by someone’s hidden ability or talent.
    Example:
    A: “Your acting skill is top notch. Hollywood is shaking.”
    B: “You’re being sarcastic.”
  7. Shameless plug (noun)
    Meaning: an improperly placed promotion or advertisement.
    Example:
    “His promoting his YouTube channel on a natural-disaster-related Instagram post feels like a shameless plug to me.”
  8. Share one braincell (phrase)
    Meaning: two or more people doing something silly or ridiculous together.
    Example:
    “My classmates and I shared one braincell during the exam. We literally had no idea what we were doing.”
  9. S**t hits the fan (phrase)
    Meaning: something bad happens.
    Example:
    “She always does controversial things, but when s**t hits the fan, she momentarily disappears from social media.”
  10. Sike (expression)
    Meaning: an incorrect spelling of the slang ‘psych’ that was popular in 1990s. It’s similar to adding ‘not’ or ‘no’ at the end of a sentence to imply sarcasm or a joke.
    Example:
    “You look good with that platinum blonde hair… Sike.”
  11. Simp (noun, verb)
    Meaning: an insult for a male follower who is obsessed with and desperate to get the attention of a female social media celebrity.
    Example:
    “You bought her bath water? D**n, I didn’t know you were such a simp.”
  12. Sketchy (adjective)
    Meaning: untrustworthy, disreputable, suspicious.
    Example:
    “This website seems sketchy to me. Are you sure it’s not a scam?”
  13. Slay (verb)
    Meaning: to greatly impress.
    Example:
    “Mariah Carey slays with her ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You.'”
  14. Sleep with one eye open (phrase)
    Meaning: to live in fear.
    Example:
    “I sleep with one eye open thanks to my overbearing boss.”
  15. Smol (adjective)
    Meaning: a cute way to say ‘small.’
    Example:
    “Look at this smol puppy.”
A smol puppy. Credit: @smoldogpics on Twitter.

  1. Snap (verb)
    Meaning: to do something agressively or to do something greatly.
    Example:
    “Ariana Grande snapped with her ‘Thank You, Next.'”
  2. Snatch/steal someone’s wig (phrase)
    Meaning: to steal the show or to humiliate someone publicly, giving the same embarrassment to the target as literally taking off their wig.
    Example:
    “I sincerely apologise for snatching your wig, but this is what happens when you badmouth me.”
  3. So done (adjective)
    Meaning: tired, bored.
    Example:
    “I’m so done with your antics. Can you go disturb someone else?”
  4. Soft (adjective)
    Meaning: moved, touched.
    Example:
    “The interaction between Keanu Reeves and his fans makes me soft.”
  5. Sploot (verb, noun)
    Meaning: for a pet to lie flat on a surface and stretch their back legs. A wordplay of ‘split.’
    Example:
    “As soon as we got back from the walk, my dog sploot and smiled widely.”
  6. Sure, Jan (expression)
    Meaning: something we say when we know someone is lying right to our face. Taken from the movie A Very Brady Sequel (1996).
    Example:
    “So you left me on read because your phone died? Sure, Jan.”
  7. (Kinda) sus (adjective)
    Meaning: (kind of) suspicious.
    Example:
    “Do you trust her story? It seems kinda sus.”
  8. Take the heat (phrase)
    Meaning: to withstand disapproval or controversies.
    Example:
    “She always causes drama, but when she gets confronted, she’s unable to take the heat herself.”
  9. Thank you, next (expression)
    Meaning: the title of Ariana Grande’s 2018 hit single. Nowadays, it’s used to express that someone wants to move on from a hurtful experience.
    Example:
    “The last thing I want is to have my ex back into my life. Thank you, next!”
  10. That didn’t age well (phrase)
    Meaning: of someone or something that has a negative ending despite a promising start.
    Example:
    “That actor was selected as one of the first people to get vaccinated, but he went straight into a party afterwards. That surely didn’t age well.”

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

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngVocab: New Words on Internet
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of Mid-2018
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 A-C
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 C-I
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 I-P

#ENGVOCAB: POPULAR INTERNET TERMS AS OF JANUARY 2021 I-P

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

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

  1. I- (expression)
    Meaning: an expression that represent speechlessness. Often comes in its variation ‘I cannot,’ ‘I can’t’ or ‘I can’t even.’
    Example:
    “I just got a notification that I won a giveaway. I-“
  2. In Spain, but without ‘s’ (expression).
    Meaning: being in pain.
    Example:
    “Her crush didn’t want to go out with her. She is in Spain, but without ‘s’ right now.”
  3. In this economy? (phrase)
    Meaning: we cannot carry out something because it’s a financial burden.
    Example:
    “Buying the latest phone? In this economy?”
  4. Influencer (noun)
    Meaning: an internet celebrity who can possibly influence other people’s opinion or decision. Nowadays, it generally refers to someone who was relatively unknown but gradually became famous as they gained huge following on social media.
    Example:
    “Yet another influencer throwing a party in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Are they for real?”
  5. Instant regret (phrase)
    Meaning: a regretful feeling that comes instantly after saying something, making a wrong decision, or doing something wrong.
    Example:
    “I bought this phone on a flash sale, but I didn’t know that it didn’t support dual SIM cards. Talk about an instant regret.”
  6. Irl (phrase)
    Meaning: the abbreviation of ‘in real life,’ distinguishing our life on and off the internet.
    Example:
    “I imagine she’s not as sassy irl, but that’s just me.”
  7. Issa (phrase)
    Meaning: a slang for ‘is a’ or ‘it is a.’
    Example:
    “The football match issa fire.”
  8. Karen (noun)
    Meaning: a pejorative term for women seeming to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal.
    Example:
    “I just saw a Karen arguing with a shop assistant who advised her to wear a mask.”

  1. Leave one on read (phrase)
    Meaning: to leave a message on read and not send any responses.
    Example:
    “She leaves you on read all the time, man. I think it’s time you take the hint.”
  2. …lives in one’s head rent free (phrase)
    Meaning: of someone not being able to forget or move on from someone else or something.
    Example:
    “His remarks live in your head rent free, but you should know he said that as a joke.”
  3. Lost it (phrase)
    Meaning: losing one’s temper or not being able to control oneself.
    Example:
    “When he started raising his voice, I lost it.”
  4. Love that for you (phrase)
    Meaning: ‘I’m happy for you,’ sometimes used in a sarcastic tone.
    Example:
    A: “I got this LV knockoff for $200.”
    B: “Love that for you.”
  5. Lowkey (adverb)
    Meaning: secretly.
    Example:
    “I lowkey want to travel but I don’t want to spread the virus.”
  6. Make it make sense (phrase)
    Meaning: make something clear, transparent, or comprehensible.
    Example:
    “So, you want to travel in the middle of a pandemic? Make it make sense.”
  7. Make no mistake (phrase)
    Meaning: ‘do not be mistaken.’
    Example:
    “Make no mistake, she’ll also be 10 minutes late to this meeting.”
  8. Mess (noun)
    Meaning: a problem, a complicated situation.
    Example:
    “That mess is gonna be hard to clean up, especially since a lot of netizen have apparently screen-captured their Instagram stories.”
  9. Miss me with that (nonsense) (phrase)
    Meaning: another way of saying ‘I don’t believe you’ or ‘I don’t buy your excuses.’
    Example:
    “You were being honest? Miss me with that nonsense. I knew you’ve been texting other girls.”
  10. Mom, come pick me up, I’m scared (phrase)
    Meaning: an expression to use when we see something scary on the internet. Originated from a scene in the movie Mean Girls (2004).
    Example:
    “Aaarrgghh, I can’t watch this horror movie trailer. Mom, come pick me up, I’m scared!”
  11. Mood (noun)
    Meaning: a representation of our current state or feelings.
    Example:
    “This lazy cat is such a mood.”
Picture credit: Pinterest

  1. Mukbang (noun)
    Meaning: an eating broadcast originated from South Korea to accompany those who live and eat alone. A currently popular theme for a YouTube content.
    Example:
    “How do people do mukbang and stay healthy? I’m honestly curious.”
  2. …never gets old (phrase)
    Meaning: something is never boring.
    Example:
    “This joke never gets old.”
  3. No one, literally no one (expression)
    Meaning: a reaction we give to something unexpected.
    Example:
    No one: …
    Literally no one: …
    Disney: ruining Mulan’s live action.
  4. No s**t, Sherlock (expression)
    Meaning: a reaction to someone explaining something that’s a common fact or blatantly obvious. Example: “You eat junk food every day and now you’re complaining that you gained weight? No s**t, Sherlock.”
  5. Nothing to write home about (phrase)
    Meaning: not special or distinguished enough.
    Example:
    “Yeah, my YouTube channel is monetised, but it’s nothing to write home about, yet.”
  6. Nvm (expression)
    Meaning: a contraction of ‘never mind.’
    Example:
    “Nvm, I’ll just order pizza.”
  7. Ok, boomer (expression)
    Meaning: an expression commonly used by millennials and Gen-Z to mock baby-boomers and Gen-X for their outdated thinking.
    Example:
    “A woman’s place is in the kitchen. Yeah, right. Ok, boomer.”
  8. On fleek (adjective)
    Meaning: looking good, perfectly done, or just about right.
    Example:
    “My eyebrows are on fleek today.”
  9. People are sleeping on it (phrase)
    Meaning: people are ignoring a good content or a talented person.
    Example:
    “This song is moving, but people are sleeping on it. Wake up, people!”
  10. Period (expression)
    Meaning: a simplified way of saying ‘end of a discussion.’
    Example:
    “i was right, you were wrong. Period.”
  11. Petition to/for… (phrase)
    Meaning: a phrase to demand something to be done or someone to be treated in a certain way.
    Example:
    “Petition to Netflix to have all Lord of the Rings movies on its catalogue.”

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

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngVocab: Internet Slang
#EngVocab: New Words on Internet
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of Mid-2018
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 A-C
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 C-I

#ENGVOCAB: POPULAR INTERNET TERMS AS OF JANUARY 2021 C-I

Hello, everyone! This article is to continue our series on popular internet terms as of January 2021. Here is the first article on the series in case you missed it: PART 1

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

  1. Cuteness overload (phrase)
    Meaning: an overwhelming cuteness.
    Example:
    “Keanu Reeves playing with puppy is the definition of cuteness overload.”
  2. Cyber-bully (verb, noun)
    Meaning: to bully someone on the internet or someone who bullies another person on the internet.
    Example:
    “Jesy Nelson, a former member of Little Mix, was a victim of cyber-bullying.”
  3. Darn, dang (expression)
    Meaning: somewhat more polite versions of d*mn.
    Example:
    “Dang it, I lost the Wi-Fi connection.”
  4. Deplatform (verb)
    Meaning: to take away someone’s privilege of using a certain social media platform, usually after a series of dangerous, misleading, provocative, abusive, or life-threatening posts.
    Example:
    “I think Twitter did the right thing by deplatforming the president.”
  5. Did I stutter? (phrase)
    Meaning: ‘Do I need to repeat myself?’ or ‘Do I look like I’m kidding?’
    Example:
    A: “I want everything to be done by 5 PM today.”
    B: “But…”
    A: “Did I stutter?”
  6. Doomscrolling/doomsurfing (verb)
    Meaning: the act of consuming a large quantity of negative online news at once.
    Example:
    “Stop doomscrolling. It’s not good for your health.”
  7. Don’t @ me (phrase)
    Meaning: ‘Don’t tag me’ or ‘I don’t want to argue with you on this matter.’
    Example:
    “I like pineapple on my pizza. Don’t @ me.”
  8. Drama (noun)
    Meaning: any scandal or controversial event, sometimes steeming from a trivial argument.
    Example:
    “This influencers drama is giving me a headache. I think I’ll just unfollow them.”
  9. Drama queen (noun)
    Meaning: a gender-neutral term to refer to someone who is overly dramatic.
    Example:
    “Don’t be such a drama queen. You only lost a dozen of followers. So what?”
  10. Eboi/egirl (noun)
    Meaning: a popular internet boy or girl.
    Example:
    A: “Does playing online games a lot automatically make me an egirl?”
    B: “No, unless there is a horde of simps following all of your online activities.”
  11. Edgy (adjective)
    Meaning: daring, bold, and sometimes controversial.
    Example:
    “How to be edgy on social media 101: have an unpopular opinion.”
  12. Everybody gangsta until… (phrase)
    Meaning: everybody is emotionally strong and stable before they see something that could shake them.
    Example:
    “Everybody gangsta until they check their bank account.”
  13. Fake (adjective)
    Meaning: someone acting not as what they preach or advertise to be.
    Example:
    “Be careful of fake friends. They could always throw you under the bus.”
  14. Flex (verb, noun)
    Meaning: to show off or something that we can show off.
    Example:
    “I got an A on the math quiz. I’m gonna flex it on social media.”
  15. Flipping, freaking (adverb)
    Meaning: alternatives to f**king.
    Example:
    “She’s so freaking smart!”
  16. Flying wig/snatched wig (expression)
    Meaning: expressing surprise or shock.
    Example:
    “Things that fly: birds, planes, and our wigs.”
  17. Fr (adverb)
    Meaning: short of ‘for real,’ meaning ‘seriously.’
    Example:
    “You scared me just now, fr.”
  18. Get a life (phrase)
    Meaning: to start doing something meaningful in life.
    Example:
    “Bruh, stop scrolling through your ex’ Instagram posts and go get a life.”
  19. …gets me every time (phrase)
    Meaning: something gives us a strong feeling or emotion, no matter how old it is or how often we see or hear it.
    Example:
    “Queen’s Love of My Life gets me every time. It reminds me of my mother, who loved the song.”
  20. …gives me everything/gives me life (phrase)
    Meaning: something makes me happy.
    Example:
    “Stray Kids’ Hyunjin’s blonde hair gives me everything.”
Stray Kids’ Hwang Hyunjin with blonde hair. Picture credit: Koreaboo.

  1. Go off, sis (phrase)
    Meaning: a gender-neutral phrase to tell someone to express their feelings or emotions through ranting.
    Example:
    “I don’t think I did anything wrong, but yeah, go off, sis!”
  2. Gurl (noun)
    Meaning: an informal version of ‘girl,’ often used in an admonishing tone.
    Example:
    “Gurl, what is you doing?” (Yes, the grammatical error is often intentional).
  3. Happiness noise/happy … noises (phrase)
    Meaning: a phrase originated from a mid-sneeze husky meme. Used to describe joy.
    Example:
    “She squealed with happy girlie noises when she got a text back from her crush.”
  4. …has left the chat (phrase)
    Meaning: someone or something has disappeared.
    Example:
    “I just saw a gif of Stray Kids’ Felix. Now my soul has left the chat.”
  5. …has seen things (phrase)
    Meaning: someone or something has witnessed bad things happen, usually to the extent of getting traumatised.
    Example:
    “This cat has seen things.”
  6. Hecc (expression)
    Meaning: a somewhat more polite alternative to hck or hll.
    Example:
    “What the hecc is happening?”
  7. Henlo (expression)
    Meaning: a pet’s owner way of saying ‘hello.’
    Example:
    “Henlo, this is Coconut Rice Bear (a Samoyed that is popular on the internet).”
  8. Highkey (adverb)
    Meaning: obviously.
    Example:
    “In this day and age, I highkey want to stay at home as much as possible.”
  9. Hubby (noun)
    Meaning: an affectionate way for a wife to call her husband.
    Example:
    “Oh, my hubby calls. I’m sorry, can I get this? This must be important.”
  10. I’ll give you that/I’ll give it to you (phrase)
    Meaning: another way of saying ‘I’ll give you credits for it’ or ‘I applaud you for it.’
    Example:
    “You did finish your task on time, I’ll give it to you, but I think you can do better than this.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 22 January 2021.

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#EngVocab: Internet
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#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of Mid-2018
#EngVocab: Popular Internet Terms as of January 2021 A-C

#ENGVOCAB: POPULAR INTERNET TERMS AS OF JANUARY 2021 A-C

Every now and again, we take a deep look into words that are commonly used by netizen (internet users) and compile them, because most of them are slang or have different meanings with their official meanings on the dictionary. You can have a look at our mid-2018 compilation HERE.

Here is our January 2021 compilation. Some of these terms may have been trendy before 2021 and some of them may have become less popular by now.

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

  1. 10 out of 10 would recommend (phrase)
    Meaning: something is so good and we would recommend it to other people.
    Example:
    “This sandwich is perfect. 10 out of 10 would recommend.”
  2. Adulting (verb, noun)
    Meaning: doing things that grown up people do.
    Example:
    “I want to go back to my youth and not worry about rent and stuff. Adulting sucks.”
  3. Aesthetic (adjective)
    Meaning: concerning beauty or the appreciation of beauty. Often typed as ‘a e s t h e t i c’ to give a dramatic effect.
    Example:
    A: “Why did you delete so many of your Instagram posts?”
    B: “I like to keep my feed aesthetic.”
  4. And I oop-/anna oop-/oof (phrase)
    Meaning: a phrase popularised by Jasmine Masters. Used in the same sense as ‘oops’, especially when reacting to other people’s mistakes or blunders. It’s also sometimes written ‘anna oop-‘ or ‘oof.’
    Example:
    A: “That celebrity went to a party right in the middle of a pandemic.”
    B: “And I oop-“
  5. …and stuff (phrase)
    Meaning: an informal way of saying ‘and everything (else)’ or ‘and so on.’
    Example:
    “With you getting upset and stuff, it’s so hard for me to tell the truth.”
  6. Angy (adjective)
    Meaning: a cute way to say ‘angry.’ Often goes as, “No talk me I’m angy.”
    Example:
    “He scares me when he angy.”

  1. Atm (adverb)
    Meaning: ‘at the moment.’ Not ‘authorised teller machine’ (ATM).
    Example:
    “I’m busy atm. Can I call you back later?”
  2. Badmouth (verb)
    Meaning: to speak ill about someone behind their back.
    Example:
    “I’m done with those who badmouthed me. Thank you, next!”
  3. Bebe (noun)
    Meaning: baby. From the French word ‘bébé’ with the same meaning.
    Example:
    “A bebe Samoyed (dog breed) looks like a stuffed bear.”
  4. Beef (noun, verb)
    Meaning: a problem, an argument, or a fight, or to argue or to fight, especially via the internet or social media platforms.
    Example:
    “Nicki Minaj and Cardi B were constantly beefing.”
  5. Be like (phrase)
    Meaning: an informal form of ‘to say’ or ‘to give a certain reaction.’
    Example:
    “I was like, ‘Why are you so obsessed with me?'” – Mariah Carey.
  6. Begpacker (noun)
    Meaning: a portmanteau of ‘beg’ and ‘backpacker,’ used to refer to a backpacker who travels without sufficient fund to what’s considered as a third world country, mostly in Southeast Asia, and then begs their way to fund the trip or the flight home.
    Example:
    “Read this The Guardian’s article on begpackers. It’s quite interesting.”
  7. Big … energy (phrase)
    Meaning: of someone or something radiating or exuding confidence or of someone or something having remarkable similarity to someone or something else.
    Example:
    “I feel like having big 90s boy band energy with my new haircut.”
  8. Bish (noun)
    Meaning: another version of the b-word.
    Example:
    “That’s right, bish, don’t mess with me.”
  9. Boop (verb, noun)
    Meaning: affectionately touching a dog’s nose.
    Example:
    “Who’s a good boi? Here’s a boop for you!”

  1. Bop (noun)
    Meaning: a good song.
    Example:
    “God’s Menu by Stray Kids is such a bop!”
  2. Brb dying (phrase)
    Meaning: ‘Be right back, I’m dying.’ Used in a joking manner to react to something of top quality or adorable.
    Example:
    “This Joker scene compilation from The Dark Knight (2008) is everything. Brb dying.”
  3. Bruh (noun, expression)
    Meaning: a new version of ‘bro,’ but used in a tone of surprise, shock, or disapproval.
    Example:
    A: “Bro, I’m so sorry, I accidentally stepped on your cat’s tail.”
    B: “Bruh, WTF. Is the cat okay?”
  4. Bye, Felicia (expression)
    Meaning: an expression from the movie Friday (1995), that means ‘to bid farewell to someone whom we dislike.’
    Example:
    “Alright, I gotta go now. Bye, Felicia!”
  5. Byelingual (adjective)
    Meaning: of a person who is bilingual but struggling with both languages.
    Example:
    “That moment when you mix up English and French… Byelingual!”
  6. Cancel culture (noun)
    Meaning: a situation when we stop supporting a company or a famous person due to their objectionable or offensive act.
    Example:
    “Cancel culture doesn’t work for her as she has a lot of fans who condone everything she says or does.”
  7. Cash grab (noun)
    Meaning: a product released by big corporations, often in a collaboration with celebrities or influencers, that is often overpriced but of average quality, underwhelming, or unnecessary.
    Example:
    “This lipstick is a cash grab; you can buy similar products from any brand with much cheaper price.”
  8. Catfish (noun, verb)
    Meaning: social media pictures or personas that do not match one’s real life, usually with the intention of deceiving or luring someone else into a relationship.
    Example:
    “I got catfished by that girl I met online. Our first meeting irl was so awkward because she looked nothing like her Instagram pictures.”
  9. Chef’s kiss (phrase)
    Meaning: referring to a chef who kisses their fingers after tasting a special cuisine. Nowadays, it is used to describe something that is perfectly done.
    Example:
    “A Star Is Born (2018) was excellent. Lady Gaga’s voice is just chef’s kiss.”
  10. Chile (expression)
    Meaning: chill, relax.
    Example:
    A: “I can’t believe that influencer stole your artwork and credited it as hers.”
    B: “Chile, I’ll ask her about it.”
  11. Choose your fighter (phrase)
    Meaning: to pick between two or more equally strong contenders, which can be people, pictures, memes, or anything else.
    Example:
    “Pineapple on pizza or fried chicken with chocolate sauce. Choose your fighter.”
  12. Clickbait (noun, verb)
    Meaning: a misleading or exaggerated title of an internet post, usually created to gain traffic or engagement.
    Example:
    “Some of his YouTube video titles are pure clickbait. They don’t represent the contents of the videos at all.”
  13. Content warning/trigger warning (noun)
    Meaning: a warning at the beginning of an internet content to inform the audience that the content could put someone in a distress. Often abbreviated as CW/TW.
    Example:
    “Content warning/trigger warning: containing domestic violence.”
  14. Covidiot (noun)
    Meaning: a person who ignores health protocols like refusing to wear a mask during COVID-19 pandemic.
    Example:
    “Don’t be such a Covidiot and put other people at risk. Wear your mask.”
  15. (Content) creator (noun)
    Meaning: someone who creates an internet content.
    Example:
    “When I asked my niece what her dream was, she said she wanted to be a YouTube content creator. I was shook.”

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

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#EngVocab: Internet Slang
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#ENGCLASS: SUFFIX -ING

Hi, hello, everyone, how was this year’s first Monday?

As I did not go anywhere and did not do anything, to me it felt like a regular working day.

On this article, we are going to discuss one question that came in through our DM. Remember that you can ask us anything by mentioning us or sending us DM, and we will try our best to answer it. However, if the answer is easily found on Google (e.g., the meaning of certain words), we would suggest you to look it up first.

The question that we received is:
“Is there any other use of suffix -ing aside of progressive tenses?”

Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

The answer is yes. Suffix -ing has several uses apart from modifying a verb in a progressive tense.

  1. Gerund
    Suffix -ing is used to form a gerund, which is a verb that functions as a noun.
    Example:
    “I like drinking a glass of milk before bedtime.”
    ‘Drinking’ here is a gerund, whilst the verb is ‘like.’
  2. Noun
    Oftentimes, suffix -ing is used to modify a verb to form a verbal noun.
    Example:
    “She lives in a nice apartment building.”
    ‘Building’ is a verbal noun.

What is the difference between gerund and noun, then, when they are both made of verbs that have suffix -ing?

Here is a tip to differentiate them. A gerund retains its verb-like properties, i.e., there is still work being done by the gerund. It could have an object, too.

Let’s take a look again at the gerund section that I tweeted above.
“I like drinking a glass of milk…”

Even though ‘drinking’ has become a noun, there is still an action attached to it. Its object is ‘a glass of milk.’

Meanwhile, on the second example, there is the noun ‘a nice apartment building.’ There is no action involved with the word ‘building’ in the sentence, which makes it a verbal noun.

  1. Adjective
    Suffix -ing can also be used to form an adjective.
    Example:
    “The exam is exhausting.”
    The original verb is ‘to exhaust’. With suffix -ing, it became the adjective ‘exhausting.’

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 4 January 2021.

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#EngClass: Infinitive and Gerund
#EngClass: Suffix
#EngTrivia: Suffix
#GrammarTrivia: Verbs + Gerunds/Infinitives
#GrammarTrivia: Possessives with Gerunds

#ENGTALK: ‘LIKE’ AND ‘LITERALLY’, TWO OF THE MOST OVERUSED WORDS

“I feel like my whole body is aching. Like, it’s literally painful from head to toe. I’m literally dying right now. Like, I don’t even know how to like describe it.”

How do you feel about the previous passage, fellas?

I personally found it tiring, because we used so many ‘likes’ and ‘literally.’ Both words are what we call fad or trendy words and they still reign supreme until today. In fact, we might have been overusing them for maybe more than a decade.

Usually, a word became trendy or overused when there is a major event that introduced it, such as the Coronavirus pandemic. With such a worldwide impact, it’s a given that the words related to the pandemic are used a lot. ‘Lockdown,’ ‘social distancing,’ and ‘quarantine’ are amongst them. In Indonesia, we have ‘new normal’ and ‘health protocols.’

When the event is finished and the trend dies down, the initially overused words will also be used less. So, what is it about ‘like’ and ‘literally’ that we love using them so much?

Let’s start with ‘like.’ I observed that most people use it as a filler because they haven’t found the next word. It’s similar to ‘umm,’ ‘err,’ or ‘you know.’

How do we avoid using it? First, we should recognise that we are using it a lot.

I noticed that I used ‘like’ a lot when I was on online meetings. As I was not able to face my colleagues or show any hand movement to them, I felt as if I need to speak constantly to show that I was still active in the meeting. Since then, I’ve learned how to pause and arrange my thoughts before saying what I have to say. This could be done by writing down what I am going to say before the meeting starts. Not only will I make the meeting more effective, I can also deliver a clear message.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now, we move on to the second word, ‘literally.’ I think it’s becoming more and more unclear to us as to when we should use this word. For example, we might say, “I’m literally going to explode,” whilst we are nowhere near the possibility of an explosion. The reason we use ‘literally’ a lot is that because we are trying to find an intensifier or trying to exaggerate what we are saying but we are not sure of which word to use.

‘Literally’ is then often used alongside words with figurative meaning (Indonesian: makna kiasan), whereas it should be used to describe a literal state of something or someone.

Why do we need to be cautious with these words? Too many filler words or intensifiers will somehow weaken our points and bring about a difficulty to send our message across, especially in a professional environment.

Source:
https://mashable.com/2015/04/04/stop-saying-like/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2013/11/06/9-words-youre-literally-beating-to-death/?sh=5b00dff718ef

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 17 December 2020.

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#WOTD: FLEXING

“Weird flex, but okay.”

Source: Twitter gif.

Have you ever heard or read this sentence, fellas? It’s usually directed to people who have skills or styles that are a little outlandish or out-of-the-box.

‘To flex’ in the sense of bragging about personal things is an informal expression that means showing off or flaunting something (Indonesian: pamer). According to Urban Dictionary, it dates back as far as 2004.

When did ‘flexing’ start becoming popular? The word gains popularity thanks to one of Rae Sremmurd’s songs, No Flex Zone (2014). Until today, it is one of the most used internet slangs, partly thanks to flexing culture.

Now, what is flexing culture? It is an competition to show off expensive things (gadget/electronic devices, clothings, jewelleries, merchandise, etc.), lavish lifestyle, places we recently visited, or our fine dining experience to our circle of friends and family, particularly on social media, in order to seem wealthy and up-to-date and to increase our social standing.

Many articles have pointed out the psychological effects of flexing culture; some of them are the need to always compete, the replacement of self-worth and self-esteem with material things, unhealthy coping mechanism, and unnecessary spending, but I guess it all comes back to us whether we let ourselves be affected or not.

Let us know what you think about flexing and flexing culture on the comment section below.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 23 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: PARADOX

Two days ago, we talked about oxymoron, which is a figure of speech that is made of two or more words with contradictory meaning. If you want to read the article on oxymoron, CLICK HERE.

Today, we are going to talk about its sibling, paradox. Both have similar features and are often mixed up.

Penrose triangle (picture by Wikipedia)

What is a paradox? The word paradox came from Latin word ‘paradoxum’, which came from Greek word ‘paradoxon’, which means ‘contrary to expectation.’

Just as an oxymoron, a paradox is also a figure of speech. Furthermore, it is a rhetorical device that seems to contradict itself, but actually has some truth to it.

Does this confuse you, fellas? To put it simply, a paradox is a statement that is logical but contrary to our expectation.

Example:

  1. “The only constant thing is change (Indonesian: satu-satunya hal yang tidak pernah berubah adalah perubahan).”
    Explanation: nothing in life is constant, except change. Change happens all the time, to everything, and to everyone, which makes it constant.
  2. “Failure leads to success (Indonesian: kegagalan adalah sukses yang tertunda).”
    Explanation: by failing over and over again, it means we keep trying and it might mean that someday we will be successful.
  3. “Social media brought us apart and brought us together (Indonesian: media sosial mendekatkan yang jauh dan menjauhkan yang dekat).”
    Explanation: focusing on social media often makes us ignore the people who are physically present around us.
  4. “The more you learn, the less you know (Indonesian: seperti padi, semakin berisi, semakin merunduk).”
    Explanation: the more knowledgeable we are, the more we will realise that there are so many things of which we have little knowledge.
  5. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend (Indonesian: musuh dari musuh saya adalah sekutu saya).”
    Explanation: meeting another enemy could easily make someone our enemy, too, but sometimes they can become our friend out of a mutual dislike towards someone else.

How do paradox and oxymoron differ?
How do we differentiate a paradox and an oxymoron when we see them in a sentence? The key is to remember that an oxymoron is made of words that have opposite meanings, while a paradox is a collection of words that contradicts itself. Check our sources below for complete reading.

Source:
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paradox
https://www.dictionary.com/e/paradox-oxymoron/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox
https://tom-stevenson.medium.com/13-paradoxes-you-can-use-to-improve-your-life-today-b32d7dca4e0f

Do you have a favourite paradox, fellas? Share it with us.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: GOOD STORYTELLING

A few days ago, one of our followers requested tips on storytelling, especially how to narrate a story in a way that the readers/audience will understand.

Bear in mind that storytelling is not only useful on writings; even audio and visual messages need a good storytelling. Whether you are telling a story verbally or via visual cues, a good storytelling skill is necessary.

Take TV or YouTube ads, for example. Even if they are told via audio-visual, most of them have good storyline. This is especially important to send a message to the audience that the products the ads are trying to sell are worthy.

If you are wondering where to start, think of a storytelling as another way of reporting something but add some emotions to it to make it more relatable to the audience. Therefore, you first need to figure out what you are trying to tell. What is it that you want other people to know? Define this first as the main idea of your story.

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

From the main idea, develop the story with 4 Ps:
People: characters of the story
Place: the time and location of the story
Plot: how the story starts and ends
Purpose: what is the reason behind the storytelling

Let’s take for example the Harry Potter franchise. We have Harry as the protagonist and Voldemort as the antagonist and the others as supporting characters. They are the ‘people’ of the Harry Potter story.

The time and the location of the story are England and Scotland in the 90s, which means the story should present how England and Scotland looked like at that time. Of course, there are Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a fictional element to this story, which were created based on the author’s imagination.

And then there is plot, which begins with the murder of Harry’s parents. The story then tells Harry’s journey to defeat Voldemort and ends with Voldemort’s destruction. Along the way, there are major and minor subplots to keep the readers interested.

The last one is purpose. What is the purpose of the telling of Harry Potter story? Is it good against evil? Is it portraying the reality at the time? Is it for entertainment? Is it trying to send a message?

Once you have the general idea of the story, begin creating the structure by deciding the parts of the story that are important. How we meet the main character, how the other characters are introduced, and what happens to them.

You can use linear plot, which is a plot where events happen in chronological order. However, if you feel confident, you can try using non-linear plot. It will keep the readers/audience curious to figure out the exact timeline of the story.

Now, how do we make a storytelling effective?

1. Keep it simple
It’s good to give enough details to the story, but sometimes the less is the better, especially if there is a constraint on time and resources.

2. Keep it focused
An elaborated story is good as long as it does not stray from the purpose of the storytelling. Back to the Harry Potter example, we are all invested in how Harry will finally win the war against Voldemort, so Uncle Vernon’s family tree won’t really be necessary. Not only it does not add much to the storyline, it could also be distracting.

3. Be relatable
A great story appeals to our emotions: we care about what happens to the characters because we see parts of ourselves in them. We struggle with Harry when he is living with the Dursleys, we can understand how Ron is sometimes jealous of Harry, we are annoyed by Draco Malfoy, and some of us agree with Hermione in her bossiest, nosiest moments.

4. Use concise language
Concise means delivering a message clearly and briefly, only in a few words. Some of the ways to achieve this are reading a lot, expanding your vocabulary, and doing a lot of practice.

I hope you find this article helpful. Feel free to add your most favourite way of telling a story.

P.S.: mine is using a non-linear plot, jumping from one event to another, and preparing a plot twist or even a vague ending.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 9 November 2020.

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#ENGCLASS: EMPATHY, SYMPATHY, AND HOW TO EXPRESS THEM

The year 2020 has been tough for everybody. Many people fell ill, lost their loved ones, lost their jobs and livelihood. During this difficult time, we can always use or offer empathy and sympathy.

Are you still unclear of what the difference is between empathy and sympathy, fellas? We will discuss it on this article, as well as how to express them.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Empathy is the ability to understand what the other person is feeling. Sympathy is feeling pity or sorrow for someone else’s misfortune, sometimes including the ability to offer helps or condolences.

Let’s say a friend has just broken up. By listening and understanding what the friend is going through, we are showing empathy. By offering our help to make the friend feel better, we are showing sympathy.

So, in a way, we will show more efforts in staying by our friend’s side and listening to our friend’s problem with empathy. With sympathy, we proactively offer condolences and even our assistance. Similar, but not exactly the same.

Both empathy and sympathy are emotional skills that, just like other skills, need some practicing. By meeting more people from different backgrounds, seeing their struggles, and showing kindness to those in need can be some of the ways to practice these skills.

Now, how do we express empathy and sympathy?

Just like I mentioned before, empathy requires a lot of listening and understanding. When someone going through difficult times, it’s easy for us to go to them and say, “I’ve had worse. You should do this or that.”

Sometimes, that is not what the other person needs. When someone comes to us with their problems, they don’t necessarily require solutions. Perhaps the solutions are what they’ve known all along; they only need someone to talk to.

Which is why some of the best ways to show empathy are:
– listening to the problem and acknowledging it
– saying that it’s reasonable to feel bad or upset
– thanking the person for opening up to us
– letting the person know that we are there for them

Meanwhile, to show sympathy, we can do the following:
– saying, “I’m sorry for what happened. My thoughts are with you.”
– offering help by saying, “Tell me if you need anything.”
– giving support and words of encouragement
– assisting the person

For situations that require us to show empathy and sympathy, there is one thing that we should always keep in mind: this is not about us. The person suffering the most should get the most attention, even if they are suffering silently.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 October 2020.

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#EngTalk: Accents

Hi, hello, everyone. How are you today? I hope you are safe and healthy.

Who here is a fan of British accent? I know I am. It just sounds strong, distinct, and unique, although sometimes it takes me a while to understand what the speaker is saying. I often find myself trying to imitate the accent. Most people that I speak with say that I have American or Australian accent, though, so I’m not sure what happened. What do you think of the many, many accents from English speaking people?

@NeNi961111: OH MY!! MEEEEE. I like British accent so much, want to speak, but end up with American accent.

@RAKemal: I used to have (mimic?) standard British accent. Then I went to a week-long Indonesian-American joint-conference and there went my accent.

@sfn520: I don’t know what accent I’m using, I just speak English.

@mrivaldi__: I am! i feel mesem2 sendiri, if i’m watching british got talent. Their voices was quite sexy.

@fatimatulKN: I am a big fan of harry potter movies, jolly (british-korean youtuber), sorted food (british cooking youtube channel). British accent itu kedengeran classy, sophisticated, well educated, kayak yg pinter gt orangnya yg ngomong.

Photo by Ian Panelo on Pexels.com

English came from the UK but even in its home country, there are several areas where people speak with different accents and dialects. Cockney, Geordie, Scottish, and Estuary English are some of them.

@NeNi961111: I only know Scottish, and that’s quite difficult but never the other 3 before.

@Keystone_Eng: Yes, its one of the things I love about England, there are loads of different accents. There are many different accents in the UK. For example, my native accent is a Yorkshire accent. It’s very different to the other accents.

One of my friends has a strong Cockney accent despite being born and growing up in Indonesia. If you are looking for an example of Cockney accent, watch the movie My Fair Lady (1964). The leading lady, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn), speaks in a strong Cockney accent and is then transformed into an upper class lady by a phonetics professor, Henry Higgins.

“The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain…”

The trailer of My Fair Lady (1964).

Personally, I consider correct pronunciation is more important than trying to acquire an accent. After all, the purpose of language is to help two people communicate, so as long as both have the same understanding on the topic, it is fine.

Of course the case would be different if you are taking a test to measure your English proficiency in relations to scholarship or work opportunities, for example TOEFL or IELTS. The institution that requires the test might apply a certain standard.

Do you agree that paying attention to correct pronunciation is more important than accents?

@gluon0x: We are on the same page.

@sfn520: Yes, I agree. I don’t pay much attention to my accent, as long as my pronunciation is understandable. And I learn English so that I can read some English movies, comics, etc.

@fernandoqc6: Yeah, totally agree. Additionally, there are some other strong accents. These kind of accent (such as French, Indian) should be tough to “change” it.

@NeNi961111: Agreee

Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 10 September 2020.

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#EngTalk: Lunch and Snacks

Some of you might have returned to work at the office and we are all aware of the risks and difficulties. Take care of yourself, fellas, and keep your surroundings clean and hygienic.

Over the past few days, Indonesian Twitter users have been engaged in quite an odd debate about packed lunch. It started when a lady uploaded ideas for lunch boxes that she’d been preparing for her husband and apparently some people thought she was being too nice to her husband. Some also questioned whether she did that because she was a woman and assumed that it was her duty to be in the kitchen.

I personally think the lunch box was sweet and commendable. Preparing food for our loved ones is an act of love. It’s just as simple as that. Bear in mind that anyone can prepare food for anyone they love, regardless of the gender. After all, cooking is one of the basic surviving skills.

Furthermore, preparing our own meal ensures that we know what goes into the meal and helps us control our portion as not to overeat.

What do you think about this matter, fellas?

agil (@IvIcnrn): well said here. just can’t understand why some people got mad about it.

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Photo by Keegan Evans on Pexels.com

For health reasons, I have been eating mostly plant-based food. I limit meat and poultry consumption to once a week or once in two weeks. I still eat fish and eggs and dairy products, though, so I cannot really say I am a vegetarian or pescatarian.

I have also limited my carbohydrates intake and, if possible, replacing the carbs with something that contains a lot of fibres and low glycemic index. Our metabolism rate slows as we age, so unless we are really, really physically active, all the excess carbs will turn into fat. By now you must have started guessing how old I am, LOL.

Instead of having three big meals a day, I limit my daily intake to one big meal in the morning and then settle for fruits and vegetables for the rest of the day, usually 3-4 times.

My favourite type of vegetable dish to prepare is ‘pecel’ or assorted boiled vegetables (usually spinach, water spinach, bean sprouts, and long beans) with spicy peanut sauce. I love peanut sauce and the taste it gives to the vegetables.

I feel so fortunate living in Indonesia because we have plenty of vegetables to go with our daily meals. We can simply go to a small neighbourhood stall in the morning to buy a pack of vegetables with affordable price. And we can cook them in various ways, too. We can be creative with carrots, green beans, mustard greens (sawi), bok choy, cabbages, lettuces, tomatoes, and many more.

Don’t forget tempe and tofu, which are basically Indonesian staple food. They also have good amount of protein in them. Sometimes, I simply boil them and prepare separated dipping chili sauce.

For the snack, if I feel really hungry, I go with yam, sweet potato, edamame, or a bowl of fresh fruits as watermelon, pineapple, and papaya are pretty easy to find.

What about you, fellas? What are your favourite lunch menu and snacks in between meals? Share it on the comment section below.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 2 July 2020.


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#EngVocab: Adjectives That Describe Personalities (2)

We know that English is very rich in expressions. We can describe anyone and anything with so many ways; idioms, phrases, and words amongst many others. We will discuss one of them.

Before you continue reading, you might want to check our previous article on this subject: #EngVocab: Adjectives That Describe Personalities.

Anhedonic = unable to feel happiness.
“In the ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ Eeyore is described as a depressed, anhedonic stuffed donkey.”

Agreeable = pleasant, enjoyable.
“She’s an agreeable companion. You won’t get bored.”

Assertive = self-assured, confident (without being aggressive).
“As a team leader, you should be more assertive.”

Bold = strong, brave, willing to take a risk.
“She’s so bold. She does not wait for anyone to introduce her to the CEO.”

Brooding = showing deep unhappiness.
“He’s always brooding; I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”

Childish = immature.
“She’s so childish that she always throws tantrums over small problems.”

Childlike = innocent, having good qualities associated with a child.
“Her laughter is childlike; it’s contagious.”

Chirpy = cheerful, lively.
“Quenzino is such a chirpy little fella. I wanna pinch his cheeks.”

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A chirpy baby (Picture from WordPress).

 

Dark = mysterious.
“Whenever I forget to bring my driving license with me, the police always look like dark and intimidating figures.”

Dim = stupid (informal use) OR dim-witted = slow (in Bahasa Indonesia: lemot).
“Please don’t use sarcasm with him. He’s dim; he won’t get it.”

To make it easier to memorize them, try to use one of the words on the list on your daily conversations. Be careful with some words that have a negative connotation.

P.S.: The list will continue.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 12 March, 2018.


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#EngTalk: How to Start a Conversation

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Image by WordPress

 

Sometimes, we could feel nervous when we are about to start a conversation in English. The feeling of awkwardness of saying something in a foreign language, coupled with the concern about saying something wrong or grammatically incorrect, could be overwhelming.

However, the more you familiarise yourself with speaking in English, the more confident you could be. Therefore, always practice when you have a chance. You can start with everyday conversation with a friend or a colleague.

When passing a friend on a hallway at school or meeting somewhere else, we can say:
– How are you?
– Hey, what’s up?
– Hi, how is it going?

If it’s a colleague at work, a more formal interaction is expected. We can start with:
– How are you today?
– What have you been up to lately?
– How was your weekend? (if weekend has just passed) OR Have you got plans for the weekend? (if weekend is about to come).
– Have you heard of that news?

But what if we are in a situation when there is no one we are familiar with?
When you are in a party or a gathering, and there is no one there whom you know, you can always start a conversation and turn a stranger into an acquaintance.

Here are some sentences you could use to start a conversation with a stranger:
–  I don’t believe we have met. I’m Katie.
– What is it that you do for a living?
– Do you go to school near here?
– Do you live around here?
– This is such a great event. What do you think?

You can also start with complimenting a person’s appearance or performance. For example:
– I like your outfit. Where did you buy it?
– I couldn’t help but staring at your necklace. It’s beautiful.
– You gave an interesting speech. I’d like to know your thoughts about…

Making comments about someone’s physical appearance is fine if we are already good friends with him/her, but never point out what a stranger’s lacking as it is considered impolite. For example:
– You look uncomfortable in that clothes ×
– It seems like you have gained some weight ×

 

If you feel that you might require some helps getting into a conversation with strangers, bring a friend. After a while, you should be confident to do it on your own.

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 26 February 2018.


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#GrammarTrivia: Confusing verbs

Hello, Fellas. We meet again. How are you today? This evening we are going to have a discussion about confusing verbs.

Who had felt dilemmatic about the using of ‘make’ and ‘do’ in a sentence? Because sometimes I did.

‘Make’ vs. ‘do’

After I read some references, it is said that we use ‘do’ to indicate an activity/action.

Examples:

  • “Do your homework,”
  • “You should do your work,”
  • “It’s my schedule to do the laundry.”

Likewise, we can also use ‘do’ even if there is no physical object to be shown.

For illustration:

  • “I would do anything for you,”
  • “She didn’t do anything wrong,”
  • “I do nothing since this morning.”

Meanwhile, ‘make’ is used when someone is creating/building/performing something. It is usually something that you can see/touch (physical object).

Examples:

  • “I am making cheesecake,”
  • “Please, don’t make him cry.”
  • “Smartphone makes us communicating with someone easily.”

‘Say’ vs. ‘tell.’

According to Cambridge dictionary, ‘say’ focuses on the words in someone speech. For illustrations,

  • “He said,I want to buy apples.’

On the other hand, ‘say’ also acts as a reporting verb.

Example:

  • “He said he wanted to buy apples.”

Meanwhile ‘tell’ is used to report the message of the speech or to instruct someone.

Example:

  • “He told me that he wanted to buy apples,”
  • “Tell him to buy apples.”

‘Shall’ vs. ‘will.’

In simple future tense, we traditionally use ‘shallafter the first person pronoun (I and we) while ‘you,’ ‘they,’ ‘she,’ ‘he,’ and ‘it’ are followed by ‘will.’

For instances:

  • “We shall go to supermarket to buy some vegetables and meat,”
  • “You will get a good grade if you study harder.”

However, when we want to emphasis something the rules are reversed. The first pronouns are followed by ‘will,’ while ‘shall’ is placed after the second and the third pronouns.

Illustration,

  • “I will not forgive you,”
  • “She shall read the textbooks as her thesis refrences.”

 

Source:

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, August 31, 2017