Category Archives: reading

#ENGCLASS: OXYMORON

Are you familiar with the word ‘oxymoron’, fellas? No, it has very little to do with the m-word except that they both came from the same Greek word mōros, which means ‘foolish’.

Oxymoron came from the Greek word oksús, which means ‘sharp’, ‘keen’, or ‘pointed’, and mōros which means ‘foolish’. So, it directly translates to ‘sharply (or smartly) foolish’.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an oxymoron (plural form ‘oxymorons’ or the less used ‘oxymora’) is a combination of contradictory words. Based on the literal meanings from the two Greek words, an oxymoron is autological or homological, which means the meaning of the word applies to itself, i.e.: an oxymoron is also an oxymoron.

Simply put, an oxymoron is a figure of speech (or ‘majas’ in Indonesian) made of two or more words that have opposite meanings.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Example:

  1. Bittersweet (‘bitter’ and ‘sweet’ have opposite meanings).
    “Such a bittersweet feeling overwhelms me whenever I think about the good old days.”
  2. Living dead (‘living’ and ‘dead’ have opposite meanings).
    “I’m so tired of movies with zombies or the living dead.”
  3. Deafening silence (‘deafening’ means making someone deaf because of how loud the sound is, whilst ‘silence’ means a situation where there is no sound).
    “The silence that followed the brief speech was deafening.”
  4. Pretty awful (‘pretty’ and ‘awful’ are contradictory in meanings, but ‘pretty’ is used here as an intensifier, to strengthen the word ‘awful’).
    “The singer sounds pretty awful; I think he should never give up his day job.”
  5. Love-hate (‘love’ and ‘hate’ are contradictory).
    “I have a love-hate relationship with social media; can’t live with it, can’t live without it.”

It’s pretty easy, isn’t it? The purpose of using figures of speech like oxymorons is to make your language output (writing, speaking) more colourful. Can you mention other examples of oxymorons, fellas?

@Keystone_Eng: I like:
Act naturally!
A small crowd
It’s your only choice

@NituYumnam:
~ pretty ugly
~ social distancing
~ cleverly stupid

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 19 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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#ENGKNOWLEDGE: GUY FAWKES NIGHT

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I see of no reason why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot…”

Do you remember this line, fellas? Along with this mask?

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

Most of us heard the lines or saw the mask first on the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ (James McTeigue, 2006). The main character of the movie, V, was a victim of a biological weapon experiment. The weapon then brought England to a despotic era led by Chancellor Sutler.

V was portrayed to have taken his inspiration from Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was a member of the Gunpowder Plot who was arrested on 5 November 1605. V wore a mask that was said to resemble Fawkes’ face and set a revolution on the day Fawkes was arrested, 5 November.

Due to the popularity of the movie, many people then associated the Guy Fawkes mask with a symbol of resistance against tyranny. We even have hackers that go by the name Anonymous and use the mask as their persona. However, the history of 5 November 1605 was not exactly that black and white.

If we trace the history of 5 November 1605, we could go back to the reign of Henry VIII from House of Tudor, who was the king of England from 1509 to 1547. During his reign, he declared himself as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. He adopted the Protestant faith which severed the tie between England and the Catholic Church led by the Pope and eventually resulted in excommunication of England by the Pope and other notable European kingdoms who supported the Pope.

Catholic churches and monasteries across England were forced to close their doors and had their assets confiscated. Anyone who spoke against Henry VIII found their heads rolling off of the chopping block (executed by beheading). This definitely caused a deep resentment between people of different faiths.

Upon his death, Henry passed the throne to his only legitimate son, Edward VI, who was also a devout Protestant. Unfortunately, Edward VI died young at the age of 15-16 and did not leave any heir. He chose his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to be the new queen, despite having two half-sisters, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

The older sister, Mary I, was set on returning England to a Catholic state. With the nobility as her supporters, she overthrew Jane Grey and became the Queen of England for the next 5 years. During her reign, those of Protestant faith were deemed heretics and executed, which led to the coinage of the term ‘Bloody Mary.’ Her sister, Elizabeth I, almost met the same fate; she was accused of plotting against the Queen.

Eventually, Mary I fell ill and died of what was suspected to be ovarian cysts or uterine cancer, and as she had no heir, she reluctantly named her sister, Elizabeth I, who was a Protestant, as her successor. Elizabeth I then reigned for 45 years. She promoted religious tolerance and introduced a Religious Settlement which then became the foundation of the Church of England and Anglicanism.

But again, the succession was an issue, as Elizabeth was a woman and therefore could not pass on her family name. She was torn between marriage proposals from Spain and France, which in her view, would make England merely a vassal state of either kingdom. She was concerned that her marriage would again bring England to disharmony.

So she did something drastic: she chose not to marry. Upon her death in 1603, the throne then passed on to her closest Protestant relative, James VI of Scotland from House of Stuart, who then became James I and reigned upon England and Scotland.

The deep resentment caused by Henry VIII’s decision to declare himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England was still very much obvious more than half a century later. Even during the reign of Elizabeth I, there had been numerous attempts to overthrow the monarch and enthrone someone of Catholic faith, and this also happened during the reign of James I. One of the most notable ones was the Gunpowder Plot.

Set as an attempt to blow up the House of Lords (the parliament) and kill James I, the plot was discovered on 5 November 1605 when Guy Fawkes was arrested. To celebrate the fact that the King had survived the assassination attempt, people lit bonfires around London. An act called ‘The Observance of 5th November’ was then passed to enforce an annual thanksgiving to celebrate the plot’s failure. From then on, the 5th of November is celebrated annually in the UK. It is also known as Bonfire Night and Guy Fawkes Night.

So, I personally have mixed feelings about the fifth of November. I love the movie V for Vendetta, and many people apparently do, too. But it’s safe to say that the history behind Guy Fawkes is… a lot. Do feel free to add anything if there’s something I missed and correct me for any historical inaccuracy.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 5 November 2020.

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#EngTips: Mathematics word problems

In mathematics, the term “word problem” is often used to refer to any mathematical exercise which significant background information on the problem is presented as text rather than in mathematical notation.

Steps to solve word problems:

  1. Read the problem carefully, understand it.
  2. Underline the key words or the operation words and think about them.
  3. Do your working. Draw a picture if needed and write a number sentence for the problem, solve it.
  4. Carry the answer. Check your answer and communicate the solution, explain it.

Key words and catch phrases for word problems:

  1. Addition words: ‘add’, ‘altogether’, ‘both’, ‘in all’, ‘sum’, ‘total’, ‘combined’.
  2. Subtraction words: ‘difference’, ‘fewer’, ‘how many more’, ‘how much more’, ‘left’, ‘less’, ‘minus’, ‘need to’, ‘remains’, ‘subtract’, ‘-er’.
  3. Multiplication words: ‘times’, ‘every’, ‘at this rate’.
  4. Division words: ‘each’, ‘average’, ‘evenly’, ‘equal parts’, ‘distribute’, ‘separate’, ‘split’.

Why don’t you try some exercises.


PRACTICE:

  1. Elin has six more balls than Mei. Mei has nine balls. How many balls does Elin have?
  2. Jane has nine oranges and Sani has seven oranges. How many oranges do Jane and Sani have together?
  3. Ken’s apple weighs 100 grams, and Dan’s apple weighs 80 grams. How heavier is Ken’s apple?
  4. Kim buys 2 apples everyday. How many apples does she buy in a week?
  5. Ed reads 25 words per minute. At this rate, how many words does he read in one hour?
  6. Nick has 75 pencils and 15 boxes. How many pencils should he pack in each box so each box gets the same number of pencils?

ANSWERS:

  1. Fifteen.
  2. Sixteen.
  3. 20 grams.
  4. Fourteen.
  5. 1500.
  6. Five.

Compiled and written by @sherlydarmali for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, September 4, 2016


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^MQ

Things Your English Books Don’t Tell You (Fella’s Review)

Hello, fellas!

First of all, please allow us to thank you for supporting what we do, for tuning in to our daily sessions on Twitter, for checking out the topics posted on this site. As cliche as this might sound, @EnglishTips4u is nothing but one more account in the whole realm of Twitter and Internet if it is not for the support from every single of our beloved fellas.

As some of you might have known, with help from Redaksi Panda Media, we have published our first book in June 2014. The title is “Things Your English Books Don’t Tell You“.

We’d like to dedicate this post to show our appreciation to fellas who bought the book and told us what they thought about it. You have no idea how excited we were to receive and read all your thoughts. Below is a compilation of the feedback we received through out these two years.

 

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If you too have read our book, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box down below. You can also mention us on Twitter.

 

Haven’t got a copy of your own? You can find our book in bookstores such as Gramedia, Gunung Agung, Toga Mas and many others. Or to save the hassle of hunting our book, you can also buy it online from BukaBuku.com or ParcelBuku.com

About our book

bpnywiecaaaquo3

 

Details:

Title: Things Your English Books Don’t Tell You
Retail price: Rp. 63.000 (Indonesian Rupiah)
Format : Soft Cover
ISBN : 9797807339
ISBN13 : 9789797807337
Date of publication : June 2014
Intermediary language: Bahasa Indonesia
Publisher : PandaMedia
Number of pages : 336
Dimension : 190 mm x 130 mm
Weight : 0.30 kg

Deskripsi:

Siapa bilang kalau mau jago bahasa Inggris harus dimulai dengan belajar grammar dan tenses? Bahasa Inggris itu nggak melulu tentang grammar, kok, banyak hal-hal seru yang bisa dipelajari juga. Buku ini akan mengajakmu meningkatkan kemampuan bahasa Inggris dengan cara asyik dan menyenangkan.
Dikompilasi dari tweet akun @EnglishTips4U materi dalam buku ini sudah dikemas sehingga kamu gampang mengerti. Dan, sesuai judulnya, Things Yours English Books Don’t Tell You, ada banyak hal menarik yang tidak kamu temukan di buku pelajaran bahasa Inggris lainnya.

#EngTrivia: English Language Philosophical Books

Hey fellas, I hope your Saturday is well :) I noticed that our nature has been to the extreme lately, let’s pray that it will pass soon…

So today I will share an #EngTrivia on philosophical books written in English, do you know what they are?

Philosophy is a set of ideas or the study about how to do something or how to live; also about knowledge, truth, nature of life.

Don’t worry, I won’t be discussing anything serious tonight :)

Lately I have been reading those and here I want to share my experience.

As I have mentioned during the 3rd Anniversary tweets, some, even most philosophical books were not originally written in English.

You can find the 3rd Anniversary tips on Reading here: http://ow.ly/tEAXI 

So automatically it is a translated book hence it was translated to the nearest meanings.

Most non-native speakers would have difficulties reading it, yet it turns out even native speakers also have difficulties.

Reading a philosophical book or even its extract is like reading a literature.

It’s like reading a poetry, or a Shakespeare text, even though it is using modern English language

Most of the time you won’t get what it’s written straight away, you have to break it down in order to understand it.

And from that, you would find out these thoughts/knowledge that you can apply towards your methodology of working, thinking, etc.

Or you could disagree with it completely.

Those who are planning to pursue studies abroad on theoretical, historical, philosophical studies, it seems this is one thing to expect of and you should be ready of :)

I am not discouraging instead I am encouraging you to do your best and be ready for what is ahead :)

Expect those long sentences, metaphors, the many comas and long paragraph. Remember, it was written in a different language.

Even in Indonesian language we tend to write longer, so when translated it tends to be longer than an English language sentence.

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4U on February 15, 2014

#EngTips: How to Enlarge Vocabulary and Reading Skill

Hi, fellas! We’ve received many questions regarding how to enlarge vocabulary and reading skill.  And maybe some of us have a question also, is it necessary to learn through dictionaries and read many English books?

Today, I will share some tips I’m using to learn English. It works for me, and maybe for some of you.

  • First, don’t try to enlarge vocabulary through dictionaries, but read as many books as possible instead.
  • The more you read, the more you will extend your vocabulary and develop your reading skill.
  • Choose books or articles that are interesting to you and encouraging you to read on and on.
  • Make sure the books are at your level, or only a little bit above your level. So it’s not too difficult, but not too easy.
  • Mark new words you’ve encountered in context. Then you’ll see how the words are used.
  • After that, you can imagine yourself use those words in other sentences or situations.
  • When you come across new words, don’t immediately search those words on your dictionary. Guess it.
  • This is a very good chance that you will be able to guess their meaning.
  • After that, you can validate the meaning on your dictionary. Use dictionary as a back-up to see if your guess was right.

That’s it for this session. We’ll continue giving tips on another session, fellas!

 

Compiled and written by @Patipatigulipat at @EnglishTips4U on November 23, 2012

#EngTips: www.englisharticles.info

Apa kamu seorang guru bahasa Inggris? Atau sedang belajar dan memantapkan reading skills? Coba kunjungi website ini

Untuk yang mengajar, biasanya sering kesulitan mencari artikel bahasa Inggris sebagai bahan. Di ada banyak artikel menarik.

Artikel-artikel yang tidak begitu panjang memudahkan yang ingin meningkatkan reading skills. Tersedia dalam berbagai macam topik atau kategori.

Kamu juga bisa mengirim artikel bahasa Inggris buatanmu sendiri dan diterbitkan di dengan beberapa persyaratan.

Di halaman “Article Writing” kamu bisa membaca petunjuk cara penulisan artikel, seperti bagaimana menulis paragraf dan jenis-jenis kalimat.

Selain itu, kamu juga bisa belajar reading sambil menonton videonya di halaman “Reading & Video Lesson”. Ada pertanyaan dan kunci jawaban.

Ingat, rajin membaca itu banyak manfaatnya.

  1. Menambah kosakata.
  2. Membiasakan diri dengan tulisan bahasa Inggris.
  3. Membantu writing skills.

Follow English Articles di Twitter untuk mendapatkan update dari mereka > @EnglishArticles.

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on January 28, 2012