Tag Archives: knowledge

#EngKnowledge: English poems

Hi, fellas! Are you a fan of poems?

I love discussing and analysing poems together with my friends and also debating what the authors meant. Here we have compiled 6 poems which you might enjoy reading. You may share your thought about the poems and leave your comments on the comment box below.

1. Kid

Kid was nominated by UN as the best poem of 2006. It was written by an African child called Oglala Lakota.

When I born, I black
When I grow up, I black
When I go in Sun, I black
When I scared, I black
When I sick, I black
And when I die, I still black
And you white fellow
When you born, you pink
When you grow up, you white
When you go in sun, you red
When you cold, you blue
When you scared, you yellow
When you sick, you green
And when you die, you grey
And you calling me colored??

2. Oranges

This poem was written by Gary Soto. If you have a hard time wondering what these poems are talking about, this poem is not one of those. You need no background knowledge to understand this poem. This one is clear and cute.

The first time I walked
With a girl, I was twelve,
Cold, and weighted down
With two oranges in my jacket.
December. Frost cracking
Beneath my steps, my breath
Before me, then gone,
As I walked toward
Her house, the one whose
Porch light burned yellow
Night and day, in any weather.
A dog barked at me, until
She came out pulling
At her gloves, face bright
With rouge. I smiled,
Touched her shoulder, and led
Her down the street, across
A used car lot and a line
Of newly planted trees,
Until we were breathing
Before a drugstore. We
Entered, the tiny bell
Bringing a saleslady
Down a narrow aisle of goods.
I turned to the candies
Tiered like bleachers,
And asked what she wanted –
Light in her eyes, a smile
Starting at the corners
Of her mouth. I fingered
A nickle in my pocket,
And when she lifted a chocolate
That cost a dime,
I didn’t say anything.
I took the nickle from
My pocket, then an orange,
And set them quietly on
The counter. When I looked up,
The lady’s eyes met mine,
And held them, knowing
Very well what it was all
About.

Outside,
A few cars hissing past,
Fog hanging like old
Coats between the trees.
I took my girl’s hand
In mine for two blocks,
Then released it to let
Her unwrap the chocolate.
I peeled my orange
That was so bright against
The gray of December
That, from some distance,
Someone might have thought
I was making a fire in my hands.

3. I, Too, Sing America

This poem was written by Langston Hughes. This poem talks about hope for black Americans.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

4. The Man He Killed

This poem was written by Thomas Hardy. This poem has a unique shape.

Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although

He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.

Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.

5. I Stop Writing the Poem

This poem was written by Tess Gallagher.

to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
or who dies, I’m still a woman.
I’ll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I’ll get back
to the poem. I’ll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there’s a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it’s done.

6. The Send-Off

This poem was written by Wilfred Owen.

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed,
And lined the train with faces grimly gay.

Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray
As men’s are, dead.

Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,
Sorry to miss them from the upland camp.
Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp
Winked to the guard.

So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went.
They were not ours:
We never heard to which front these were sent.

Nor there if they yet mock what women meant
Who gave them flowers.

Shall they return to beatings of great bells
In wild trainloads?
A few, a few, too few for drums and yells,
May creep back, silent, to still village wells
Up half-known roads.

source: poetryfoundation.org

Compiled and written by @kusumawicitraa for @Englishtips4U on Friday, March 10, 2017

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#EngTips: IELTS vs. TOEFL (2)

If we are not an English native speaker but we are planning to study or work abroad, in some stage of the application, we will need to also attach our IELTS or TOEFL score to our application. Both tests aim to assess our English proficiency and make sure that we are able to communicate well in English.

What are IELTS and TOEFL?

International English Language Test System (IELTS) is an English language test that is used for educational, immigration and occupational purposes, and is accepted by over 9,000 institutions across 130 countries worldwide. Jointly administered by the British Council, University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and IDP Education Australia, IELTS uses British English, and is more likely to be favoured by UK and institutions in Commonwealth nations such as New Zealand and Australia. Depending on the entry requirements of the program, we might need to take either the Academic or General Training IELTS exam.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) tests our ability to communicate in English in specifically academic, university and classroom-based settings. It is accepted by over 8,500 institutions across 130 countries, including the UK, USA and Australia, as well as all of the world’s top 100 universities. TOEFL is administered by US-based organization, the Education Testing Service, and so is conducted in American English. This test is more likely to be favoured by American institutions.

Similarities between IELTS and TOEFL

Both test our four main language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. IELTSn Indonesia is similar to other countries, and so is TOEFL, that is why the scoring system is consistent all over the world.

Both tests also cost within the same price range, USD 150 – USD 250 per test per person.

Differences between IELTS and TOEFL

1. Scoring system

IELTS band score ranges from 1 to 9. The score report is valid for two years. We will generally aim to 6.5 to 7 to be considered as a ‘competent’ to ‘good’ user of English language.

TOEFL scores come in two versions. TOEFL Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) is more progressive, but test administration in some countries still uses the Paper Based Test (PBT). iBT score ranges from 0 to 120, while PBT ranges from 310 to 677.

The following spreadsheet shows the link between IELTS and TOEFL iBT score.

IELTS & TOEFL scoring system

2. Reading module

The IELTS test has a wide range of question types, while TOEFL test is multiple choices only. IELTS reading test lasts 60 minutes. Reading in TOEFL takes approximately 60 to 80 minutes.

3. Listening module

The IELTS listening test is 30 minutes, while TOEFL is 60 minutes. IELTS has a range of different questions including sentence completion, matching headings, and True, False or Not Given. The TOEFL test is multiple choices only.

We will also hear a range of different accents from English speaking countries such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the USA, Canada and Australia on the IELTS test whereas the TOEFL test will always be standard American English.

4. Speaking module

IELTS speaking test consists of 3 sections and its total duration is 15 minutes. In the test, we will have a face-to-face conversation with native English speaker.

In TOEFL speaking test, based on more recently used iBT, we will be talking to the computer. For those who don’t really have time to conduct IELTS, because it’s usually conducted during office hours, taking TOEFL iBT might be more suitable. The test will last for 20 minutes.

5. Writing module

IELTS has two different types of writing test: writing for Academic Training and General Training. Academic is suitable for those hoping to attend university, while General Training is mostly used for immigration purposes.

Both types have total duration 1 hour. In the Academic paper, we will be required to write a short essay based on a given graph, chart, map or cycle diagram. In the General Training paper, we will be asked to write a letter and a short essay on a particular topic.

TOEFL writing test consists of two tasks. The total duration is 50 minutes. In the first task, we need to read a text and then listen to a 2-minute lecture on the same topic. We must then write a short response to a specific question on that topic. The second task is a longer discursive essay on a particular issue, similar to a university style academic essay.

Which test to take?

Normally, the institutions we are applying to would specify which test to take. If they can accept either, the following table can be your consideration.

IELTS TOEFL
I like talking to people one-on-one. I prefer talking to a computer.
I like to write by hand. I am better at typing than handwriting.
I can understand a variety of English-speaking accents. I find American accents easy to listen to.
I find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. I can concentrate for long periods of time.
I prefer shorter tests. I can easily follow a lecture and take notes.
I prefer different types of questions. I like multiple choice questions.

Source:
Wikipedia
www.hotcoursesabroad.com
www.ieltsadvantage.com
 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, March 6, 2017

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#EngKnowledge: Seven honorary knights of British empire

This article will talk about the seven honorary knights of British empire. Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Alex Ferguson are all British so you won’t find their names in this list. Let’s just get to the list now, shall we?

  1. Bill and Melinda Gates. Yes, because of Microsoft and their notable charity work. Bill was knighted as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire in 2005.

    bill_melinda_gates
    (Source: CNN Turk)
  2. John Edgar Hoover. The first FBI director. Hoover was knighted as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire in 1950.

    john-edgar-hoover
    (Source: memoriambook.com)
  3. Angelina Jolie. Not because of her acting, but because she was involved in preventing sexual violence. Jolie received the title Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George in 2014.
    angelina-jolie
    (Source: celebsbios.com)

     

  4. Bono from U2. His concern to end hunger in Africa made him anointed as a knight in British Order. Bono was knighted as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire in 2007.

    bono
    (Source: Annie Liebovitz)
  5. Steven Spielberg, because he was able to double the cinema admission in UK since 1980s. Spielberg earned the title Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire in 2001.
    steven-spielberg-04.jpg
    Best Director nominee Steven Spielberg arrives on the red carpet for the 85th Annual Academy Awards on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO/FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) (source:emaze.com)

     

  6. Mother Teresa, because of her charitable and missionary works in India. Mother Teresa was granted a membership of Order of Merits in 1983, an exclusive order that has limited members.

    mother-teresa
    (Source: anguerde.com)
  7. Benito Mussolini attained the title years prior to World War II. Of course, it was annulled several years later. Mussolini was knighted as Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of The Bath in 1923 and annulled in 1940.

    benito-mussolini
    (Source: adsa.ro)
  8. Here’s a bonus! The late President Soeharto was also given honorary knighthood in 1974. He earned the title Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

    suharto2
    (Source: brainly.co.id)

Compiled and written by @bintilvice for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, February 5, 2016

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#EngKnowledge: Ebola

This time, I want to share something which might be a hard topic to talk about. I bet you have heard of Ebola.

It’s the name of a very fatal virus. Do you know that Ebola was originally the name of a river in Republic of Congo? The first outbreak of Ebola virus was in South Sudan and Republic of Congo in 1976; and because the spreading area in Republic of Congo was near Ebola river, so the river’s name was adopted to name the virus itself.

It was said that bats were the original host of the virus, but apparently it was also infectious to human. Just like us, when we found a place with friendly environment and delicious food, we would start to feel comfortable; and if possible, we would want to get a job and start a new life there. But virus doesn’t recognize the concept of ‘possibility.’ If they’re comfortable with a new environment and there are resources to support their life, they would live, settle and reproduce.

The disease is known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever because it could cause internal & external bleeding of the human body. I would say that this is a terrible disease because you could get infected through direct contact with the body fluid, namely sweat, blood, and saliva. A huge number of people died because of Ebola.

Having said all those above, I have a good news to share. At the end of 2016, an effective vaccine to fight was finally found. Have you heard of the news? More than 5000 people in Guinea were vaccinated and, after 10 days, there was no development of Ebola in any cases. This is such a fresh air for the medical sector, mainly in Ebola groundwork. One of the best findings of all time. After years of ups and downs, they finally made a great finding.

 

Compiled and written by @mettaa_  for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, January 2, 2017

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#EngKnowledge: History of ampersand

Yes, the symbol “&” is called ampersand. In this post, we will talk about its origin and history.

The ampersand (&) is used by Old Roman since more than 1,500 years ago. In the 1st century, Roman wrote in cursive, so when they wrote the Latin word “et” which means “and” they connect the e and t.

The ampersand symbol keeps evolving until the form of the symbol that is used today.

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The name “ampersand” is rarely used until the 19th century, from “and per se and”.

In 1800s, the symbol ampersand (&) was actually part of the English alphabet. Since it would have been confusing to say “X, Y, Z, and.” So, people called the symbol “&”, “and per se and.”

The word “per se” means “by itself.”, so ”and per se and” means “and [the symbol] by itself is and.” Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand.

 

Source: What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, October 1, 2016

 

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#EngKnowledge: King’s Day in Netherlands

April 27th, 2016 was the annual King’s Day celebration in the Netherlands!

image

King Willem Alexander was born on 27 April so the King’s Day is celebrated on that date.

image

Originally, Princess’ Day was celebrated in Holland on Wilhelmina’s birthday (31 August).

image

When Wilhelmina became the new queen after her father’s death, it was changed to Queen’s Day.

image

Juliana, the next queen, celebrated Queen’s Day on 30 April with a parade on Soestdijk.

image

Beatrix also celebrated Queen’s Day on 30 April (her own birthday is in January).

On King’s Day people wear orange clothes, often even donning orange wigs or make-up.

image

On King’s Day, people are allowed to sell things on the street without a permit.

image

In several towns & cities, the King’s Day celebrations begin on the evening before the day.

On King’s Day, thousands of brightly decorated boats pack the narrow Amsterdam canals.

image

That’s it for today’s #EngKnowledge about King’s Day 2016 in The Netherlands. See you again tomorrow!

 

Compiled for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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#EngKnowledge: Grammy awards

February is one of my favorite months of the year, because it is the awards season! Do you like it too? It is also because Grammy Awards are distributed in February. Let’s talk about that particular awards!

The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959 and originally, the award was called Gramophone Award. It was to honor the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958.

Grammy Awards has grown over the span of 52 years. In 1959, they honored 22 awards and presented 109 awards in 2010. Winning one of the Big Four Grammy Award categories is considered to be the most prestigious. The Big Four categories are the only awards not restricted to any genre in specific. They’re “Album of the Year,” “Record of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” and “Best New Artist.”

In 2011, The Recording Academy announced a drastic overhaul of many Grammy Award categories for 2012. The number of categories was cut from 109 to 78. Georg Solti holds the record for the most Grammy Awards won in any genre with 31 awards. However, Alison Krauss holds the distinction as the female artist with the most Grammys, and the most awards in the Country Field.

In addition, Stevie Wonder is the only artist in Grammy history to win five or more awards on three separate nights. Beyonce holds the second most wins by a female artist and is tied with Adele at six for most Grammy wins in 1 night by a female.

Congratulations to all musicians receiving The Grammys this year! Too bad that our very own Joey Alexander didn’t win.

 

Compiled and written by @EnglishTips4U  for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

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#EngKnowledge: Benefits of fasting

This time, we’ll talk about the benefits of fasting. Let’s start!

1. Fasting helps weight loss

Fasting can be a safe way to lose weight as many studies have shown that intermittent fasting – fasting that is controlled within a set number of hours – allows the body to burn through fat cells more effectively than just regular dieting. Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as it’s primary source of energy instead of sugar.

2. Fasting speeds up the metabolism

Intermittent fasting gives your digestive system a rest, and this can energize your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. If your digestion is poor, this can affect your ability to metabolize food and burn fat. Intermittent fasts can regulate your digestion and promote healthy bowel function, thus improving your metabolic function.

3. Fasting prevents obesity

Fasting helps to regulate the hormones in your body so that you experience what true hunger is. We know that obese individuals do not receive the correct signals to let them know they are full due excessive eating patterns. Think of fasting as a reset button: the longer you fast, the more your body can regulate itself to release the correct hormones, so that you can experience what real hunger is. Not to mention, when your hormones are working correctly, you get full quicker.

4. Fasting improves your eating patterns

Fasting can be a helpful practice for those who suffer with binge eating disorders, and for those who find it difficult to establish a correct eating pattern due to work and other priorities.

With intermittent fasting going all afternoon without a meal is okay and it can allow you to eat at a set time that fits your lifestyle. Also, for anyone who wants to prevent binge eating, you can establish a set time in where you allow yourself to eat your daily amount of calories in one sitting, and then not eat till the following day.

5. Fasting improves your brain function

Fasting has shown to improve brain function, because it boosts the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.)

BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

6. Fasting improves your immune system

Intermittent fasting improves the immune system because it reduces free radical damage, regulates inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation.

In nature, when animals get sick they stop eating and instead focus on resting. This is a primal instinct to reduce stress on their internal system so their body can fight off infection. We humans are the only species who look for food when we are ill, even when we do not need it.

7. Fasting helps clear the skin and prevent acne

Fasting can help clear the skin because with the body temporarily freed from digestion, it’s able to focus its regenerative energies on other systems.

Not eating anything for just one day has shown to help the body clean up the toxins and regulate the functioning of other organs of the body like liver, kidneys and other parts.

See? Fasting is really good for your body. You may not be aware but Islam is not the only religion that practices fasting. Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, Jainism, and Hinduism also teach their believer to fast. So, no matter what your religion I suggest you fast every once in a while.

 

Compiled by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 19 June, 2016

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#EngKnowledge: Spoilers (and why they’re disliked)

In this occassion, we’re going to talk about spoilers. I trust you’re familiar with the word. Now, is it just me who think that spoilers are annoying?

A spoiler is an element which threatens to give away important details concerning the turn of events in any fictional work. Normally, the details of the conclusion of a story’s plot, such as the climax or ending, are considered as spoilers.

Now, it’s understandable that after enjoying a thrilling movie, book, or TV series, we want to share the excitement. For example, you just saw the Batman vs. Superman and you wanted to share your enjoyment with fellow fans. At the same time, the more words spread about the movie could mean the bigger chance of more people want to see it. In that case, it should benefit the movie, no?

However, I think the most interesting part of enjoying a fictional work is getting surprised by the turn of events. That’s why, some people, including me, dislike spoilers. We just don’t want the surprise ruined.

How about you, fellas? Spoilers, liked or disliked?

“yes if it comes with too much details.” – @chisselicious

“yeah, me too.” – Rony Rahmatullah ‏@ronyyrahm

snap:ricardolsilva ‏@ricardorocky  18 Apr

“Here in Brazil there are magazines to inform spoiler what going to happen in soap opera. Maybe is cultural in some countries.” – snap:ricardolsilva ‏@ricardorocky

“Definitely no for spoilers. They ruin my wild imagination.” – rosita ‏@rosreads

“DISLIKED” – アイダ ‏@aifadafaa

“for some reason, I do need spoilers to share about it. Because there are a few of unexpected scenes that we can’t guess b4.” – Ahmad Ade Syabihis ‏@Ahmadade_

It’s a common knowledge in the internet that before posting something that might contain spoiler, we should begin with ‘Spoiler Alert’ or ‘Major Spoiler Alert’ or ‘Warning: Contains Heavy Spoiler’. This way, other internet users are given choices if they would like to continue reading the post or not.

However, it gets trickier when we are talking face to face. I normally start by asking, “Do you want me to spoil it or not?” If my friend says no, I shut it immediately.

“Hello friends, I’m agree with you, spoilers aren’t good to enjoy the history of tale, movie or something like that.” – Halejito Hescobar ‏@halejogars

” “Me too.” – diankape ‏@dekaryapa

 “Disliked. But for some people, they got some satisfaction because they feels like “I know much more than you”. Meh!” – Fauzi Soemantri ‏@Kido26

“Depend. I only accept spoilers when i ask them for it, if i didnt ask, so please dont tell me anything. :D.” – Nuniek Sudiningsih ‏@nuniek52

“I like when people spoil the major details :D it’s enticing to learn about the minor details after.” – Sarah Assegaf ‏@sarahshahnaz

“I hate it, it always ruins the fun!” – Yoza Anshori ‏@masyoza

All right, fellas! Let us conclude our #EngKnowledge discussion by realising that we all like teasers, just a little bit, to entice but not reveal too many details. When in doubt, I think it’s safe to say, “Go watch the movie/read the book.” Thank you for sharing your views on spoilers!

 

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 18 April, 2016

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#EngKnowledge: Adele and her songs

Adele-2015-close-up-XL_Columbia-billboard-650.jpg

Adele just hit the world (again) with her tenth song in her newest album, 25. Do you know the song yet? Yes, correct. It’s all I ask.

I was literally having my eyes teary when I watched her great performance on Ellen. I just can’t get it enough to think how she could (and some other co-writers, including Bruno Mars) write such an emotional song. What about you? A penny for your thought on ‘All I Ask” by Adele.

Besides having ethereal voice, there are some facts about her that we have successfully gathered for you.

  1. Adele has won Grammy Awards 10 times.
  2. She is one of the most talented British artists who was appointed as a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
  3. Adele was assessed as one of the most powerful women in the United Kingdom by BBC Radio 4.
  4. Adele started to climb her ladder of fame after a friend of her posted her demo on MySpace.
  5. She is the first woman in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have three simultaneous top 10 singles as a lead artist
  6. She began singing at age four.
  7. She started to write and compose in 2004, when she was 16.
  8. Born in Tottenham, north London, and raised in West Norwood, south London, Adele has a working class cockney accent that has only leavened slightly over the years.
  9. Sam Dixon, Adele’s bassist, said that many of her songs are based on true events and people. No wonder that every of her performances is always moving and teary.
  10. “Someone Like You” and “Rolling In The Deep are the songs she wrote after she broke up with a guy. Surprisingly, many of her friends were happy for the separation as they dubbed Adele acting different when she was around him.

Those are Adele’s facts that we have successfully gathered for you. Hope you enjoy that. :)

 

Compiled and written by @englishtips4u at @englishtips4u on Thursday, February 25, 2016

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#EngKnowledge: Saint Valentine

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you know the history behind the celebration? We’ll talk about it in this session.

Basically, Valentine’s Day is a commemoration of the death of St. Valentine. I gathered that there were two people with the name of ‘St. Valentine’ who died on February 14. Hence, there is a confusion about which Valentine it is that we commemorate. The first Saint Valentine was a Roman priest. The second was a bishop of Terni.

Not only the person, but the reason of death of St. Valentine is also confusing. A story says that he died after defying Emperor Claudius II who forbade his soldiers to marry. St. Valentine did not obey his king’s order and held some marriages in secret. The Emperor found out and St. Valentine was sent to jail. There, he fell in love with the daughter of a warden. Before the execution, he sent a letter to her with a closing remark “from your valentine.”

Another story says that St. Valentine cured a blind girl so that she could see again. The girl then fell in love with St. Valentine. Both stories came from Emperor Claudius II era (268-270) and ends with the death of St. Valentine on February 14.

 

Compiled and written by @iismail21 for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, February 14, 2016

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#WOTD: Blizzard

Blizzard

Hey, fellas! I can’t believe we’re in December already, that means… winter is coming in some parts of the world. Excited! Are you?

Well, our topic for tonight is… Blizzard! That will be our Word of The Day!

According to the dictionary, this is the definition of blizzard.

Definition of Blizzard

The US National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm which contains large amounts of snow OR blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 mile for an extended period of time (at least 3 hours).

 

 

 

Where did the term blizzard come from? In the 1870s, an Iowa newspaper used the word “blizzard” to describe a snow storm. Previously, the term blizzard referred to a cannon shot or a volley of musket fire. By the 1880s, the word blizzard was used by many across the United States and in England.

Now, let’s put the word in sentences:
1. The blizzard has not just affected the Midlands.
2. Two climbers are missing after yesterday’s blizzard.

Compiled by: @FaridArdian for @englishtips4u on Dec, 2 2015.

#EngKnowledge: Diwali Festival

A 100-foot Ferris wheel in Leicester. A new major addition for this year's Diwali Festival.
A 100-foot Ferris wheel in Leicester. A new major addition for this year’s Diwali Festival.

Diwali is a five-day festival celebrating light, knowledge and good nature. Diwali – derived from the Sanskrit, ‘deepawali,’ means ‘row of lights‘ – also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. In Hinduism, light is seen as a metaphor for self-improvement, self-awareness and community, and its celebration allows followers to reaffirm their commitment to such values.

Some followers will pray for good business prospects in the months to come. Most Diwali celebration around the world focus on family and friends. As Diwali approaches, people also clean their home to escape bad luck in the upcoming year and families gather for a feast and stay up late, celebrating with the help of crackers and sweets. They believe that the Hindu Goddess of good luck visits homes that are brightly lit.

Fireworks displays have become an integral part of Diwali celebrations both in India and around the world. All the more because the festival takes place around the night of the new moon (Amavasya).

This timelapse video shows the displays taking place over the city of Vijayawada, in Andhra Pradesh province, India.

One of the biggest Diwali events outside India takes place in Leicester, UK. Hindu is the third biggest religion in the city. In Leicester, celebrations attract more than 35,000 people to the Belgrave Road for the switch-on of its lights and for the Diwali Day event. From 5 p.m the city’s busy Belgrave Road will become a pedestrian-friendly arena hosting Indian dancing, music and dhol drumming, building up to the switch-on of the Diwali lights at 7.30 p.m. This year, there is a major new addition to the event, the Wheel of Light – a 100-foot illuminated Ferris wheel.

 

Compiled and written by @faridardian for @EnglishTips4u on Friday, November 11, 2015

 

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#EngKnowledge: Red telephone booth

This #EngKnowledge post will be about one of the most popular icons in British culture: the red telephone booth!

People nowadays don’t really use public phone anymore. Naturally, the number of phone booth is decreasing. But in the UK and its Commonwealth, it remains a cultural icon and a popular tourist attraction.

The phone booth was first introduced by the United Kingdom Post Office in 1920.

At a glance, they may look the same. But there are 6 six different types of booth available. This is the oldest design available, called the K1.

K1 telephone booth

 


The latest design (K6) was inroduced in 1985.

What’s the difference between all these types? First and foremost, it’s their size. There are also minor differences like the K4 has a post box inside.

K4 (left) & K5 (right) telephone booths

The Royal Fine Art Commission was in charge of choosing the design. The design that is used now was submitted by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The color red was chosen because it was, well, easy to spot.

Since 1962, the top of the booth was decorated with a crown to symbolize the British government.

Check out this pic! Notice that there are 2 different kinds of crown. The left one is a Tudor’s Crown whilst the right one is a St. Edward’s Crown.

Tudor’s Crown (left) and St.Edward’s Crown (right)

In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II changed all the crowns in government official representation to St. Edward’s Crown. Because St. Edward’s is the kind of crown that the monarch is using at the moment.

Will the booth design ever change? Actually, there is already the designs for K7 and K8.

This is the K8, as designed by Bruce Martin.

K8 telephone booth


The K7 and K8 will only be used for the latest installments. But then again demand for public phones is decreasing year by year, especially with the appearance of mobile phones. K7 and K8 then became very rare types of booth.

So if you have been to London, the phone booth that you saw might have been older than 70 years old!

Source: Wikipedia

 

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, August 30, 2015

 

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#EngKnowledge: History of English dictionary

Fellas! English dictionary is an essential tool to learn the language. Ever wondered how it came to be? Today we are going to get to know about the history of English dictionary!

The oldest known dictionary is the Akkadian Empire cuneiform tablet (2300 BC) containing Akkadian-Sumerian word list. The first ever dictionary in English was a glossary of Latin, French, and Italian words.

The word ‘dictionary’ was invented by an Englishman named John of Garland in 1220. One of the earliest English dictionaries was “Elementarie” by Richard Mulcaster (1582). It contained 8000 words and is arranged in non-alphabetical setting. Afterwards, there were many attempts to create a systematic English dictionary.

They keep on failing to do that until writer/poet Samuel Johnson stepped in. The challenge at that time was to standardize the English language by create a standard spelling through dictionary.

In 1755, Johnson published “The Dictionary of English Language”. It contained 43,500 words with 118,000 quotations. Though it was not the first English dictionary, Johnson’s work helped to stabilise the language.

In the United States, dictionaries were first imported from England. The first dictionary to contain words unique to American English was published in 1800. Despite the critics, Webster (1758-1843) determined to set standards for American English. He believed that spelling, grammar, and usage should be based on living language. “An American Language of the English Language” was then published in 1828. It simplified words such as ‘colour’ to ‘color’.

As for the most important English dictionary of them all, Oxford English Dictionary, was published in 1933. It is the historical dictionary of the English-speaking world.

In 2008, a man named Ammon Shea wrote about his experience trying to read Oxford dictionary for fun.


Have you ever tried to read dictionaries for fun, fellas? :D

Compiled and written by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 14 June 2015.


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#EngKnowledge: US Presidential Libraries 

Hello, fellas! Perhaps you have heard of this news recently: http://t.co/STNGZgbiZh 

The news is about the Barrack Obama Presidential Library. The city of Chicago has been decided as its future location. 

Has been decided = diputuskan sebagai 

Future location = lokasinya nanti. 

So what is a US Presidential Library, and why does it seem to be such a great importance? 

Such a great importance = begitu penting. 

A US Presidential Library is basically a museum that hosted papers, records, collections, and other historical materials related to a particular US President during his time as a President. 

  
Hosted = menyimpan, menjadi tuan rumah 

Historical material = benda bersejarah. 

So, a Barrack Obama Presidential Library will be home to many information on his life and career as a president. 

 These Libraries are administered by National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). 

NARA administered in total 13 Presidential Libraries. But surely there are more US Presidents than that? 

Administered = dikelola, mengelola

Yes! The idea of Presidential Libraries was developed during the reign of Herbert Hoover (31st President, 1929-1933) 

Developed = dikembangkan, reign = kekuasaan. 

But how about other Presidents before him? Surely they deserve their own Libraries? 

Of course, and there are Libraries of former Presidents such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. 

The difference is that they are not administered by NARA. 

The location of the Libraries mattered because they need to have significant meaning to the President. 

Mattered = penting 

Having a Presidential Library will significantly boost tourism in that city. 

Boost = meningkatkan, mendorong. 

For Pres. Obama, there are 3 contenders for the Library location: New York City, Hawaii, and Chicago. 

New York City is where he finished his undergraduate study in Columbia University. 

Honolulu is where he was born.

But Chicago is chosen because it’s the city that mattered most to him. 

  
Pres. Obama was a law professor at University of Chicago. His political career also took off from the city. 

Takes (took) off = dimulai, diluncurkan.

In case you’re wondering, no, Jakarta isn’t one of the contenders even though he lived here for a while :)) 

Let’s check out some of the most popular Presidential Libraries: 

Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

  
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. 

  
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.

  
 John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts. 

  
Jimmy Carter Presidential Center, Atlanta, Georgia. 

  
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. 

  
William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Little Rock, Arkansas. 

  
And finally George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. 
  

If you wish to visit any of these libraries, don’t forget to check their websites to book your tickets. 

Book tickets = memesan tiket. 

So! Is there any particular Presidential Library you wish to visit? Or have you been to any of them? :D 

I think it’ll be cool if Hillary Clinton ends up becoming President as well. Husband and wife, each has their own Presidential Library! :D

#EngKnowledge: The birth of British and American Accents

All this time, we have been learning about the difference between British and American accent. You know it when you hear it. But have you ever wondered how these two accents came to be? Online magazine Mental Floss tried to answer the big question in the article “When did Americans lose their British accent?” As you may have known, the history of these two countries are strongly related.

The first English colony in the land that would be America arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1667. They certainly carried the language and accent that they used in their homeland, England. So how did their accent change? Now here comes the most interesting part … It wasn’t the American accent that went through changes, it was the British accent! The current American accent is actually much closer to the ‘original’ British accent.

We must first remember that British and American accents are very diverse. There are various accents used in the UK, such as Geordie, cockney, or Yorkshire. American accents also varied. There are Southern accent, and even black people have their own accent.

What we call “British accent” is actually a standardised Received Pronounciation (RP). Also known as Public School English or BBC English. What we call “American accent” is actually ‘general American accent’ or ‘newscaster accent’ or ‘Network English.’

Back to the story about the English colony in America. Remember, we first had the technology to record human voice in 1860. 300 years after the colony arrived, the difference between the British and American accents was already apparent. Since recording technology wasn’t available in those 300 years, we can’t say for sure when the change happened. But changes in British society might provide us the clue to the answer.
To explain that, first we need to know the major difference between British and American accent: Rhotacism.

Rhotacism is the excessive use of the letter ‘R’ in pronunciation. American accent is rhotic and speakers pronounce the ‘R’ in words such as ‘hard’. Meanwhile, British accent is non-rhotic, making the way they pronounce ‘hard’ sounds more like ‘hahd’.

In the 19th century, there was a hot trend among the upper and upper middle class in southern England to become non-rhotic. The trend was to not pronounce the ‘R’. It became the signifier of class and status. This posh accent was later standardised as Received Pronunciation, and being taught widely by tutors to social climbers.

Slowly but sure, the accent spread across England and is being used by people across levels and professions. Across the pond, there were also societal changes that further strengthen the use of American accent. Big cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit became the new centers of economic power in the region. The cities are populated by Scots-Irish and North English migrants. Southern English elites have no significance in there. The Received Pronunciation then lost its influence among people in the cities.

Source: Mental Floss

#EngVocab Extra

  1. Came to be. Arti: asal mulanya.
  2. Strongly related. Arti: berhubungan erat.
  3. Apparent. Arti: nyata, terlihat, tampak.
  4. Signifier. Arti: penanda.
  5. Posh. Arti: mewah.
  6. Social climber. Arti: orang yg ingin meningkatkan status sosial (dengan memakai barang mewah, mengubah cara bicara).
  7. Across the pond. Arti: di seberang Lautan Atlantik, cara orang Inggris menyebut Amerika.
  8. Societal change. Arti: perubahan masyarakat.
  9. Further strengthen. Arti: semakin memperkuat.

 

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, May 17, 2015

 

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