Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Water

Dear All, Water is one of the resources that is often overlooked in western mass culture simply due to its … cheapness. However, unlike other more costly resources,  water is the resource which has a direct impact on our ability to learn, to teach, to conduct research, and to be healthy. The video below brings …

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Letter “E”

  Did you know that the letter “e” is the most frequently used letter in English?   Dear All, One of the interesting facts about English is that the most frequently used letter in this language is “e”. How does it help to know this? Well, first of all it is interesting not only to …

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Salt

Dear All, What do we know about salt from the linguistic perspective and in general? According to Oxford Dictionary the origin of the word “salt” can be traced to: “Old English sealt (noun), sealtan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zout and German Salz (nouns), from an Indo-European root shared by Latin sal, Greek …

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Google Translate

Dear All, Have you ever thought that it would nice to speak X language? Indeed, it would be. All it takes is to start and little by little to pursue the goal. While you are doing this, there is a tool that can help you to communicate in a different language in the meanwhile. The …

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SVG to PNG

Dear All: Have you ever had to convert a file from one format to another for your studies or research? I often need to convert files to different formats for my research. Most recently I came across an image in public domain which I wanted to convert from SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format to PNG …

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Easter greeting

Dear All: Pascha (Easter) is a very special day for people all over the world. Special food and traditions are associated with this day. Even greetings are special. If you go to Ukraine on this day, you are likely to be greeted with “Khrystós voskrés!” (Christ is Risen!). The appropriate answer to this greeting is …

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Easter baskets

Dear All, This post continues exploring traditions associated with Holy Pascha (Easter) and focuses on the Easter baskets. Pascha is the Feast of Feasts and Christians prepare for it by fasting and prayer. Pascha is the day when fasting ends. For this reason Christians bring baskets with food to Church for blessing. These baskets include …

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Pascha: Date

Dear All, Have you ever wondered why Pascha (Easter) is celebrated each year on a different day? Why it is always celebrated on Sunday and is referred to as “the Feast of Feasts”? This post focuses on these questions above. To clarify, how exactly the date for celebrating Pascha is defined each year I decided …

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Holy Fire

Dear All, The previous post focused on Good Friday, the Friday before Pascha (Easter). The present post focuses on Pascha Saturday and more particularly on Holy Fire. Each year on Great Saturday Orthodox people from all over the world come to the Jesus Christ’s tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. An Orthodox …

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Good Friday

Dear All, It is the special time of the year when people all over the world prepare and celebrate Pascha (Easter). This year Orthodox people celebrate Pascha on Sunday May 1, 2016. There are a lot of traditions associated with this Feast of Feasts and I would like to dedicate this post and the following …

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Oh, but how about “ough”?​

Did you know that in English “ough” can be read in 9 ways? Dear All, The English is a language which requires solid reading skills reading correctly. For instance, the “ough” can be read in at least nine different ways. Here is a sentence which contains all the instances: A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode …

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Brain consumes 20% of energy

  Did you know that our brain consumes about 20% of our energy intake?       So, if the brain consumes 20% of all our energy (Scientific American, 2016), what are some of the implications of this fact? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the fuel: how do we fuel the …

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St. Nicholas – Sinterklaas – Santa Claus

Did you know that Santa Claus and Sinterklaas are one and the same person – St. Nicholas? Dear All, Children all over the world wait for the Wonderworker who comes each year, around the same period, and brings something for them and sometimes even plays with them. In North America this person is known as …

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Sir Richard Francis Burton spoke 24 languages

  Did you know that Sir Richard Francis Burton spoke at least 24 languages?       Sir Richard Francis Burton was the translator of “The Arabian Nights” into English and a polyglot. The languages he spoke are: Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Asante, Egba, English, Fan, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindustani (Sindhi and Urdu), Icelandic, Italian, …

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Linguistic humour

Dear All, The quote above by Friedrich von Schlegel calls upon bringing together the world of science and humanities. Indeed, some of the greatest discoveries were made at the intersection of disciplines. For example, radio galaxies were found through the combined analysis of radio and optical data. What can unite sciences and humanities? The answer …

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URL (link) shortener

Dear All, Have you ever tried to copy a link to share with your students, colleagues or fellow students and the link takes half a page with a lot of strange symbols? It may still work well if you send it electronically, but what if you want to print it and to include in a …

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Irradiation and learning

Dear All, An old Latin proverb says “Mens sana in corpore sano” or “Healthy spirit in a healthy body”. This proverb underlines the importance of physical health for one’s spiritual life. In my opinion, it is equally applicable to the process of learning. In order to learn something it is important to be healthy because …

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Independent and dependent variables

Dear All, When we conduct a linguistic research, we usually work with a number of variables some of which are independent and some are dependent. This post defines these two types of variables. An independent variable is what is given (e.g. age, sex, social class, geographical location, occupation), the “input”. An dependent variable is what …

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Healthier and longer life

Dear All, Many centuries, across different cultures people have been looking for a way to make our lives healthier and longer. Well, modern medicine has partially succeeded in this by helping to prolong our lives to a limited extent. But what about the quality of life? How to make it not only longer, but also …

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Linguistic Web tool

Hello Everyone! Today I would like to share with you quite an interesting linguistic tool. It is called Reverso. Reverso can be useful to people who are interested in linguistic matters such as: translation, conjugation, spelling, dictionary forms, and usage examples. This tool can be of use to learners of foreign languages who want to …

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History of English

Video credit: The Virtual Linguistics Campus, “The History of English (An Overview)” December 17, 2014, via YouTube. Dear All, This post discusses briefly the history of the English language. Five major periods of the language development can be outlined: 1) England before the English (55 BC – 600 AD): – the Celts; – Julius Caesar’s …

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Rhyming dictionary, multilingual

Dear All, In “Rhyming dictionary” post, an online rhyming dictionary has already been discussed. That rhyming dictionary is for English. However, I have recently come across a multilingual rhyming dictionary. Why do we need a multilingual dictionary? The answer is simple: a multilingual rhyming dictionary allows finding rhymes in several languages and if you speak …

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Original coinages

Dear All, I am fond of words which are coined in an original way. I find particularly interesting those coinages which have a simple form (easy to understand) and at the same time express the meaning concisely. In this post, I am going to look at such words: # Coinages Basis for the coinages Explanations …

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Ukrainian Easter eggs

Image credit: hobvias sudoneighm, “vegreville egg ~ world’s largest pysanka” May 9, 2007, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Dear All, Easter eggs (EEs) are an integral part of Easter celebration, however, traditions associated with EEs are different in different cultures. This post discusses Ukrainian traditions related to EEs. Many people know that Ukrainians decorate EEs with …

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Courage, modesty, and humanity in research

Dear All, In research, scientists sometimes become “hostages”of funding. This may show itself in the topic that scholars choose to research or even in findings which they present. It is certainly understandable that we all need means to exist, however, it is also important to keep a fair account of findings. In my opinion, whatever …

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