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Pun and Games

What are puns and why am I reading about them? Well, let me start off by telling you that I’m a massive fan of puns. Puns are often known as “dad jokes.” That’s because you hear a lot of very bad puns from middle-aged men who think that being unfunny is being funny … if you know what I mean. But that’s the beauty of…

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Sofia’s 10 Tips for Enjoyment of English

Tip #1 During an English class, you need to feel good, so a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere is an absolutely must. As emotional intelligence guru Dan Goleman says: “When we are relaxed, it’s easier to achieve the most productive state of mind.“ Tip #2 During your homework, try to repeat new words and phrases out loud. Maybe imagine yourself as an actor or actress, practising…

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A Diaper CEO on Adding Value to Language Training

Long gone are the days when I taught English to people who shared the same cultural background and spoke the same language. Born and raised in the Czech Republic, I knew all about effectively communicating with Czechs. When I started my career in 2000, most people wanted to learn English, so I concentrated on translating for Czechs how the English felt about their language and…

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15 Heterographs

Let’s start with an amusing image: Why is this funny? Well, even if you don’t get the joke, it’s still pretty funny, I guess. I mean – who can’t laugh at a duck flying madly through the air? But there’s also a language-based joke going on here. “Duck” is a homonym – a word that looks or sounds the same as another word. It can…

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Make It Snappy – Camping Adventures

Make it snappy is an idiom used to encourage someone to hurry up. However, snap is also the colloquial noun for an informal photograph. So when LOS make it snappy this means an opportunity to improve your language skills by studying a selection of pictures personal to us – and there’s no hurry at all. We believe that the best way to learn new things is to make them your own. Simply check out the stories with…

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11 Retronyms

Sometimes I look at the date and think, “What happened there, then?” It’s 2020! We are seriously in the future now. Yep – we are now in a time AFTER Back to the Future 2, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Barb Wire (don’t ask), Blade Runner, Robocop and … er … 1984. Obviously. And if you think about it, it shows. Look at all the stuff…

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Carisa Got Help Swiftly

TOEFL score speaking improvement … 13 points in one week.  The first time Carisa took the TOEFL, she studied for months and achieved only 76. She needed at least 95 to apply to U.S. business schools and to the coveted scholarships. Her next attempt was now just a week away, and she was unable to master the speaking questions. Carisa anticipated washing another $240 down the drain. Desperately,…

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Palindromes in English

A couple of weeks ago, we had a very special date. Lots of people decided to talk about it on social media, which means we know it’s important, right? At the beginning of this month, the date looked very pleasing: 02/02/2020. Nice, isn’t it? One of the reasons that date looks so good is that it reads the same backwards as it does forwards. Go on — try…

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What’s in a Name?

As every new parent knows, choosing a name for baby can be fraught with difficulty, even before the inevitable grandparental disapproval. How frustrating! Gordon Bennett! It could all so easily go Pete Tong! Firstly, it’s important to stress-check the acronym situation. It’s all very well mum and dad choosing two mainstream forenames like Donald and Oliver, but, if their surname is Giles, the poor little…

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The Spirit of Solidarity

OK. It had to happen, didn’t it? You know what I’m talking about – yet another article on the dreaded Coronavirus! It’s something we don’t really want to talk about, right? But bear with me – because despite all the negative feelings and anxiety surrounding this epidemic, there are positive ways we can look at it. I teach online to students from around the world,…

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36 Everyday English Acronyms

Humans are lazy. If we can find an easy way of doing something, then we do it. It’s one of the reasons for our success as a species. It also means that language is littered with acronyms (like FBI), abbreviations (like Mrs) and portmanteaus (like Brexit). And there are thousands of them. Today, I’d like to look at the most useful acronyms we use in…

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35 Business Euphemisms

No one likes to talk about the nasty things in life, right? I mean, who enjoys discussing how many people they had to fire this week, just because the company wants to save a bit of money? And how do you mention that you have a “poor” friend without making her sound insignificant? Or, having said that, how do you talk about your “rich” uncle…

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