Tuesday, February 17, 2009

spelling bee

I've always liked the site Visual Thesaurus - it shows you how one word relates to others of similar meeting in a nifty visual way. Enter a word in the box and then check out synonyms. Make sure you mouseover on the red dots for the meanings.

This new site from them Spelling Bee is a spelling game which is quite fun - and might develop your vocabulary in a very random way!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


You can create your own wordles using any piece of text at http://www.wordle.net/. This wordle is using the words in our course booklet. The size of the words is relative to their frequency.
  Wordle: SEIP

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

learning vocab never stops

I recently was tidying up the noticeboard above my desk, and came across the list below, which is of new vocabulary for me. I added to the list over several months last year, and I am sharing it as a way of reminding you that no matter how much vocab you think you know, or what advanced level you feel you are at, you can always learn more to help improve your speaking and writing.

brown nosing (one of my friends used this a week later and I knew what it meant!)
contingent on (checking on meaning), contingent thinking
act up = act out in the USA
hegemony (checking pron)

checked spelling of

What is interesting for me looking back at this list, is that the words that I actually still know the meaning of are the ones that I have come across a number of times since I first met them. So I feel quite comfortable now with the word epistemology, but I haven't got a clue as to what stickle might mean. And there are quite a few words that I think I might recognise the meaning of if I came across them in context!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Available in our library on campus, this book is very useful for advanced students, who want to extend their current vocabulary. There are several chapters that look at collocations and what they are etc, and then the remainder of the book looks at different topics such as work and study, and the collocations that might be useful to know in relation to these topics. I liked the chapters at the end as well, under functions. These consisted of useful phrases and chunks in relation to things that we need to say and write.

There are answers to exercises in the back, so the book could be used for self-study, and the index is a handy reference point.

Where did the title of this blog come from?

One of the first quotes from Shakespeare that I ever learnt - from Hamlet.

Polonius: What are you reading my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words!

The purpose of this blog is to share my enthusiasm for vocabulary and words. I love word games - Scrabble is an essential on our family holiday, and I would be only too happy to teach you to play Squabble and Take 2. One of my Christmas presents was a travel version of Scrabble called Scramble, which has been fun to learn. There are lots of other word games too that I enjoy - Boggle, for instance, or UpWords. And then there are crossword puzzles - one of my favourites is in the Listener each week and is a cryptic puzzle. Rather than straight-forward clues, the clues contain hints to the word in all sorts of puzzling ways. I love holidays - a great time to drink coffee, play games and do puzzles.