Category Archives: random

The Most Hated Words in English

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Is there a word that prickles your skin, raises the short hairs on the back of your neck, or just in general makes you feel sick? Did you even know about this phenomenon? That a simple word with no political or hateful connotations can make normal person uncomfortable. Well, it’s a thing, and it seems(…)


Learning Myths Debunked

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True or false: Metacognition (the thinking about thinking) is just as important for learning as raw intelligence? Learning should be spaced out over time? Right brain thinkers learn differently from left brain thinkers? Intelligence is fixed at birth? A good teacher can teach any subject? Any thoughts? Well, these are just a few of the(…)


Food Name Origins: ‘Why Hot Dog?’

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I enjoy stories of how foods travel and get named and then often re-named as they mutate to fit changing tastes. One of my favorite documentaries in recent years was The Search for General Tso which traces the origin of the famous dish while uncovering the history of Chinese immigration to the US in the process.(…)


Which English Do You Speak?

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Believe it or not, English still remains today’s lingua franca. Whether you are a native English speaker from the US, Canada, the UK, India, Australia, South Africa, or any of the other numerous English-speaking countries around the world, there’s always some kind of variation between dialects. Personally having surrounded myself with quite a few expatriated Brits while living(…)


English Words that Came From the Russian Revolution

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The amount of news stories referring to collusion or collaboration between the United States and Russia as of recent has done its fair share so as to inspire words like ‘disinformation’ and ‘propaganda’, both of which find their origins in Russian interestingly enough. Aside from the vast numbers of Serfs, Jews, and Slavs that fled Russia from(…)


The “Hotel California” Phenomenon in Thailand

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Hi, my name is John McMahon. I am an American who has lived in Thailand for over a decade and I need some help. Ten years ago I lived in a big house on a small side street with a little bar at the end. The owner of this bar also fancied himself a singer.(…)


The Tricks of the Trade: Airline Language

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It may sound mythical, like unicorns or pots of gold at the end of rainbows to those born after around 1990, but it’s true: flying was once pleasurable. Before the abuse; the stripping, radiating, berating. It was a fairly simple process to board a plane. Before the luggage limitations and federal laws and armed marshals,(…)


Literally, Not Figuratively: When, How, and Why Did it Happen?

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One of the great things about the English language is that’s so expansive. As a kind of linguistic black hole, sucking words in from all over, it’s a rare occasion for a person with a good vocabulary in English to have to resort to idiom or explanation in order to refer to a singular object(…)


Essential Thai For Your Perfect Holiday

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Thailand welcomes millions of visitors each year looking for that picture perfect holiday. Featured in films and magazines for years for the white sand beaches of its islands and thick jungled mountains of the north, the country seems to offer something for everyone. That being said, Thailand also has a very low rate of foreign(…)


To be a Stranger in a Strange Land

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  The notion that it’s a small world is just that, a notion. It is a large world, and one that differs greatly from place to place. Of course, though, modern technology has tightened things up. We can go to Google Earth and visit any little corner of any town in any country that strikes(…)