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9 Ways to Laugh


1. Chortle

[chawr-tl]

chortleThere are many different kinds of laughter. There’s the kind that leaves us clutching our bellies and gasping for air, and there’s kind that barely escapes our lips in restrained titters. The chortle, defined as “a gleeful chuckle,” falls somewhere in the middle. This term was coined by the beloved and whimsical wordsmith Lewis Carroll in his 1871 novel, Through the Looking-Glass, as a blend, or portmanteau, of the words chuckle and snort.

2. Guffaw

[guh-faw, guh-]

guffawA guffaw is a loud, unrestrained burst of laughter; as a verb, it means “to laugh in a loud and boisterous manner.” The word is of Scottish origin and is thought to be imitative of the sound of such laughter. This word entered English in the early 1700s, around the same time as the similar but short-lived gawf, which means “to laugh loudly.”

3. Boff

[bof]

boffWhen delivering a punch line, comedic performers want nothing more than to elicit a boff. This term, which means “a loud hearty laugh” in the above example, can also mean “to cause to be overcome with laughter” and “a joke or humorous line.” Boff arose in the entertainment industry in the mid-1900s, probably as a shortening of the word boffo meaning “a joke or punch line.” The similar-sounding Italian word buffo translates to “funny; comical” and shares a root with the term buffoon.

4.Titter

[tit-er]

titterFar from a belly laugh or a hearty guffaw, a titter is a nervous or self-conscious laugh. To titter is “to laugh in a restrained, self-conscious, or affected way as from nervousness or in ill-suppressed amusement.” The origin of this word is unclear, but etymologists point to the Swedish term tittra meaning “to giggle,” as well as the word tittle meaning “to whisper” or, more specifically “to tell on or whisper gossip” as possible linguistic ancestors.

5.Giggle

[gig-uhl]

giggleBefore English speakers were tittering, they were giggling. A giggle is “a silly spasmodic laugh, especially with short, repeated gasps and titters, as from juvenile or ill-concealed amusement or nervous embarrassment.” The word is thought to be imitative in origin, echoing the sound of such laughter. Be careful not to confuse a case of the giggles with a case of the giggs; the latter has been used to describe a mouth disease in horses.

6. Yuk

[yuhk]

yukThe origins of the word yuk, as in “The audience really yukked it up at the movie,” are a bit of a mystery. The similar-sounding yock, theater slang for “a laugh,” appeared in the US in the late 1930s. The comedic yuk, sometimes spelled yuck, meaning “to laugh or joke” appeared in the 1960s, right around the time that English speakers began using it as an exclamation of disgust.

7. Snicker

[snik-er]

snickerThe word snicker, meaning “to laugh in a half-suppressed, indecorous or disrespectful manner,” has been around since the late 1600s. Like many words on this list, this one is thought to be imitative of the sound of laughter. It is one of several words beginning with s used to refer to laughter more mocking and suppressed in nature than gleeful and boisterous; others include snirtle, snigger, and sneer.

8. Heehaw

[hee-haw]

heehawIf the words we use to describe laughter are any indication, it would seem that a good episode of laughter reduces us to our animal natures, leaving us howling, snorting, and roaring. The term heehaw entered English in the early 1800s as a term for the loud braying sound a donkey makes and shortly thereafter picked up the sense of “a loud laugh reminiscent of a neighing horse.”

9. Cachinnate

[kak-uh-neyt]

cachinnateIf you (or someone you know) consistently turns heads with your stentorian laughter, you may be a cachinnator. To cachinnate is “to laugh loudly or immoderately.” The term is thought to be imitative in origin, and can be traced to the Latin cachinnāre. The similar-sounding cackle, meaning “to laugh in a shrill, broken manner” is etymologically unrelated to cachinnate. It first entered English as a word for the sound a hen or goose makes, later picking up a sense of “to laugh in a shrill, broken manner.”

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Essential Sites for Writers

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MG Mason, in his wonderful blog Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink, has compiled a great list of resources.


Writing & Language Tools

  1. Blabla meter for when you really need to be told that there’s too much waffle in your writing
  2. FreeMind: a brainstorming tool
  3. English Stack Exchange. A very nerdy linguistics resource
  4. Evernote: A cloud application that makes for a good tool for storing and sharing research and notes across multiple devices
  5. Onomatopoeia dictionary Ta-dah! needs no explanation
  6. Oxford Dictionaries British-American English Comparison. Want to know your pavement from your sidewalk or your aubergine from your eggplant? And what is a courgette anyway?
  7. Synonym Finder (and antonyms) for all of your word finding needs
  8. VisuWords is a clever dictionary/thesaurus/wordfinder/word association tool that uses a graphical interface
  9. Wordnik: An encyclopaedia of words. Antonyms, synonyms, etymology, demonstrated use. Create lists of your favourites
  10. Write or Die: Creative writing sadism with punishment for not keeping up

Writing prompts

  1. Creative Writing Prompts. Some simple ideas to get you started
  2. With Painted Words: Picture prompt. Earn money too!

eBooks

Edited by Zoe

600 free books for kindle iphone ipadfree-books2


Other

  1. Book Crossing: Give a book away but first put a label on containing a unique code from this website. Then watch it travel the world.
  2. Rare Book Room: HQ digital photographs of some of the rarest books on the planet. Examine them without having to visit the national library in another country and more importantly, without damaging them
  3. Read It Swap It: Have lots of books in storage that you don’t want to give away, can’t sell and will never likely read again? How about swapping it for another book? Simple premise and it works. I’ve acquired three books through this site already.
  4. Librivox: Download free audiobooks voiced by volunteers. Or perhaps you might want to volunteer yourself

20 book sites audio books download free

Check his blog at:

Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink


Sincerely yours: Origins and Uses of 8 Common Sign-Offs

Regards,

regardsThe word regard comes to us from the Old French regarder meaning “to look at.” This definition is still evident in its senses today, which range from “to look upon or think of with a particular feeling” to “respect, esteem, or deference.” When used as a valediction, regards is intended to indicate sentiments of esteem or affection, and often follows kind, warm, or best. Some consider variations such as warm regards ideal for conveying a balanced tone of friendly professionalism.

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Six words that can ruin your sentence

Crutch words are words that we slip into sentences in order to give ourselves more time to think, or to emphasize a statement. Over time, they become unconscious verbal tics. Most often, crutch words do not add meaning of a statement.

Actually

[ak-choo-uh-lee]

 Actually is the perfect example of a crutch word. It is meant to signify something that exists in reality, but it is more often used as a way to add punch to a statement (as in, “I actually have no idea”).


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The 20 Strangest Sentences In The English Language

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1. I never said she stole my money.

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This fun sentence takes on seven different meanings depending on which word is emphasized:
[I] never said she stole my money. – Someone else said it.
I [never] said she stole my money. – I didn’t say it.
I never [said] she stole my money. – I only implied it.
I never said [she] stole my money. – I said someone did, not necessarily her.
I never said she [stole] my money. – I considered it borrowed.
I never said she stole [my] money. – Only that she stole money— not necessarily my own.
I never said she stole my [money]. – She stole something of mine, not my money.
While this trick works for plenty of other sentences as well, this one’s short and easy to understand.

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What’s the Difference Between In- and Un-?

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English has two different prefixes that make a word into its opposite.

OK, yes, there are more than two (dis-, a-, anti-, de-, etc.), but in- and un- are the most common.

They bring the sense of “not” to an adjective, and they cause trouble because it is often not clear which one should be used for a particular word. Many pairs of in-/un- words are interchangeable.

For example:

“inalienable” and “unalienable” are both correct and mean the same thing (even the drafters of the Declaration of Independence went back and forth on that one), as do “inadvisable” and “unadvisable.”

Still, the two prefixes are not equivalent.

As a pretty flimsy general rule,

UN - goes with Germanic roots and

IN - goes with Latin roots,

as seen in these pairs: unfriendly, inamicable; unteachable; ineducable; unbelievable, incredible. Still, just because a word has a Latin root doesn’t mean it can’t go with un-: see unproductive, unfortunate, unreliable, undesirable, unconscious…and so on.

Un- is also usually found with adjectives formed from participles ending in -ed or -ing: undomesticated, undeveloped, undisciplined, unconcerning, uncomprehending.

On the other hand, if a word has a Germanic root, it pretty much does mean it can’t go with in-. If you do find such a word, it is probably an example of a completely different prefix in-, meaning in or towards (incoming, infield, indwell).

In- is much more restricted than un-.

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Un- is freely productive; it can apply to new words (“this haircut is brand new and unselfied!”), while

in- remains frozen in the existing vocabulary, a Latin dinosaur bone.

Un- can even apply to words that already take in-, though when it does it often creates a different, less specific meaning.

For example:

while the word “indigestible” can be traced back to the meaning “not able to be digested” it carries extra layers of connotation –food that offends the senses or makes you feel bad, information that is too confusing to process– that “undigestible” doesn’t have. “Undigestible” is more straightforwardly “not able to be digested.”A poorly prepared lasagna is indigestible, but a rock is undigestible. Its meaning is composed of its two parts, while the meaning of “indigestible” comes from its long history of use.

But the search for these kinds of meaning difference can quickly turn messy and confusing. Once you start thinking about this too much, in- and un- words start to switch back and forth in your mind like

a duck/rabbit optical illusion.

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Shades of difference in meaning emerge only to dissolve under closer scrutiny.

Inaccessible, unaccessible?

Inconsolable, unconsolable?

Indescribable, undescribable?

Surely they mean different things. No, maybe not. Many of these kinds of pairs have been switching back and forth for centuries. (At the current time, the in- forms of these particular words are considered more acceptable.) Some of them have gotten stuck on one setting or the other, and some will continue to be indecisive, or, if you will, undecided.

 

SOURCE

5 Fun Ways to Say Boring

Ennui

[ahn-wee, ahn-wee]

ennuiNot all boredom is created equal: some of it is fleeting and circumstantial, and some of it teeters on existential crisis. Ennui tends toward the latter–or at least it used to. Derived from the French verb enuier meaning “to annoy,” its peak usage was in Victorian and Romantic literature to express a profound sense of weariness, even a spiritual emptiness or alienation from one’s surroundings and time. Nowadays it’s used at both ends of the boredom spectrum, but its deep literary history lends even the most shallow disinterest a grandiose air.

Bromidic

[broh-mid-ik]

bromidicBromide is a chemical compound that was commonly used in sedatives in the 1800 and 1900s. It took on a figurative sense to mean a trite saying or verbal sedative, or a person who is platitudinous and boring, in the early 1900s with help of the U.S. humorist Frank Gelett Burgess, who published a book titled Are You a Bromide? in 1907. The next time a particularly bland work meeting lulls you into a near coma, remember to mentally log it as bromidic just before nodding off.

Prosaic

[proh-zey-ik]

prosaicIf your personal brand of boredom stems from a deficit of literal or figurative poetry in your life, this is the word for you. Now commonly used to mean dull, matter-of-fact, or unimaginative, prosaic entered the lexicon as the adjectival form of the word prose–as in not poetry. Its evolution to mean uninspired and commonplace in a broader context feels in many ways like a love letter to the oft-neglected literary genre.

Insipid

[in-sip-id]

insipidMuch like bland and flavorless, insipid is commonly used to describe food that leaves your tastebuds wanting more, but it’s also used in an abstract sense to describe a person, place or thing that lacks distinction, depth or intrigue. Its versatility can be attributed to its root word, the Latin sapidus, which translates to well-tasted, wise, or prudent. The next time you find yourself surrounded by droning company and uninspired cuisine (perhaps on your next flight?) liven things up with this handy twofer.

Platitudinous

[plat-i-tood-n-uhs, -tyood-]

platitudinousStemming from the French word for flat, plat (think plateau), platitudinous is used most frequently to refer to lackluster or trite use of language. A political speech brimming with tiresome rhetoric and cliches can be said to be platitudinous, but with this illuminating descriptor in your word arsenal, your bemoaning of the speech doesn’t have to be.

Source and images

50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills

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By

Effective writing skills are to a writer what petrol is to a car. Like the petrol and car relationship, without solid skills writers cannot move ahead. These skills don’t come overnight, and they require patience and determination. You have to work smart and hard to acquire them. Only with experience, you can enter the realm of effective, always-in-demand writers.

Of course, effective writing requires a good command of the language in which you write or want to write. Once you have that command, you need to learn some tips and tricks so that you can have an edge over others in this hard-to-succeed world of writers. There are some gifted writers, granted. But gifted writers also need to polish their skills frequently in order to stay ahead of competition and earn their livelihood.

We collected over 50 useful and practical tools and resources that will help you to improve your writing skills. You will find copywriting blogs, dictionaries, references, teaching classes, articles, tools as well as related articles from other blogs. Something is missing? Please let us know in the comments to this post!

1. Grammar, Punctuation & Co.

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Talk English by colors

 

WHITE

 

 White_Flag
a white lie a harmless lie/ a lie to spare someone’s feelings
white noise static noise
white as a sheet scared, sick, surprised
white as a ghost scared
white-collar related to “desk jobs”
a white flag surrender
to whitewash something to mask the negative parts
white wine wine from green or yellow grapes
a white Christmas snow on Christmas day
a white wedding a traditional western-style wedding where the bride wears a white gown
a white person a person of Caucasian race
white-hot extremely hot OR popular
a white paper an authoritative report on a issue
a white elephant a useless knick-knack OR an expensive, useless thing
white as the driven snow innocent (often used sarcastically about corruption)
white with rage extremely enraged
to bleed someone white to take everything someone has, esp. money
showing the white feather acting cowardly
a white-knuckle ride a dangerous, nerve-wracking, scary ride
that’s mighty white of you (old-fashioned) that’s good of you
lily-white unmistakably Caucasian OR blameless, goodly
white horses (surfing) patches of white foam made by breaking waves
white trash (American) (offensive) uneducated, socio-economically disadvantaged Caucasian people
whiter than white (British) righteous, innocent

BLACK

a white pointer (Australian)

080766-glossy-black-icon-business-envelope1a topless female sunbather
to blackmail someone to threaten to reveal secrets unless payment is made
to black out to lose consciousness
a blackout a loss of electricity in an area
the blackout during wartime, extinguishing or covering lights
black magic / the black arts magic used for malevolent purposes
the pot calling the kettle black someone criticizing someone else for a quality they themselves possess
the black market illegal/underground sales and purchases
little black book book of contacts, esp. past or potential dates
a black sheep the outcast or disgrace in a group
black gold oil / petrolium
  black tie formal clothing e.g. a tuxedo
black humor jokes about death or illness
a black day a day when something bad happens
to be in black and white to be written down officially
to be black and white (a situation) to be clear
in the black profitable
a black mood a bad, grumpy mood
a black eye a bruised eye
to blacklist someone to prevent someone from being hired
to blackball someone to shut someone out from group participation
black and blue bruised
a black look an angry/disapproving facial expression
as black as night very dark black
pitch black very dark black
a black person a person of African heritage
black ops extralegal covert activity, done in the dark (military/politics)
black-hearted cruel, evil, mean
a black mark an indication of wrongdoing
to blacken someone’s name to suggest/indicate a person’s wrongdoing
the Black Death The Bubonic Plague
  a black rat (British) a traffic police officer
Black Friday (U.S.) The day after American Thanksgiving when many stores have sales
the black dog (Irish) a bad mood
beyond the black stump (Australian) the back of nowhere, far from anything

RED

 

 

 

 

 

in the red

arrow-pointing-downunprofitable OR negative financial balance, owing money
a redhead a person with orange-colored hair
red light district area with prostitutes
to see red to be furious
red with rage furious
to turn/go red become embarrassed
a red herring a false clue
to paint the town red to dine, dance, experience fun in a town or city
a red flag a signal that something is wrong
roll out the red carpet give a big welcome
red tape unnecessary/excessive bureaucracy
not one red cent no money at all
a red letter day a special day
a scarlet woman a sinful woman
scarlet fever an infection with group A streptococcus bacteria.
red-hot very hot OR very popular
red card a sanction for a soccer player
red alert a serious warning of danger
a red-blooded male a virile, manly male person
like a red rag/flag to a bull provoking/aggravating anger
red (adjective) communist
bleed red ink (British) debt
red in tooth and claw (British) the wild, violent aspect of the natural world
redshirting (U.S.) delaying an athlete’s participation in sports order to lengthen his/her period of eligibility
  a red state (U.S.) a state whose residents are politically more Republican
a redneck (U.S.) an uneducated, rural white American
a red-bone (U.S.) a light-skinned black woman
the red scare (U.S.) (historical) the worry that society would be infiltrated by communists and communism
the red eye (U.S.) the overnight flight between west and east coast

GREEN

green with envy

green-parrot-wide-300x187very envious
the green-eyed monster jealousy
to give the green light to give approval to proceed
to be green (in a position) to be inexperienced, a rookie
to be green (policy) to be environmentally aware
the green room room in a theater or studio where guests/performers wait to go on
to turn green to be nauseous
green around the gills sick-looking
a greenbelt an area of nature around a city
greens vegetables
a green a golf course
a greengrocer a person/store that sells vegetables & fruit
  the grass is always greener on the other side other people’s possessions/situations always seem better than your own
greener pastures a better situation
to greenwash something to deceptively make practices/policies seem more environmentally friendly
little green men stereotypical/humorous description of space aliens
as sure as God made little green apples very certain
colorless green ideas sleep furiously (Linguistics) Noam Chomsky’s oft-quoted example of a sentence with good grammar but no meaning
to have green fingers (British) to be good with plants/gardens
to have a green thumb (U.S.) to be good with plants/gardens
a greenie (Australian) an environmentally aware person
a green card (U.S.) legal residency status
a greenhorn (U.S.) an inexperienced or young person
greenbacks (U.S.) dollars

YELLOW

yellow

fashion_recap__yellowcowardly
a yellow streak cowardice
yellow-bellied cowardly
yellow journalism disreputable, sensationalistic journalism
a yellow card (soccer) to give someone a first warning
the yellow peril (offensive, archaic) the fear that Asian people will outnumber/displace Caucasian people
yellow fever  an acute viral haemorrhagic disease
yellow fever (Nigerian slang) traffic police
a yellow dog Democrat (U.S.) a voter who always votes Democrat in every election

BLUE

out of the blue

blue-sky-14366suddenly, unexpectedly
a bolt from the blue a sudden/unexpected thing
to be blue to be sad
a blue funk a feeling of melancholy
the blues sadness OR a 3 chord style of music
once in a blue moon infrequently
blue-collar related to manual labor or the working class
a blue blood an aristocratic person
to talk a blue streak to talk a lot
to turn blue to have difficulty breathing
blue with cold feeling very cold
until you’re blue in the face having lost your patience
blue chip stock stock of an established/financially sound company
working blue performing using foul language
a blue movie a pornographic film
a blueprint (for something) a design, a guide
true blue faithful
blue on blue in military: friendly fire
into the wide/wild blue yonder to an unknown/faraway place
blue balls (lewd) male sexual frustration due to unfulfilled sexual urges
to turn the air blue to swear a lot
between the devil and the deep blue sea a dilemma
the boys in blue the police
the thin blue line the police
a blue state (U.S.) a state whose residents are politically more Democrat
a blue (British) a Tory
to scream blue murder (British) to express yourself angrily
a blue-eyed boy (British) a male who can do no wrong, who is favored by authority
having a blue (Australian) having a fight
make a blue (Australian) make a mistake

BROWN

a brown-noser

51FWx8gxbOL._SY300_a sycophant
in a brown study being contemplative; daydreaming
  browned off (British) annoyed

PURPLE

purple prose

purpleflowery, romantic writing
born in the purple born into a high ranking/aristocratic family
the Purple Heart (U.S.) a U.S. military honor badge
a purple patch (British) a period of exceptionally high achievement

ORANGE

agent orange

Orange_and_cross_sectiona defoliant used in herbicidal warfare
Orangemen (Irish) Protestant fraternal organization

PINK

in the pink of health

big_a149_pinko_rozovata_panteravery healthy
tickled pink very pleased
a pinko a communist
to see the world through rose-colored glasses to see the world through an optimistic filter
rosy positive, optimistic,
to get a pink slip to be fired
the pink pound (British) consumer spending by gay people

GREY

grey area

seagull_greyunclear
grey matter the brain
to give someone grey hairs to try someone’s patience
gray market sale of products via nonstandard distribution channels or at an unofficial price
grey nomads (Australian) retirees who travel around the country
the silver screen the movies

GOLDEN

a golden boy

Gold bar isolated with clipping patha well-regarded, successful man
a golden handshake monetary incentive to join a company
a golden parachute money given to an executive leaving a company
golden ears great listening ability to discern quality or commerciality
a golden shower (lewd) urinating on a sexual partner
a golden mean the desirable middle (between extremes of excess and deficiency)

COLOR

off-color

rainbow_fridge_magnetinappropriate, crude
to show your true colors to reveal your true self or feelings
a colorless person a boring person
colorful (e.g. tale, history, life) event-filled and interesting
colorful language vivid or expletive-filled language
to pass with flying colors to do very well
local color having typical characteristics of the local area
color commentary facts & comments about athletes during a broadcast
a horse of a different color a completely different thing/idea
a country’s colors the colors of a national flag
 SOURCE

The History of the “Dude”

Charting the evolution of a gender-hopping, meaning-changing, spelling-flexible word

People fear, loathe, and ignore change.

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