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14 Fictional Bookworms We All Looked Up To

This sentiment might horrify some parenting organizations, but sometimes fictional characters serve as far better role models than real people. If well-executed, they provide audiences of all ages with a personal point of reference from which to learn and — if they’re lucky — grow. Seeing as how reading is fundamental, and an essential component of a well-rounded education, looking up or relating to proud, avowed bookworms never hurts. The following heroes and heroines, despite their obvious blunders and Areas That Need Improving, provide the bibliophiles of the world a point of reference grounding the fantastic into the realistic.

  1. Matilda Wormwood from Matilda:

    Roald Dahl’s classic dark comedy follows the quirky narrative of a neglected little girl whose only solace in a family of imbeciles are her covert sojourns to the local library. Sweet little Matilda Wormwood piques the curiosity of her kindly teacher Miss Honey for her boundless intelligence and literary lusts, whose marginalization winds up with one of the most triumphant psychic revenges this side of Carrie. But nobody dies or receives grievous bodily injuries in her hilariously clever defense of bullied students, so the eponymous heroine makes for a perfectly lovely little role model.

  2. Belle from Beauty and the Beast:

    Many a budding young bibliophiliac girl (and probably a few comfortable boys) just loved themselves some Belle from Disney’s adaptation of an ancient European fairy tale. Stockholm Syndrome and unfortunate lessons in how domestic violence can be cured with true love (pro tip: it can’t) aside, her love of books, learning, and imagination, remains commendable. Even though the townsfolk devote an entire song to how totally freakish it is for a lady to enjoy a life of the mind — and allegedly sexy stalker Gaston tries to lure her away with talks of marriage — she sticks to what works best for her and dismisses their petty little judgments. There are just too many books and too little time to care!

  3. Beast from the X-Men series:

    OK, so technically he’s a Secret Avenger now, but shut up, fanboy. Probably the world’s most erudite little fuzzums (or at least the world’s most erudite little blue fuzzums), Hank McCoy sports a, well, beastly appearance proving that it’s stupid to judge one’s intelligence and worth on their externals. Despite living the at-once triumphant and tragic life of a superhero, he considers science and culture the most exciting of all. And all that book learnin’ goes directly toward making the world a more equitable place for his fellow mutants. Or, at least, he tries. Fun fact: Did you know that Hank McCoy was born in Illinois?

  4. Oscar de Leon from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

    The 2008 Pulitzer winner for fiction features a protagonist whose unabashed geekiness and idealism render him more charming than truly pathetic thanks to Junot Diaz’s deft pen. Despite the tragic fate that ultimately befalls him (whatever, it’s spoiled right there in the title), Oscar de Leon’s rabid enthusiasm for science fiction and fantasy is endearingly infectious. Even book-loving readers who quite loathe both genres can likely relate to the wonderfully dizzy emotions surrounding the discovery of brand new tropes and themes ripe for exploration and dissection.

  5. Jo March from Little Women:

    She may have come of age at a time when educated women were considered a lark — even the men in her life refer to her with masculine appellations and pronouns — but social expectations never once doused this fiery, spirited fan favorite. Feminist before feminism was a thing, Jo March (based somewhat on Pennsylvania author Louisa May Alcott) challenges social norms with her desire to fight alongside her father during the Civil War. Oh, and she’s kind of a giant book dork, too. Jo’s love of literature inspires her to write out plays for her sisters to perform, and she marries a professor who admires her wordy career aspirations, which also include working as an educator.

  6. Henry Bemis from the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last:”

    Because, if the world ended, only the most obsessed bibliophile would gleefully write off the apocalypse as the ultimate in catching up on back reading. Obsessed to the point of pathology, in this case. Bumbling Henry Bemis — played by the legendary Ohio actor Burgess Meredith — almost loses his bank teller position at the beginning of one of the most famous Twilight Zone shorts because he just can’t put a good (or, probably even a bad) book down. This addiction ultimately saves his life, though, when he locks himself in a bank vault for quiet reading time and survives a nuke (the 1950s, everyone!), only for, well, it might be an iconic final twist, but we love you too much to ruin it.

  7. Yomiko Readman from Read or Die:

    Whether one picks up the Read or Die novels, manga, or anime series (nobody can accuse creator Hideyuki Kurata of ignoring multiple media audiences), the woman codenamed “The Paper” universally stays true to the cause of bibliophilia. She loves books so much, she even telepathically manipulates the eponymous substance to do her bidding! That may sound like a totally doofus superpower, but seriously. Ever slice open your index finger on a slice of looseleaf? Imagine that on ALL THE BODY PARTS. And bulletproof. Not so totally doofus now, huh? Anyways, Yomiko Readman works for the British Library as a secret agent snatching up rare and important literary finds from the bad guys. Quite a dream gig for someone who loves the written word more than she does most people!

  8. Indiana Jones from the Indiana Jones series:

    Seeing as how he works as an archaeology professor when he’s not acting out the fantasies of every adventure enthusiast, it’s not an illogical jump to assume Harrison Ford’s iconic action hero enjoys picking up a book or two. Although with all that Nazi-and-Kali-cult smashing Indy’s gotta do, he probably has little time to hang up his fedora and whip, snuggle up next to the fire, and catch up on the ancient history and languages he might not know. He obviously did at some point, though, because all his fun times involve just as much mental as they do physical prowess.

  9. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series:

    Without super nerd Hermione Granger by his side, the beloved Harry Potter never could’ve ultimately vanquished Lord Voldemort’s attempts to Take Over The World. The girl hooked herself up with a watch that lets her stop time and take two classes at once, for Snape’s sake. That takes some serious dedication to absorbing up knowledge. Young girls who grew up with J.K. Rowling’s now-classic young adult series and harbored a love of learning in their hearts considered her a fabulous role model proving they could both kick butt and score straight As. When they weren’t ripping her apart for hooking up with Ron over Harry, anyway.

  10. Huey Freeman from The Boondocks:

    Cartoonist Aaron McGruder may write Huey Freeman as way more cynical and morose than a mere child ought to be, but his intelligence and insight make him a thoroughly compelling and interesting protagonist — one who still carries the same flaws as his fellow youth, though good luck getting him to come to terms with that. All his fascinating musings on race and class relations in America likely stem from his massive personal library and passion for staying updated on current events via newspaper. By contrast, little brother Riley, whom he still quite loves, shuns the intellectual life and prefers letting pop culture and negative stereotypes dictate his tastes and personality.

  11. Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

    Everyone who’s watched at least one Ninja Turtles episode or movie has their favorite, even if they’re too afraid of seeming like a massive geek for admitting which one. Often prone to Aykroydian streams of technical jargon, Donatello loves him some tinkering, though in some incarnations his inventions crumble more often than they actually work. Beyond this prowess with all things blinking, booping, and frequently binary, he definitely stands as the most learned of the pizza-loving bunch, whose brains have saved them from many a totally un-radical encounter with Krang or Bebop and Rocksteady. So the lesson here is read lots and lots. And, someday, you too might end up on the world’s most fearsome fighting team. Bo staff skills also help.

  12. Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:

    She’s basically the Belle of this upcoming generation and calls a library home — in the literal sense. As a magic practitioner, Twilight Sparkle often loses herself in her studies and rejects overtures of friendship many times for fear they might compromise, well, pretty much everything. But, like the show’s subtitle states, there’s plenty to be learned about the world from connecting with and loving others, which requires experience instead of printed-up pages. For bibliophiles who so often forget the importance of striking a balance, this lavender lady teaches some pretty useful little lessons.

  13. Egon Spengler from Ghostbusters:

    Played to maximum adorkability by the legendary Harold Ramis, badass scientist Egon Spengler served as the brainy foil to Peter’s smarm charm, Ray’s spastic enthusiasm, and Winston’s refreshingly wry normalcy. Decades of reading and writing about science — mostly parapsychology, in which he holds a doctorate — when blended with general awkwardness make him the Ghostbusters’ go-to guy when it comes to advice about “spores, molds, and fungi” and crossing the streams.

  14. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird:

    Harper Lee never set out to write a literary (and, later, cinematic) icon, but the calm, quiet dignity of this bookish lawyer has inspired readers for more than 50 years. He endures because he applies his prodigious studies and readings into fighting for social justice causes, even though the surrounding culture prides itself on racist and anti-intellectual ideologies. Even though he possesses some pretty lethal handgun skills, as evidenced when he puts a rabid dog out of its misery, all his most nail-biting fighting scenes go down peacefully in the courtroom.


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The 50 Best Books for the Unemployed

Being unemployed can be stressful, frustrating and depressing, especially in an economy where jobs are scarce, competition is fierce, and there doesn’t seem to be much change on the horizon…

While things may seem bleak, it’s important to keep your chin up and your motivation high if you’re going to make your way back into the working world or move from college into your first job. There is no arguing that unemployment stinks, but it can be an opportunity as well, a chance to reevaluate who you are, what you want in your career, learn more about and hone your abilities. These books will help you look at the silver lining of unemployment,and suggest that you spend your time away from work learning, growing and ultimately becoming a better employee.



Don’t sit around the house moping if you’re unemployed. Read these books to get inspired and reignite your drive to find work, start a business or be the successful person you know you can be.

  1. The Unemployed Millionaire: Escape the Rat Race, Fire Your Boss and Live Life on YOUR Terms! by Matt Morris: Once homeless and heavily in debt, Matt Morris knows what it’s like to be down and out. In this book, he shares how he turned his life around, created a new career and made millions, offering steps that could help inspire you to start your own business or break out of your unemployment slump.
  2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey: This classic book will show you some simple, but powerful, ways to be a better leader and employee and change how you see yourself and your life.
  3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss: Why work harder when you can work smarter? In this book, you’ll learn some tricks that will let you work less and live more when you start your own business.
  4. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson: If you’ve been throwing around the idea of starting your own business, this book is a must-read. It offers inspirational advice on everything from dealing with customers to effective time management.
  5. Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale: A motivational classic written by Boston-native Dr. Norman Peale, this book can help you to stop focusing on the negative in life and start seeing what good things you have going on. The attitude shift could be just the change you need to get your life back on track.
  6. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen: You’re only as successful as you allow yourself to think you’ll be, or that’s the lesson this book aims to teach. While it doesn’t promise success simply as a result of thought a la The Secret, it does show how changing your way of thinking can change your level of happiness, outlook on life and belief in yourself– all stepping stones to success in any facet of life.
  7. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson: Change is a fact of life, but so many of us have a hard time coping with it when it happens to us. You may no longer have your job, but this book will show you some powerful lessons that will help you deal with change, create new goals and find your new inner “cheese.” Johnson received his psychology bachelor from the University of Southern California and his M.D. degree from the Royal College of Surgeons.
  8. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Anthony Robbins: Whether you buy into the lessons espoused by motivational and self-help speakers or not, this book can help you to break out of an unemployment funk. How? By reminding you that no one can get you a new job, career or business but you.
  9. Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever by Jinny S. Ditzler: Parts of your year might have sucked pretty bad, but this book offers some hope that things can be better. Learn how to set goals, determine your core values and focus your energy where it matters most.
  10. What Should I Do With My Life? The Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question by Po Bronson: You might be sitting there right now wondering what you should do with your life. There are no easy or right answers, but this book shares some touching stories of others who were searching for and sometimes finding their true callings– an amazing source of inspiration for anyone feeling lost.

Just for the Unemployed


Learn more about dealing with unemployment and commiserate with others who’ve lost their jobs.

  1. The Adventures of Unemployed Man by Erich Origen, Gan Golan, Ramona Fradon and Rick Veitch: Taking a humorous look at unemployment, this graphic novel follows the hero Unemployed Man and his sidekick Plan B as they battle the villainous The Just Us League.
  2. iJobless: 50 Ways to Survive Unemployment by Jenny Holmes: Offering tips on lowering your monthly expenses, making money and staying motivated, this book aims to help you be, oddly enough, successful at being unemployed.
  3. $100K to Nothing: My Journey From a Six Figure Income to the Unemployment Line in the Worst Economy of Our Time by Dan Holt: A story that is all too common these days, Dan Holt lost his job in 2009 and has struggled to find a new one. In this book, he documents his experiences and shares advice that can help others in the same situation get back to work.
  4. Unemployment: The Shocking Truth of Its Causes, Its Outrageous Consequences And What Can Be Done About It by Jack Stone and Joe McCraw: Taking on the negatives of capitalism head on, this highly political read may not be for everyone, but for the unemployed it can help put a face on the many forces that helped contribute to job loss.
  5. Little Victories: Conquering Unemployment by Tom Brophy: Learn how to battle the depression and frustration that can come with unemployment – and celebrate the little victories that happen along the way – as you work your way back into a job with help from Department of Labor veteran Tim Brophy.
  6. The Unemployment Survival Guide by Jim Stringham and David Workman: While you might not feel that you’re going to get through being unemployed, you will, and this book will show you how, offering tips and tools to help you grow and learn while unemployed.
  7. Gainfully Unemployed: 17 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity While Looking for Work by Jonathan Wade: If you’re pulling out your hair, staying up all night and generally stressing out about unemployment, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Read this book to learn how to stay sane and keep busy while out of work.
  8. Landing on the Right Side of Your Ass: A Survival Guide for the Recently Unemployed by Michael B. Laskoff: You might be out on your ass from your last job, but this book shows you that it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. A veteran of downsizing, Laskoff (New York) shares the steps of grieving for a lost jobs and the process necessary to move on.
  9. Rebound: A Proven Plan for Starting Over After Job Loss by Martha I. Finney: Just like getting dumped, getting laid off can be an emotional and trying experience. In this book, you’ll find advice on protecting yourself, moving forward and finding a sexy new job to rebound with.
  10. Unemployment Boot Camp: Tactics for Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century by R. A. Long: Need some help kicking your unemployed butt into gear? Based on military-style thinking, this book will help you develop your own battle plans to survive and thrive during unemployment.
  11. The Healthcare Survival Guide, Cost-Saving Options for The Suddenly Unemployed and Anyone Else Who Wants to Save Money by Martin B. Rosen and M.D. Abbie Leibowitz: One of the biggest worries for many who have lost their jobs is how to keep up with health insurance without going broke. This book offers some great advice and information that can make that less of a worry, so you can concentrate on finding a job.


motivation job serach job hunthdpaperwall.com

Keeping your motivation levels high is key when looking for work, so give these books a read for a dose of inspiration that will help you push yourself on to bigger and better things.

  1. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz: This book teaches that a positive and optimistic mindset can go a long way, even when things seem at their worst. Learn how to turn your unemployment into an advantage and get motivated to meet your goals through this popular self-help read.
  2. 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler: Those in dire need of motivation should check out this book for advice on creating your own action plan and changing self-limiting behaviors that may be holding you back.
  3. Jobless: How to Quit Your Day Job and Start Your Climb to the Top by Alan De Keyrel: You’ve already got the lack of a day job part done, so now you can start working on climbing to the top with the help of this inspirational book.
  4. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell: You might think losing your job was a failure, but as this book will teach you it may simply give you the motivation and experience you need for future success.
  5. The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life by Laurie Beth Jones: Do you know what you want out of life? Out of work? In this book, you’ll learn how to figure out your life path and what the power of setting goals can offer to you in your professional life.
  6. Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed by Brian Tracy: If you’re unemployed, you’re probably not feeling that you’re really living up to your true potential. Yet this book offers up some ways that you can get back into the game and start using all those skills, even some you didn’t know you had, to find success in life and business.
  7. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath: Unemployment can make you feel weak and helpless, but if you want to get back into work, you’ve got to know your strengths. Use this book to figure out where your true gifts lie– you might just be surprised.
  8. Motion Before Motivation: The Success Secret That Never Fails by Michael J. Dolphies: The lesson of this book? All the planning, talking and thinking about doing things is great, but the only thing that really matters is what you do.
  9. Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams by Mike Dooley: This book asks readers to look inside themselves to find inspiration and spiritual guidance that can bring greater happiness and help you to more adeptly work towards meeting your goals in life, which in the short term might just mean finding a job.

Networking and Business

networking job searchmarcom-connect.com

These books offer help and assistance with finding success in business and meeting people who may be able to help you find work.

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: Whether you’re the CEO of a company or an unemployed person, this book is an essential read for anyone in the business world. First published in 1937, the book offers some fundamentals for understanding human nature that can make you more likeable – and ultimately more hirable.
  2. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino: Getting a job is really a matter of knowing how to sell yourself. In this book, you’ll get classic sales tips that may just help you finally find a new job.
  3. Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz: If you’ve always been the shy and retiring type, finding work can be doubly stressful. Luckily, there are books like this one that will teach even the shiest job seeker how to market themselves.
  4. Louder Than Words: Take Your Career from Average to Exceptional with the Hidden Power of Nonverbal Intelligence by Joe Navarro: Want to know if you’re doing well in an interview or not? You could learn volumes by learning to better read body language, a skill this book will help you to hone.
  5. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need by Harvey Mackay: While you might be pretty thirsty for work right now, this book still has some amazing networking tips to offer that can help anyone, even those already in desperate need of a job, make connections that can lead to employment, contract work and more.
  6. Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking by Tim Hurson: Tim Hurston shares some insights into what it takes to be a leading entrepreneur in this book, a great read for anyone considering starting their own business.
  7. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi: This book will help you learn some networking skills that could just land you a new job – or at least a few interviews.
  8. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini: If you want to get others to do as you wish, like hire you, you have to be a master of persuasion. Learn more about how persuasion works and how you can use that to your advantage in this book.
  9. Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt: Bob Clyatt worked hard and retired at the age of 42. Then, he lost much of his savings when the stock market tanked. In this book, he shares how he’s taken on part-time work– something the unemployed may want to consider as an option as well to help make ends meet.
  10. Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina: Personal development guru Steve Pavlina’s book will help you learn to create goals, take charge of your life, get motivated and work hard to get where you want in life.

Job Hunting

man-job-search-620jt100812Job hunting is rarely an entertaining activity, but it can be a lot more stressful when you’re unemployed. These books will show you how to take charge, impress employers and get back to work faster.

  1. What Color is Your Parachute? 2011: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles: Perhaps one of the most popular job hunting books of all time, here you’ll find powerful advice on every aspect of the job hunt, from the best way to find job openings to building a better resume.
  2. Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design by Laurence G. Boldt: Use this book to figure out what you want to do and how to actively take steps to make those career goals a reality.
  3. The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide: How to Find Hope and Rewarding Work, Even When ‘There Are No Jobs by Richard Bolles: Another great read from Richard Bolles, this book serves up some advice for job hunters who are desperately in need of some guidance when it comes to finding work.
  4. Work at Home Now: The No-Nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-Based Job by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren: Many people these days telecommute to work, and it may be possible for you to find a job like this as well. Learn more about home-based jobs and the best places to look for them in this helpful book.
  5. Powerful Unemployment: Practical and innovative ideas for staying motivated and having fun while looking for a new job by Sheila Boddy: This book contains a step-by-step guide that will take readers through the often scary waters of unemployment and give them the confidence and knowledge to find the opportunities they’ve been waiting for.
  6. Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today by Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry: The market is packed with job hunters, many of them just as qualified as you are. So how can you stand out? This book offers some tips and tools that can help separate you from the herd.
  7. How to Say It on Your Resume: A Top Recruiting Director’s Guide to Writing the Perfect Resume for Every Job by Brad Karsh: When was the last time your revised your resume? It might just need an update, and this book can help make sure that your new and improved version will be best it can be.
  8. Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job by Tony Beshara: Interviews are nerve-wracking, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth going through the process. In this book, help yourself to prepare for success in any interviewing situation.
  9. Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring: Take Charge of Your Career, Find a Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve by Ford R. Myers: Finding a job during an economic crisis is, well, scary. This book will show you the different rules for looking for work in an economic downturn and what you need to do to develop your career while you wait for work.
  10. The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search: The Proven Program Used by the World’s Leading Career Services Company by Orville Pierson: Make your job search a smarter one by using these helping tools that some of the top career services agencies employ.


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155 key words fpr resume and cover letter construction

Lost in translation…you failed at grasping English

As most adventurous travellers know, when exploring the far and remote corners of the world, it can be difficult to communicate clearly.

Try as we might to understand the local rhetoric and interact effectively, there’s still something to be said for those hilarious moments of misunderstanding.

One of the instances most easy (and most fun) to misinterpret?

Signage gone wrong.

Doug Lansky has collected the best signage fails from his travels around the world for Lonely Planet’s latest book. Pictured: a hotel sign points out the obvious in Austin, Texas

Although the prices are unclear, a Beijing cafe’s tasteless coffee option seems far less appetising

In Essex, England, this sign doesn’t do a very good job of keeping this top-secret location under wraps

And that is the topic of Lonely Planet’s latest book: Ultimate Signspotting: Absurd And Amusing Signs From Around The World.

For those who enjoy living life on the edge, this sign in Suzhou, China, is made for you

This sign in Rome, Georgia, has us asking: how much do new rainbows go for?

It’s clear from this Ambridge, Pennsylvania sign that Reverend John Ritter is one very content fellow

‘That is, new hilarious signs are going up all the time. At times, it seems like a race between the people who put up these ridiculous signs and those who try to photograph them.

‘Over the last 20 years, I’ve gathered well over 50,000 sign photos from well-travelled amateur and professional photographers.

‘Trying to decide which is unintentially funny enough to merit inclusion in a Signspotting book has been a challenge.

‘Trying to select favourites among those for this ‘ultimate collection’ has been downright unnerving.’

In Maui, Hawaii, the definition of the word ‘bottomless’ clearly means 65 feet

Slippery pedestrians are a problem when it rains, according to this grammar fail in San Francisco, California

A local dental clinic in Taipei, Taiwan sure doesn’t do much to assure nervous patients

In Dublin, Ireland, drivers are encouraged never to settle for second best

Ironically, the view of this New Hampshire sign is anything but clear

Commuters in Camebridge, Massachusetts, are warned of some major delays with this hilarious sign

Ears too floppy? Nose too long? According to this sign in Jaipur, India, there are people here to help


113 words for different things one could eat


These words generally end in “phagous“, from the Greek phagein, or “vorous“, from Latin vorare, both verbs meaning “to eat“. Which suffix you want to use depends on whether you feel like having souvlaki or spaghetti.



allotriophagy craving for strange foods
androphagy cannibalism
anthropophaginian cannibal
anthropophagous (again) eating humans
aphagia inability to eat or swallow
apivorous eating bees
arachnivorous feeding on spiders
autocoprophagy eating one’s own feces
autophagy feeding on body’s own tissues
baccivorous eating berries
batrachivorous frog-eating
bibliophagist one who devours books, literally or figuratively
calcivorous feeding on or living in limestone
cardophagus donkey; something that eats thistles
carnivorous eating flesh
carpophagous fruit-eating
cepivorous onion-eating
chthonophagia eating dirt
comburivorous consuming by fire
coprophagous eating feces
creatophagous carnivorous; flesh-eating
creophagous flesh-eating; carnivorous
detritivore animal that eats decomposing organic matter
dysphagia pathological difficulty in swallowing
endophagy cannibalism within a tribe; eating away from within
entomophagous eating insects
equivorous consuming horseflesh
exophagy cannibalism outside one’s own group
foliophagous eating leaves; eating folios of books
formivorous eating ants
fructivorous feeding on fruit
frugivorous eating fruit
fucivorous eating seaweed
galactophagist milk drinker
gamophagia destruction of one gamete by another
geophagy practice of feeding on soil; dirt-eating
glossophagine eating using the tongue
graminivorous feeding on grass or cereals
granivorous feeding on seeds
gumnivorous feeding on tree saps
herbivorous eating only plant matter
hippophagy feeding on horses
homnivorous eating humans
hylophagous eating wood
hyperphagia eating too much
ichthyophagous fish-eating
insectivorous eating insects
kreatophagia eating of raw meat
larvivorous feeding on larvae
lignivorous feeding on wood
limivorous eating mud
lithophagous stone-swallowing; rock-boring; eating rock
lotophagous feeding on lotuses; indolent; lazy; dreamy
mallophagous eating wool or fleece
meconophagist consumer of opium or heroin
meliphagous feeding upon honey
mellivorous honey-eating
merdivorous dung-eating
microphagous feeding on small creatures or plants
monophagous feeding on only one type of food
mucivorous feeding on plant juices
mycophagous eating fungus
myristicivorous feeding upon nutmegs
myrmecophagous feeding on ants
necrophagous feeding on the dead
nectarivorous feeding on nectar
nucivorous nut-eating
omnivorous eating anything; eating both plant and animal matter
omophagy eating of raw flesh as a ritual observance
onychophagist nail-biter
ophiophagous eating snakes
oryzivorous rice-eating
ossivorous feeding on bones
ostreophagous oyster-eating
ovivorous eating eggs
ovivorous eating sheep
paedophage eater of children
pagophagia eating trays of ice to help offset iron deficiency
panivorous bread-eating
pantophagy omnivorousness
phthirophagous lice-eating
phyllophagous leaf-eating
phytivorous feeding on plants
phytophagous feeding on vegetable matter
piscivorous fish-eating
placentophagy eating of the placenta
plantivorous plant-eating
plasmophagous consuming plasma
poephagous eating grass or herbs; herbivorous
poltophagy prolonged chewing of food
polyphagous eating many types of food
psomophagy swallowing food without thorough chewing
radicivorous eating roots
ranivorous eating frogs
rhizophagous root-eating
rhypophagy eating filth
sanguivorous blood-drinking
saprophagous feeding on decaying material
sarcophagous feeding on flesh; carnivorous
saurophagous eating lizards
scatophagous dung-eating
seminivorous seed-eating
stercovorous feeding on dung or excrement
thalerophagous feeding on fresh vegetable matter
theophagy sacramental consumption of a god
toxicophagous eating poison
toxiphagous poison-eating
univorous living on only one host or source of food
vegetivorous eating vegetables
vermivorous eating worms
xerophagy eating of dry food; fast of dry food in the week preceding Easter
xylophagous wood-eating
zoophagy eating animals
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100 Best Blogs for Journalism Students


With newspapers going under all over the nation, journalism is becoming an increasingly hard field in which to start a career as the number of opportunities in traditional media are rapidly dwindling. Journalism students shouldn’t despair just yet, however, as the web and other digital outlets are offering a host of new opportunities that may help fill the gaps left by the loss of many local papers and print magazines. Yet while new opportunities may be on the horizon for web-savvy journalists, that doesn’t mean that journalism has become any less competitive and to make it into a solid job, students will need to know more than just how to write well.

One way to get a leg up is by studying the trends, technologies, and intricacies of the modern world of journalism, a goal which is most easily accomplished by becoming an avid reader of journalism blogs. We’ve collected a few here that we think are essential reads for journalism students, an update on our original list from 2009, which includes some new names and faces as well as some perennial favorites that we think journalism students shouldn’t miss out on following.


Read up on journalism basics through the insights offered on these blogs.

  1. Poynter.: This organization’s blog is home to great news on all things journalism and media.
  2. Common Sense Journalism: Doug Fisher, broadcaster, newspaper reporter, and Senior Instructor at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, shares his thoughts on new media and traditional media alike on this site.
  3. Data Journalism Blog: Educate yourself on data-driven journalism when you check out this regularly updated, infographic-heavy blog.
  4. About.com Journalism: This blog is a great place to learn about everything from AP style to finding a job after graduation.
  5. journajunkie: Here, readers can find articles on a wide scope of journalism-related topics.
  6. Journalistics: Authored by Georgia-based blogger Jeremy Porter, this journalism blog focuses on social media, PR, media relations, and other modern issues in the profession.
  7. Covering Health: Health care is a big issue these days and this blog from the Association of Health Care Journalists offers tips and insights into covering it.
  8. MediaBistro: Read news about media issues, find tips, and even get job leads from this great blog.
  9. The Evolving Newsroom: Julie Starr shares her thoughts on the news business and newsrooms around the U.S. on this blog.


Read news about the news, or at least the people who report it, through these excellent blogs.

  1. Journalism.org: Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism shares data, analysis, news, and reports through this must-read blog.
  2. Editor & Publisher: Keep up with all the latest news about newspapers and digital publications around the world by following this blog, which is based in Irvine, CA.
  3. sans serif: Don’t limit your reading to only American topics. On this blog, you’ll learn about journalism in India, from who’s who to what’s working for papers.
  4. newsguild.org: Newspaper Guild and Communications Workers of America can find relevant news stories of interest through this blog.
  5. Media Guardian: Read up on media from across the pond in this Guardian-penned blog filled with the latest news.
  6. Adweek: This blog makes it simple to keep up with news in the press, television, technology, and advertising.
  7. Newspaper Death Watch: Sadly, newspapers are slowly dying out all over the U.S. Learn more about which ones have fallen on this somewhat macabre blog.
  8. Topix Journalism News: This aggregate blog brings together journalism stories from thousands of different sites.
  9. I Want Media: Read up on all the latest media news, from papers to movies, on this simple media-focused blog.
  10. Newspaper and Online News: The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, headquartered in South Carolina, maintains this blog, full of information not only about the organization but journalism as a whole.
  11. Alltop Journalism News: This blog aggregates journalism news from all over the web, bringing it together in one accessible place.


Hear from students, professors, and experts on journalism on this diverse collection of blogs.

  1. Bob Stepno’s Other Journalism: Professor Bob Stepno shares his thoughts with former Radford University Virginia students, colleagues, and the public on this blog.
  2. Jay Rosen’s Press Think: Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU in New York, offers up commentary on all things journalism (especially its struggle to survive in our digital world) on this site.
  3. Columbia Journalism Review: Head to this blog for a look at the world of journalism from all sides, courtesy of the students, professors, and professionals at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.
  4. Teaching Online Journalism: The web plays a key role in journalism these days, something you can learn more about from Professor Mindy McAdams via this blog.
  5. Nieman Journalism Lab: The Nieman Foundation at Harvard maintains this blog, full of journalism ideas, media updates, and more.
  6. Campfire Journalism: Professor Mark Berkey-Gerard teaches online and multimedia journalism courses at Rowan University, but even those not enrolled in his classes can take advantage of his expertise through this blog.
  7. andydickinson.net: Here you’ll find professor Andy Dickinson, an expert in digital and online journalism, talking about all kinds of digital media.
  8. JACC Blog: Read through this blog to learn about the present and future of journalism education at American community colleges.
  9. Innovation in College Media:This organization’s blog discusses some of the most pressing issues in college media, from content to design and everything in between.
  10. The Online Journalism Review:The Knight Digital Media Center, USC, and UC Berkeley in California all contribute to make this blog an informative place for any students or journalists looking to learn more about digital journalism.
  11. Jschool Student Blog: Students in journalism school in Australia team up to write great posts on life as students on this blog.
  12. CommPilings: The Annenberg School for Communication’s library shares resources, news, and alerts here.
  13. KDMC Blog: This site is the official blog of the Knight Digital Media Center, a great place for students to learn more about working with new media in journalism.
  14. University of Vermont Journalism Blog: Highlighting students and faculty, this Vermont university blog can give you a peek into life as a journalism student.
  15. BuzzMachine: Jeff Jarvis, an associate professor of journalism at CUNY, shares posts on everything from journalism education to new media and technology.
  16. Charlie Beckett: Charlie Beckett blogs for the London School of Economics and Political Science, touching on the intersection of journalism and society.

New Media

It’s hard to ignore the dominance of the web and other forms of new media in reporting today, so don’t. Instead, learn more about how to leverage these technologies to get your writing and reporting out there.

  1. Journalism 2.0: Mark Briggs writes and edits this blog that addresses the future of journalism and the growing number of entrepreneurial endeavors that are bringing it into the digital age.
  2. Contentious.com: Amy Graham shares her thoughts on communication in the digital age on this blog.
  3. Mashable: While not journalism-focused, this blog is still a must-read for anyone who wants to be at the cutting edge of social media and digital technology.
  4. Online Journalism Blog: Author of The Online Journalism Handbook Paul Bradshaw, along with the help of several other contributors, writes this blog on the new and sometimes confusing world of online journalism.
  5. MediaShift: This PBS blog offers news and commentary on the digital media revolution.
  6. Richochet: Chrys Wu has a passion for both writing and all things techie, which she blends into great informative articles on online journalism here.
  7. paidContent: Digital content is often where the money’s at these days for journalists who want to make a living. Learn more about this issue on this site, featuring a wide range of internet-focused articles.
  8. Publishing 2.0: Are you evolving with publishing? This blog will help you keep up with the rapidly changing world of new media in journalism.
  9. Reportr.net: Alfred Hermida comments on media, technology, and the impact of both on society (and vice versa) through this blog.
  10. Journerdism:Will Sullivan acts as your guide to mobile news and emerging tech ideas on this blog.
  11. Peter Kafka: Here, Peter Kafka shares insights into the latest digital technologies that will undoubtedly influence the future of journalism and media.
  12. 10,000 Words: Billed as the place where journalism and technology meet, this blog lives up to that, offering news on the latest web projects from media outlets around the nation.
  13. Media Lab: MediaShift and the Knight Foundation collaborate to write this blog on reporting, writing, and newspaper publishing in the digital age.
  14. Advancing the Story: Learn how the digital age is impacting broadcast journalism when you read this blog.
  15. CyberJournalist.net: Follow the latest and greatest news on how journalists are using the web and new technology to share information.
  16. @PatrickThornton: Technologist and journalist Patrick Thornton shares his thoughts on the future of journalism here.
  17. Interactive Narratives: This fascinating blog shows just what can be done to enhance a story when digital media are used.
  18. MediaFile: This Reuters blog reports on all things media, with a special focus on digital media.
  19. The Richard Jones Journalism Blog: Digital journalism is the focus on this journalist’s blog, with loads of updates and examples from around the world.
  20. Below the Fold: Digital communications strategist Gary Goldhammer is a great resource for learning about media in the digital age.


Who better to learn about journalism from than those who do it for a living? These blogs are all written by professionals in the field, offering insights into what they do, feel, and think on a daily basis.

  1. Howard Owens: Howard Owens has been in the news business for a long time, and in the digital media business longer than most. Check out this blog to learn more his experiences, politics, and other topics.
  2. Ryan Sholin: Explore the future of news with former journalist and current product manager Ryan Sholin.
  3. Abbey Anne’s Blog: Fresh out of college, this young journalist shares her travels, experiences, and more though her (somewhat hard to read) blog.
  4. DigiDave: David Cohn has written for a number of leading publications, but some of his most passionate pieces are found right here, focusing on the intersection between media and technology.
  5. Kelly Roche: Videographer and journalist Kelly Roche shares a wealth of local news on her blog.
  6. SteveOuting.com: This journalist shares his thoughts on the future of news and media, as well as other topics, on this site.
  7. One Man and His Blog: Adam Tinworth writes about the intersection of journalism, publishing, social media, and technology.
  8. Steve Yelvington: Newspaper journalist and media expert Steve Yelvington shares his thoughts on building better online media for news.
  9. The Linchpen: Greg Linch blogs about journalism, technology, and education on this site.
  10. Martin Stabe: Get a UK-centric look at the world of new media and online journalism from Martin Stabe, a London-based journalist.
  11. MatthewIngram.com: Learn more about media, technology, business, and the web from senior GigaOm wrier Mathew Ingram.
  12. Sean Blanda: Sean Blanda, one of the three co-founders of Technically Media, focuses on digital media, journalism, technology, and other hot topics on this personal blog.
  13. Death Reporting: Reporter and editor Mark Scahver writes about journalism, research, technology, and other relevant topics here.


Pictures are worth a thousand words, right? Learn more about what goes into creating some of journalism’s most iconic images.

  1. Robb Montgomery:International journalist Robb Montgomery shares his expertise on photography, editing, and digital technology on this blog.
  2. Multimedia Shooter: This blog offers instruction on shooting photos and video that tell a story, as well as reporting on some great job openings.
  3. VideoJournalism: Think about a story visually with a bit of help from this video journalism blog.
  4. SnappedShot: Every day you can glimpse an amazing news image on this photo blog.
  5. Maysun Photographer: Spanish-Portuguese freelance photographer Maysun shares images, essays, and more that can help you learn more about the profession.
  6. Lens Culture Weblog: Explore the impact of visual images through this blog, sharing amazing stories and updates on photojournalists from around the world.
  7. Mastering Multimedia: Multimedia producer Colin Mulvany blogs about photography, videography, and more on this site.


Keep in touch with leading media groups and organizations through these blogs.

  1. The Society of Professional Journalists Blog Network: Head to this site to read blogs from a range of professional journalists and writers.
  2. Freepress: This organization is dedicated to reforming media and ensuring democracy in the U.S.
  3. OPA Blog: The Online Publishers Association blog is a great place to read more about digital journalism.
  4. Editors Weblog: The World Editors Forum maintains this blog, full of interesting news stories on journalism, digital media, and more.
  5. Reporters Committee: Supporting freedom of the press, this organization reports on major cases around the nation where that freedom has been challenged.

Politics and Criticism

These blogs take a hard look at journalism and the way it interacts with politics.

  1. Adrian Monck: Blogger and broadcast journalist Adrian Monck works at the World Economic Forum these days, and uses his blog to highlight major problems he sees both with media and in world economics.
  2. Reflections of a Newsosaur: Veteran media executive Alan Mutter shares his perspective on where news-gathering companies are headed on this blog.
  3. Jon Slattery: U.K.-based freelance journalist Jon Slattery uses his blog as a platform for sharing media criticism from a British perspective.
  4. Save the Media: Journalist Gina Chen shares ideas and commentary on the dying news industry.
  5. PR Watch: The Center for Media and Democracy based in Wisconsin shares updates on the media in politics and controversial issues here.
  6. On the Media: Readers will find a wealth of commentary on all forms of media on this blog.
  7. Breitbart Big Journalism: One of several blogs on this site, this blog touches on political topics in journalism.
  8. Rhetorica: On Rhetorica, readers will find thoughtful commentary on the intersection between politics and journalism.
  9. County Fair: This Media Matters for America blog reports news and media criticism for readers.
  10. Neiman Watchdog Blog: This blog encourages reporters to ask questions and get straight answers on the tough issues.

Investigative Journalism

These blogs show the importance and difficulty that comes along with investigative journalism.

  1. Center for Investigative Reporting: This blog shares investigative reporting stories from around the world, which makes for some pretty inspiring reading.
  2. AnalyticJournalism.com: Learn tips and tools for getting your story straight (and coming up with a good story to start with) on this crime-focused blog.
  3. The Scoop: Get the scoop on investigative and computer-assisted reporting from Derek Willis here.


Need a few laughs? These blogs offer it up.

  1. Overheard in the Newsroom: This blog catalogs some of the ridiculous and funny things that are said in newsrooms.
  2. Stuff Journalists Like: Entertaining and interesting, this blog pokes fun at and highlights stuff that journalists will undoubtedly agree is pretty cool.

Citizen Journalism

You don’t need a journalism degree to report the news these days. Learn more about citizen journalists from these blogs.

  1. The Editorialiste: Blogger Andrew Nusca shares his thoughts on the citizen journalist phenomenon here.
  2. Independent Media Center:Learn more about independent media outlets and the news they report on this blog.
  3. The NewsMeBack Blog: This citizen journalism blog shares great books, interviews, articles, and more.
  4. The Citizen Journalist’s Coach:Susan Carson Cormier is a founder of the National Association of Citizen Journalists and a coach, offering advice and guidance for anyone interested in citizen journalism.
Image courtesy

C’mon, Get Happy: 7 Happy Expressions Defined

Happy as a clam

happy-as-a-clamCute as they are, clams are not the most emotive creatures in the animal kingdom, so why do we say happy as a clam? Some have speculated it’s because a partially opened clam shell resembles a smile. But the expression is a shortening of the longer happy as a clam in mud at high tide or happy as a clam at high water, both of which were in usage by the mid-1800s and serve to mean “happy as a critter that’s safe from being dug up and eaten.” The longer expressions evoke a sense of relief more than the shorter happy as a clam, which is widely used to mean “extremely happy.”

Happy hour

happy-hourPeople were using the word happy to mean “intoxicated” as early as the mid-1600s, alluding to the merrymaking effect of alcohol. But the phrase happy hour didn’t catch on until the early 1900s. This expression originally referred to a time on board a ship allotted for recreation and entertainment for a ship’s crew. Nowadays the expression refers to cocktail hour at a bar, when drinks are served at reduced prices. This definition caught on around the era depicted in the well-lubricated offices of TV’s Mad Men.



slaphappyAround the time of World War II, the word happy began appearing in words to convey temporary overexcitement. Slaphappy is one of these constructions, suggesting a dazed or “happy” state from repeated blows or slaps, literal or figurative. Slaphappy can mean “severely befuddled” or “agreeably giddy or foolish” or “cheerfully irresponsible.”



trigger-happyMuch like slaphappy, the happy in trigger-happy indicates a kind of temporary mental overstimulation. But in this construction, happy means “behaving in an irresponsible or obsessive manner.” The term trigger-happy entered English in the 1940s with the definition “ready to fire a gun at the least provocation.” Over time, it has taken on figurative senses including “eager to point out the mistakes or shortcomings of others” and “heedless and foolhardy in matters of great importance.”



happy-go-luckyThe word happy comes from the Old Norse happ meaning “chance” or “luck.” The wildcard nature of chance is reflected in the wide range of words that share this root. While the adjective happy-go-lucky, meaning “trusting cheerfully to luck” or “happily unconcerned or worried,” is widely used in positive contexts, its etymological cousin haphazard, carries a more negative connotation. The expression happy-be-lucky entered English slightly earlier than happy-go-lucky, but fell out of use in the mid-1800s.

Happy medium

happy-mediumThe phrase happy medium refers to a satisfactory compromise between two opposed things, or a course of action that is between two extremes. The notion of the happy medium is descended from an ancient mathematical concept called the golden section, or golden mean, in which the ratios of the different parts of a divided line are the same. This term dates from the 1600s, though is still widely used today.

Happy camper

happy-camperA happy camper is a person who is cheerful and satisfied, although the expression is frequently used in negative constructions, as in “I’m not a happy camper.” The word camper was widely used to refer to a soldier or military man when it entered English in the 1600s. It took on a more generic sense of one who camps recreationally in the mid-1800s, paving the way for the expression happy camper to emerge in the 1930s. Interestingly, use of the phrase happy camper skyrocketed in the 1980s.

Source  and images

How English sounds to Americans

American Radio

(opens in another window but stay on the page for the videos that follow)

How English sounds to Americans

This reminds me of a previous hilarious post:

Yes, do learn the language

You think you do understand and you are understood by e-e-everyone. Think again ;)

Mayday, mayday


Do you speak English?


Ze breakfast in ze evening


The good old

The Italian Man Who went to Malta


When I get home I’ll get a massage from the answering machine,

Why is Y Sometimes a Vowel?


Written by Arika Okrent

A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y.

  • You might have learned it as a chant, a song, or a simple declaration, but this is how you learned the vowels of English.
  • You may have wondered, why is Y so unsure of itself?
  • Can’t we just decide what it is?
  • Why is Y a “sometimes” vowel?

Because writing is not the same thing as speech. While we casually refer to letters, which are written symbols, as vowels or consonants, the concepts of vowel and consonant properly belong to the domain of speech. In general terms, a consonant is a speech sound formed by some kind of constriction or impeding of air flow through the vocal tract, and a vowel lets the air flow freely through. The letter Y can stand for either of these types of sounds.

In “yes,” Y is representing a consonant, and in “gym” it is representing a vowel.

In fact, due to the imperfect match between writing and speech, there are other “sometimes” vowels:

  • W is a consonant in “we” and part of a diphthong vowel in “now.
  • H is a consonant in “hat” but what is it in “ah“? It’s part of the representation of a different vowel sound; compare it with “a.” If we look hard enough, we can even find examples of “sometimes” consonants.
  • What sound does the O represent in “one“?
  • What sound does the U represent in “united“? They are consonant+vowel combinations ‘wuh’ and ‘yu.’

A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y is not a bad rule of thumb.

Most of the time a spoken vowel will be represented by one of those written forms. And Y swings between vowel and consonant more than other swing letters. But it’s worth remembering that letters are not speech sounds. They are lines on a page, pixels on a screen that nudge us, quite imperfectly, toward the sounds of the things we say.


9 Ways to Laugh

1. Chortle


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


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.



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.



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


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


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


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


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.”

Source and images

Essential Sites for Writers


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!


Edited by Zoe

600 free books for kindle iphone ipadfree-books2


  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


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