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How to greet someone you have not seen for a long time

Hi! I haven’t seen you in a long time! How have you been? Heyyy! I haven’t seen you in ages! How are you doing? Hi! I haven’t seen you in years! Where have you been? Hi Sam. Long time, hanh? Good to see you. Hi! I don’t see you much around here anymore. Where have … Continue reading

‘Half past seven’ or ‘7:30 a.m.’? Expressing time

Rule: Spell out the time of day in text even with half and quarter hours. Example: It was almost half past six when she got the first call from the press. Rule: With o’clock, the number is always spelled out. Example: The show begins at seven o’clock in the evening. Rule: Use numerals to express … Continue reading

Say NO to ‘free gifts.’ Avoid redundancy

What’s wrong with the following sentence? ‘She thinks these steps will be adequate enough to ensure security of the students.’ The error lies in using adequate and enough together. This makes it redundant. Redundant means repeating something and therefore making it unnecessary. Here are some examples of redundancy: žfree gift (aren’t gifts always supposed to … Continue reading

Have you said ‘hello’ yet to your Googlegängers?

Try Googling your name. All the people who come up in the search who share your name are your Googlegängers. This word has been coined by fusing the word google, now pretty much synonymous with the concept of Internet searching and the word dopplegänger, which means ‘double-goer’ and usually used to describe someone who looks … Continue reading

‘Apply to’ or ‘apply for’?

Apply to Use this when you are putting yourself forward as a candidate for something, like a course of study, or a job. You apply to graduate school. You apply to a company for employment. You apply to a bank’s loan department for a loan. Apply for Use this if your intention is to obtain … Continue reading

‘Drop’ and ‘plunge’ and ‘nosedive’: words to describe falling temperatures

How would you describe a sudden fall in temperature? Here are some words that might help: Plummet Temperature in the region plummets as polar storm sets in. Drop Temperature drops to minus 36 in Toronto. Nosedive Residents woke up to brutal cold after temperature in this region nosedived overnight. Dip Arctic blasts causes temperatures to … Continue reading

percent or per cent?

Percent is one word in American English, while outside the US, most publications prefer the two-word version (per cent). Choosing between them is a matter of preference, but make sure you are consistent in your choice.


Have you ever watched an entire season of ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘House of Cards’ on Netflix at one go?  That’s binge-watching. Binge-watch: to watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming; in other words, marathon viewing of several or entire seasons of shows. You may … Continue reading

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