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Cool Out of Office Message Examples

Sometimes your position is so crucial that people will need to have someone to turn to in your absence. When that’s the case, it’s often best to keep things professional by telling people when you’ll return and who they can contact in your absence. But, if your situation is a bit less formal, you can also have some fun. I’ll be out of the office until Monday, 24th July. If your message is urgent, please reach out to the lovely and talented Bob Smith at bob@domain.com. If you have breaking…

Make realistic, specific goals when learning a language

You have decided to learn another language. Now what? Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve and by when? Our teachers found: “Language learning is best when broken down into manageable goals that are achievable over a few months. This is far more motivating and realistic.” You might be feeling wildly optimistic when you start but aiming to be fluent is not necessarily the best idea. We generally recommend making these goals tangible and specific: “Why not set yourself a target of being able to read a newspaper article…

Old Dictionary, New Words

As you know, the English language is an evolving, ever-changing construct. The words we speak and write can change in meaning, become forgotten, or morph into something quite different. This is one of the reasons that language, and linguistics, is such a challenging discipline. Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the leading resources for English, officially added 840 words in September 2018. While not all the words are new in other cultures, or among those of us who use slang and abbreviated terms, they are certainly new to the dictionary. The words…

What PS means and How to use it correctly in your email

What Is the Meaning of PS? PS stands for postscript. It comes from the Latin ‘postscriptum’, which literally means “written after.” A postscript is an additional thought added to letters (and sometimes other documents) that comes after it has been completed. Here’s a tip: People wonder—does the PS come before or after the signature? Since a postscript is an addition that comes after a letter is completed, it should always follow the signature. In the days of handwritten and typed letters, we often found ourselves remembering something we wanted to…

The history of language

  Words on the brain: from 1 million years ago? All social animals communicate with each other, from bees and ants to whales and apes, but only humans have developed a language which is more than a set of prearranged signals. Our speech even differs in a physical way from the communication of other animals. It comes from a cortical speech centre which does not respond instinctively, but organises sound and meaning on a rational basis. This section of the brain is unique to humans. When and how the special…

“I have a good news.” – The reason why this sentence in incorrect

  It’s grammatically incorrect and sounds awkward to native English speakers. The word “news” is one of those words that sounds plural (meaning there’s more than one) but is actually singular (there’s only one). It’s called a mass noun and is usually used with a singular verb. In English, most nouns add “-s” or “-es” to the end of the word to make it plural; cat becomes cats, house becomes houses. Sometimes, the entire word changes in the plural: mouse becomes mice, goose becomes geese. Some words can be plural…

How to write the perfect Christmas Card

Aside from other important holiday to-do’s like taking a family Christmas photo and getting your shopping done, another significant item on your Christmas checklist is your annual Christmas card. This season, we’re here to help you get your Christmas cards signed, sealed and delivered. Our guide will help you create the perfect Season’s greetings for everyone on your list. The last thing you need to worry about is what to write in your Christmas cards! What to Write In a Christmas Card? = Start your Christmas card message with a…

The importance of food in language development

It’s difficult to overestimate the impact of food on the development of modern languages. The word for the cereal we eat in the morning is derived from Ceres – the Greek goddess of agriculture – while dinner originates from ‘disner’ in Old French, which in turn stems from the Gallo-Romance ‘desjunare’, meaning ‘to break one’s fast’. Food has also infiltrated many aspects of modern communication, with a multitude of common phrases and sayings derived from foods. Even the word ‘food’ itself can be used to describe something that provides mental…

The value of official language exams and certificates

If you are learning a foreign language, have you considered sitting an official exam? An official certificate is a mark of quality and shows that you have achieved a certain level in the language you are learning. This means that universities and employers can be confident in your ability. Exam preparation courses and official certificates are hugely popular among learners of English. For example, IELTS, TOEIC, TOEFL and the Cambridge certificates (FCE, CPE, CAE, etc) are seen as an important professional step and are highly sought-after by employers. You can…

Why Learn English Through Songs and Music?

So what is it about songs that make them such effective English language learning tools? * It works. There is considerable scientific evidence that demonstrates how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary and improve spelling. Then there is the so-called “Mozart Effect”, the concept that listening to classic musical boosts the performance of mental tasks like learning. * Everyday language and colloquial speech. Songs and music almost always contain a lot of useful vocabulary, phrases and expressions. And since the intended audience is native speakers, songs…