Word Focus: "Young"

Hi again! This time let me tell you all some synonyms of or related to the word ‘young’. 
  1. little/ small (adjective): children below the age of 6
  2. teenage (noun): someone between 13-19 years old
  3. adolescent (noun): someone who developing into an adult
  4. youthful (adjective): looking young
  5. kid (noun): a young person (informal)
  6. teenager (noun): someone who is between 13 and 19
  7. youth (noun): a man or boy between 15 and 25 (slightly having negative connotation as it refers to a young man involved in fighting or crime)
  8. minor (noun): a young person who isn’t yet legally adult

(source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English)

Speaking about Apostrophe: Thanks VS Thank's

Howdy everybody! Sunny Monday morning fuels me to type something on my blog.  I feel like my brain gets overflowing with plenty scintillating ideas to write. How about you?
It seems like I’m so in the mood to write grammar-related problems lately. I don’t know why and please don’t ask. Perhaps I miss proofreading my former students compositions and of course my college classmates’ final projects. Sometimes  a part of me whined why they made such a great number of grammatical errors, misspellings, etc. The other part of me, however, enjoyed  it to a certain extent. I’d better stop hashing my own past ‘misery’ now. Haha…
Ok guys, onto business! Reading the whole title above provides enough hints about what we are about to discuss here. We’re talking about how important a punctuation mark named ‘apostrophe’.
First thing first, you have to know how an apostrophe looks like. It looks like a comma but it ‘flies’ in the air, unlike comma which loves to stay in the bottom. 
So, what’s the difference between the two words above, “thanks” and “thank’s”? As you notice, there’s an apostrophe and it makes the whole meaning completely different.

Before proceeding to the deeper part of discussion, let me tell you that the apostrophe has three major functions:
(…) it marks the possessive form of nouns and some pronouns, the contraction of two words, and the omission of sound within a word (Thomas S. Kane in ‘The Oxford Guide to Writing: A Rhetoric and Handbook for College Students’)
Back to the duel “thanks” VS “thank’s”, so here is the question; is the apostrophe really needed here? My answer is NOT. The presence of the apostrophe is absolutely not needed, in fact it creates misunderstanding. What I mean by misunderstanding here is that the apostrophe followed by -s may be interpreted as:

THANK’S — the contracted version of THANK IS or THANK HAS
But if what we want to do is thanking people for doing good deeds for us, the correct option is “THANKS”, NOT “THANK’S”.

Thesaurus: Say 'Goodbye' to Dull Writing

Basically, bloggers are writers. Yes, we are writers. Everybody is and can be a writer if they want to. And it is better for us -bloggers- to master some of writing techniques and methods. It sounds too complicated, I know, but believe me it will pay someday. 

The way we arrange words and the style we use to compose a piece of writing  are equally great tools to attract more visitors and readers. Some visitors may find your  writing style cool and bookmark your blog just to pay a visit on your blog over and over again. So it gets easier for you to attract more readers if your writing is fresher and less monotonous. 
Writing a blog in our mother tongue or first language is already challenging. Sure we can imagine how challenging it is to write a blog in a language other than our first language, in this case Indonesian (because I was born Indonesian). 

As for me, I always try to write in English on this blog and on my two other blogs (my Korean blog which I had abandoned and a spiritual blog). The problem I encounter at times is lack of vocabulary. Yes, I’m quite sure all of us have experienced this ‘ordeal’. It is somewhat tormenting to read an article with such a monotonous style, only using a certain group of words and never gives some new atmosphere. And what hurts more is to know that that article belongs to us!

Taking myself as an example, when I started learning how to write in English I always used the word ‘good’ to describe a  positive trait or characteristic that something or someone has. But what I don’t know is that word is much too general and using it all the time throughout our writing is ‘killing’ our readers slowly with boredom. So instead of always saying ‘good’, I can say ‘excellent’, ‘great’, ‘admirable’, ‘agreeable’, ‘kind’, ‘nice’, ‘pleasant’, ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, ‘superb’, and so on.

So this is what I usually do to freshen my writing a bit. After typing and publishing my post, I sometimes proofread and criticize it as if I were someone else who happened to be reading my post.  Positioning ourselves as our blog readers can be advantegous because we at the very least try to know how they think and digest what we already wrote. As I spot a hackneyed word or phrase (‘hackneyed’ means ‘repeated too often’ just like the word ‘good’), I resort to a thing called THESAURUS. No no no…it’s not another newly-discovered dinosaur species whose fossil was just dug by a bunch of scientists. 

Thesaurus is a book, looking like a dictionary but only containing a list of synonyms (and sometimes antonyms). Mine is The New International Webster’s Thesaurus. It cost really cheap and will not cost you a fortune. So don’t expect to find words meaning in a thesaurus. You’ll never find it even until hell freezes over, I can guarantee that , folks. 

A thesaurus is a savior that just rescues you from a calamity called ‘being labelled an uncreative blogger’. In case you get bored and get sick of using one particular word for a thousand times, try to find the synonym in your thesaurus. 

Before you complain about where and how to buy it, let me tell you that  by default you can actually find thesaurus in your Microsoft Word! I said ‘by default’ since you don’t have to install it beforehand. It’s already embedded in Microsoft Word. 

Suppose you have no idea about how to make use of the thesaurus featured in Microsoft Word (MW), kindly follow these simple steps:
  1. after opening MW, rightclick on the empty white worksheet stretched before you,
  2. locate ‘synonyms‘ in the option list, and drag your mouse to the left,
  3. voila! You already find thesaurus! 
  4. simply click on it and a ‘research‘ tab will pop out in the right window pane,
  5. type the word you wish to find its synonyms inside the ‘search for’ box,
  6. make sure your thesaurus is English, not France or Spanish,
  7. click the green arrow icon or press ‘enter‘,
  8. appears a list of synonyms and you’re ready to choose which of the words suits your preference best.
To make sure you’re using the right word in the right context, don’t forget to check it in your reliable dictionary. No money to buy a dictionary? Try to download a free e-dictionary to be installed on your PC or cell phone right here. So, what’re you waiting for? Let’s start writing now, people!

(image cred
it: http://media.merchantcircle.com/299163/Pen%20writing_full.jpeg)

On Failure

This isn’t the article I promised but I guess it’s worthpublishing as well. I accidentally found this on my facebook favorite quote. I don’t even remember I already wrote that. As the quote is also about affecting our spirit or soul, I think publishing it here is not a betrayal towards the blog’s major theme.

One great source of failure is found in a lack of concentration of purpose. There will be adverse winds in every voyage, but the able seaman firmly resists their influence, while he takes advantage of every favorable breeze to speed him on his course. So in our aims and pursuits we shall find much to counteract them, much to draw our attention from them, and, unless we are armed with a steadfast purpose, that can subordinate the lesser to the greater, that can repel hindrances, resist attractions, and bend circumstances to our will, our efforts will not be crowned with success.

Assalamualaikum, readers!

It’s always nice to greet people for the first time. And speaking of ‘first’, this is what I’m about to tell you.
I got inspired to write this blog after reading Umar Sahid’s messages in my Facebook inbox every other day or so. I plan to fill this blog with his spiritually inspiring articles, which he’d sent me since a few months ago. While I was writing this very post, I was also waiting for his approval. This is for the sake of courtesy.
I may publish the articles without telling Umar Sahid but I prefer telling him because what I’m going to publish is his writing. But here I’d like to tell you that his writing was originally written in Indonesian and I wanted to translate and rewrite it in English, with my own style of course. Basically, however, I’ll do my best to get the message across without having to be someone else. 
As soon as Umar Sahid gives his consent, you all can read great articles here.

Monetizing Your English Grammar and Writing Skills

When someone is pretty much dissatisfied with their current income or just finds himself sacked owing to the crisis, the idea of getting a side job is naturally tempting. No one can resist extra income, can they?

What I’m trying to write is my own personal experience about how to make some money from my writing skills.
Just several days ago, I stumbled upon a site which is aimed at providing a virtual hub of freelance jobs. It was such a divine coincidence as I was also looking for a job that is relatively easy to get. And freelance job sounded like a perfect answer to my prayer. No complicated recruitment process, no applying. What I need to do is just sign up. Signing up enables us to bid any freelance posted jobs on the site. Promote ourselves, fix a decent service rate, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get some hirers trying to employ you. But of course, we have to determine what kind of expertise we have. I chose writing, blogging, copywriting, translating as my areas of expertise. That simple.
Now I’m engaged in a article writing job. I’ll get paid $2.5 per article I manage to make. and that was just a starting price. I am promised to get paid more in case I can improve my quality in the future.  I just started and don’t really enjoy the financial benefit yet as this is my debut work.

Hope I can make considerable sum of money by doing this! Dreaming of purchasing a new laptop!

Grammarless Speaking

This has been my source of curiosity which I always keep in mind. I have been learning English for years and I have observed some of my classmates, the students I taught, or even myself on how to acquire speaking skills. Sometimes I encountered some learners able to speak fast, seemingly fluent, very native-like at a glance. Nonetheless, when we try to rewind (suppose we record utterances they spoke), we are likely to discover some fundamental grammatical slips, errors, or mistakes that should have been able to be avoided by a student at such level (university level, to be exact). The opposite case is that there are folks who look so cautious while speaking, which finally results in halted, unsmooth speech.It has been a source of debate since long time ago, I guess, whether grammatical accuracy is compulsory in our speaking or not.
Now, I bring the debate here, right on this very post. On one hand, some people are inclined to say that in order to speak fluently and naturally, we must ignore  or at least don’t have to pay attention to grammatical rules and restrictions. On the other hand, the others say quite different an opinion, grammar is needed under any circumstances, including speaking.
So, what about you, readers? Do you really think grammar is important in speaking or not?

Dictionary: How Important Is It for You?

Being a freshman was I at that time. Tons of tasks, piles of assignments, I felt like my body was almost scattered all over. What I still recall was my reluctance to bring a dictionary along. I was an enthusiast learner but when it came to bringing the thick heavy dictionary, I gave up, almost! 
One of my lecturers, though, required all of the students taking his class to  bring the dictionary they have at home or boarding house along. And it was such a burden for me and for any other students as he expelled those who didn’t have it with them from the class. It was humiliating, even only to imagine. I witnessed some classmates were busily borrowing some idle dictionaries at the library  or dictionaries belonging to their friends whenever they realized they forgot taking their dictionary with them. Being expelled rudely from the class wasn’t an option so they’d do anything to escape the public defamation.
These days, however, as I started to teach, I’ve begun to understand why a dictionary is just like a bible or Quran for any of language learners. Dictionary is simply beneficial for us and there’s no doubt about that! In spite of its bulky size, dictionary gives more than we expect to get. Thanks to my lecturer, mr. Ahmad Sofwan, who used to remind us of the importance of dictionary.
I myself never suggest buying a pocket dictionary for those who are seriously eager to learn language, especially English. Pocket-size dict is relatively unburdening for us to bring along anywhere everywhere. The completeness of such pocket dictionary is definitely questionable. So my motto is the bigger, the better.
So far, I’ve purchased some dictionaries, but the one I like most is Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English I just bought last December 2007. Unhappily, the CD software wasn’t compatible with my current operating system, Windows Vista. It’s only for Windows XP and the earlier versions of Windows.
But now thanks to some application developers who are voluntarily giving away their works in the Internet, I can get some amazingly useful e-dictionaries, which almost all students love (because they’re free of charge). Some limitations exist but don’t worry they’re freewares you can use once and for all. Some applications are demo, meaning they’re usable within a certain period of time only. After that, you must purchase codes to activate it. And this is not cool! 
I experimented with some freewares and happened to find these two. The first is Vikrant P. Chavan’s English mobile e-dictionary . The best thing you can get here is its compatibility which encompasses a wide variety of Java platformed mobile phones. So say goodbye to incompatibility issues. You can purchase any new mobile phone you want but can still  have this dictionary embedded in your new phone. Sounds cool, huh?

If you don’t have it yet on your phone, click here to download. After downloading and saving the jar. file (NOT the jad. file) on the hard disk of your computer, simply transfer it to your memory card and install it there, to be safe.
The second is WordWeb, a free mobile monolingual English dictionary. It’s small in size but brings you abundant sources of English learning. Install it on your PC or laptop or netbook, just in case you need it when you have to write English essays or compositions. Or for a blogger who blogs in English like me, this e-dictionary is half of my life. It’s practical and time-saving. With some clicks and typings, I get what I want. ^_^

Top 20 Simple Korean Expressions

Suppose there’s a chart for the most widely and frequently used Korean expressions, I”ll contribute these as the nominees ^_^

  • The first is 사랑합니다 (love you): I’ve watched tons of Korean dramas and this is the word I love to hear.
  • 잘했어요 (good/great): I first knew this as I got my quiz answer sheet. I could answer almost all the questions correctly and my teacher wrote this on my answer sheet.
  • 반갑습니다 (nice to meet you): Say this when we meet someone for the first time after introduction.
  • 안녕하세요? (how’re you?):  The other version of 안녕 하십니까?
  •  실례합니다 ((excuse me): I heard this when 이수정 (하지원- in Memories of Bali) wanted to end the conversation with  정재민 (조인성)
  • 감사합니다 (thanks): It’s another version of 고맙습니다
  • 고마워() (thanks): You can leave the ending 요 or simply say 고맙다
  • 미안합니다 (sorry): the formal version of 미안해(요)
  • 어서오세요 (welcome): A host/ hostess says this to his/her guests
  • 어떻게 지내세요? (how’s it going?): Ask this to someone you haven’t met for a long time.
  • 잘지내요 (allright): this is the answer. You can say the same with interrogative intonation to ask how someone’s going.
  • 또마나요 (see you/ take care): To say good bye when we part.
  • 죄송해요 (excuse me/ pardon me-when you cause inconvenience to someone else): I saw 이수정 (하지원) says this when she meets 정재민 (조인성) at night.
  • 괜찮아요 (fine/OK) : Say this when someone just fell down or gets hurt. There’s a song in 18 vs 29 using this word as the chorus, too!
  • 안돼요 (don’t!-to prohibit someone doing something): 강하나 (played by 김아중) in 200 Pound Beauty screams this when a producer wants her to get some nose job!
  • 들어오세요 (come in): If you’re sitting inside a room, say this to someone outside to come in.
  • 들어가세요 (come in): if you’re outside of the room, and you want someone to come in, say this. 
  • 알았지 (got it?-to make sure someone agrees with you): 강혜원 (한은정) in Full House says this as she wants to make sure the hesitant 이영재(정지훈) not to stay away from her anymore.
  • 싫어 (no way/ I don’t like): After being kissed not on her free will by 정재민, 최영주 (박예진) says this.
  • ? (why)


Learning a foreign language may be made fun, and singing a song is unbeatably helpful to loosen up a bit the tense nerve we have after memorizing the theoretical discussion.
As I told you before, I once took a Korean course and had a native Korean called Kang Song Hoon as my tutor. At the same time, there was Full House (풀하우스), a Korean drama hit almost everyone knows, aired on Indosiar (2005). I found this drama entertaining and got addicted to watching it daily.

While watching it, I found  a very interesting song (which was sung by Lee Yeong Jae for sad Han Ji Eun). The actor Rain (Bi) had improvized the lyrics of the rhyme but here is the original version my tutor Kang Song Hon wrote for my Korean class. Grab your microphone now and let’s sing!!!

곰스마리가  한집예있어
(gom-se-ma-ri-ga  han-jib-ye-iss-o)
아빠곰 엄마곰 애기곰
(a-pa-gom eom-ma-gom  ae-gi-gom)
아빠곰은 뚱뚱해 엄마곰은 날씬해
(a-pa-gom-eun tung-tung-ae  eom-ma-gom-eun  nal-ssin-ae)
애기곰은 너무귀여워 으쓱으쓱잘한다
(ae-gi-gom-eun neo-mu-gwi-yeo-weo  eu-ssek-eu-ssek-jal-han-da)

Free translation:
“Three Bears”
There’re 3 bears in a house
Daddy bear, mommy bear, and baby bear
Daddy bear’s fat, mommy bear’s thin
Baby bear’s too cute, shrug shrug, good!