Saturday, 3 December 2011

English grammar is best absorbed through the reading of good, well-written books and other written material. Poetry shows the use of a language in its most beautiful and inventive form. Students of English as a foreign language should consider the limerick verse form as a pleasant way to become familiar with the flexibility of the tongue. Clean Limericks for all Occasions by William Clark. Tons of good limericks to read and use on your personal cards.

Limericks by William Clark are used in European schools to teach students English. Download to your: Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android devices, PC, and Mac. Read some sample limericks

Friday, 9 July 2010

Speech Recognition Software Spelling Alphabet

Speech recognition software can make writing essays, reports and their documents much faster. It is sometimes necessary to spell words the software is unfamiliar with. To make sure that the program understands you first time it is a good idea to use a "spelling alphabet" also known as a "phonetic alphabet". But spelling alphabets are different from phonetic transcription systems like the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Most people have heard “Alpha Beta Charlie” and know it comes from a spelling alphabet. The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) spelling alphabet, also known as the NATO phonetic alphabet or international radiotelephony spelling alphabet, is the most popular.

You can input a word speech recognition fails to recognise quickly. Suppose you say "coat" and it responds with "cost" or "coast". Instuct it to "spell it" and then say quickly: "charlie oscar alpha tango". It never fails to get what you mean.

To learn, break the alphabet down into chunks and commit four at a time to memory with repetition.

• Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta
• Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel
• India Juliet Kilo Lima
• Mike November Oscar Papa
• Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango
• Uniform Victor Whiskey X-ray
• Yankee Zulu

In no time you will sound very professional. It is also very useful when using the phone.

A Phonetic Alphabet list for printing from a pdf document can be found here: Phonetic Spelling Alphabet. Pin it up near your phone or computer and with your headphones on you are ready to sound like a pro!

This spelling alphabet list gives the specific pronunciations.

A Alpha Al-fah
B Bravo Brah-voh
C Charlie Char-lee
D Delta Dell-tah
E Echo Eck-oh
F Foxtrot Foks-trot
G Golf Golf
H Hotel Hoh-tel
I India In-dee-ah
J Juliet Jew-lee-et
K Kilo Key-loh
L Lima Lee-mah
M Mike Mike
N November No-vem-ber
O Oscar Oss-car
P Papa Pah-pah
Q Quebec Keh-beck
R Romeo Row-me-oh
S Sierra See-air-rah
T Tango Tang-go
U Uniform Yoo-nih-form
V Victor Vik-tore
W Whiskey Wiss-key
X Xray Ecks-ray
Y Yankee Yang-key
Z Zulu Zoo-loo

1 One Wun
2 Two Too
3 Three Tree
4 Four Fow-er
5 Five Fife
6 Six six
7 Seven Sev-en
8 Eight Ait
9 Nine Nin-er
0 Zero Zee-ro

Try an e-book test quiz here when you think you have grasped it all.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Text correction software free

Click Here

Ginger Software have a new addition - Ginger's text correction widget.

If you would like to check your English for mistakes here is a simple widget to help you.

This great new tool allows website visitors to type sentences with errors into the widget and get instant corrections with a single click. You do not have to leave the website.

We are all very busy today and writing errors can creep in. Try out this software and see if it is right for you. It could help a lot.

Friday, 21 May 2010

English Worksheets Free and Printable

Understanding a sentence and absorbing its structure and rhythm comes naturally from reading good English. Skipping over or skimming a book reduces its impact.

A simple exercise is to remove some of the words in a passage and ask students to fill in the missing words. This results in a greater focus on the meaning of the words and helps with comprehension.

Clarkscript have produced a series of worksheets with this method drawn from the American classic by Mark Twain "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". As the author said:

"... Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked ..."

The English worksheets are free to use and because of the pdf format print to a good standard.

The printable sheets can be located here:

Saturday, 13 March 2010

National Grammar Day

Whitesmoke's Writing Tool

This article about National Grammar Day could prove interesting for people who are into good grammar. It reminds us that grammar is important but there is no need to be too fuddy-duddy about it. Well worth checking out. Here are a few quotes to get you interested.

'"National Grammar Day was established two years ago by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar - amusingly known as SPOGG - and author of the book "Things That Make Us "'

"But Brockenbrough also quotes Mark Twain's sensible note on perfect grammar - "Many have sought it, but none has found it" - and she recognizes that using a preposition with which to end a sentence ain't gonna kill no one."

'"This year, National Grammar Day was hosted by Mignon Fogarty, amusingly known as Grammar Girl, who created a music video called "March Forth: The Grammar Song." '

"But the point of National Grammar Day is simply to celebrate - to exult in the idea that we can, whenever we want to, say what we mean by putting words together well and by remembering that good grammar makes sense."

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Limerick Verse Twitter, Tweet and Textspeak

How to use Twitter to enter the Valentine Day verse competition run by Hallmark Cards UK.

This competition is great fun as people send in their entries by Twitter. The 140 character limit makes it pretty difficult to write a traditionally structured limerick, and it is necessary to use "textspeak". Here is an example:

There was a young lady big hitter
Who claimed she was never a quitter.
She stood on her head
Until she grew red,
Then texted all about it on Twitter!

You have to include @hallmarkcards in the tweet so it is an exercise in ingenuity to get everything in.

@hallmarkcards Thr ws a yng ldy big hitterWho sed she ws nvr a quitter
She stood on er eadUntil she grw redThn txtd all about it on Twitter

Tips and tricks to help are available from my web site

It is free to have a go so join in and you might win a luxury holiday for two as a prize. As a judge in the Hallmark Cards verse competition I will be looking for romantic and/or humorous verse entries. Traditional limerick structure is not essential but it might help.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

What is an Epigram

An epigram is a pointed or antithetical saying that conveys a notable or striking thought very briefly.

An example of an epigram would be "Well begun is half done." We know that we are not at the half-way mark when we have just started but as we think about it we realize that we are being told of the importance of a good beginning in helping any project to be completed quickly and efficiently.

An epigrammatical phrase is one that has the qualities of an epigram. An epigrammatist is someone who coins an epigram.