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Friday, February 24, 2017

Slang and Colloquial Expressions

Learning a language takes time and effort, especially if it is not your first language. Even if it is your mother tongue, you still need time and effort to master it. Language is forever changing. What is currently popular may be replaced by something else in years to come, and the use of slang is a strong testament to that. Colloquial expressions are often acceptable in informal writing. The more you learn, the more you will know when to use them or not to use them in your writing or speaking. 

Hell-bent on: very determined.
e.g. The team is hell-bent on winning the game tonight.

Not born yesterday: not as naive or foolish as you think.
e.g. Don't give me all that nonsense. I was not born yesterday.

Right you are: I agree.
e.g. "I think I'm going to accept this job." "Right you are."

All at sea: confused.
e.g. "What do you think of the proposal?" "I'm all at sea; I'm completely clueless."

Get cold feet: become anxious and fearful.
e.g. He got cold feet, and left without taking the challenge.

All hot and bothered: agitated, confused, or excited.
e.g. She was all hot and bothered when she heard the news of their divorce.

Poorly: sick or unwell.
e.g. What's the matter with you today? I say, you look poorly!

Saw you coming: realized your ignorance.
e.g. You gave him the money right away without asking any question; he saw you coming!

Pooped: exhausted.
e.g. I was pooped after working for nine hours in the yard.

Say one's piece: say what one ought to say.
e.g. I must say my piece: that was not a nice thing to say to your parents.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Friday, February 10, 2017

Learning How to Write Effectively

Many people have to write, yet they don’t really like to write; some even hate it! Despite their aversion to writing, they may have to write letters, memos, proposals, reports, or e-mails in their work. Whether they like it or not, writing may be a part of their daily task. Are you one of them? If yes, why not make a virtue out of necessity, and learn the basic skill of effective writing?

Writing is about the written word. Not only is the written word part and parcel of daily life, but also has continued to hold its place in the contemporary world—just as Byron, the famous English poet, once said:

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions
Think.

According to Byron, words are all powerful. But you have to make them powerful, and this is what effective writing is all about. Writing is basically a communication skill—just like any other life skills. Why not master it to give yourself personal satisfaction in being able to communicate your ideas effectively so others will understand exactly what is on your mind?

Is writing such a difficult and daunting task? Not really. Is writing skill learnable? Absolutely!

Today, many books on how to write effectively are readily available. If you walk into any bookstore, you will find a collection of books on how to write well.

What separates EFFECTIVE WRITING Made Simple from other books on how to improve your writing skill?

First, this book is presented in a simple and easy-to-follow format: it is easy to read and understand. Second, this book is comprehensive: it covers every aspect of good writing—from basic grammar, correct sentences, effective use of words, paragraph development, to style and usage. With many examples and illustrations, this book is like a handy manual at your fingertips for easy reference. Effective writing is an essential communication skill in inter-personal relationships and in almost every profession.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau