Posts Tagged ‘English’

Welcome to Thesaurus

Another example of strange humour  in English and a reminder that a Thesaurus is indeed a great investment, along with a good dictionary, of course. Double or even triple your vocabulary!

Strange Random Vocabulary Quote:

“I used to think I was poor. Then they told me I wasn’t poor, I was needy. Then they told me it was self-defeating to think of myself as needy. I was deprived. (Oh not deprived but rather underprivileged.) Then they told me that underprivileged was overused. I was disadvantaged. I still don’t have a dime. But I have a great vocabulary.” – Jules Feiffer

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The Digital TV Revolution is here!

A helpful reminder that the date has passed to change your system to TDT

aka “Dude, Where’s my TV?”

aka “My Telly’s Gone Bung!” (Australian English Slang for not working)

If you’ve just come back from a nice, relaxing holiday weekend away and switched on the TV, you may well be wondering where all your favourite channels have gone. Well, in fact they haven’t gone anywhere, just migrated to the new Digital Terrestrial standard. Since the launch of the system in Spain several years ago, people have been generally unexcited / unenthusiastic / unimpressed by the new platform, which prompted the government to bring forward the “analogue blackout” by two years to, well, last Friday. Ah, that would explain a lot, then …

If you go to the official state website for TDT, you’ll find a very helpful Troubleshooting section (see image right), which will help you to find out if it’s just you who has problems or everyone else in your building. At the same time, it will also try to find out which planet you have been living on for the past few years and why anyone would not be happy at seeing the same rubbish as traditional television multiplied by four (typically, there are 40 channels now, depending on where you live) and in higher resolution.

If this is your case, then this is the site you need – Página principal – Televisión Digital.

And if this is isn’t your case, then congratulations – I think.

Strange Random TV Quote:

I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.  Groucho Marx

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English Central, videos and exercises

January 23, 2010 1 comment

English Central is a new website and community based on learning English through watching videos and practising pronunciation. Despite being founded only 3 months ago, it already has an impressive collection of videos in categories like Business, Social, Dining, Games or Politics. Registration is free and you can follow your progress from your online account.

So before we look at what you can do, here’s the address you need – .

You can also watch a demo if you’d like more information about how the site works (note: you must have a microphone attached before starting the demo. If not, the programme will freeze).

So now the fun starts. Sign in to your account and choose a video to watch. For example, the trailer of Iron Man 2. This is the screen layout you’ll see (we’ve coloured the image to help explain it).

At the bottom of the screen, you have the option to pause the video after each line (in purple), change the microphone options if necessary and also share the video with friends. Above this, in yellow, is a time line showing you where the spoken parts are – these are the shapes on the line. You can also fast forward or rewind the video using the buttons on the left.

The next line up has the record button, the subtitle in English and the option to hide the line, in case you don’t want subtitles. Lastly, if you watch the video line by line, you have the possibility of repeating the line and even slowing down the audio, which could be very useful depending on the speed of the original!

As you work through the exercise, you will see a progress bar at the top-right of the video, which also shows the number of points you score for your pronunciation. If you need more challenges, you’ll find another section which says “What Next?”, with additional exercises for you to try.

Probably the best advice is to go and try out the system for yourself. Please let us know what you think!

NOTE: if you’re already an EXIT Languages student and you’d like an account linked to ours, please leave us a message at the bottom of this post and we’ll send you a link where you can sign up and we can help you monitor your progress.

If you’re not an Exit student, you may like to visit our website or click on ABOUT EXIT LANGUAGES at the top of this page 🙂


Strange Random Language Quote:
My English is a mixture between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Archbishop Tutu – Billy Wilder
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Know your Groceries

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Frank Costello, born Francesco Castiglia ( Jan...

Image via Wikipedia

… or end up with a face like a Russian flag.

In other words, be alert to the situation or you may get embarrassed!

Don’t panic, this is not some exercise on phrasal verbs, but part of a new book about US slang from the 1920s to the 1950s. It’s called Straight from the Fridge, Dad (Cool, or Obvious) and includes references to the gangster era like the following:

If you were free to run for President (unemployed) and became a dime-dropper (informer), you might be taken off the payroll (killed, assassinated) in Chicago lightning (gunfire) and end up in a Chicago overcoat (coffin) at a Cold Meat Party (funeral) while the gangster talks to a sinhound (priest) before sniffing Arizona perfume (going to the gas chamber).

No joke. Straight from the fridge, Dad.

Straight From the Fridge, Dad – A Dictionary of Hipster Slang

by Decharne, Max


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Do U YouTube 2?

October 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Found in an article about the band‘s concert stream last weekend:

(the stream is available on) U2’s You Tube page.

Image by Dunechaser via Flickr

Best attempted after a couple of pints of Guinness!

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