Monthly Archives: May 2012

May 20th 2012

May 20th 2012

Savvy Sunday

Shakespeare was a radical of his time. An erratic playwright, he was brilliant with words and phrasing, and gave us many classic hits such as Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, and Romeo and Juliet. Many phrases and words that we use today were coined by him back then.

Have you ever wondered if the slang words we use today would become everyday words in future, and our descendants would speak of our linguistic brilliance? ;p

Have a savvy Sunday everyone!

The Ginger Team

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May 17th 2012

T.G.I.F.

One more day to the weekend everyone!

In the meantime, try this T.G.I.F. (Truly, Ginger is free) quiz:

1. I cycle to school everyday.

2. I cycle to school every day.

Which of the above sentences are correct?

Not as straightforward as it seems right? Use Ginger Grammar & Spell Checker for the correct answer. For more interesting information on the grammatical usage of these 2 words, check out Ginger Spelling Book. It has a comprehensive list of commonly Misspelled Words, as well as Confusing Words.

Take our poll on Ginger’s Facebook page to see how you rank on the quiz in comparison to others!

As always,

The Ginger Team

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May 16th 2012

Word Wednesday

Today’s word-of-the-day: EXAGGERATE.

Exaggerate: (verb) to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth.

While we try our best to present the truth in its pure form, sometimes we just can’t help but to ‘spice it up’ a little bit.

Share with us some of the most unbelievable exaggerations you’ve ever heard or said!

The Ginger Team

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May 15th 2012

May 15th 2012

The Tuesday Talk

With the many advances in technology in recent years, the way things are being taught in schools are changing drastically; and more likely for the better. While the traditional style of chalkboard teaching continues to persist in classrooms, this method is being increasingly complemented with the use of computers and learning software. What are the main differences between these 2 learning methods, and how should we exploit technology to maximize our learning potential; especially for the learning of languages?

Personalization

The key difference between chalkboard learning and computer learning is personalization. In a classroom with 20-30 students, some even reaching close to 40, there is no way that the single teacher can pay devoted attention to every single student. However, with computer learning, softwares are able to customize content based on the different levels of ability of individual students. This also allows for more interaction of the students, compared to mostly just listening in the classroom.

Exploiting Technology

While learning technologies have their limitations, Smart tells us that we can still exploit them on 2 fronts – laying groundwork and learning in context.

Laying Groundwork

Educators in the United States strongly recommend the use of individual programs and other technologies in English learning because they accelerate the acquisition of phonics, vocabulary, fluency, reading-comprehension skills and other language-building blocks.

Ginger Software provides these features for our users to hone their skills in basic English:

1. Text-to-Speech reader. This allows users to quickly learn the proper pronunciation of words.

2. Grammar Book and Spelling Book. These aid users in building up their vocabulary.

3. Tips and Articles on English language learning. This feature enables our users to consolidate what they have learnt by providing miscellaneous information that is relevant to their learning.

Learning in Context

Margaret Hawkins, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Education, cautions that students do not really acquire language by performing computer tasks divorced from an authentic learning environment. Instead, they need social interactions that make them actively use language to negotiate meaning. In her view, much of today’s language-learning software is rooted in old Second Language Acquisition and English as a Second Language research that treats listening, speaking, reading, and writing as separate areas and posits that students can learn a general language out of context, then apply it specifically later.

While this may be true of some learning software, Ginger Software’s Grammar & Spell Checker utilizes a patent-pending algorithm that allows it to correct a sentence according to its context. This unique feature ensures that our users do not use English words ‘blindly’ and out of context.

Although learning technologies could never completely replace traditional chalkboard learning in a classroom, it would greatly enhance the value of learning if we adopted the relevant learning technologies available to us today.

Share with us your views or personal anecdotes regarding using technology to learn the English language! :)

The Ginger Team

 

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May 14th 2012

Manic Monday

We, at Ginger, give our utmost to save our users from embarrassing mistakes. But this slip-up is simply way beyond us. =p

Have a great day ahead everyone! Just another manic Monday…

The Ginger Team

 

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May 13th 2012

May 13th 2012

Savvy Sunday

So let me open with this dilemma: Is it supposed to be “gray” or “grey”?

And the answer is simply: It depends.

Both gray and grey are acceptable spellings. Gray is used primarily in the United States and other areas that use US English. Similarly, grey is used in Great Britain and other areas that use UK English.

Having said that, do note that there are 3 exceptions to the rule:

1. Proper nouns such as a last name would always be spelled “Gray”. For instance, Earl Grey should be Earl Gray instead.

2. The dog breed, Greyhound.

3. Food irradiation (quantity of radiation energy absorbed by the food as it passes through the radiation field during processing). 1 Gray = 0.001 kGy = 1 joule of energy absorbed per kilogram of food irradiated.

In terms of COLOUR, grey and gray are actually two different “color swatches”. Many people believe grey is an actual color perceived as the hue of “silver”, and gray is a sliding scale of values from black to white.

Try out Facebook poll to see how you match up against others in knowing how to use grey/gray!

Use Ginger Grammar & Spell Checker for the correct answers to the Facebook poll.

 

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May 9th 2012

Word Wednesday

Today’s word is PAPARAZZI.

Paparazzi: (noun) A freelance photographer who pursues celebrities trying to take candid photographs of them to sell to newspapers or magazines.

While we hear of celebrities assaulting complaining about paparazzi, I’m quite sure the majority of us, who are more obscure, secretly wish we could trade places with them.

Today, thanks to Instagram and the like, I guess such fancy wishes are achievable… somewhat.

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