Yearly Archives: 2013

Mar 13th 2013

Wednesday Word: Immigration or Emigration?

Photo Source: Nova Pictures/Flickr

Photo Source: Nova Pictures/Flickr

Have you ever immigrated to a country? If so, where did you emigrate from? Confused? “Immigration” and “emigration” are two words that are easily mixed up.

Immigration is the act of moving to a new country. Therefore, an immigrant is someone who has arrived in a new country. When you arrive at a large airport in the United States or Canada, you will often see signs for “Immigration.” These are the administrative offices for people (immigrants) who are arriving to live in the country and not just staying for a visit.

Emigration is the act of permanently leaving your country to settle in another country. You emigrate from the country you live in. For example, you may emigrate from (leave) Poland and move to live in Canada. Therefore, you are a new immigrant to Canada but an emigrant from Poland.

A quick way to remember the difference between these two very similar words is to think of them using their first letters. “Immigration” is the act of moving into a country. (The “i” stands for into.) Similarly, “emigration” concerns the act of moving away, or exiting, your county. (The “e” stands for exit.) By remembering the “e” and “i”, you won’t have a problem keeping these two words straight.

Has your family recently immigrated to or emigrated from somewhere?

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Mar 11th 2013

Monday Mistake: Fried Beef with Wikipedia!

Ever thought of quenching your thirst for knowledge at a Chinese restaurant? Did the owners come up with an innovative food establishment where knowledge seekers can access Wikipedia for free while they eat?

Most likely, the writer used Google Translate while creating the menu.

Mistranslations can cause giant and expensive problems. While this humorous typo probably won’t cause heartburn, in 2009 the bank HSBC had to spend $10 million on a rebranding campaign after their slogan “assume nothing” was mistranslated into “do nothing” in various countries around the world.

The moral of this story is to make sure you have a trusty proofreader. Ginger can do the trick for all your editing needs – whether menus or food descriptions.

Add Ginger to your fried beef and avoid the taste of web pages in your mouth!

To see another funny example of Engrish, check out this blog post.

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Mar 7th 2013

Ginger celebrates International Woman’s Day!

In 1908, thousands of women in New York protested against their long hours, low pay and lack of voting rights. As a result, the first Woman’s Day was celebrated in the U.S.

The pioneering women that worked hard to gain the right to vote were known as “Suffragettes.”

The word “Suffragette” is derived from the word “suffrage,” meaning the right to vote, especially in a political election; and the suffix “-ette,” meaning “female.”

With the rise of socialism and the expansion of the Industrial Revolution, the suffragette’s struggle for women’s rights gained momentum internationally.

 

In Copenhagen during 1910, Clara Zetkin, a leader in the “Women’s Office” for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposed the idea of having a worldwide Women’s Day to highlight discrimination against women. She presented this idea at a conference of over 100 women from 17 countries. Her idea was adopted; thus creating International Women’s Day.

Today, International Women’s Day is celebrated as an official holiday by many countries. In some countries – such as China, Nepal and Madagascar – it is a holiday for women only. March 8 has become a global day for celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women of the past, present and future.

Read more: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Take the time to support the advancement of women during this International Women’s Day!

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Mar 6th 2013

5 More Foreign Words that Should Be Added to English

There are so many awkward, funny and gut wrenching situations that deserve a dedicated word, yet no such word exists. Wellin English at least. Luckily, we found some more great words to add to our original list of unique words that we need in English that we posted back in September. Enjoy, and please add additional words in the comments.

1. yoko meshi (pronounced yoh-koh mesh-ee) – This Japanese word is literally translated as “a meal eaten sideways,” referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language. We all know that feeling as we stumble over the difficult pronunciations of foreign languagesjust like some of the words below! Pronouncing these words does often feel like eating a meal sideways.

2. prozvonit (pronounced  pros-VOH-nit) – This is the Czech word for when you call someone’s cell phone and only let it ring once before hanging up. This saves you the cost of paying for the call, putting the financial burden on your friend!

3. jayus (pronounced JI-oos) – In Indonesia, when a joke is told so poorly and awkwardly that it is funny, it is called a jayus. We have all witnessed this, and most of us have told a jayus or two ourselves.

4. Schadenfreude (pronounced Shuden-freude) – This German word is a noun for “pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.” Watching “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is an example of Schadenfreude.

5. zeg (pronounced zeh-G) – In Georgian, this word means “the day after tomorrow.” This mono-syllabic word is much easier to use than its 7-syllable English equivalent. “See you zeg!” We could definitely get used to that.

What words can you add to this list? Sleep on it and post them in our comments zeg!

For more great words that we need in English visit: http://sobadsogood.com/2012/04/29/25-words-that-simply-dont-exist-in-english/ and http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-awesomely-untranslatable-words-from-around-the-world/

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Mar 4th 2013

Happy Grammar Day from Ginger Software!

Today, March 4, is National Grammar Day in the United States! National Grammar Day  was created in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, who founded the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.

What is the best way to celebrate this festive occasion? By promoting good grammar of course!

1. Share grammar tips with family or friends that could use the help. Here are some quick reference guides to some tricky grammar rules:

    1. Anyway vs. Anyways
    2. Compliment vs. Complement
    3. Affect vs. Effect
    4. You’re vs. Your

 

2. Learn how the modern English that we use today has progressed from Middle English. Find out what English sounded like 700 years ago here.

3. Spread the word! Change your Facebook profile picture to the image within this article to raise awareness about National Grammar Day!

How will YOU be celebrating?

 

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Feb 26th 2013

Ginger in TechCrunch!

We are very proud to have the new the Grammar & Spelling Keyboard featured in TechCrunch this week!

Rip Empson, of TechCrunch, describes how we have used our expertise developing Ginger’s Online Proofreader to bring the first, and only, Grammar checker to the mobile market.

The Ginger Keyboard works with all Android applications and checks your spelling and grammar with just one click. Use the Grammar & Spelling Keyboard for emailing, Facebooking, Tweeting and writing SMSs with more confidence and fewer mistakes while you are on-the-move.

Make the Ginger Keyboard the default on your phone and easily use it with any Android device.

Don’t forget to give us a positive review on the Google Play Store!

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Feb 18th 2013

Monday Mistake: Waiting Will Be Prosecuted!

If the act of waiting was not a bad enough, this hilarious sign that we found at Engrish Funny tells us that we will actually be punished just for waiting. This humorous typo from Hong Kong is TRYING to tell us that people waiting around in a vehicle will be prosecuted. The typo seen in the picture is a shorter and much more bizarre version of this sign which is still a little confusing.

The good news is that the number of people using Ginger’s Spelling and Grammar Checker in Asia continues to grow. We hope that they will begin implementing Ginger at a municipal level so that when foreign visitors to places such as Hong Kong will not be frightened that waiting around could get them jail time.

The Ginger Team

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Feb 14th 2013

Valentine’s Day and the progression of Modern English!

About 700 years ago was actually the first time that the word “Valentine’s Day” appeared in print in a romantic context in a poem by Chaucer:

“For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.”

This passage was written in Middle English which was used from the 11th – 15th Centuries. Translated into modern English, this poem would read:

“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day,
when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”

Chaucer’s Middle English began changing into Early Modern English during the 15th Century. Events that marked the change from Middle to Early Modern English were the “Great Vowel Shift” (where long vowel sounds changed away from their origins in Latin and Italian), the migration of people to south England as a result of the Black Plague, the introduction of the printing press in the 1470s and the English standardizations occurring by the government in London.

Chaucer was the foremost writer during the Middle English period, but it would not be until the time of Shakespeare in the 14th – 15th Century that English would progress to a modern form that people in the 21st Century could easily understand.

Happy Valentines day from Ginger!

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Feb 10th 2013

Carnivals, Festivals and the important concept of Loanwords

Carnivals. We all know what they are, and how fun they can be, but where does this word come from? Since the the Rio Carnival is heating up right now in Brazil, it’s a perfect time to learn both where the word “carnival” comes from and the concept of a loanword.

A loanword is a word taken from one language and then incorporated into another. The word “loanword” itself is a comes from the German word “lehnwort.” A giant 29% of all words in English come from Latin (tied with French as the largest contributing language to English).

The word “carnival” is suspected to come from the two late Latin words “carne” and “vale” which loosely translates to “farewell to meat.” Early carnivals were Catholic events in Spain and Portugal that took place before Easter. At these carnivals, celebrants would be giving it up for the next 40 days as a means of fasting.

Festival also has Latin roots with an origin in the word “festivus” which means cheerful. Festivals are large parties or events hosted by a community which usually celebrates something particular community.

Historically festivals centered around religious celebrations in honor of gods, but in modern times we have wine festivals, music festivals, literature festivals and many more fun variants.

What carnivals or festivals are you excited to attend this year and what is your favorite loanword found in English?

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Feb 4th 2013

Monday Mistake: ABC Chilren’s Academy

Ouch! This sign is painful just to look at. This is the largest typo that we have seen… yet! Another massive Monday Mistake, makes you wonder how many sets of eyes looked at this gigantic billboard, and overlooked its glaring spelling mistake, before it was raised high over the streets of Houston Texas.

Certainly the computer program used to make this sign had a spell checker. We don’t think that this sign was made using MS Paint. Just because they ended the alphabet at the letter C in this picture does not mean that they can leave out the D in children.

Yet another funny, and expensive, Monday Mistake that Ginger could have prevented.

Have you seen any outrageous typos this week?

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