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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