atultiwari1958 07 Feb 2020

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Speak better English with fewer words!
07 Feb 2020
Speak better English with fewer words!
atultiwari1958 · 4 Views

CHANGING MEANINGS! Improve your English. Fun free video tutorial #16: The English Nut.


Learn advanced English with The English Nut. He teaches and entertains you! Girl = Boy? Well, yes, at one time. Learn how words can drastically change meaning over time.

In this and other videos, The English Nut explores fascinating facts about English, including the origin of English words in India and elsewhere, provides useful tips on English usage and, in a lighthearted manner, corrects typical Indian English mistakes. Watch the videos for entertainment--and you might just learn a thing or two as well. :)

As The English Nut, one of my goals is to interview Dr Shashi Tharoor about the English language.



Episode Title: Boy = Girl?

Did you know that girl used to mean boy? What?

Super: Girl = Boy? [The super will appear bit by bit in sync with the above sentence. So first ‘Girl’ will appear. Then ‘=’. Then ‘Boy’. Then ‘?’. Same pattern for all the supers below.]

Well, actually 'girl' used to mean a young person of either gender. So, yes, back in the day, girl could mean boy! Words do change their meaning over the decades and centuries—and sometimes end up meaning the opposite of what they used to mean.

Super: Meaning

Changes to:

Super: Opposite

[Use some interesting way to turn the word ‘Meaning’ to ‘Opposite’.]

Here’s another example: Nice. We all know this word. We use it all the time to refer to kind people or things we like. But it used to mean foolish or reckless—

quite the opposite of a good, kind person.

Super: Nice = Foolish?

I don’t know about you, but when meanings get twisted like this, I get nervous. Nervous. That’s another word that’s travelled 180 degrees from its original meaning—which was strong and sinewy!

Super: Nervous = Strong?

Now, I think that changing a word’s meaning so drastically is plain silly! What’s that you say? [Cupping my ear, listening to someone off screen.] Silly used to mean something else too? What? Innocent? Hmmm. A word that means foolish or frivolous today used to mean innocent!

Super: Silly = Innocent?

So, wait. Nice used to mean foolish but now means good. And silly means foolish now but used to mean innocent!

Super: Nice = Foolish = Silly = Innocent????

What a crazy language! At this rate, dictionaries are not going to be able to keep up. They’ll fizzle out! What’s that you say? [Embarrassed look.] I don’t know how to say this. Come closer, I’ll whisper it. [Gesture to camera to come closer. Cut to close up. Whispering:] Fizzle used to mean a quiet fart.

Super: Fizzle = Fart!

I’m the English Nut. Bye for now.

Now don’t tell me bye use to mean hi. This is ridiculous… [voice trailling off.]

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Speak better English with fewer words!
07 Feb 2020
Speak better English with fewer words!
atultiwari1958 · 4 Views