New words – 29 June 2020

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flexi-schooling noun [U]
/ˈflek.si.ˌskuːl.ɪŋ/
the teaching of children partly at home, usually by their parents, and partly at school

After checking with the local authority, she was able to authorise flexi-schooling as long as her school still “oversaw” Esme’s education. Basically, we had to keep St John’s informed of Esme’s “day off” so they could check she was safe and learning.
[telegraph.co.uk, 21 May 2020]

microschool noun [C]
UK /ˈmaɪ.krəʊ.skuːl/ US /ˈmaɪ.kroʊ.skuːl/
a private school with a very small number of pupils in each class

The push toward smaller, less institutionalized learning environments may also be a boost for the burgeoning microschool movement. Microschools usually operate out of homes or local community organizations and typically have no more than a dozen K-12 students, of varying ages.
[forbes.com, 11 May 2020]

adversity score noun [C]
UK /ədˈvɜː.sə.ti.skɔːʳ/ US /ədˈvɝː.sə.t̬i.skɔːr/
a number of points assigned to a student applying to go to university or college representing their social and economic background, designed to show the university or college what difficulties the student has overcome

The College Board has continually tried to revamp the SAT, attempting last year to introduce an “adversity score” that would take into account factors like a student’s neighborhood environment. The organization later pulled the plug after backlash.
[marketplace.org, 22 May 2020]

About new words

Black sheep and white lies (Idioms with colours, part 2)

Vic Ratnieks/Eye Em/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

This is the second of two posts that focus on idioms that contain a word for a colour. A couple of weeks ago, we looked at blue, green and red idioms. This week, we’re rather monochrome, looking mainly at idioms with ‘black’ and ‘white’ in them.

The phrase in black and white is sometimes used to mean ‘in writing’, usually in the context of proof: I could scarcely believe it was true, but there it was, in black and white.

Continue reading “Black sheep and white lies (Idioms with colours, part 2)”

New words – 22 June

Adam Hester / The Image Bank / Getty

digital nutrition noun [U]
UK /ˌdɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl.njuːˈtrɪʃ.ᵊn/ US /ˌdɪdʒ.ə.t̬əl.nuːˈtrɪʃ.ᵊn/
the process of making sure that using mobile phones, computers etc. is not harmful for your physical and mental health

Unplugging won’t solve the root problem. It’s like doing a juice cleanse – you deny yourself and then you’ll go back online and eat a burger … Instead, think of your digital nutrition the same way you think of regular nutrition: instead of worrying about calories or minutes, concentrate on the quality of what you’re consuming.
[www.telegraph.co.uk, 6 January 2020]

infodemic noun [C]
UK /ˌɪn.fəʊ.ˈdem.ɪk/ US /ˌɪn.foʊ.ˈdem.ɪk/
a very large amount of information that is published about a particular problem, some of which is untrue, therefore making it more difficult to find a solution

The 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.
[who.int, 2 February 2020]

phygital adjective
UK /ˈfɪdʒ.ɪ.tᵊl/ US /ˈfɪdʒ.ə.t̬ᵊl/
using a combination of physical and digital elements to sell and market a product

In light of lockdown the idea of ‘phygital’ strategy is being turned on its head. It’s no longer about splicing a digital element into physical experiences. More challenging perhaps, it’s now about bringing real physical connection to digital experiences.
[newdigitalage.co, 29 April 2020]

About new words

From darkness into the light: metaphors of darkness and light

Saranyu Unthiamson/EyeEm/Getty Images

by Liz Walter

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.’

‘In the midst of darkness, light persists.’

These quotes, from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, perfectly demonstrate the way darkness and light are used as metaphors in English (and many other languages), with darkness suggesting ignorance, evil and unhappiness and light signifying knowledge, purity and happiness. There are many common phrases that exemplify this, and this post will look at some of the most common ones.

Continue reading “From darkness into the light: metaphors of darkness and light”

New words – 15 June 2020

jim Schlett / iStock / Getty Images Plus

super bloom noun [C]
UK /ˈsuː.pə.bluːm/ US /ˈsuː.pɚ.bluːm/
the appearance of an unusually high number of wild flowers in a particular season

NASA has released a stunning series of images of a massive orange poppy super bloom in USA’s Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. The wildflowers have blossomed in such a massive scale that they are now visible from space.
[news18.com, 16 May 2020]

moon garden noun [C]
UK /ˌmuːn.ˈgɑː.dᵊn/ US /ˌmuːn.ˈgɑːr.dᵊn/
a garden that has been designed to be enjoyed at night

Night pollinators such as moths, native bees and bats are attracted to plants in a moon garden with white and pale-colored flowers that are intensely fragrant and produce a lot of nectar. As you walk through the moon garden, you can watch these varied and industrious third-shift pollinators as they go about their important work.
[familyhandyman.com, 14 May 2020]

vegan gardening noun [U]
UK /ˌviː.gən.ˈgɑː.dᵊn.ɪŋ/ US /ˌviː.gən.ˈgɑːr.dᵊn.ɪŋ/
the practice of growing plants without using any animal products

In vegan gardening, you have to be mindful of what you put on your crops. Animal manures used to help plants grow can be contaminated with infectious diseases such as E coli and listeria, as well as persistent herbicides.
[guardian.com, 26 January 2019]

About new words

Seeing red and green with envy (Idioms with colours, part 1)

Flashpop/Stone/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

Idioms are sometimes easier to remember when they create a vivid image in your mind. The English idioms in this post all contain a word for a colour which might help you to commit them to memory.

Continue reading “Seeing red and green with envy (Idioms with colours, part 1)”

New words – 8 June 2020

Prapass Pulsub / Moment / Getty

cleanliness theatre noun [U]
UK /ˈklen.li.nəs.θɪə.təʳ/ US /ˈklen.li.nəs.θiː.ə.t̬ɚ/
the practice of cleaning public buildings and other places in a very obvious way so that the users of those buildings and places feel reassured about how clean they are

Housekeeping will play a pivotal role for numerous hotels in the years to come, so please consider how you can utilize the concept of cleanliness theatre so guests can see and appreciate all the hard work you’ve done to ensure their safety.
[hoteliermagazine.com, 4 May 2020]

air bridge noun [C]
UK /ˌeə.ˈbrɪdʒ/ US /ˌer.ˈbrɪdʒ/
a flight route between two countries where the covid-19 virus is well controlled, enabling people to travel without having to go into quarantine afterwards

The possibility of going abroad for a summer holiday this year has been ambitious at best, but Brits have now been given renewed hope thanks to the prospect of “air bridges” .
[scotsman.com, 21 May 2020]

double bubble noun [C]
/ˌdʌb.əl.ˈbʌb.əl/
the people from two separate households who are allowed to see each other as part of the gradual easing of restrictions during the covid-19 pandemic

In particular, social bubbles are a way to support Canadians experiencing mental-health issues due to the loneliness of isolation as well as parents who are desperate for help with childcare. But even if you fall into neither of those groups, a double bubble means some long-awaited social interactions.
[refinery29.com, 13 May 2020]

About new words

Dips, slumps, growth and peaks: talking about data (2)

Sasirin Pamai/EyeEm/Getty Images

by Liz Walter

Last month, I spoke about general words connected with data. This post covers ways of talking about what we can see from data, particularly when numbers increase, decrease or remain the same. For anyone doing IELTS, this should be useful vocabulary to learn!

Continue reading “Dips, slumps, growth and peaks: talking about data (2)”

New words – 1 June 2020

Kemter / E+ / Getty

superforecaster noun [C]
UK /ˌsuː.pə.ˈfɔː.kɑː.stəʳ/ US /ˌsuː.pɚ.ˈfɔːr.kæs.tɚ/
someone whose job is to predict what certain events or situations are going to be like in the future, and who can do this very accurately

One of the subjects which a group of superforecasters is tackling now is the total number of Covid-19 infected, and the mortality rate, of the virus a year from now … Here’s what the group of superforecasters … think the figures will be by end March 2021: total global infected population below 7 per cent (with many estimates below 4 per cent), with a case fatality rate of one per cent.
[businesstimes.com.sg, 18 April 2020]

hyperleader noun [C]
UK /ˈhaɪ.pə.ˌliː.dəʳ/ US /ˈhaɪ.pə.ˌliː.dɚ/
the leader of a political party who is more popular than the party they lead and who uses social media to engage with their supporters

These modern “hyperleaders” invert the relationship between politician and party. In contrast to the representative model of democracy where politicians were figureheads and parties were the true repositories of power, the hyperleader may have a far larger social media base than their organisation. They float above the party, lifting it into the air through their personal visibility.
[www.newstatesman.com, 8 March 2019]

edupreneur noun [C]
UK /ˌedʒ.u.prəˈnɜːʳ/ US /ˌedʒ.ə.prəˈnɝː/
an entrepreneur who works in the field of education

Edupreneurs are now offering educational opportunities through online courses, mastermind groups, digital apprenticeships, bootcamps, coworking retreats and all kinds of other innovative ways teachers are dreaming up to get results for their students.
[diygenius.com, 24 July 2019]

About new words

Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)

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by Kate Woodford

This post takes a look at a group of phrases that we use when we talk about the future.

Some of the phrases that we use when we talk about our future plans and ideas simply mean ‘at some time in the future’, (without mentioning a particular time), for example at some point: At some point, we’ll look into buying a new laptop. Continue reading “Going forward, sooner or later (Expressions to talk about the future)”