The need for good English language skills (and a good vocabulary, in particular) applies to many walks of life. One of these is when you enter a 25-words-or-less competition.  A 25-words-or-less competition is where competition organisers ask you a question, which you must answer in 25 words or less (to be grammatically correct, it should be 25 words or fewer). The best answer, or answers, wins a prize. Over several years, I've entered a lot of 25-words-or-less competitions. I enter these competitions because I enjoy them. They're fun, I get to practise my creative writing skills, and, as a bonus, I might win something. During my time entering (and, more than average, winning) these 25-words-or-less competitions, I've noticed a few trends and I've gathered a few tips. Here, then, are my 5 simple tips to winning 25-words-or-less (or 25 wol) competitions.

Published in Writing
Monday, 09 September 2013 13:04

Old Words for Sex

We human beings, throughout history, seem to have gone out of our way to find different words for "sex". Why we use euphemisms at all is an interesting topic in itself; and why we use so many euphemisms for sexual intercourse is particularly interesting. Why do *you* think we use, and have used, such a variety of words for sex? Some of the words we use for sex sanitise and remove the sexual act into the abstract (such as "amorous congress" and "carnal knowing") while other euphemisms for sex are crude and straight to the point (as it were). Here is a list of just some of the olden day words people have used for sexual intercourse.

Thursday, 31 January 2013 03:20

Simple Tips For Improving Vocabulary

By developing your vocabulary, you will be able to communicate and learn more effectively. The beauty of the English language is the many ways to express something with subtle differences in meaning. With practice, vocabulary will allow you to express yourself.

A guest article by Zac Wearden, freelance proofreader at

Before we begin improving your vocabulary and increasing your vocabulary, we need to clarify some basic questions. What is a vocabulary? What is a good vocabulary? What is the difference between improving your vocabulary and increasing your vocabulary? Find out here

A good vocabulary can help you appear suave and sophisticated. Improve your vocabulary by studying synonyms, in this case synonyms for "suave".

Part of having a good vocabulary is discriminating carefully among your stock of words for the word that most precisely and succinctly conveys your intended meaning. To build your vocabulary, you should acquire a good stock of synonyms: words that are similar to each other but which have different shades of meaning. Knowing the synonyms’ different shades of meaning will help you choose the right word for the occasion. In this article, we look at the different shades of meaning of words to do with walking.

By popular demand, here is another list of real-life English bloopers, made by students, lawyers, and others. If you like this list of bloopers, then you may also like our other lists of misused words and phrases. Enjoy!

Published in Writing
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 03:17

SAT Vocabulary List: Es

Here, we present the next in our series of SAT vocabulary lists ... the Es! If you embark on this edifying experience, these words will emphatically enhance and engender an erudite tone in your written expression. So there!

Good word lists for the SAT (the SAT Reasoning Test or SAT, previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test), the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), and the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) are very handy indeed. This SAT word list comprises 260 words starting with E (American spelling).

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 23:59

Widen Your Vocabulary

Widen your vocabulary by learning these weird and wonderful words. Some of these words are actually quite useful!

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 00:56

Deepen Your Vocabulary

A good vocabulary means more than having a passing familiarity with a large number of words (wide vocabulary). A good vocabulary also involves knowing the different shades of meanings of those words (deep vocabulary). Here are some words you think you may know but whose precise meanings might surprise you. Learn these meanings to deepen your vocabulary.

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