Can you spot the Indianism in this photo?




Indianisms are words / phrases that are particular to India.

In this photo, departmental is an Indianism. In the US, the word would be replaced with department. We do use the word departmental, but in a different context. For example, Rani attends a departmental meeting. After the meeting, she buys accessories at a department store.

There are other words and expressions which qualify as Indianisms:

    1. No issues. This is fine when used among Indians. If you work in an international setting, you could say instead: ‘no worries’ or ‘no problem’.
    2. Concerned department. Concerned person. In the US, people say relevant department or relevant person. To my ears, this sounds better.
    3. Godown.  In the US and UK a godown becomes a warehouse. 













Can I have more words, please?


Many people find it difficult to express themselves in English. Simply put, they do not have enough words in their ‘vocabulary bank’. Learning new words take time. It is said that you have to come across a word six to twenty times before it becomes ‘yours’.

Some people use big words to impress others. Be careful! Make sure that the word you use means what you think it does. If it means something else, your readers or listeners could get confused. And it may look like you are trying to show off!

To improve their vocabulary, many learners learn (or memorize) lists of words. That is a very, very difficult way to learn new words. Learning words without a context is no fun. And you may not remember them.

I believe that the best way to improve your vocabulary is to be an active reader and listener. When you come across a new word, do not ignore it. Instead, check its meaning on your cellphone. If you come across it again and are not sure what it means. Look it up again. Over time, it will become all yours.

Here are some excellent resources to learn new words. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!






How can a dictionary help you improve your vocabulary?


We normally refer to a dictionary to find out the meaning of a word. But, there is so much more to explore.

For example, let’s look at the word opportunity. If we go to a good online dictionary, we can find out its definition. We can also find out its pronunciation (both UK and US). And there is more to discover… We can see which words it collocates with (that is which words usually go with it).

How many words can you come up with which collocate with the word opportunity?

On the online Cambridge dictionary, the following phrases go with opportunity:

have an opportunity

at every opportunity

at the earliest opportunity

a golden opportunity

So, please take the opportunity to enhance your vocabulary by exploring dictionaries.

My preferred dictionary is: