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Alumni vs. Alumnus 

Alumni vs. Alumnus 

I absolutely love the dictionary, and their weekly teachings about words. This week the dictionary looks at the words alumni and alumnus. Two similar words, both used in daily context, but alumni is used more, and does have a different meaning. Download the Dictionary app today and you can be educating yourself and having fun while learning. I think that it is one of my most used apps. Look for their word of the day, too. There’s nothing wrong with expanding your vocabulary. 

Do you know if you’re an alumnus or an alumni? Alumni actually is the plural form of alumnus, a Latin word that means a graduate or former student of an educational institution. Although alumnus usually refers to academics, it can also mean a former employee, associate, or member of any organized group. Alumni refers to more than one alumnus (think of a graduating class). The plural form is used so widely that a lot of people confuse them.


“The word alumnus comes from a Latin word meaning student. Today it refers to an individual who once studied at a school, college, or university, but has since graduated or moved on. You could, for example, say “Kevin is an alumnus of UC Berkeley,” and it would mean Kevin studied there, but has since graduated.”


“Alumni refers to a group of two or more former students of a particular school. An alumni association is a college or university’s association of former students.”


“Turns out there’s a slightly different word for women! The Latin word alumnus is traditionally male. The traditional feminine form is alumna. The plural form of alumna is alumnae. In general, you can use alumni as a gender-neutral word for a group that includes both male and female graduates. But if the group includes only women, you should use alumnae instead.”


“You can shorten the words alumnus, alumna, alumnae, or alumni to alum. Just keep in mind that alum is pretty informal. There’s no problem using it in everyday conversation, but use it with caution in more formal settings.”

I am a UF alumnus! Go Gators!

Source: Alumni v Alumnus


6 Words that Can Ruin Your Sentence

6 Words that Can Ruin Your Sentence

1. Actually

“Crutch words are words that we slip into sentences in order to give ourselves more time to think, or to emphasize a statement. Over time, they become unconscious verbal tics. Most often, crutch words do not add meaning of a statement. Actually is the perfect example of a crutch word. It is meant to signify something that exists in reality, but it is more often used as a way to add punch to a statement (as in, “I actually have no idea”). The next word is one of the most chronically misused crutch words in English.”

2. Literally

“This adverb should be used to describe an action that occurs in a strict sense. Often, however, it is used inversely to emphasize a hyperbolic or figurative statement: “I literally ran 300 miles today.” Literally is one of the most famously used crutch words in English. The next one, however, may surprise you.”

3. Basically

“This word is used to signal truth, simplicity, and confidence, like in “Basically, he made a bad decision.” It should signify something that is fundamental or elementary, but too often this word is used in the context of things that are far from basic in order to create a sense of authority and finality. What’s our next adverb offender?”

4. Honestly

“This crutch word is used to assert authority or express incredulity, as in, “Honestly, I have no idea why he said that.” However, it very rarely adds honesty to a statement. The next crutch word is perhaps the most famous one out there. Click ahead to find out what it is.”

5. Like

“The cardinal sinner of lazy words like is interspersed in dialogue to give a speaker more time to think or because the speaker cannot shake the habit of using the word. Like should describe something of the same form, appearance, kind, character, or amount. But, very often, it is used involuntarily in conversation, just like um. Our next and final word is not so obvious.”

6. Obviously 

“This word should signify an action which is readily observable, recognized, or understood. Speakers tend to use it, however, to emphasize their point with regards to things that aren’t necessarily obvious: “Obviously he should have thrown the ball to first base.””

Source: dictionary


The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English


7 Of The Most Helpful Things You Can Say To Someone With Depression

Helpful Words to Someone with Depression

“Depression has a way of being an all-consuming, monster of a battle. It takes a toll physically and emotionally. It’s often stigmatized. But perhaps one of the biggest struggles for those who suffer is the feeling that no one else in the world can truly understand what they’re going through.”

“However, those feelings of isolation provide one of the biggest opportunities for loved ones to help, explains Gregory Dalack, M.D., chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.”

“The key thing is to help the [depressed] person know that you understand that they’re ill,” he tells The Huffington Post. “A lot of people view depression as some sort of character flaw. To let someone know that you understand that this is an illness that needs to be treated is important.”

“The fact is, depression isn’t an easy fight — but you don’t have to suffer from it in order to be a source of comfort for those who do. If you’re looking to support someone with depression but can’t exactly figure out what to say, mental health experts offer the seven suggestions below — and explain why these types of phrases matter.

“I’m here for you.”

“Sometimes the smallest gestures go a long way, Dalack explains. By telling someone with depression that you’re there for them — and then really showing it — you’re probably helping more than you realize. “It requires a little reflection and thought to be supportive,” Dalack says. “Family members, friends and significant others have an opportunity to help in a way that’s not judgmental — even if it’s just helping them get to appointments, take medications or stick to a daily routine.”


I Now Pronounce You: 10 Unusual Wedding Words

I Now Pronounce You…

“1. Bridaller:
If the expression “wedding guest” feels too impersonal or generic for your tastes, perhaps you’d like to call your beloved revelers bridallers. The singular of this rare word means “a guest at a wedding.” Its root word, bridal, originally meant “a wedding” or “a wedding feast.” The origin of the word bride is uncertain, although it might be linked to the Proto-Indo-European root bru- meaning “to cook, brew, make broth.”



“2. Epithalamion:
If witnessing a heartfelt exchange of wedding vows moves you to song, take note: the resulting ditty might be referred to as an epithalamion, defined as “a song or poem in honor of a bride and bridegroom.” It is very close in meaning to the word prothalamion; both words are built on the Greek word for “bedroom” or “bridal chamber,” thalamus. The difference lies in their prefixes: epi- means “upon,” and pro- means “before.” Prothalamion, which refers to a song or poem written in celebration of a forthcoming wedding, was coined by the English poet Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queene.”


“3. Paranymph:
Wedding terminology is peppered with words that have been historically bound to gender, such as bride and groom. But one lesser-known wedding word with unisex applicability is paranymph, meaning “a groomsman or a bridesmaid.” It translates literally from the Greek paránymphos as “the person beside the bride.” The oldest sense of the word nymph referred to a class of lesser deities of mythology, though by the late 1500s, the term could refer, less supernaturally, to a maiden.”




Is An Image Still Worth 1,000 Words?

Presenting Yourself


” Just suppose that you began your next talk with the grabber, “Imagine yourself relaxing on the beach without a care in the world.” Do you think that image would get the attention of people in the audience? With most people working 24/7, who wouldn’t want to be relaxing on a beach?”


IMG_2984.JPG“Bring Your Talks to Life”

“When planning your talk, you first need to analyze your audience . Who are they? What are their information needs? How can you make a complex subject understandable so you don’t lose them? How can you make it interesting?”



19 Words With Different Meanings to Different People


“Example: Approval- What it usually means: The action of officially agreeing to something or accepting something as satisfactory.

What it means to Ad/PR people: Something you will probably never get from the client the first time around.”



Communicators, are you confusing these verbal cousins?

Most public relations professionals relay on their spell checkers.

Looking for red underlings to help identity misspelled words can provide a misleading confirmation of accuracy.

If those first two sentences weren’t like nails on a chalk board, you definitely should read this post.

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