All Posts By

Sailee Brahme

Gutenberg: The Press that Printed

By | Reading Formats | No Comments
Most of us take books, newspapers, magazines or any printed material for granted. But imagine life if the printing press had never been invented. The printing press counts as one of the most important invention of our time that brought about a literary renaissance.

Before the printing press was invented, all writing had to be painstakingly done by hand. People who did this work were known as Scribes. They worked in a special room in the monasteries they lived in, called a Scriptorium. The scribes would work silently, measuring the page layout and then copying text from another book to make multiple copies of the same. The book would then be sent to the illuminator who would look after the design and embellishments on the book that had to be done by hand. Read More

Reading the Signs: Sign Language

By | Culture, Language | No Comments
Various languages have, since time immemorial, been the mode of communication between people. These languages have evolved over time and today we see a large language map which has many language families and dialects. These are mostly verbal and written. But what about a large part of world population that is hard of hearing or has hearing and speaking disabilities?

Sign language is a visual means of communication that uses hand gestures and facial expressions. It is mainly used by people who have hearing or speech impairments. Read More

From B.C to WWW: The History of the Encyclopaedia

By | Culture | No Comments
What is the first thing that comes to our mind when we hear the word “Encyclopaedia”? – Large, heavy, hard bound books, in many volumes, containing information and pictures about almost every subject on the earth?

An encyclopaedia is a kind of reference work which consists of brief summaries of different branches of knowledge. The word ‘Encyclopaedia’ comes from the Greek words ‘enkyklios paideia’ which mean ‘general education.’ These two separate words were reduced to one word due to an error on the part of the copyists of Latin manuscripts. There have been two monumental encyclopaedias in history. The first was Naturalis Historia written by Pliny the Elder and the second was Encyclopédie, a French encyclopaedia by Denis Diderot. The third that we may consider as an important milestone in encyclopaedia history is Wikipedia. Read More

Words

Play On Words, or With Them

By | Language | No Comments
Word Play is verbal wit- the manipulation of language with the intent to amuse. Sounds and meanings of words are exploited resulting in funny remarks. It has a wider use orally than in written text but literature has always been full of word play.

Examples of this literary technique include puns, double entendres, tongue twisters, etc. We often engage in wordplay such as jokes and witty remarks during casual conversations among friends and colleagues. Read More

Decoding English Proficiency Tests

By | Language | No Comments
Most of us have gone through the long and cumbersome process of filling applications, submitting resumes, writing SOPs and taking English Proficiency Tests when applying to universities. For those of us, who may not have had English as a medium of study or those who do not belong to countries where English is the first or second language, it is required that we take certain exams to prove our English fluency when we wish to study in certain universities. These institutions ask for our test scores to make sure we will be able to handle the medium of instruction and therefore, be able to study and perform well. Although various language proficiency tests exist to gauge performance ability in many languages across the world, let us take a look at the various English proficiency tests. Read More

The Blank Page

By | Authors, On Writing | No Comments
It’s a lovely evening. The sun is about to set. There is a beautiful breeze flowing. You have a cup of your favourite coffee beside you. Your laptop is in your hand (or a pen if you prefer). You are all set to let your creativity flow. You touch your pen to paper and…..

Stare at it! For a long time… Read More

Speed Reading: Words Per Minute

By | Reading Habits | No Comments
Ever wondered how much we read each day? From the newspaper to work mails, study material to invoices and books- all this amounts to reading being a huge part of our life ever since we learnt to read. All this reading material obviously takes up a lot of our time too. And in today’s high speed world, most people are looking for a way to save time and increase their reading speed so they can get more work done in a short span.

Speed Reading, as the name suggests, is a technique used to improve our pace of reading. You look at a word or several words. This is known as fixation. You move your eye to the next word. This is called a saccade. Then, you pause to comprehend the entire sentence you just looked at. Adding all these fixations, saccades and comprehension pauses together, the average human reading speed would amount to about 250-350 words per minute. So it would take about a minute or two to read a regular document. Read More

Zentangle Your Life, Readers

By | Arty | No Comments
All of us- students, teachers, readers, writers, artists have one important thing in common- the need to focus. Today, it seems difficult to calm the nerves when we are bogged down under piles of reading, deadlines to meet, or examination pressure. And let’s not even mention the lack of time and enthusiasm for any leisurely creative activity.

One can meditate, but it does not seem to be everybody’s cup of tea. You can sing or dance, but may be you have two left feet. You might want to take up a sport or painting or a musical instrument but that requires quite a bit of financial investment. Read More

Bees Don’t Spell: The Origins of the Spelling Bee

By | Language | No Comments
At one point or another during our schooling years, we have all been part of Spelling competitions held in class or at an inter-school level. These are often known as Spelling Bee contests though heaven knows what bees have to do with spelling words like we do!

A Spelling bee is a competition in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty. The concept is thought to have originated in the United States and spelling bee events are now held in many other countries around the world. Read More