Top 5 tips to improve your spelling of English words

spelling of English wordsFor some peo­ple it’s easy to remem­ber the spelling of Eng­lish words; for oth­ers, it isn’t. If Eng­lish is sim­i­lar to your lan­guage mak­ing spelling chal­leng­ing for you or spelling is just dif­fi­cult for you (no excus­es need­ed), try some of my tips to improve your spelling of Eng­lish words.

Top 1: Write the word many times until it becomes muscle memory.

When you dri­ve, do you tell your­self the steps before you turn left or right, or do you sim­ply do it with­out think­ing? If you’ve got your dri­ver license, I trust it’s the lat­ter because by now the steps are mus­cle mem­o­ry. Make that your goal with spelling Eng­lish words as well. By writ­ing the dif­fi­cult-to-spell words sev­er­al times, it’ll become auto­mat­ic for your hand to spell them correctly.

Top 2: Draw parallelisms between the difficult-to-spell and easy-to-spell words.spelling of English words

Break the word into syl­la­bles and note which part you always mis­spell. Think of a word that is spelt the same way as the part you always get wrong and write it next to the word. For instance, if you always spell ‘real­ly’ with one L, work on fix­ing your spelling of the first part. Write ‘kill’, ‘doll’ or any word with dou­ble L that you can con­fi­dent­ly spell next to or above ‘real’ in the word ‘real­ly’.

Top 3: Say the letters to yourself out loud.

If you are an audi­to­ry learn­er, say the let­ters of the dif­fi­cult word to your­self. Say it out loud over and over again until you become con­fi­dent at spelling it. While say­ing it to your­self, you can also write it to cre­ate an audio-visu­al lock.

Top 4: Read. Just read.spelling of English words

You can stare at the word and just learn its spelling, or you can expose your­self to more words by read­ing dif­fer­ent kinds of texts on top­ics you’re inter­est­ed in. The more you see words, the more famil­iar you become with the pat­terns of let­ters, which will lead to your mas­tery of the spelling of many Eng­lish words.

Top 5: ‘Air-write’ the difficult-to-spell words.

Air-writ­ing cre­ates the con­nec­tion between your brain and your writ­ing hand to help you remem­ber the spelling of words. It’s sim­ple — first, write the word on a sheet of paper. Then, instead of writ­ing the same word sev­er­al times, let your index fin­ger trace over it many times. When you’re more con­fi­dent, try to air-write the word with­out the spelling guide.

Don’t let spelling put you down. Try two or three ways to improve your spelling of Eng­lish words and you’ll see the dif­fer­ence. Good luck with your spelling!

If you need help with your pro­nun­ci­a­tion of Eng­lish words, click on this. 🙂

THIS BLOG claims no cred­it for any images post­ed on this site unless oth­er­wise not­ed. Images on this blog are copy­right to its respect­ful own­ers. If there is an image appear­ing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail with a link to said image and it will be prompt­ly removed.

Top 5 ways to prevent being locked out of your house

ways to prevent being locked out of your houseWhen you’re busy, stressed or depressed, you end up doing things in an absent-mind­ed way. Because you’re always pre­oc­cu­pied, you end up leav­ing essen­tial things at home, such as your mobile phone, your lunch, or worst, your keys. You may not be able to con­trol where your mind choos­es to grav­i­tate entire­ly, but there are a  num­ber of ways to pre­vent being locked out of your house.ways to prevent being locked out of your house

Even if you leave your key at home, you know you can get in with­out break­ing a sweat with the top 5 ways to pre­vent being locked out of your house. The list is rel­a­tive­ly straight­for­ward and easy to do. Choose one and wor­ry no more.

Top 1: Leave a spare key with a friend or family member who lives nearby.

When you get home, and you find out you’ve locked your­self out, it’s com­mon to call a friend or fam­i­ly mem­ber. How about turn that “I need some­one to talk to” call into an “what time can I pick up my spare key” call? Make sure you can trust this per­son with whom you’re leav­ing your key. Think of some­one who won’t mis­place your key. Make sure he or she is some­one you often keep in touch with and will tell you about their hol­i­day plans. Before you hand over your keys for safe­keep­ing, make sure to label them, so they don’t get mixed with theirs.

Top 2: Hide spare keys in different parts of your house that are outdoors.ways to prevent being locked out of your house

Do not keep a main door spare key under the mat in front of the front door or the pot next to the door. We’ve seen that so many times in films that it’s no longer safe to do this. Make it a two-step approach — hide one key out­doors, but this key should be the key to the garage or shed where you keep the spare main door key. I remem­ber­ing keep a spare house key in the car. That saved me once, but I haven’t been doing that as the car is usu­al­ly locked up in the garage these days. Use your imag­i­na­tion, so that you can hide these keys well.

Top 3: Leave a spare key at work and don’t label it ‘diary’.

It may be fun­ny, but by mark­ing your keys ‘diary’, you’re attract­ing the intru­sive pop­u­la­tion in your office to take it. It may be best to keep mum about hav­ing spare keys in the premis­es. Just go on with your dai­ly life and hide it in a safe place that you can remember.

Top 4: Befriend your real estate agent or landlady.ways to prevent being locked out of your house

They’re not always like­able, but your real estate agent or land­la­dy can sure­ly help you if you find your­self in this kind of pick­le. Main­tain­ing that pro­fes­sion­al and friend­ly rela­tion­ship with them can be the vital key to solv­ing this prob­lem swiftly.

Top 5: Befriend a locksmith.

At your door with­in 30 min­utes is a gen­er­al promise of lock­smiths. I, how­ev­er, have heard of hor­ror sto­ries about peo­ple wait­ing for hours for a locksmith to unlock their front door. Imag­ine if this hap­pened to you in win­ter or when it’s buck­et­ing down. By befriend­ing a lock­smith, you are assured to have some­one to open your door with­in min­utes with­out ask­ing for evi­dence that you live in the prop­er­ty you’re try­ing to break into. Best of all, your lock­smith friend might even not ask you to pay a cent for his services.

Get­ting your­self locked out is one of the most annoy­ing things in life. I’ve had it hap­pen to me five times — the first time I had to wait for 7 hours with­out food, water and access to a toi­let. The sec­ond time, I usedways to prevent being locked out of your house the spare key kept in the car. The third, I had to wait for my hus­band to come home. With the last two, I was wise enough to use one of the top 5 ways to pre­vent being locked out of your house.

Top 5 reasons why the tortoise won against the hare

The tor­toise beat the hare in a race! Cheers! Every­one knows the children’s sto­ry ‘The Tor­toise and the Hare’: The hare and tor­toise raced against each oth­er. The boast­ful hare took a big lead but rest­ed on its lau­rels. It snoozed just before it got to the fin­ish line, just to showhy the tortoise won against the harew off and prove to every­one that it could still win despite chill­ing out. While the hare was sleep­ing, the hard­work­ing tor­toise slow­ly and steadi­ly inched its way to the fin­ish line.

You’ve most cer­tain­ly told Aesop’s fable count­less times. Have you, how­ev­er, told the entire sto­ry of the tor­toise and hare? Have you told the lit­tle ones the rea­sons why the tor­toise won against the hare? I’m sure you’ve told them some of the rea­sons, but allow me to remind you of the five rea­sons behind its famous and astound­ing victory.

Top 1 rea­son: The tor­toise worked hard and tried its best.

Let’s admit it — we’re all dif­fer­ent. Some are smarter than us, and that’s alright. That shouldn’t keep us from being suc­cess­ful though. Just like the tor­toise, with hard work and by set­ting its heart in achiev­ing some­thing, it man­aged to fin­ish the race and be vic­to­ri­ous over the hare.

Top 2 rea­son: The hare was boastful.why the tortoise won against the hare

The hare was over­con­fi­dent. It knew it was going to win by lit­er­al­ly a mile over the tor­toise and made sure every­one knew about it. It taunt­ed the tor­toise and tried to humil­i­ate it in front of the crowd. It even snoozed right in the mid­dle of the race to allow the tor­toise to catch up. If you pos­sess some­thing spe­cial, it’s com­mon to use it to your advan­tage, but there is no need to be boast­ful about it.

Top 3 rea­son: The tor­toise recog­nised its strengths and weaknesses.

There’s no point pre­tend­ing to be some­one you’re not. The tor­toise pos­sessed self-aware­ness. It knew it was slow, so it worked extra hard to meet its objec­tive. It’s best to acknowl­edge and accept your strengths and weak­ness­es. Use your strengths to flour­ish in life and your weak­ness­es to chal­lenge your­self to become an all-around bet­ter person.

Top 4 rea­son: The tor­toise had set a clear goal and stuck with it.

How can one be suc­cess­ful in life if one doesn’t know what he or she wants? The tur­tle had an objec­tive, and he saw it through in spite of all the obsta­cles and pos­si­bly some self-doubt. I’m sure the tor­toise knew there was a huge chance he was going to lose, but its heart of hearts told it to stay focused.

Top 5 rea­son: Noth­ing could dis­tract the tortoise.

Cer­tain­ly, there were cheers and jeers around, but none of these hin­dered twhy the tortoise won against the harehe tor­toise from reach­ing the fin­ish line before the hare. It could’ve trash-talked the hare before it got to the end, but it didn’t. As if the tor­toise had blind­ers on, there was, indeed, noth­ing that could’ve dis­tract­ed it from fin­ish­ing the race.

Let’s give more cred­it to the tor­toise by telling chil­dren why and how it won the race. The Tor­toise and the Hare may be just a fable or a children’s sto­ry to us, but to the lit­tle ones, it can be so much more if we tell them about the five rea­sons behind the victory.

Top 5 ways to deal with your annoyance with a colleague

Have you ever had an annoy­ing co-work­er? I’m sure you have. How many times have you fought your­self from telling any­one about how you feel about him or her because you weren’t ready to make the annoy­ance ‘a thing’. If you’d like to keep it that way or you’re tired of being annoyed at this work­mate of yours, I hope my top 5 ways to deal with your annoy­ance with a col­league can help.

Oth­er online arti­cles share tips on how to han­dle an annoy­ing col­league; this post shares strate­gies on how to deal with your annoy­ance at a col­league. You may not be able to change an annoy­ing co-work­er, but you can cer­tain­ly change your dis­po­si­tion. Read the list and start free­ing your­self from this annoy­ing feeling.

Top 5 ways to deal with your annoy­ance with a colleague:

Top 1: Avoid your annoying workmate.

If you know he or she has lunch at a par­tic­u­lar time and sits in the same place, find a dif­fer­ent lunch spot or have lunch at a dif­fer­ent time. If he or she goes to the toi­let towards the end of morn­ing tea, go to the loo at the start of your break or go to a dif­fer­ent one. Remem­ber: out of sight, out of mind. Make an effort to avoid him or her, and it will seem as if he or she doesn’t even work at the same office.

Top 2: Don’t give your annoying colleague a code name.

deal with your annoyance with a colleague

The moment you enter this realm, you’re doomed. Hav­ing a code name for the annoy­ing one encour­ages you to talk about him or her more often because you’ve already invest­ed your cre­ativ­i­ty. The secre­cy is height­ened by the cre­ation of a code name, sim­i­lar to how clas­si­fied inves­ti­ga­tions are giv­en unique case names. The name also brings in fun into the sit­u­a­tion you’re in, mak­ing con­ver­sa­tions about him or her even more enjoyable.

Top 3: Don’t talk about your annoying colleague to another colleague.deal with your annoyance with a colleague

The moment you tell some­one at work about how you feel about a par­tic­u­lar co-work­er, chances are you’ll find some­one else who shares your sen­ti­ments. Soon, there’ll be two of you fault-find­ing day in and day out. As I’m sure there is a basis for your annoy­ance, this num­ber will eas­i­ly mul­ti­ply with­in days. The more you talk about your neg­a­tive feel­ings with oth­er peo­ple, the more it gets real and the more it will con­sume you.

Top 4: Ignore your annoying colleague.

Igno­rance is, indeed, bliss. The less you know what this per­son does, the less annoyed you’ll be. Stop your­self from seek­ing updates from your col­leagues about the lat­est he or she’s done or not done because every tid­bit of infor­ma­tion you get is sim­i­lar to adding wood to fire. As you train your­self to ignore your annoy­ing work­mate, the embers will die.

Top 5: Just smile.

deal with your annoyance with a colleague

Your annoy­ing co-work­er can only get to you if you allow him or her to. Fight back by smil­ing. Think of things that make you smile. Think of hap­py places. Think of the best things in life. (I’ve got a list of sim­ple rea­sons to smile.) If you see him or her, sim­ply flash your bril­liant smile as if noth­ing is wrong in the world. If you don’t let him or her affect you, you’ve won the battle.

If you do all of these tips to deal with your annoy­ance at a col­league, you’ll most like­ly be able to free your­self from car­ry­ing this neg­a­tiv­i­ty. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.

All pho­to cred­its to Pix­abay and its con­trib­u­tors (Raw­Pix­el, Olichel and Ger­alt). Pho­tos are CC0 Pub­lic Domain.

Top 5 ways to improve English pronunciation

Improv­ing one’s Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion can be chal­leng­ing. If you’re an adult who wants to per­fect your pro­nun­ci­a­tion, be kind to your­self. Remem­ber that it took you some time to learn your lan­guage and devel­op the accent you pos­sess, and you may have just dis­cov­ered some sounds you don’t have in your own lan­guage. Plus, although there are only 26 let­ters in the Eng­lish alpha­bet, there are 44 sounds. Before you stop read­ing this blog and just give up, allow me to calm the fear in you. Here are my top 5 ways to improve Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion. They’re very easy and fun, too.

Top 1: You can remem­ber the pro­nun­ci­a­tion of a word by writ­ing anoth­er word that rhymes with the part of the word you often mispronounce.ways to improve English pronunciation

When I was study­ing in Aus­tralia, I noticed my lec­tur­ers kept say­ing organ­i­sa­tion in a dif­fer­ent way. The ‘i’ in the mid­dle of the word organisation is pro­nounced with a long i, not a short i, which is how Amer­i­cans and Cana­di­ans say it. In my desire to remem­ber it, I wrote the word ‘nice’ just above the word ‘organisation’, so every time I looked at it, I was remind­ed of how Aussies pro­nounce it. When you learn a new word, think of a word with a sim­i­lar pro­nun­ci­a­tion in Eng­lish or your lan­guage and do the same.

Top 2: Copy the actors’ pro­nun­ci­a­tion in Eng­lish movies and TV series and pre­sen­ters’ pro­nun­ci­a­tion in Eng­lish podcasts.

You might think it doesn’t work, but it does. As a non-native speak­er myself, I grew up watch­ing Sesame Street, Amer­i­can films and TV series and mim­ic­k­ing the actors. If lis­ten­ing to pod­casts is more of your thing, you can copy the pre­sen­ters’ pro­nun­ci­a­tion instead.

Top 3: Record your voice and com­pare it with a record­ing you can get from rep­utable online dictionaries.

ways to improve English pronunciationSome­times, you don’t know when you’re mis­pro­nounc­ing a word. Repeat­ed­ly say­ing a word isn’t a sure-fire way to improve your pro­nun­ci­a­tion because you may just be repeat­ing the wrong pro­nun­ci­a­tion. In the com­forts of your room, say a word aloud and record it. Then, com­pare it with a record­ing of the same word from online dic­tio­nar­ies like Cam­bridge, Oxford and Mer­ri­am-Web­ster. If they’re not the same, do it again and again, and pos­si­bly again, until you get it right. Once you get it right, mem­o­rise the posi­tion of your tongue and your lips. Keep doing the whole process until you can say the word cor­rect­ly at least five times in a row.

Top 4: Sing along to Eng­lish songs.

Lis­ten to an inter­view with the world-renowned band, The Bea­t­les. Then, lis­ten to one of their hit songs. Notice that their strong British accent van­ish­es when they sing. If you keep singing Eng­lish songs and tak­ing note of how singers pro­nounce words, you can improve your pro­nun­ci­a­tion. If you don’t like singing because you’re tone deaf, remem­ber that you don’t have to be in tune since you’re not audi­tion­ing for Aus­tralian Idol or The Voice.

Top 5: Talk to peo­ple from oth­er coun­tries or native speakers­.way to improve English pronunciation

When you chat with peo­ple in Eng­lish, you’ll know you need to improve your pro­nun­ci­a­tion if they’re hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ty under­stand­ing you. The meet­ing of eye­brows matched with a quizzi­cal look is the most telling clue. Sim­ply try to change your pro­nun­ci­a­tion of a par­tic­u­lar word or group of words until they under­stand what you’re try­ing to say.

Chat with native speak­ers and take note of how they pro­nounce words. Try to remem­ber the new pro­nun­ci­a­tions you’ve learnt from your con­ver­sa­tions. If you’re a shy per­son, go to a pub or bar and get a bit of alco­hol in your sys­tem (NOTE: a bit), so you can relax a lit­tle. Join triv­ia com­pe­ti­tions and oth­er activ­i­ties that will require you to com­mu­ni­cate in no oth­er lan­guage but Eng­lish. Have fun, but don’t for­get to lis­ten and take note of their pronunciation.

Improv­ing your Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion will not hap­pen overnight. You need to work very hard. Pick at least 3 of the ways to improve Eng­lish pro­nun­ci­a­tion and speak Eng­lish at every oppor­tu­ni­ty you can. You can do it!

If you need some tips to improve your spelling of Eng­lish words, click on this. 🙂

Top 5 reasons why people blog

With the advent of free and easy to set up blog sites, many peo­ple have start­ed to write their ideas online, includ­ing yours tru­ly. While people’s com­mit­ment to blog­ging may vary, I’m pret­ty sure one of their rea­sons for blog­ging is list­ed below. If you’re not into blog­ging yet and think it’s an absurd way to spend your free time, read what I think are the top 5 rea­sons why peo­ple blog, and hope­ful­ly you’ll under­stand why I’ve let blog­ging into my life.

Top 1 rea­son why peo­ple blog: Blog­ging is ther­a­peu­tic.

Some peo­ple get into cook­ing, colour­ing in, pho­tog­ra­phy and sewing because these have the pow­er to free them from their wor­ries. Blog­ging is the same and sreasons why people blogo much more. Stud­ies show that writ­ing is an effec­tive heal­er of a wound­ed soul. On the web­site The Gift of Writ­ing, Claire de Boer talks about how writ­ing can be an avenue to dis­sect the aspects of a prob­lem and deal with the issue in an objec­tive man­ner. The option to type instead of write on paper is a bonus that com­put­er savvy peo­ple have cap­i­talised on.

Top 2 rea­son why peo­ple blog: Some peo­ple are full of ideas.

If you feel like your brain is about to explode because you’ve got heaps of ideas to share, take up blog­ging. Peo­ple who are preg­nant with ideas use their web­sites as their bank. Once they’ve trans­ferred the ideas online, they can stop obsess­ing about them and can free their mind for new ones. More­over, blog­ging doesn’t have to be always pri­vate. Peo­ple who think they have good ideas are usu­al­ly hap­py to share them with the rest of the world. Get­ting pos­i­tive feed­back from friends and rel­a­tives is a plus, and from strangers, a gem.

Top 3 rea­son why peo­ple blog: Some peo­ple want to make mon­ey online.

It’s not easy, but it’s pos­si­ble. Wouldn’t it be a dream come to true to be able to earn mon­ey doing some­thing reasons why people blogyou enjoy, with very lit­tle finan­cial invest­ment required? With cre­ative ideas, a strong fol­low­ing, and plen­ty of hard work, you can make your web­site earn a few cents or even hun­dreds of dol­lars. I’m not yet a pro (and I don’t think I ever will), but I know that Google Adsense can cer­tain­ly ‘show you the money’.

Top 4 rea­son why peo­ple blog: Some peo­ple are sim­ply bored.

Bore­dom can pro­pel you to be pro­duc­tive or unpro­duc­tive. Those who blog pre­fer the for­mer. Blog­ging, like oth­er pas­time activ­i­ties, isn’t an activ­i­ty with a def­i­nite end. As long as your hands and eyes can han­dle it, you can keep blog­ging. You can write about your day, your trip home on the bus, your socks, or even your bore­dom. If you think hard enough, you’ll sure­ly find some­thing to blog about.

Top 5 rea­son why peo­ple blog: Some peo­ple can’t sleep.reasons why people blog

Some­times, peo­ple can’t sleep because their mind hasn’t stopped feed­ing them with infor­ma­tion. If you’ve tried telling your brain to stop many times and it didn’t fol­low its mas­ter, try blog­ging. Aside from emp­ty­ing your mind before bed, typ­ing and star­ing at a com­put­er screen may help set the mood for bed­dy-byes time.

If you haven’t got a blog of your own, con­sid­er cre­at­ing one. Blog for what­ev­er rea­son and start enjoy­ing the ben­e­fits of hav­ing on.

A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO PIXABAY FOR THE PHOTOS (PUBLIC DOMAIN CC0 LICENSE.)

Top 5 reasons to say NO

5 reasons to say NO

We should say NO. Not always, of course, but we should say ‘no’ when our heart of hearts is telling us to say ‘no’. Some peo­ple find it dif­fi­cult to blurt out the word ‘no’, one of the very first words we learnt in life, as if it were Voldemort’s name in Har­ry Pot­ter, for var­i­ous rea­sons: Some just want to help at all occa­sions. Some may have an ulte­ri­or motive. Some are just peo­ple-pleasers and feel very guilty to say the big word.

Although chal­leng­ing, we have to do it for our­selves and oth­ers as well. Read the list of rea­sons why we should say NO.

Top 1 reason to say NO: To be free to say ‘yes’ for those you want to say ‘yes’

Life can’t be a breeze if you don’t know how to say ‘no’. Be kind to your­self. If you keep say­ing ‘yes’, you won’t have time or room for the ones you real­ly want to say ‘yes’. You’ll always be pre­oc­cu­pied doing some­thing you would rather not do or be with some­one you’d rather not spend time with.

Top 2 reason to say NO: To give a more deserving person a chance to say ‘yes’

Some­times, we think that by say­ing ‘yes’, we’re mak­ing every­thing in the world right.

Have you ever thought that maybe there’s some­one else who’s more deserv­ing and who’ll be hap­pi­er to say ‘yes’?

Take for exam­ple: If you’re offered a job that you don’t like yet take it, you go to work unhap­py and unful­filled every day. How­ev­er, if you had declined it, some­one more suit­able would’ve been able and ecsta­t­ic to take the job. Anoth­er good exam­ple is if there’s a guy who likes you and you don’t feel the same way about him. Once you say ‘no’, then he can stop pin­ing for you, move on and be with some­one who’ll appre­ci­ate him more.

Top 3 reason to say NO: To protect relationships

There will be times that because of your ‘can’t-say-no’ atti­tude, the peo­ple who occu­py a spe­cial place in your heart may suf­fer. On a day that you’ve set a date with a friend, you may have to bail out because say­ing ‘no’ to your boss is an impos­si­bil­i­ty. On a week that your fam­i­ly is vis­it­ing from over­seas, you may not have time for them because a friend has asked you out for din­ner. If you keep say­ing ‘yes’ to some­one or some­thing even if you’ve already planned to spend time with friends or fam­i­ly, you put their feel­ings in jeop­ardy. Start say­ing ‘no’ or you might end up los­ing all the peo­ple who tru­ly mat­ter to you.Top 4 rea­son to say NO: To show con­fi­dence and self-worth

Say­ing ‘no’ shows that you’re not a push-over and you’re ready to face the con­se­quences of your deci­sion. It also indi­cates that you appre­ci­ate your­self, val­ue your time, oth­er plans you’ve pre­vi­ous­ly set and the impor­tant peo­ple around you.

Top 5 reason to say NO: To make people know what you actually want

Sim­i­lar to the ‘Boy who cried wolf’, it might come to a point where the peo­ple around you will doubt your ‘yes’.

If you’re now con­vinced that you need to learn how to say NO, you’re now ready to read 10 Guilt-Free Strate­gies for Say­ing No on Real Simple.com.

Say YES when you mean YES, and NO when you mean NO. Start work­ing on your NO. It may be dif­fi­cult for now, but when you can final­ly say ‘no’ with­out feel­ing guilty, you know you’ve just stepped into the dimen­sion of liberation.

Top 5 reasons to say NO

Top pho­to from Pix­abay by Hyp­noart / 3603 images. Mid­dle pho­to from Pix­abay by Unsplash / 9130 images. Bot­tom pho­to from Pix­abay. All pho­tos with CC0 license.

Top 5 mobile phone etiquette rules for commuters

Some peo­ple think that mobile phone eti­quette is over­rat­ed and out­dat­ed. I can’t think of any­thing else that’s so far from the truth. The population’s use of their mobile phones in pub­lic affects all of us.

One gad­get that’s overused and mis­used is the smart­phone. We sim­ply can’t live with­out it and it’s under­stand­able. Liv­ing up to its coined name, the smart­phone is unde­ni­ably smart. You can keep in touch with oth­ers, surf, read, shop, lis­ten to music and pod­casts, play games, take and check out pho­tos and videos, and so much more. It’s not sur­pris­ing that the smart­phone has made pub­lic trans­port trips more fun or at least more bearable.

Let’s blame the not-so-smart use of smart­phones. Since there are many things we can do on mobile phones, some think that they can use our theirs wher­ev­er and when­ev­er. They must’ve for­got­ten that cour­tesy and respect are equal­ly if not more impor­tant than technology.Man in Brown Hoodie Standing in Front of Train Railway

When on pub­lic trans­port and you see peo­ple glar­ing at you or shak­ing their head in dis­be­lief, chances are you’re dis­obey­ing at least one unspo­ken mobile phone eti­quette rule.

 

Top 1 Mobile Phone Etiquette Rule: Don’t talk too loudly on the phone.

If you have to talk to some­one on the phone while you’re on a bus, tram, fer­ry or train, use your qui­et voice. Peo­ple aren’t inter­est­ed in what you did last night, your issues with your house­mate or what you’re cook­ing for din­ner. Show con­sid­er­a­tion to peo­ple who would like to catch some Zs, rest, study, work, read, write, think, imag­ine, or lis­ten to music or podcasts.

Top 2 Mobile Phone Etiquette Rule: Don’t play music for everyone on board.

Our music pref­er­ences are dif­fer­ent so please don’t play disc jock­ey on any pub­lic trans­port. Put your head­phones or ear­phones on if you want to lis­ten to music or pod­casts, and let the rest of the pas­sen­gers enjoy theirs and more impor­tant­ly their peace and quiet.

Top 3 Mobile Phone Etiquette Rule: Look up to check if there’s someone in need.

Some­times, we get too engrossed in our smart­phones that we escape real­i­ty. Look up from time to time to make sure no one needs your seat or needs you to scoot over in order to make some room.

Top 4 Mobile Phone Etiquette Rule: Don’t play your game with too much zest.

The trans­port you’re on is not an Inter­net café, and the per­son sit­ting next to you isn’t a fel­low gamer. Avoid get­ting over­ly excit­ed as you might end up mak­ing nois­es in reac­tion to your game performance.

Top 5 Mobile Phone Etiquette Rule: Eyes on your phone only.

A fel­low pas­sen­ger may be look­ing at some­thing inter­est­ing on his or her phone, but that doesn’t give you the green light to check it out for your­self or worse give unso­licit­ed com­ments. If you find your­self peek­ing, avert your eyes. Think of how you’d feel if there were some stranger check­ing out your screen.

A recent inci­dent on the train has made me believe that there is still hope for our smart­phone-addict­ed gen­er­a­tion. A man whis­pered to the per­son he was talk­ing to on the oth­er line to call him back because he was on the train. I watched that scene unfold with a huge smile on my face.

Mobile phone eti­quette rules aren’t imprac­ti­cal and cer­tain­ly not dif­fi­cult to fol­low. In fact, they’re so sim­ple, so I can’t help but hope that with suf­fi­cient aware­ness more peo­ple will become more respon­si­ble and smarter smart­phone users.

PHOTO FROM PEXELS BY CLEM ONOJEGHUO.

Top 5 ways to deal with an odd character on a tram

It’s 1:41 AM. I’ve just got back from watch­ing the Best of the Edin­burgh Fest com­e­dy show, a drink at a Mel­bourne CBD pub and two din­ners. Yes, that wasn’t a typo — I had 2 din­ners, thanks to my hun­gry hip­po friends.

On my way home, I encoun­tered a strange man on the tram. He had his ear­phones on and ran­dom­ly sang parts of a num­ber of songs loud­ly. He also quite open­ly com­plained about the con­stant beep­ing of the tram dri­ver. At 1 AM, shar­ing a tram with a few row­dy peo­ple is quite com­mon. These peo­ple, how­ev­er, strike at any time of the day, so the ‘Cin­derel­la Strat­e­gy’ or ‘the home before mid­night’ tac­tic does not guar­an­tee that you won’t come across these inter­est­ing indi­vid­u­als. The best way is to know what to do if you’re in that situation.

Tip#1: Do noth­ing. Some­times, it’s best to ignore the odd one. Dows­ing cold water on a fire might aggra­vate the sit­u­a­tion, so it’s best not to look or watch and just con­tin­ue doing your thing.

Tip#2: Pre­tend you’re on your phone. If you’re pre­oc­cu­pied, you have an excuse not to react while the whole encounter takes place. Sim­ply put your phone to your ear and start talk­ing. Remem­ber to pause as real con­ver­sa­tions are two-way. If you can actu­al­ly phone some­one and have a con­ver­sa­tion with them, go for it. Try not to men­tion any­thing about the per­son who’s mak­ing you uncom­fort­able as this might make mat­ters worse.

Tip#3: Move next to a kind and prefer­ably burly man. If it gets unbear­able, change seats or just stand if there isn’t an avail­able one. It’s cru­cial to stand next to a kind-look­ing and mus­cu­lar man just in case the odd per­son goes a bit more mental.

Tip#4: Move clos­er to the dri­ver. On an emp­ty tram, bus or train, relo­cate your­self near the dri­ver. Dri­vers have a mag­i­cal emer­gency but­ton at their dis­pos­al if the going gets tough. In sit­u­a­tions like this, a con­cerned and mus­cu­lar dri­ver is heaven-sent.

Tip#5: Pre­tend you can’t speak or under­stand Eng­lish. Obvi­ous­ly, this depends on where you are in the world. Some strange peo­ple prey on those they can get a reac­tion from. Say­ing “No Eng­lish, no Eng­lish” if they start engag­ing you in con­ver­sa­tion might just do the trick.

If fol­low­ing one tip isn’t enough to solve the prob­lem, con­sid­er work­ing through the list. If all else fails, do not get off the mov­ing vehi­cle because you might end up hav­ing to deal with this stranger on your own. If you’re in Aus­tralia, call 000.

Top 5 ways to stay warm in winter

Jon Snow wasn’t lying when he said win­ter was com­ing. Indeed, it is for peo­ple in Aus­tralia and the rest of the South­ern Hemi­sphere. Inter­est­ing­ly, I live in Mel­bourne and weath­er win­ter pat­terns here begin to unfold as ear­ly as autumn.

Whilst some peo­ple embrace this drop in tem­per­a­ture as heav­en­ly, I, on the oth­er hand, dread it. Any­thing below 15 degrees Cel­sius is too cold and needs my ample attention.

Many peo­ple resort to elec­tric blan­kets and heaters in the win­ter. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, exces­sive use of these result in high­er pow­er bills. You can avoid break­ing the bank by try­ing out these test­ed ways to keep your­self warm.

Tip#1: Cov­er every inch of your­self. Expose noth­ing. I’m seri­ous. Wear bean­ies, scarves, gloves and thick socks. Wear lay­ers of warm cloth­ing. Put on ther­mals, tights and a jumper or jack­et and a coat if nec­es­sary. Wear snug cloth­ing to keep the cold from inter­act­ing with your skin. Wear boots. Also, remem­ber that your tol­er­ance for the cold is dif­fer­ent from the peo­ple around you, so nev­er copy the num­ber of lay­ers they’re wear­ing. Only you know your def­i­n­i­tion of comfortable.

Tip#2: Wrap your hands around some­thing warm. It can be a mug of hot cof­fee or tea or just warm water in an alu­minum flask. It’s guar­an­teed to keep you warm inside and out. You can also get a pock­et hand warmer.

Tip#3: Try the sand­wich in bed approach. If you don’t want your pow­er bills to go through the roof, try to sandwich your­self. Put a fleece blan­ket over your bed­sheet, and lie down on it. Put a blan­ket bun­dle, com­posed of a duck or goose down doona (duvet if you live in the north­ern part of the world and com­forter if in the US) topped with anoth­er fleece blan­ket, over you. If this isn’t enough, hug a hot water bot­tle or bet­ter yet, hug a pet or cud­dle up to anoth­er person.

Tip#4: Iron your clothes. Iron­ing in the win­ter pro­vides you smarter-look­ing gar­ments even when unnec­es­sary and gives you that much-need­ed warmth before fac­ing the bit­ter cold.

Tip#5: Keep the doors closed. Don’t let the out­side inside! If you are lucky enough to live in a house or an apart­ment with many rooms and doors, make sure to close the doors to keep the draft from sneak­i­ly enter­ing your warm abode. Take the edge off the room by turn­ing on the heater for a few min­utes and you can live off that for the rest of the night.

Hope these ideas can help keep you com­fy and toast dur­ing the win­ter. Have a love­ly winter! 🙂