More – Write Better Phrases

  • March 23, 2011

PhraseUp.comA service that I find quite interesting for the simple reason that writing is my main activity, what Phrase Up does is to let you fill gaps in sentences. Using Phrase Up, you can write a half-baked sentence and have it automatically fleshed out.

This is done by typing the words you have, and then placing asterisks where you want something to be placed by the application. Phrase Up will there and then produce a list of viable alternatives for you to use.

According to how original you want to be, you will scroll down and down more. The suggestions provided at the top will obviously be dictated by the widest linguistic usages and practices. The bottom of the list is where you will find the ones that would let you stand from the crowd a little.

And all the suggestions produced by Phrase Up can be translated. Handy for those who are using the site because English is not their first language, and they are looking for the words they have not yet learned.

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More – Letting Visitors Highlight Content

  • December 14, 2010

Highlighter.comWith its ability to let site visitors interact around specific portions of text only, Highlighter stands as a more contextualized alternative to the way in which comments have always been placed on blogs.

Highlighter is a WordPress plugin that you can get (and use) for free. Upon installing it, people who visit your blog will have a whole new way to relate to your content. You see, they will become enabled to highlight these parts of your posts that they like, and comment directly on these. Others will be able to see these comments, and leave their very own.

And as far as you (IE, the blogger) are concerned, Highlighter will create a mailing list with all the people who comment on your posts. In this way, you will be able to target them even more easily and begin monetizing your content in a far more effective way.

And just to cover all bases, I have to mention that users can also highlight pictures and comment on them as if they were chunks of texts.

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More – Example Sentences Collected & Translated

  • June 24, 2010

Tatoeba.orgTatoeba is a language learning resource that collects together sample sentences, and then has them translated for you to learn useful expressions. This will come in handy should you be travelling abroad and the language that is spoken in the place you are headed to is one you are not really that well-acquainted with.

These sentences include “I am hungry”, “Where is the bathroom?” and “How much does this cost?”. That is, the kind of sentences which constitute the backbone of daily interactions in most cultures.

If reading the sentence was all there were to the site then it wouldn’t really be that helpful. It would be merely serviceable. Fortunately, the team behind it knew as much and they have added one interesting option: listening to the sentences read by a native speaker. Granted, only a (small) couple of the featured sentences have audio clips to go with them so far. But that is set to change over time, provided enough people become hooked and start making contributions of their own. After all, over 50 languages are already supported. There should something for everybody here.

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More Improve Your Grammar Skills

  • May 27, 2008 Improve Your Grammar SkillsIf you enjoy writing but feel that you could improve if you just had the proper lessons you should look at what Daily Grammar has to offer. By signing up to Daily Grammar you’ll get free grammar and writing lessons every day.

These lessons are designed to help you improve your grammar and become a better writer. They’re a great instructional tool for people of all ages and skill levels. You’ll soon be writing like a professional and will be able to accomplish any grammar challenge thrown you way. After five lessons you’ll be sent a grammar quiz to test your knowledge. On the site you will be able to sign up for the daily lessons or if you prefer you have the option of accessing the lesson archive or purchasing the eBook. With these lessons you will become familiar with the different parts of speech, sentence structure, and the mechanics of writing. The site features a glossary of terms that will help you understand the terms that are used in the lessons. Improve Your Grammar Skills

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More – Where Opinion Becomes Fact

  • January 27, 2008

FlipFact.comIt is regularly stated that the truth is what one believes it to be, and the people at have come up with a whole website to make that principle take life.

The site displays a series of “facts” on general issues (science, health, government, politics, etc), so that people can vote on them positively or negatively and decide if they are true or false. After you vote on such insidious topics like “George W. Bush rightfully won the 2000 United States presidential election” or “Aliens visited Roswell, New Mexico, in 1948”, the site indicates how other community members have felt about it by indicating three possible answers, which are that most of the voters think it’s true, false, or that the numbers are at odds. The site has only been launched, so the facts and fiction statements are still limited, but all registered users are welcome to suggest topics for voting and discussion.

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More – Learn a Language with Authentic Videos

  • October 16, 2007

Yabla.comYabla is the new leader in the language learning revolution. Forget boring books, expensive classes and busy work, Yabla’s teaching methods are intriguing and will get you hooked.

Yabla e-mersion is all about authentic videos that concern interesting subject matter, are delivered in the native tongue and display the spoken words in their original language and the primary language of learner. Video subjects such as real television programs, film and music provide a content-driven program for the learner and a feeling that not only are they learning the language, but also getting to know the culture. The narrators and speakers in the videos are excellent and there is a cool feature where learners can slow down the talking speed with out messing with the tone of the words. With this tool, the words are still played with the correct pronunciation and rhythm, just much slower. The speakers are also shown on the video as they talk, which is a great opportunity for learners to understand how the mouth moves and how sounds are made. Subtitles are also a smart learning tool, as they stream in the two languages or only the new language if the learner so desires, and each word can be clicked on to find the definition. The definition pops up to the right of the video screen and does not stop the flow of information. Independent learners, K-12 schools, and ESL educators should give Yabla,com a try, it will be a hit and ensure valuable second language acquisition.

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More – Learn a New Language

  • October 10, 2007

TryMango.comLearning a new language is one of the best ways to stimulate the brain and get to know another culture. The hassle is that language courses are boring and expensive, until now. is the first ‘free enterprise language-learning course on the Internet.’ There are eleven language courses offered and each one includes 100 lessons. The lessons are constructed with clear visuals, voice direction and verbal examples as well. The lesson slides are not cluttered and even as the skill level increases, the slides continue with clarity and do not become intimidating. For adults learning a new language, one of the key advantages is to hear the language, not just read it. For that reason, many students choose to have group classes in a language school. The problems that people run into, however, are either time constraints or issues with classroom conduct. Many students become self-conscious in a room full of others and this is the biggest impediment to language learning. With, language learners can concentrate and practice in the privacy of their own home or office for free.

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