Time Traveler

  The English language is more than 1,000 years old, but new words are being added to the language all the time.  The website for Merriam Webster Dictionary has a new feature called Time Traveler, where you can enter a year and find out words first used in that year.

You can enter the year you were born, or the year you immigrated to the U.S. to find new words for that year.  For example, words first used in 1978 include: control key, eye candy, face time, frequent flyer, sticky note, and surrogate mother.

You can also look up the meaning of most words, and it will tell you the year the word was first used.  For example: helicopter parent.

For fun, take the Time Traveler Quiz – to see if you can guess which of two words was used first.

Verb Conjugation

  Here’s a website – called bab.la – that will help show you all the forms of most common English verbs.  For example, you can look up the conjugation of the verb EAT.  (I eat, he eats…; I ate, he ate…; I have eaten; etc. )
You can also translate each verb into any of 27 different languages.

If you have been studying English for a while, go to bab.la, look up the conjugation for a verb, and see how many of the verb forms you know.

I Was Born

Don’t say: 
I born in Brazil.
My son borned in January.
Her baby borned last summer.
When your baby borned?.

Say this:
I was born in Brazil.
My son was born in January.
Her baby was born last summer.
When was your baby born?.


  • When talking about the birth of a new baby, always use was born (for a birth in the past).
  • Future: Her baby will be born in February.
  • Question: Where was your baby born?
  • Infinitive:  I want my baby to be born in Boston.



Scam Alert

  Some new scam warnings from the Framingham Police Facebook page

  • Person offers to fix the small dents in your car while you shop – This has happened in the Shopper’s World parking lot, Trader Joe’s, and others.  Don’t do it – they take your money and don’t fix the dents.
  • The “Grandparent Scam” – “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?”  That’s how the scammer starts their call.  If the grandmother is fooled, the scammer continues and says that they have a big problem where they need some money quickly (for an accident, school, etc.)
  • Calls from someone in the government saying you’re in trouble and must pay immediately – They might say you (or a close relative) are about to be arrested, evicted from your home, deported, etc.  But they say they can help… if you pay them right away – usually with gift cards. Nobody legitimate will ever call you like this and ask for money.
  • Here are general tips from the Framingham Police on how to avoid phone scammers:
    • If you get a strange call from a government phone number, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information.
    • Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
    • Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls unexpected, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks good.
    • Is the caller pushing you to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.


A quotation, or quote, is something that a person says or writes, that is repeated by someone else.  Quotes are often used as a piece of advice or inspiration – learning from someone else’s life experience.

Famous quotes include these:

You can find a quote about almost anything on websites such as Brainy Quote.  For example, you can search for quotes about mothers.  Here’s one:  “God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.”  Here are many more quotes about mothers.

Here’s a quote from Maya Angelou:

Try answering a few questions on the meaning of this quote:

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Find Words in Your Name

  How many English words can you find using only the letters in your name?  For example, in the name JOHN F KENNEDY, you can finds words such as JOY, NO, KEY, NEED, and DONE.  If there is only one K in the name, for example, you can use only one K in your word.

Try this on a piece of paper using your own name – and then go to the Wordplays website, type your name in, and see how many words they find.  Many will be uncommon words you don’t know. But you can choose any of the words and see their meaning.

Wordplays also has many other ways to practice with words, such as Boggle.