Photo by Pixabay

Portmanteau words are formed by combining elements of two or more words. A part of each word is combined with part of another word or words to form a new word.

E.g. Motel = motorist + hotel

Though similar to contractions, it is different from English contractions in which words that come one after the other are shortened using an apostrophe (‘).


E.g. could not = couldn’t, do not = don’t

In case of portmanteau words, two different words are related to form a new word with a new concept. This is again different from compound words. In compound words two different words are placed together to form a new word.

Compound words

E.g. blackboard, handbag, ice-cream, snowball, hailstorm

Origin of Portmanteau words

Portmanteau words were first introduced by Lewis Carroll in ‘Through the looking glass’ where Humpty Dumpty explains the meanings of freshly coined words like mimsy = miserable + flimsy, silthy = slimy + lithe.

Examples of Portmanteau words

Bacne = back + acne – pimples on ones back.

Biopic = biography + picture – a film on the life of a particular person, typically a public or historical figure.

Brexit = Britain + exit – withdrawal of United Kingdom from the European Union.

Brunch = breakfast + lunch – a combination of breakfast and lunch.

Bollywood = Bombay + Hollywood – Film industry in Mumbai.

Blaxploitation = black + exploitation – an ethnic subgenre of the exploitation film that emerged in the United States during the early 1970s.

Blushing = blood + rushing – red in face from embarrassment or shyness.

Chillax = chill + relax – to calm down.

Chortle = chuckle + snort – laugh in a noisy gleeful manner.

Cosplay = costume + role play – the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book.

Dramedy = drama + comedy – a comedy having dramatic moments.

Edutainment = education + entertainment – video games and T.V. programmes which are educational and enjoyable.

Electrocute = Electric + execute – injure or kill someone by electric shock.

Fantabulous = fantastic + fabulous – excellent.

Foryo = frozen + yogurt – a frozen dessert made of yogurt.

Frankenfood = Frankenstein + food – genetically modified food

Frenemy = friend + enemy – a friend who acts like an enemy

Ginormous = gigantic + enormous – very big, huge

Hangry = hunger + angry – one who is angry due to hunger.

Horrendous = horrible + tremendous – extremely horrifying and unpleasant.

Infomercial = information + commercial – an advertisement aimed at educating the customer 

Interrobang = interrogation + bang – a combination of question mark and exclamation mark. One on top of the other.

Jangle = jingle + dangle – sound made when metals hit against each other.

Mockumentary = mockery + documentary – a short film that spoofs the documentary form.

Moped = motor + pedal – light motorcycle with engine capacity less than 50 cc

Never = not + ever – not in past present or future.

Newscast = news + broadcast – broadcasting of news in television or radio.

Podcast = iPod + broadcast – a recording of audio or video that can be downloaded from the net.

Prequel = previous + sequel – a work that forms part of a back-story to the preceding work

Screenager = screen + teenager – a teenager obsessed with screen entertainment.

Shopaholic = shop + alcoholic – one who is addicted to shopping.

Sitcom = situational + comedy – situations made into comedic stories lasting for about 30 minutes.

Smog = smoke + fog – a fog made heavier and darker by smoke and chemical fumes

Spork = spoon + fork – a spoon with fork like edge.

Telethon = television + marathon – a very long television programme.

Wikipedia = wiki + encyclopedia – online encyclopedia made by collaborative efforts.

A Short Analysis of Mark Antony’s ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen’ Speech — Interesting Literature

Mark Antony’s ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen’ speech from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is a masterclass of irony and the way rhetoric can be used to say one thing but imply something quite different without ever naming it. Mark Antony delivers a funeral speech for Julius Caesar following Caesar’s assassination at the hands of Brutus and the conspirators, […]

A Short Analysis of Mark Antony’s ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen’ Speech — Interesting Literature

Maud’s Misadventure

Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels.com

Jumping over a high wall,
Maud entered a garden small.
Trees laden with ripened mangoes;
With aroma had made a clarion call.

Creeping over dull dead leaves,
As softly as she could;
She climbed up a friendly tree;
As any samaritan would.

She ate the mangoes offered,
By the old and friendly tree;
She didn’t need to spend a nickel ,
For the tree had given them free.

Then walked in Donald Drake,
And said that he owned the tree.
It was his land and property,
Though the tree didn’t quite agree.

The tree had made its fruit,
Without any human help.
With assistance from mother earth,
It had done all its work itself.

It was happy for li’ll Maud,
Who happily ate his fruit,
Its branches danced merrily,
Though it remained mute.

The self proclaimed owner frowned,
To see the girl on the tree.
Swinging her legs from a branch,
Eating ripened fruits merrily.

“Hey there! You girl!” he yelled,
“How dare you climb my tree?
How dare you eat my fruit,
Without permission from me?”

“Sorry! Uncle Donald,
I thought they were free.
I dn’t know you made them,
I thought it belonged to the tree.”

“You silly brainless fellow!
Though the fruits are on the tree,
The amazing truth is that,
The tree belongs to me.

I  may cut or keep it.
I may do as I please.
I may sell it to another.
Or give it on a lease.”

“It’s Ok unca Donald,
But I wish that the trees.
Could speak out and convey,
Whether they do or don’t agree.’

“Out! out, of my garden Maud;
Your face I don’t wanna see.
You’ll ne’er again come to my garden.
You’re totally barred from entry.”

Maud was shown to the gate,
And after much disgrace.
Dragged herself out of the garden;
With a distraught ‘n’ demure face.

The tree fumed inside out,
At the audacity of man.
Suddenly a branch fell on Donald,
And there wasn’t any help at hand.

Without bag and baggage,
Unca Donald left the Earth .
Dust to dust was his journey
A handful of dirt is his worth.

Response to a writing prompt


Imagine you have a superpower of your choice. However, no one knows about it! What does your superpower enable you to do? Do you confide in anyone? What happens?

If you want to join in the fun just ping the entry back to me.

I’m kinda glad no one is aware, at least not yet, that I write obituaries. Now you probably stopped right there and said, wtf? Or how’s that a superpower. I guess it depends on if you’re alive or dead after I’ve finished writing it. As a child, I was terrified of ghosts, but then I discovered people were much scarier, so I decided to write their demise. That way, they couldn’t hurt me anymore. Oddly enough, whenever I did, they would die the same way I had written, so I explored with causes of death.

Who knew eliminating people could be so much fun. I was…

View original post 250 more words


We / will get through it. –
Photo by Eva Elijas


Melinda / lives in a big house.

A big maple tree/ stood in a corner of the garden.

In sentence 1 , Melinda is the subject  of the sentence. The words ‘lives in a big house’ says something  about Melinda is the predicate of the sentence.

In sentence 2 the phrase ‘A big maple tree’ forms the subject of the sentence and ‘stood in the corner of the garden’ forms the predicate part of the sentence.

The part of the sentence which names what the sentence is about forms the subject.

The part of the sentence which says something (gives information) about the subject forms the predicate of the sentence.

The subject generally contains a ‘noun’, ‘a pronoun’ or  ‘a noun-phrase’,  and the predicate contains the ‘Verb-phrase’.

                          SUBJECT                         PREDICATE
          Elsa    saw  ‘Frozen’ yesterday.
          Robin    works at Microsoft Corporation.
          He    writes novels.
          She    is hungry.
          What she says    is unbelievable.
          The man in blue coat    is a doctor.

In the given examples the first two examples have ‘single noun’ as subject. The next two have ‘ pronouns‘ as their subject. While the last two have ‘ Noun phrases’ as their subject.

Non finite verbs  may also be used as subjects

                     SUBJECT                          PREDICATE
To err          is human
Doing exercise     is good for health.

Noun clause may be used as a subject

                    SUBJECT                          PREDICATE              
What we see           is not always true.

Preparatory ‘It‘ may be used as a dummy subject.

                           SUBJECT                                PREDICATE              
It                      (the rain)                       is raining.
It                      (the time)                      is  six o’clock now.  

Sometimes an ‘introductory there’ may be used along with a postponed subject.

There              is                              a man                           waiting at the door.

(Introductory subject)                (real subject)

There             is                                 a bear                         outside.

(Introductory subject)                 (real subject)


Children/ play.

Young children / play outside.

Many young children /play outside in the evening.

Many cheerful young children/ play outside in the evening during summer.


In most cases the subject is generally placed at the beginning of the sentence but it may also occur at the middle or at the end of the sentence.

  • Assertive sentences usually begin with a subject.

Children are fond of asking questions.   

  • Subjects may sometimes come after adverbs or an adverbial phrase.

 Usually my mother takes us for a drive.

During the monsoon Hilsa swims up River Ganges.

  • In an interrogative sentence the subject is placed :
  • After the verb   –                                

               Are you going to the movie tonight?

  • After wh- word and verb 

                When will your brother  come back home?

                 Where do birds migrate in winter?

  • Sometimes  relative pronouns are used as subject

Which is the tallest building?

Who  has broken the vase?

  • At times for adding a dramatic element the subject is placed after the verb

              At the bottom of the river lay his axe.

               On the table lay his books

               Against the wall stood a long ladder.

               Before us lay a feast fit for kings.

  • In exclamatory  and Opative sentences subjects are placed in the later part of the sentence.

What a kind lady she is!                               (exclamatory)

How beautiful the scenery is!                      (exclamatory)

May God bless you.                                        (opative , a wish)

Wish you a happy journey.                           (opative , a wish)

  • In an imperative sentence the subject is implied not stated

Come in.                       (Here subject you is understood)

Sit down.                       (Actually means – You sit down.)

Thank him.                   (Actually means – You  thank him.)

Brush your shoes.        (Actually means – You brush your shoes.)

The Curse of Crackers

Are you burning crackers or your future? Photo by Suvan Chowdhury


Festive time is here again. There’s a feeling of joy in the air and we must let it be there. Celebrations through bursting of crackers must be totally banned. It is totally against common reasoning to pollute the festive air with poisonous  gases.

Is it really celebration or mindless mass pollution drive? Is it any different from substance abuse? Well there is a big difference indeed.  While substance abuse gives momentary pleasure and harms the user. Bursting of crackers gives momentary pleasure to the person bursting it while harming a huge number of people in its aftermath.

The air after Diwali is not worth breathing in. Diwali is the festival of lights.  The celebration of victory of good over evil.  A celebration to remove darkness from our souls and illuminate our lives with true knowledge. When we turn the very air that sustains us with poisonous fumes the very purpose of Deepawali is lost.

We cannot survive without air for more than three minutes or so. Therefore it is foolhardy to burst crackers for celebrating all that is good on earth. The celebration through bursting of crackers is enough to turn the life-sustaining fresh air into foul life- threatening one.

In the year 2020, many states in India had banned bursting of crackers during Diwali. This step was welcomed by most citizens across those states. Except for some isolated cases, where some people out of habit flouted rules and were later fined, most people adhered to rules and abstained from bursting crackers. The states in which crackers were not banned showed spurt in air pollution which turned severe on the eve of Diwali.

The air became thick with incessant bursting of crackers. Children suffered from nausea and for the elderly and patients suffering from Covid, lung or heart related diseases, Diwali became a nightmare.  For most others the air created a burning sensation in the throat as the poisonous fumes were inhaled. 

Society has progressed past the need of celebrations that may cause harm to others. While humans momentarily enjoy the view of sparkling fireworks, the animal world suffers silently in spite of no fault of their own.

Therefore, everybody must come together to create an awareness regarding total ban of crackers in all celebrations across the world. Laser shows may be arranged for the public by various organizations to spread cheer during festivities.  Let us all come together and help the world heal the ravages caused by the human civilization.

The Rise

Photo by luizclas

Failures are hard to digest
When you give your best
And yet you fail.
Your dreams dash
Break into smithereens,
Reflecting parts of you
That once was whole.

Yet you know,
You have to get back
And try once more;
To bring back those pieces,
To mount the peak,
And with sweat and blood
Achieve what you crave.

Dreams may break.
But the indomitable spirit
That is inherent in you;
Can never be shattered
And is, has been, will be…
The reason for achieving
Your heart’s fervid desires.

Photo by Tobias Bju00f8rkli

RACER Strategy for Writing Paragraphs


RACER  strategy helps in writing the perfect paragraph for your response. This strategy is used when a text is followed with an open ended question.

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

This  strategy helps you to write your response correctly using  5 steps-

  1. R – Reword the question
  2. A – Answer the question completely
  3. C – Cite evidences
  4. E – Explain the text evidence
  5. R – Rewind, reword your answer and sum it up.

Advantages of using RACER

This strategy gives you a layout to form your answer in a specific order. It gives clarity to your writing and helps people to understand your written answer clearly. In order to have a great response you need to do more than simply answer the question. RACER helps us in doing so.

Lets follow the strategy one by one

  1. R – Restating or rewording the question. 

In this step all you need to do is reword the question and turn it into a statement. This will form the introductory part of your answer. You need to paraphrase the question using synonyms or different phrases or clauses

2. A– Answering the question in an appropriate manner.

  • In order to do so you need to understand the question what is being asked. The answer must deal with the specific question, refraining from digression.

Sometimes a question has two or more parts. You must answer each part separately.

3. C– Citing evidences which strengthen your answer.

The evidences will portray how well you have understood the question and whether you can make inferences. You must use quotes(“ ”) if you are using someone else’s exact words.

        Be sure to choose the evidence that best supports your answer.

While citing evidences, it is necessary to cite the source of the example. You may use words like-

The author in … says that…

The text states …

In paragraph 4  we find…

4. E – Explaining the evidence.  You need to explain the evidence and elaborate what the answer means. You must provide reasons to emphasize that your answer is correct. In other words you must elaborately explain your answer.

You may use words like

This evidence proves my answer as…

This evidence shows…

This evidence means…

This evidence is important because…

This evidence supports my answer…

5. R– Revise and recap by restating your topic sentence through a summary statement.

That is, you rewrite what you have said in the introductory statement but in a different way to make your point clear.


The Sun Goes Down on Summer

 I come to the water one last time as the sun goes down on summer.

 It’s going; I can feel it slip away, and it leaves a cold, empty spot.

 A hole in my warm memories of endless golden days

 and dreams as ripe as watermelons.

 I’d give the world to make the summer stay.

 The water is calm around me.

 It’s a warm, silent sea of thought dyed in the rich blues of night and


 Why can’t things just stay the way they are?

 Instead, the days rush headlong into change

 and I feel like nothing’s ever going to be the same.

 Soon school will start again.  And all the things I thought I’d left behind

       will come back, and it won’t be gentle water I’ll be swimming in—

 It’ll be noise and people and schedules and passes and teachers telling

        everyone what to do.

 One more year of homework, tests and grades.  Of daily popularity

        contests and pressure-cooker competition and heaps of frustration.

 The first day is the worst.  Not knowing who your friends are, or

 what’s changed since last year.  Trying to pick it up where you left off.

 I’ll look real hard for a last-year’s friend to get me from one

 scrambled class to another, through halls crawling with people.

 I wonder if I’ll fit in.

 Football practice started last week.  It started without me.

 I had to make a choice and football lost.

 Two years on the team and it struck me—who am I doing this for?

 It’s just another thing people expect you to do, so you do it.

 School is full of those kinds of things—things that sap your freedom,

 and keep you from being yourself.

 That’s what I want most, to be myself.  But that’s hard.

 Here’s what I dread most: when summer goes, I go with it.

 I go back to school and I change as soon as I walk through those doors.

 I have to be someone everyone will like—that’s a law of survival.

 What would happen if I just stayed the real me?

 would they turn me off?  Label me “weird”?

 Would I ever get another date?

 It seems like so much to risk.

 But growing is a risk.  Change is a risk.

 And who knows.  I might discover something of myself  in the coming


 I might get closer to the person I am—what a discover that would be!

 When the doors open on Monday morning, I’ll have a fresh start,

 a fresh opportunity to find myself.

 I want to be ready.

 Steve Lawhead

What feelings does the narrator express in the first stanza of the poem?

The narrator portrays his dismal feelings regarding the end of summer in the first stanza of the poem ‘The Sun Goes Down on Summer’ . He is conscious of the fact that the happy days of summer are slipping away and feels  desolate, melancholic and oppressed at the very thought of it. His feelings come out in the saying, “It’s going; I can feel it slip away, and it leaves a cold, empty spot. A hole in my warm memories of endless golden days” He feels sad that his golden days are about to conclude, leaving a cold empty spot in his life. He is upset that his cherished golden days of summer are about to end and he needs to get back to school.  The first stanza brings out Steve Lawhead’s depressed and forlorn feelings as the sweet days of summer are about to end.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now try it yourself and write a paragraph using the RACER strategy bringing out one of the deeper messages in the poem.