What is the difference between ‘collaborate’ and ‘corroborate’?

The word ‘collaborate’ comes from the Latin ‘collaborare’ meaning to ‘labour together’. Therefore, when you ‘collaborate’ with someone, you work with that individual for a purpose – for example, you could collaborate with someone on a project.

*We will be collaborating with an American company to develop the product.

When you ‘corroborate’ something, you provide proof or evidence that supports what you or someone else has said. The word is frequently used in legal contexts.

*Some of the research findings seem to corroborate my father’s theory.

Source: “The Hindu”   – Know Your English  Column –  Jan 08, 2008

Does the word ‘w00t’ exist?

The internet has given us many new words, and ‘w00t’ is one them. I understand that the word originated in ‘competitive online gaming’. It was an acronym used by players for ‘we owned the other team’. In other words, you were much better than the other team and you beat them easily. The word has acquired a general meaning, and is now frequently used in everyday conversation as an expression of joy and excitement. The ‘00’ is pronounced like the ‘oo’ in ‘cool’, ‘pool’, and ‘school’.

*Believe it or not, the bank has decided to give us the loan we’d asked for. W00t!

The word can also be spelt ‘woot’, and it was included in the list of ‘Merriam-Webster’s Words of the Year’ for 2007.

Source: “The Hindu”   – Know Your English  Column –  Jan 08, 2008

Fear of Injections

‘Needle phobia’ is an expression that is commonly used by a lot of people for fear of injections. Doctors, on the other hand, refer to the extreme and irrational fear of injections as ‘trypanophobia’. The ‘y’ in the first syllable is like the ‘i’ in ‘bit’, ‘hit’, and ‘sit’, and the following syllable is pronounced like the word ‘pan’. It is also possible to pronounce the ‘a’ in the second syllable like the ‘a’ in ‘china’. The ‘o’ is like the ‘o’ in ‘go’, so’ and ‘no’, and the final syllables are pronounced like the word ‘phobia’. The main stress is on ‘pho’. These are just two of the ways of pronouncing the word.

Source: “The Hindu”   – Know Your English  Column –  Jan 08, 2008

Par for the course

“When you say something is par for the course, what you mean is that it is usual and acceptable for the given situation.”  “In other words, your experience tells you that what is happening is normal.”

The expression comes from the world of golf.


“The government is planning to increase its budget for education. That’s par for the course.”

“Manaswini threw up several times during the long drive.” “Given the fact, she gets sick whenever she travels, I guess it’s par for the course.”

Source: “The Hindu”   – Know Your English  Column –  Jan 01, 2008

“Float your boat”

When someone says something and you respond by saying, ‘Whatever floats your boat’, what you mean is, ‘Whatever pleases you’.”  “In other words, you are telling the person, ‘I’ll do whatever makes you happy’.”

This is just one of the meanings of the expression.


“Which movie do you want to go to?” 

“Whatever floats your boat.”

Source: “The Hindu”   – Know Your English  Column –  Jan 01, 2008