Some common grammatical confusions in English language (part 1)

English was one of my most favourite subjects right from my early school days and I give the credit to all my English language teachers who guided me well throughout my academic life. My teachers used to say that a good reader becomes a good writer, but I hardly used to read any book other than the prescribed textbooks. The only books I read included a few old story books available in braille at the school library In Muenselling Institute in Khaling and a few chapters from the World Book Encyclopedia. Even today, I mostly read only online articles, stories and news. But whatever I read, I read with extra focus on the grammatical structures of the sentences in addition to the messages they carry. When I was studying BA English at PSG College of Arts and Science in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India, I was fortunate to get the opportunity to learn from highly qualified lecturers some of whom were renowned grammarians. I have learned a lot from them and realized that there are many grammatical mistakes we make frequently, consciously or unconsciously. So today, I would like to hsare some of the most commonly made grammatical errors in English language so that you might be able to enhance your English language proficiency. I am not an expert but this is what I have learned from my English lecturers.
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Celebrating National Scout Day with His Majesty the King

Photo of scouts at Harmony: the Centenary Youth Village during the national scout day celebration

Yesterday, I was highly privileged to have got the opportunity to celebrate the first ever National Scout Day with His Majesty the King at Harmony: the Centenary Youth Village. The event was organized by the Department of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Education where I work. All the officials of the Department, scouts from schools in Thimphu and other guests who were part of the celebration were equally excited to have His Majesty the King to grace the occasion coinciding with his 35th birth anniversary.
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A tribute to His Majesty the King on his 35th birth anniversary

Photo of His Majesty the 5th King of Bhutan. Image source: Wikipedia.

As we all join the nation to celebrate the 35th birth anniversary of His Majesty the King today, I would like to take this special opportunity to offer my wishes and prayers to His Majesty the King and his family. We are extremely blest to have such a dynamic king to guide us hand-in-hand through the wilderness of time. Ever since His Majesty ascended the golden throne in 2008, he has taken numerous initiatives, all for the wellbeing of his subjects. The way he regularly interacts with youth, teachers, farmers and all other segments of the society shows how much he cares for us and how much he is concerned about our wellbeing. The political parties will come and go, but he will be the ultimate symbol of our national unity and sovereignty. He has been the main source of inspiration for us and we have no appropriate words to express our gratitude for what he has done for us so far.
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Dawa Dangpai Losar, a tug of war between culture and religion

New Year greetings with flowers. Photo source: Ms. Sonam Wangmo, Facebook.

Today is the 1st day of the 1st month of lunar calendar and it’s celebrated as New Year in many Mahayana Buddhist countries. It’s the day to reflect on the past and rectify the mistakes we have committed. In Bhutan too, people celebrate this day as Losar, which means ‘New Year’ and it’s a feasting festival for families, friends and relatives. Traditionally, it’s said that people first go to temples and monasteries to make offerings and prayers and join their families, relatives and friends for the feast. But today, I don’t think people go to temples to offer prayers to Gods and deities but they do begin the day with special feast followed by traditional games like archery, Khuru and Doego. It’s a special day for all the families to join their friends and relatives to have fun together. People prepare special and delicious foods, both non-vegetarian and vegetarian items and enjoy among themselves with different types of drinks. It’s a great occasion for the entire nation except for the Lhotsham communities which do not celebrate it. This day marks the beginning of warm season that shall contribute to the regeneration of plants and flowers. Basically, it’s the beginning of a new cycle of the Buddhist calendar.
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The wisdom I have got from my Indian lecturer

Thanks with yellow roses. Image source: Google.

When I was studying BA English in PSG College of Arts and Science, Bharathiyar University in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India from 2002-2005, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the most wise and highly qualified lecturers of the College. One such lecturer was Madam Jayanti Balakrishnan (JB) who was my class tutor for three years. I have been truly inspired by her wisdom and the way she taught us. She had a very good command over English and her skills to play with words were amazing. In fact, it was she who showed me the real beauty of English language. It was beyond doubt that she was one of my best lecturers during my undergrad studies. So today I am going to share with you some of the extra knowledge I have learned from her.
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Happy Valentine’s Day 2015

Happy Valentine's Day (Photo of a couple shaking hands). Image source: Google

Today as we are observing the Saint Valentine’s Day, lovers in many countries are exchanging flowers, gifts and greeting cards to symbolize their love for each other. In Bhutan too, many lovers are celebrating the day to express their love for their partners and I know our dance clubs tonight will be full with people celebrating the occasion with their sweethearts. It is the feast day for lovers and for them, it’s a special opportunity to let their partners know how much they love them. So, if you have a lover, you should not miss this opportunity today. Although it is not a national holiday in Bhutan, it’s a good coincidence this year that it has fallen on Saturday and it’s a weekend.
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My independent living skills put to full test

I have been alone in my house for over two weeks now. My wife has left for her village in Sibsoo with kids on 25th January 2015 and they will be back only towards the end of this week. She was hesitant to leave me alone but I advised her to go so that our kids would get the opportunity to have fun with their grandparents and enjoy the rustic life for a while. When my neighbours and friends noticed I was alone after a few days, they all asked me how I have been managing things alone. Everybody wondered how do I even cook and do the dishes. I always told them that I can easily do all those routine household chores. Even when I was not alone, I used to often help my wife with cooking, washing and cleaning. So, it’s nothing strange when I have to do it alone.
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Pornography: an epidemic of the digital age

I am sure most people would agree that the internet today is riddled with porn. But what is more worrying is the fact that the entire generation of our children are now growing up online and how to protect them from accessing such sexually explicit materials is becoming a growing concern. The online porn is getting out of control, beyond the reach of politicians, policy-makers and law enforcement. It is no longer safe to leave our kids on the internet alone because it often happens that such materials appear on the screen even without clicking on that particular page. Even Youtube, the popular video site does not always carry healthy stuffs. So, how can we make the virtual world safe for our kids are something we need to reflect on. Our kids have the rights to reap the benefits of internet resources but it’s now our responsibility as parents and teachers to ensure they do it in a healthy manner.
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Where are our Stars?

Photo of Ms. Sonam Yangden, Bhutan Star 2008. Image source: Google

When the first ever Bhutan Star context was initiated by Mr. Ngedup Dorji in 2008, it drew attention from the entire nation. Thousands of people watched the show from their homes and voted for their best candidates. The show became so popular that on Saturdays and Sundays, people remained at home and stayed glued to their television screen enjoying the performances of their favourite contestants. Ms. Sonam Yangden became the first Bhutan Star 2008, the title which she had earned with her talents and immense hard-work. From 2010, after a year’s gap, Mr. Kencho Wangdi initiated a new show called ‘Druk Star’. Like Bhutan Star, it also brought together a number of highly talented aspiring Bhutanese singers from around the country and gave them the opportunity to showcase their talents. Ms. Jampel Yangzom won the first Druk Star title in 2010. In 2011, a popular Bhutanese comedian, Ulap Leki took the title of Druk Super Star due to his extraordinary singing talents. Likewise, we have seen a number of other Stars including young children recognized by the public through such reality shows every year. While such reality shows have provided an ideal platform for aspiring Bhutanese singers to showcase their hidden talents and build self-confidence, it’s very sad that when the show gets over, the stars also go off-screen along with the shows.

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Sex scandals in Bhutan

Photo of Bhutan's national flag

As a Buddhist nation sequestered by time and tradition for centuries, Bhutan has long been considered the Adobe of Gods mainly because of the spectacular beauty of its natural landscape interwoven with our unique socio-cultural identity. Tucked in the bosom of Himalayas, Bhutan has been blest with everlasting peace, harmony and stability. Having been groomed as a peace-loving nation in self-imposed isolation for ages, we take special pride in our rich and unique cultural and social values. But with the advent of cheaper mobile phones and cameras over the recent years, some Bhutanese today have begun to venture out on a new journey that can potentially ruin those values in the longrun.
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