English proverb of the day

"The negative side of the American Dream comes when people pursue success at any cost, which in turn destroys the vision and the dream "

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  • Topic of this Week: "CAREER CHOICES - Follow your passion or follow your ability? (October 17, 2021)"

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    The online discussion will start at 3.00pm and close at 5.00pm on 17th, October 2021.
    CAREER CHOICES - Follow your passion or follow your ability?
    (the topic was once discussed on SEPTEMBER 22, 2016)

    Making a career choice is more than just landing a job. It is a decision that has a huge impact on our lifestyle and the way we achieve our lifetime goals. But how can we decide on a career path when our academic performance suggests an option but we desire otherwise?
    Imagine you make it through four years of college and get your degree; you graduate and get a job in a related field. But years later, you realize it was actually a mistake. What you are doing is not what you actually want to do. You feel bad having to get up each day and go to a job you do not like.
    That scenario is not rare. For many people, it may take years or more to find out what they are good at, and sometimes, their skills and abilities may not equal their interests and passions. That is one reason why many college students change their major halfway through college, and many never do the jobs related to their majors after graduation.
    The fact is that you cannot be successful at something you are not interested in, but if you have no special skill in something you are passionate about, you can be discouraged; your passion can be drained, and it can be another dilemma.
    1. Are you doing what you love for a living?
    2. Why do people sometimes do the jobs they hate?
    3. How do we know if a job is our true calling?
    3. What should we do to make a smart career choice?
    Topic maker: Giang Hải Đăng

    Enjoy and have a fruitful discussion!



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    Small or little

    (23:25:57 PM 18/03/2014)

     This is a question that I answered on Quora.com. Someone asked "What is the difference between 'small' and 'little'?Here is what I wrote:

    This english.stackexchange page has a detailed discussion of the difference between 'little' and 'small': Difference between "little" and "small"

    Also, when thinking about words which are synonyms of each other, it may be helpful to think not in terms of "What's the difference in meaning?" but "Are there differences in how these are used?" In other words, what other words and phrases does each word pair with?

    Here are the top 10 collocates (words that appear nearby) for 'little' according to the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)

    1. bit
    2. girl
    3. boy
    4. nervous
    5. cute
    6. precious
    7. incentive
    8. resemblance
    9. mermaid
    10. bitty

    (I left out the words "Rock" and "Ark" from the list because they're mostly related to the U.S. city of Little Rock, Arkansas.)

    And here are the top collocates for 'small':

    1. town
    2. business
    3. relatively
    4. bowl
    5. amount
    6. size
    7. percentage
    8. pieces
    9. sample
    10. farmers

    You can get a sense of the difference in usage between "little" and "small" based on these lists, even though they mean essentially the same thing.

    In general, I think it's better to think about differences in usage between similar words instead of differences in meaning.

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