What is a dongle?

InternetIt’s been a while since we had any geek speak on the World of Words, so today I thought I’d share an article from the BBC technology news section.

I use a 3.5G (HSDPA) Internet connection so this news was particularly interesting for me. I would love a connection ten times faster than the one I have now so I can’t wait for this technology to be released to the rest of the world!

There was some interesting technical vocabulary in this article, too. The first interesting word was ‘dongle‘. A ‘dongle‘ is a small electronic device that must be plugged into a computer in order for a specific function to work. In this case, it’s to receive a signal to transfer data. In other cases it might be to act as an authorisation key for a certain piece of software.

The next interesting word is ‘downlink‘. This means the transfer of data from the Internet to your computer. The opposite is ‘uplink‘.

Slightly later on, the author uses the word ‘pilot‘ meaning ‘to try out’ or ‘to test’. Sometimes, we can also use ‘pilot’ as an adjective when we talk about a ‘pilot scheme’ or ‘pilot episode‘.

The last expression I would like to look at today is ‘on the move‘. This means ‘whilst travelling’.

What kind of Internet connection do you use?

Today’s image is by CLUC.

Free Honeymoon

couple on beachCan you imagine being given a free honeymoon? Well, that’s just what the Malaysian government are offering couples in a bid to decrease the divorce rate. I saw this article about it on the BBC News website yesterday and started imagining where I would go on a second honeymoon.

In the first paragraph, the author mentions that these honeymoons will be offered to couples ‘on the brink’ of divorce. I explained ‘on the brink‘ in more detail in this post, but in this situation, it means couples who are very likely to divorce.

The next interesting expression is slightly later in the article where it is mentioned that the scheme is aimed at building ‘family ties‘. ‘Family ties‘ means the relationship between family members.

Further on in the article, the expression ‘in-laws‘ is mentioned. Your ‘in-laws‘ are your wife or husband’s parents. We can also use ‘in-law‘ after a word to indicate that a person is related to your husband or wife. For example, my brother in-law is my wife’s brother.

A few weeks ago, we saw here that machines can ‘break down‘. Marriages can, too. We also often use the phrasal verb ‘fall apart‘  to talk about when a relationship starts to become difficult and unsustainable.

The last interesting expression in this article ‘pilot project‘. We use the word ‘pilot‘ in this sense to talk about something being done for the first time as a test or trial. Another example of this would be when a TV company makes a ‘pilot episode‘ of a TV show to test whether viewers will like it or not.

Where would you like to go on a free honeymoon?

Today’s image is by Fran Flores.