How many words do you know but never use?

Some clever folks analysed Shakespeare’s writings and came up with the following conclusion:

This means that in addition the 31,534 words that Shakespeare knew and used, there were approximately 35,000 words that he knew but didn’t use. Thus, we can estimate that Shakespeare knew approximately 66,534 words.


Some other clever fellow says that the average English speaker possesses a vocabulary of 10,000-20,000 words, but only uses a fraction of that (somewhere around a sixth). [Source]

Why not take this test and see how many of the specially selected 100 words you know. It’s multiple choice (and no, the answer is never D) and self-grading (you have to count your correct answers to get your percentage). I scored  72%, which would have been much lower without my knowledge of Italian (because it is closer to Latin).

Go on, take the test!

Don’t make me think (2)

Continued from yesterday.

Appliance: Control panel. Manufacturer: Honeywell.

Control panel
Control panel

Why do I need the manual? This panel controls the temperature for the winter heating. Being able to regulate it would be wonderful.

Description of homepage: Whitespace and a grid-based layout (screenshot).  I had no idea Honeywell was into aerospace. The homepage does convey a sense of a no-nonsense corporation in any case.

Is there a link to a manuals section on the homepage? No. By a process of elimination, I choose to click on ‘Automation and Control Solutions’.

What are the additional steps to take to get the manual I want? There is a myriad of control solutions they offer, but thankfully the one I need (Home Control) is right at the top. Clicking on that takes me to another page with a promising link: ‘Cronotherm User Manuals’.

Did I get the manual? Oh, yes I did. The page I land on is well-organised in five categories. Since the product code is all over the panel (and not to mention really short), I quickly identify the link to the manual I desire, and can henceforth enjoy customised heating. Continue reading

Don’t make me think (1)

It would seem to be that one of the rules in life is that when you’re looking for something, it’s nowhere to be found. And when you don’t need it, it seems to be everywhere you turn. In my case, this has occurred a number of times with regard to user manuals. Thankfully, most manufacturers now have downloadable manuals on their sites. However, as I’ve discovered, sometimes it may be easier to turn your house upside-down one more time than try to navigate some websites.

Here are some of the experiences I’ve had in the past20 months or so. I chose the Italian versions of the websites because they are usually more disastrous some appliances are  country-specific.

Appliance: Fridge. Manufacturer: Candy

Fridge, oven washing machine
Fridge, oven washing machine

Why do I need the manual? I need to defrost the fridge (in the picture on the left), but I can’t get to the power switch. This isn’t an unusual situation, so maybe it has been addressed in the user manual.

Description of homepage: Candy Italia’s homepage (screenshot) isn’t that bad from a design point of view. I have a problem with the disembodied woman in the top left, though. I’d probably add that it is a little too full of information. Some breathing room (aka whitespace) wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Is there a link to a manuals section on the homepage? Yes, on the left.

What are the additional steps to take to get the manual I want? The link takes me to a daunting page where I’m asked to choose the type of appliance and its product code. After inserting my head in the fridge, I get the product code and return to the very long drop-down. Eureka! I find it!

Did I get the manual? My excitement is short-lived, as I’m presented with another screen telling me that the manual I seek isn’t available online. If I’d like a copy, I could fill in a form inserting my full name, postal address, email address and phone number.

Verdict: Tear up the house one more time.  I’m not giving them any personal information in exchange for a measly booklet. Continue reading


40% of the Old Testament is made up of narrative.

The New Testament makes up 23% of the Bible.

The longest books in the New Testament are Luke, Acts, Matthew (in that order).

92% of Mark’s gospel is found in Matthew’s.

We know a lot more about Jesus’ last week than the rest of His life combined. 33% of Matthew, 37% of Mark, 25% of Luke and 42% of John is devoted to the Passion Week/ Holy Week.

30% of Acts is composed of the apostles’ discourses.

The book of James contains 59 commands in its 108 verses.

Only 8 of 27 New Testament books were written by members of the Twelve (Matthew’s gospel, John’s gospel and 3 epistles, Peter’s 2 epistles and Revelation).

Sources: Covenant Theological Seminary, David Jackman, Mark Driscoll (?)

Lies Women Believe: The truth that sets us free

This is part 11 of 11 of a series based on the book Lies Women Believe. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

In this last chapter, Nancy Leigh DeMoss highlights twenty-two truths that she holds to be crucial for Christian women in our day to believe and embrace. I’d add that they’re good for Christians of both genders to meditate on.

  1. God is good (Psalm 119:68; 136:1). Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what we feel or think, God is good and everything He does is good.
  2. God loves me and wants me to have His best (Romans 8:32, 38-39). God doesn’t love us because we’re lovable or worthy, but because He is love. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn or desire His love. We cannot comprehend such unconditional love; but if we believe it and receive it, His love will transform our lives.
  3. I am complete and accepted in Christ (Ephesians 1:4-6). I don’t have to perform to made acceptable to God. Why? Because Jesus—the pure, sinless Son of God—is acceptable to Him, and we stand in Him.
  4. God is enough (Psalm 23:1). If we have Him, we have everything we need for our present peace and happiness.
  5. God can be trusted (Isaiah 28:16). God keeps His promises.
  6. God doesn’t make any mistakes (Isaiah 46:10). God is always fulfilling His eternal purposes, and they cannot be thwarted by any human failure. If we are in Christ, our lives are in His hand and nothing can touch our lives that has not first been “filtered through His fingers of love”.
  7. God’s grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9). As a child of God, I will never face a circumstance that exceeds His grace. Continue reading

Lies Women Believe: Countering lies with the truth

This is part 10 of 11 of a series based on the book Lies Women Believe. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

This chapter reviews the material covered in the book thus far. The two major points of the book, we are reminded, are:

  • Believing lies places us in bondage
  • The truth has the power to set us free.

Progression to bondage begins when we listen to the lies. This is followed by dwelling on them, which in turn leads to acting on the lies. In order to get from bondage to freedom, at least 3 steps are needed:

  • Identify the area(s) of bondage or sinful behaviour
  • Identify the lie(s) at the root of that bondage or behaviour
  • Replace the lie(s) with the Truth

God’s Truth has the power to overcome every lie, to set us free (John 8:32) and to sanctify us (John 17:17). But we need to choose the pathway of Truth.

How do we know the Truth? The Truth is a person: the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). True freedom is found in a vital, growing relationship with Him. In addition to knowing the Truth, we must surrender to Him. We must be willing to change our thinking or lifestyle in any areas where they do not square with the Word of God. Living according to the Truth requires a conscious choice to embrace Truth and reject deception (psalm 119:29-30).

Once we know the Truth and are walking according to the Truth, then we can be God’s instruments to draw others to the Truth (James 5:19-20).

Lies Women Believe About Circumstances

This is part 9 of 11 of a series based on the book Lies Women Believe. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

36. If my circumstances were different, I would be different

The implication of this statement is that our circumstances make us what we are. We feel that we would be more loving, more patient and easier to live with if our upbringing, our environment and the people around us were different. The truth is, our circumstances reveal what we are.  We may not realise how impatient we are until we encounter a set of circumstances that show us how we really are.

The truth is:

  • My circumstances do not make me what I am, they merely reveal what I am. Matthew 6:21; 15:19; Luke 6:45
  • If I am not content with my present circumstances, I am not likely to be happy in any other set of circumstances. Philippians 4:11-12
  • I may not be able to control my circumstances, but my circumstances do not have to control me. Hebrews 13:5; James 1:2-5
  • Every circumstance that touches my life has first been filtered through His fingers of love.  Genesis 45:8; 50:20; Job 1:8-12; Psalm 139:16; Matthew 10:29-31; Romans 8:28

Continue reading

Lies Women Believe About Emotions

This is part 8 of 11 of a series based on the book Lies Women Believe. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

32. If I feel something, it must be true

The Enemy wants us to believe that if we feel our situation is hopeless, then there must be no hope. That if we feel unloved, we are. And so on. However, in many instances, our feelings aren’t a reliable gauge of what is true: it doesn’t take much to make us happy (a sunny day) or sad (something we ate last night). Our feelings are not necessarily trustworthy, and we must be willing to reject any feelings that are not consistent with biblical truth.

The truth is:

  • My feelings cannot always be trusted. They can easily deceive me into believing things that are not true. Psalm 119:29-30; Jeremiah 17:9-10
  • I must choose to reject any feelings that are not consistent with the Truth. Psalm 33:4; Psalm 51:6; Psalm 56:3-4; Ephesians 4:14-15; Philippians 4:8-9

Continue reading

Lies Women Believe About Children

This is part 7 of 11 of a series based on the book Lies Women Believe. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

27. It’s up to us to determine the size of our family

Christians have come to absorb a number of “anti-children” philosophies from the culture around us. For example, it is widely held that a woman should choose when to have children and how many they should be.  However, the process by which most people regulate the size of their families is driven by fear, selfishness and human reason.

The truth is:

  • One of the purposes of marriage is to produce a “godly offspring”. Psalm 113:9; Psalm 127:3-5
  • Childbearing is a basic, God-given role for women. Children are to be received as a blessing from God. Psalm 127:3-5; 1 Timothy 5:14

28.  Children need to get exposed to the “real world” so that they can learn to function in it

God never intended for us to know evil by experiencing it for ourselves. Children should be raised to love righteousness and hate evil. If parents allow their children to absorb culture indiscriminately, they will cultivate an appetite for it instead of an appetite for the things of God. Continue reading

Lies Women Believe About Marriage

This is part 6 of 11 of a series based on the book Lies Women Believe. Read the introductory post or view all the posts in the series.

21. I have to have a husband to be happy

The ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God. Those who get married for happiness seldom find what they’re looking for.

The truth is:

  • Happiness is not found in (or out of) marriage. James 1:16-17
  • There is no person who can meet my deepest needs. No one and nothing can make me truly happy, apart from God. Psalm 62:5; Psalm 118:8-9; Jeremiah 17:5-7
  • God has promised to provide everything I need. If He will receive more glory by my being married, He will provide a husband for me. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Job 42:1-2; Proverbs 16:9; 1 Corinthians 7:25-38
  • Those who wait on the Lord always get His best. Those who insist on getting what they want often end up with heartache. Psalm 37:4; Psalm 106:15; Jeremiah 17:5-8

Continue reading