Friday, March 21, 2008


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

Seriously, this came out of nowhere. There was this one time, during a 5-minute break in our lecture, my friend asked me this,

"Where are the nuts in doughnuts?"

Where indeed, I asked myself. Being happy that I have a friend who was willing to share this mystery of life with me, I decided to humour her,

"Are they really not made out of grounded nuts? That's why they are called doughnuts."

"Really? That doesn't explain the dough part though. Or is the dough in the word doughnut is actually a 'though' rather than a 'dough'? Then it would be 'though-nuts' and it still wouldn't make any sense. Surely there is an explanation to this."

"Surely there is and it ranks high up in my to-do list: Investigate the origin of the word doughnut."

And I thought that was the end of it. But the mystery of doughnuts shall not go unanswered to my friend.

"Wait wait wait. How do you spell doughnuts? D-O-U-G-H-N-U-T-S or D-O-N-U-T-S? It's the latter right? Thats how doughnuts is spelt right?"

"Dunkin Donuts perhaps. But there are two variations of spelling for doughnuts, one would be the one used by the Americans which is D-O-N-U-T-S and the other one is mostly used by the British and the commonwealth countries. Here in Malaysia, I think it is acceptable to use either one."

"But that still doesn't explain the nuts."

By then, I could not think of anything else to say to her and thank God, the break was over. The doughnut enigma was left unanswered.

Allah knows best.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

Recent decisions by the sultans of Malaysia have won the affection of the rakyat and it serves as a reminder to us that the sultans of Malaysia are still important in the Malaysian political system.

Though you might think the that word affection, because it looks like affect + ion, is the noun form for the verb affect (which was covered in the previous entry), it is actually not. A quick check in a dictionary reveals that affection has a different meaning altogether from the verb affect.

affection - noun: fond attachment, devotion, or love:
abd's definition: a word used to describe a sense of liking to someone or something

God willing, may this discovery be beneficial (benefit + tial = benefiCial) to the betterment of our vocabulary.

Allah knows best.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's quite effective

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,

How do you cure the common cold?

You don't. There is no cure for common cold. You might have come upon medications that claim to cure the common cold but meh, I don't think such medications would really have any effect on curing the cold. It might affect your wallet though. You might as well wait for your antibody to kick off and cure yourself.

Effect - Noun: a result or consequence
abd's definition: This is the noun to describe a result of an action

affect - Verb: to act on; produce an effect or change in
abd's definition: this is the word that you use when an effect is taking place. Affect is the verb form of effect.

So, let's take a look at this example:

How do you think the new government will affect our lives?
I don't think it will have any effect on me. I'm just being ignorant.


How do you think the new government will affect our lives?
I don't think it would affect me in anyway. I'm just being ignorant.

From these 2 answers to the same question, we could see that effect and affect are used to say the same thing but they are presented in two different styles. As to which one is better? Being an avid but incapable learner of the English language myself I think it's up to you to decide. Your writing, your style.

Allah knows best.

ps: Affection is a noun which has quite a different meaning from affect and effect. Affection shall be covered in the next entry which will be published hopefully sooner than later.
Disclaimer: I am neither an English native speaker nor a qualified English teacher.