EARTHQUAKE: The Word of the Month March 2011

Every month, we take a look at a word in the headlines, in English, for your English. See more at The Word of the Month.

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Earthquake (noun): a sudden, violent shaking of the earth’s surface due to seismic activity.

Earth (noun): The ground or soil; the third planet from the sun.

Quake (verb + noun): to shake or tremble.

Some Awesome Earhquakes:

2011: Sendai, Japan, featuring Tsunami and Nuclear explosions.

2010: Haiti, 300,000 dead according to Haitian sources, up to 92,000 according to non-Haitian sources.

2004: Sumatra, Indonesia, Indian Ocean, causing 30 meter waves, and a 1 cm vibration of the entire planet… not good vibrations though.

1960: Valdive, Chile. Chile always has problems… remember those miners a little while ago?

Earthshaking Facts:

Earth rhymes with birth and worth, as well as recent Oscar winner Colin Firth.

Quake rhymes with bake, cake, and lake. Those things are usually more pleasant than earthquakes.


Earth is one of the only planets believed to support life. Martians disagree.

Quake was a popular video game last decade. The goal is to shoot and kill monsters with a shotgun, just like in real life.

I felt the Earth move — useful phrase after an intense sexual experience — or an 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

Take a look through our Word of the Month archives, or improve your English with

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