Winter Scene Photo

"Winter in Oregon"
Courtesy of Nancy Calcagno


Dear Volunteers and Friends,

I hope this will be a happy new year for all of you.  Most of us probably loved the beauty of glistening snow wherever we looked.  Of course, the fallen trees and branches, the need to dig a path for walking and
driving, and all the slipping on ice probably turned things ugly.  I hope none of you suffered injury or hardship over the ordeal.

More people are using technical terms that have cropped up in the English language.  We have "memes" and "trolls" and "tweets" getting more
popular.  Even "snowflake" has a new meaning.  And it's up to us at the Literacy Council to help new English readers keep up with these additions to the vocabulary.  So, dear tutors, may I suggest that you "Google" social media terminology to keep up with the constantly changing dialogue.

Say, did you know that this branch of the Literacy Council was founded in 1968?  This year will be our 49th year of service.  That means we need to plan something special for our 50th year anniversary.  But what?  Our Board of Directors would love to hear some suggestions from our TUTORS readers.  Feel free to send us a letter or an e-mail with your ideas. Mind you, we have a very limited budget.

I hope you have a great 2017.

Bob Burger


We offer individualized tutoring for Basic Reading, GED, ESL, Workforce Development Classes, and Citizenship.

Our Workforce Development class offers training in Microsoft Office and Résumé Building.

If you know of anyone who might benefit from our program, please let them know about our services. The Literacy Council serves all of Jackson County.



We are currently in need of more tutors. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, we would love to hear from you.

A tutor will typically spend one or two sessions per week with an adult learner. These sessions usually run 60 to 90 minutes long. A tutor and an adult learner often work together for 6 months to 2 years.

There are no credentials required. Simply attend free training sessions and learn how to be an effective tutor!

"When one teaches, two learn."





   Chair ------------------------------------------- Bob Burger
   Placement ------------------------------------- Liz Koester
   Treasurer ------------------------------- Nancy Calcagno
   Newsletter Editor ----------------------Nancy Calcagno

Words that are their own antonyms.

1. Sanction (via French, from Latin sanctio(n-), from sancire ‘ratify,’) can mean ‘give official permission or approval for (an action)’ or conversely, ‘impose a penalty on.’

2. Oversight is the noun form of two verbs with contrary meanings, “oversee” and “overlook.” “Oversee,” from Old English ofersēon ‘look at from above,’ means ‘supervise’ (medieval Latin for the same thing: super- ‘over’ + videre ‘to see.’) “Overlook” usually means the opposite: ‘to fail to see or observe; to pass over without noticing; to disregard, ignore.’

3. Left can mean either remaining or departed. If the gentlemen have withdrawn to the drawing room for after-dinner cigars, who’s left? (The gentlemen have left and the ladies are left.)

4. Dust, along with the next two words, is a noun turned into a verb meaning either to add or to remove the thing in question. Only the context will tell you which it is. When you dust are you applying dust or removing it? It depends whether you’re dusting the crops or the furniture.

5. Seed can also go either way. If you seed the lawn you add seeds, but if you seed a tomato you remove them.

6. Stone is another verb to use with caution. You can stone some peaches, but please don’t stone your neighbor (even if he says he likes to get stoned).

7. Trim as a verb predates the noun, but it can also mean either adding or taking away. Arising from an Old English word meaning ‘to make firm or strong; to settle, arrange,’ “trim” came to mean ‘to prepare, make ready.’ Depending on who or what was being readied, it could mean either of two contradictory things: ‘to decorate something with ribbons, laces, or the like to give it a finished appearance’ or ‘to cut off the outgrowths or irregularities of.’ And the context doesn’t always make it clear. If you’re trimming the tree are you using tinsel or a chain saw?

8. Cleave can be cleaved into two “homographs,” words with different origins that end up spelled the same. “Cleave,” meaning ‘to cling to or adhere,’ comes from an Old English word that took the forms cleofian, clifian, or clīfan. “Cleave,” with the contrary meaning ‘to split or sever (something), ‘ as you might do with a cleaver, comes from a different Old English word, clēofan. The past participle has taken various forms: “cloven,” which survives in the phrase “cloven hoof,” “cleft,” as in a “cleft palate” or “cleaved.”

9. Resign works as a contronym in writing. This time we have homographs, but not homophones. “Resign,” meaning ‘to quit,’ is spelled the same as “resign,” meaning ‘to sign up again,’ but it’s pronounced differently.

10. Fast can mean "moving rapidly," as in "running fast," or ‘fixed, unmoving,’ as in "holding fast." If colors are fast they will not run. The meaning ‘firm, steadfast’ came first. The adverb took on the sense ‘strongly, vigorously,’ which evolved into ‘quickly,’ a meaning that spread to the adjective.

The English language can be challenging. Take time to make some fun games out of our confusing language. By creating games to entertain your student, you can make the challenges a fun learning experience.

Literacy Council of Jackson County
P.O. Box 615
Medford, OR 97501
(541) 531-0166

Website: www.literacyjc.org
E-mail: literacy@juno.com



An abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word.

There are no universal standards of the multiple names for such abbreviations and historically they had limited use. Acronyms became more common in the 20th century. Today we use them to abbreviate common terms when texting and on social media.

Example of Acronyms pronounced as a word containing only initial letters:
  NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  Scuba: self-contained underwater breathing apparatus

Example of Acronyms pronounced as a word containing non-initial letters:
  Amphetamine: alpha-methylphenethylamine
  Nabisco: National Biscuit Co

Example of Acronyms pronounced as a string of letters, containing syllable-initial but not necessarily word-initial letters:
  PMN: polymorphonuclear leukocytes
  OCA: oculocutaneous albinism

Example of Acronyms pronounced as a word, containing a mixture of initial and non-initial letters:
  AIDS: acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  Radar: radio detection and ranging

Example of Acronyms pronounced as a word or a string of letters, depending on speaker or context:
  FAQ: frequently asked question (Faek or ef-ay-cue)
  IRA: Individual Retirement Account (Ira or I.R.A.)

Example of Acronyms pronounced as a combination of spelling out and a word:
  JPEG: (jay[peg]) Joint Photographic Experts Group
  CD-ROM: (cee-dee-[rom]) Compact Disc read-only memory

Example of Acronyms pronounced only as a string of letters:
  BBC: British Broadcasting Corporation
  USA: United States of America

Example of Acronyms pronounced as a string of letters, but with a shortcut:
  AAA: (triple A) American Automobile Association
  IEEE: (I triple E) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Example of Acronym shortcut incorporated into name:
  3M: (three M) originally Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
  W3C: (W three C) World Wide Web Consortium

Example of Multi-layered Acronyms:
  GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program
  GAIM: (former name of Pidgin): GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger

Example of Recursive Acronyms:
  GNU: GNU's not Unix!
  Wine: Wine is not an emulator (originally, Windows emulator)

Example of Pseudo-acronyms, which consist of a sequence of characters that, when pronounced as intended, invoke other, longer words with less typing:
  K9: Kay-nine for "canine", used to designate police units utilizing dogs
  IOU: i-o-u for "I owe you" (the acronym would be IOY)

Example of Abbreviations whose last abbreviated word is often redundantly included anyway
  ATM machine: automated teller machine (machine)
  PIN number: personal identification number (number)

Introduce students to acronyms by asking them if they’ve ever heard these commonly used abbreviations: FBI, IRS, USA, NASA. While these acronyms aren’t actually words, we use them so regularly that people generally know what we are talking about even though they might not know the words these letters represent. Brainstorm with your student to see if they can figure out what popular acronyms stand for. Good examples to use are AWOL, MIA, ETA, CSI, USSR, DMV and Navy SEALS.