The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens

TWS 2016

Guide to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What are the details of the workshop?

What: The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens
When: April 16, 2016 (Saturday), 1PM to 5PM
Where: U-View, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City

What is the workshop about?

Do you have a teen who loves to read and write? Do you believe he has the potential to become a writer? If you’re looking for a productive activity for your kid this summer season, sign him up for “The Write Stuff: A Writing Lab for Teens”.

In this half-day workshop, the Founders of Writer’s Block Philippines will share different writing techniques and help your child discover his writer’s voice. While Talecraft creator, Ria Lu, will discuss the basics of fiction writing, character design, and story creation.

What is Talecraft?

Talecraft is a story-creation card game designed to help writers break out of mental block and create stories with genres and characters that are outside of what they usually like to create. There are three types of cards in Talecraft: the Genre cards, the Archetype cards, and the Key cards. Players need to pick cards from each type and create a story based on what they’ve picked. For more information about the game, please visit

Who can attend the event?

Ideally, participants should be teenagers between the ages of 13 to 18 years who generally have an interest in writing and want to hone their skills, especially in the following topics: 

  • fiction writing
  • feature writing
  • journaling

How much is the registration fee?

There is a PhP3,000 fee per participant, which covers the course fee, Talecraft cards, and workshop kit. We’ll take care of the substance, but you take care of your sustenance, that okay?

How can I reserve a seat?

Simply sign up through our online registration form to signify your interest and we’ll email you the details on how to confirm a slot.

How can I pay for the workshop? 

You may settle the workshop fee by making a deposit to our bank account. Details as follows:

Bank: BPI
Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services
Account number: Savings account 1759 0377 11

If you have the BPI app on your phone, you can also pay via bank transfer without having to enroll our account in your Bills Payment Roster. Simply click on the option, “Transfer to Anyone”.

You may also pay via Paypal, which has a payment feature in our website.

NOTE: Once you’ve settled the fee, please email us your complete name, contact details, and a copy of the deposit slip/screen cap of transaction so we can confirm your slot.

Is there a deadline for signing up?

There is no deadline but please note that we will close the registration once all the slots have been filled up. Walk-in participants will only be accommodated if there are still available slots.

Also, it’s best to sign up and confirm a slot way before the event so we can prepare your handouts and certificates.

Who is hosting the event?

It will be conducted by Writer’s Block Philippines, a duo of editors and communicators who have collectively had more than 20 years of experience in freelance lifestyle and corporate writing.

Ana P. Santos: reproductive health rights and women’s issues

Ana has had over 12 years experience in advertising and marketing communications. She left her post as Assistant Vice President of a financial institution five years ago to pursue a career as a freelance writer.

As an independent journalist and foreign correspondent covering sexual health rights and women’s issues, Ana has received media grants from Newsbreak, Probe Media Foundation and the Philippine Press Institute to cover population and development issues.

In 2014, she was named the 2014 Persephone Miel Fellow by Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to do a series of stories on migrant mothers entitled, “Who Takes Care of Nanny’s Children?”.  She has just finished reporting for her second Pulitzer Center grant entitled, “HIV in the Philippines: State of Emergency”.

Ana has regular columns in Rappler and Working Mom while some of her full-length features have been published in the Washington Post and The Atlantic.

Nikka Sarthou-Lainez: lifestyle / travel

Nikka has over 10 years of experience in writing for various online and print publications, as well as developing content for corporate clients. She is currently a full-time freelance editor/writer handling independent projects and corporate accounts.

In 2012, she was chosen as one of the five Asian representatives for Moleskine’s Modern Nomads and was included in its exhibition of travel writers’ kits where some of her travel paraphernalia were shown on display. She was the only featured travel writer from the Philippines, the others were from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Her feature pieces have appeared in local publications like asianTraveler, Travelife, Spark, Celebrity Mom, Business World, Highlife, Metro, Metro Society,,,,, GMA News Online, Rappler and WayToGo. She has also been published in Filipino publications abroad such as Filipino Star News in Michigan, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, and Dubai-based magazine Illustrado.

She is currently a Contributing Editor in Smile, the in-flight magazine of Cebu Pacific Air.

Guest speaker: Ria Lu, Creator of Talecraft

Ria Lu is the President/CEO of Komikasi Games and Entertainment, Inc., the development company responsible for some of the award-winning Advergames in the country. Ria graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the De La Salle University, Manila; and has taken up Computer Graphics for Games at the Tokyo Technical College. She is also currently the immediate Past-President of the Soroptimist International Club Parañaque, a socio-civic organization advocating the betterment of the lives of women and girls; and she is also a board member of the Game Developers’ Association of the Philippines. Ria is also the creator of the Talecraft and Flirt card games.

Who do I contact for more information about the workshop?

You can call us through this number (0917) 397.9927 or email You can also check out our website:

FAQs: Dreamboarding workshop (now on September 22, 2012)

What are the general details of the workshop?
What: Dreamboarding: A workshop on creative visualization
When: September 22 (Saturday), 1:00-4:00PM
Where: U-View, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Dreamboarding: a workshop on creative visualization by Writer's Block Philippines | September 22, 2012, Fully Booked High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

What are the general details of the workshop?

What:             Dreamboarding: A workshop on creative visualization

When:             September 22 (Saturday), 1:00-4:00PM

Where:           U-View, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Fee:                 P1,200, inclusive of materials and snacks

A sample dreamboard (c/o NTZ, 2010)
A sample dreamboard (c/o NTZ, 2010)

What is a dreamboard?

A dreamboard, also called a “vision board”, is a collage of images that are meant to creatively visualize and connect you to your life goals. Some people like creating digital versions of their dreamboards, but we recommend the “analog” cut-and-paste version to allow serendipity to fully work its magic into the process. 

What exactly is a “Dreamboarding” workshop?

“Dreamboarding” is a three-hour creativity session where participants will be asked to take part in a visualization exercise, make their own dreamboards, and process the contents of their dreamboards to better understand their goals, priorities, and motivations. There are no right or wrong answers, and nobody will be forced to share details that they wish to keep to themselves.

 Is the “Dreamboarding” workshop only for writers?

The “Dreamboarding” workshop is open to writers and non-writers alike, both young and old. Even teenagers may attend the event!

 How many are the expected participants?

 We can only accommodate a maximum of 20 participants for this event.

 How I can benefit from the activity?

 At the very least, making a dreamboard can help you visualize your goals. (And what you can visualize, you can more easily achieve!) On a deeper level, the regular practice of dreamboarding can help you better see underlying patterns in your life, understand your priorities and motivations, and be more inspired to take charge of your own future.

How much is the registration fee? And what does it cover?

The fee is P1,200, inclusive of workshop materials and light snacks. (Regular discounts apply for WBP members. Please include your membership card number when emailing us your deposit slip and details.)

How can I reserve and pay for my slot?

Just email us your name and contact details to reserve. To secure your slot to the workshop, you may pay the fee via deposit to our bank account. Details are as follows:

Bank: BPI

Bank account name: Writer’s Block Training Services

Account number: Savings account 1759-0377-11

Once you have made the deposit, please send us a scanned image of the deposit slip to our email address, Please also include your full name and mobile number so we can get in touch with you for any urgent communication.

Will you be accepting walk-ins for this class?

Since we will need to prepare materials before this workshop, we’re afraid that we cannot accept walk-ins. Also, we will have only 20 slots for this workshop, so we encourage you to reserve and make your payments early.

 Is there anything else that I will need to do or bring before the workshop?

Like any other workshop that you may have already attended, the Dreamboarding workshop will only be as effective as you make it. You get what you put into it. That said, the main ingredients for “success” in this workshop are: an open mind and an attitude of genuine learning and sharing. We shall provide the materials that you will use for this exercise, but if you’d like to bring your own magazines and art supplies, feel free to do so.

Who can I contact for more information?

You may reach us at (0927) 850 8280 or email

Dreamboarding workshop now moved to September 22 (Saturday)

The Dreamboarding workshop that was originally scheduled for July 21 (but which had to be postponed due to inclement weather and flooding) will now be held on September 22 (Saturday).

Dreamboarding: A workshop on creative visualization by Writer's Block Philippines | September 22 (Saturday) 1-4PM, Fully Booked High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig | Email for more details
Dreamboarding: A workshop on creative visualization by Writer's Block Philippines | September 22 (Saturday) 1-4PM, Fully Booked High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig | Email for more details. You may also click on the link to view our FAQs

The Dreamboarding workshop that was originally scheduled for July 21 (but which had to be postponed due to inclement weather and flooding) will now be held on September 22 (Saturday). It will still be held from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street.

All those who had earlier registered and paid for their seats are automatically registered for this workshop. To those who want to claim our last few open slots, please email or call/text (+63 927) 850 8280.

For any other questions and concerns regarding the new schedule, kindly drop us a line.

REMEMBER: All card-bearing, updated members of Writer’s Block Philippines get an automatic 10% discount to this workshop. You may also purchase WBP gift certificates to give a friend or loved one the gift of writing–and, in this case, Dreamboarding! 🙂


Writing the Trends Piece: A workshop on feature writing about design and innovation

Renowned writer Oscar Wilde once said in his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, “Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.”

From classic to contemporary pieces, eye-popping designs and innovation inspire a lot of people to write. Colors, textures, materials, origin–there are various points of interest to draw upon even a succinct but engaging account of a design masterpiece.

But how does one write about such creations?

Inspired by the ongoing German exhibit “Somewhat DifferentContemporary Design & the Power of Convention,” Writer’s Block Philippines (WBP) will be holding a workshop on feature writing about design and innovation.

Entitled “Writing the Trends Piece,” the writing workshop will be held at the Yuchengco Museum on May 26, 2012 (Saturday) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The workshop will be facilitated by Writer’s Block Philippines’ editor- founders Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Niña Terol-Zialcita, together with Yuchengco Museum curator Jeannie Javelosa. It fuses practical knowledge about writing, an overview of art and design trends in the Philippines, and hands-on feature writing and art appreciation exercises to give the participant a starting point for covering themes on art, design, and innovation.


The Yuchengco Museum was createdto house the art collection of Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, and highlight his distinguished career as a businessman, diplomat, collector, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and advocate for education in the Philippines and beyond.

The Museum’s primary goal is to foster a greater public appreciation of the finest in Filipino and Filipino-Chinese visual arts and creativity. Located in Makati, the heart of Metro Manila’s financial district, the Museum is not only a “temple” that showcases art, but also a “forum” of exchange, debate, and education.


Writer’s Block Philippines is an organization that works to empower  both individual and organizational writers and communicators. Believing that writing is both art and craft, both creative and methodical, a form of expression and a discipline, it offers workshops and customized editorial services to fit various needs.

For details and reservations about the workshop, email, call (02) 889 1234, or visit

Living the joy of travel writing

“It doesn’t matter where or how far you go… the important thing is how alive you are. Writing of every kind is a way to wake oneself up and keep as alive as when one has just fallen in love.”

~ Pico Iyer, prolific travel writer and bestselling book author

By Niña Terol-Zialcita


“It doesn’t matter where or how far you go… the important thing is how alive you are. Writing of every kind is a way to wake oneself up and keep as alive as when one has just fallen in love.”  

~ Pico Iyer, prolific travel writer and bestselling book author


I can still remember how my arms had felt like falling off on that day. One of my best friends promised to prepare a surprise itinerary for me, and I, in turn, promised to go along with whatever she had planned. I stepped out in a green summer dress, not realizing that the agenda for the day was to row a small boat for over two hours straight. My muscles were sore, my ego was a bit bruised over driving the boat onto the bank a number of times, but after a while none of that mattered anymore.

Rowing along the Venise Vert

I was rowing a boat in the Venise Vert (the “Green Venice”, more properly known as Marais Poitevin), France’s largest marsh on the Atlantic Coast, and just a short drive away was La Rochelle, the beautiful seaside town where Parisians go when they want to escape la vie Parisienne. Later on, we drove to another waterfront location, and as I touched the sea foam with my bare hands, my friend’s husband pointed out, “You are at the tip of the Atlantic Ocean!”

I was at the tip of the Atlantic Ocean. I dipped my hands into the water and imagined myself connecting to all the other countries and peoples on the other side of the water. Then I raised my arms to embrace the wind and face the setting sun, and I closed my eyes while taking a long, deep breath.

It was the most wonderful feeling in the world.

At the tip of the Atlantic Ocean

* * *

That trip to La Rochelle was made possible, in part, by a short journalism program that I had taken just a week prior in Prague, the Czech Republic. I was 30 and a bit too old to be going back to school, but it was the perfect opportunity to fuse three of the things that make me feel truly alive: writing, traveling, and connecting with people of different cultures.

And since I was going to be in Europe anyway, I made plans to extend my trip to France, then I contacted editors to pitch stories featuring my two next destinations: Paris and La Rochelle. During my 24-hour stay in Paris, I explored as much of the city as I could, then I wrote a guide to exploring “Paris in a Hurry” (asianTraveler, October 2010). Meanwhile, during my three-day stay in La Rochelle, I explored the quiet but beautiful side of French country living, and that’s where the piece “French Retreat” (Manila Bulletin, February 20, 2011) was born.


The truth is, I was never much of a traveler before that experience, but it was the joy of writing about my travels that encouraged me to travel some more (instead of the other way around). I realized that, in writing about my experiences, I was immortalizing these journeys in print; therefore, I had to seek out experiences worthy of being immortalized. I didn’t want to simply write about ordinary activities and everyday events; I wanted to document extraordinary moments and milestones, or at least adventures in places outside of my usual confines.

Moreover, it was through travel writing that I realized that it was really the journey that meant much more to me than simply the destination. I wanted to explore not just the “must-sees” and the “to-dos” of a place, but its spirit, its voice, its relationship with the people who live in it. To me, a place is more than just the sum of the things and experiences that one can find in it; a place has its own personality, its own soul. Thus, to me, the joy of travel writing lies in discovering that soul and giving it life (or, more accurately, interpreting it) in one’s own voice.

Of course, it’s a bit more difficult than it seems—but, again, that’s where the joy of discovery lies. As we travel and learn more about the world around us, we also learn more about ourselves and the world within us. And as we discover the voices of the world and distinguish its different nuances, we also discover the nuances of our own writing voice—and so this fascinating cycle is perpetuated. We travel to write, and then we write to travel. The best part of it all is being able to share this joie de vivre with others and somehow inspire others to take their own journeys.

Take a walk

To borrow another thought from Pico Iyer:

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”

Here’s to falling in love over and over again—and to immortalizing those precious memories and experiences on print.


Niña Terol-Zialcita is one of the facilitators of “Travel the Write Way”, a one-day travel writing workshop by Writer’s Block Philippines. It runs on Saturday, April 28 (10AM to 6PM) at co.lab, 4/F Optima Building, Salcedo Street, Legaspi Village, Makati. For reservations and inquiries, visit, email, or call/text (0927) 850 8280. Read more of Niña’s adventures in her blog, Little Rich Girl.


How writing can make your dreams come true

It seems to me that my love story with writing—or with words, in particular—has gone on for as long as I can remember.

By Niña Terol-Zialcita

It seems to me that my love story with writing—or with words, in particular—has gone on for as long as I can remember.

I was three years old when I learned how to read, and I remember how it used to be my version of the “song and dance” for titos and titas. Instead of being asked to perform cute little songs for our visitors, my parents would bring out the newspaper and ask me to read (although I loved to sing Lea Salonga’s “I am but a small voice”, too, back then.) The first word I can remember reading was “business”—which I had read as “boo-see-ness”. Other words soon followed: “Tabasco” (my parents loved hot sauce), “Crayola” (I still love crayons until now), and so on. My parents showered me with all sorts of storybooks and workbooks, and I also had a private tutor who sounded like Ms. Tina Monzon-Palma and who showed me the beauty of words and language. From the time I had first encountered words, I was already hooked.

But the real magic of words revealed itself to me through my late grandfather’s big, heavy typewriter. A former Air Force and airline pilot who loved to read, my grandfather also found plenty of reasons to write. I remember waking up to the “clackety-clack” of his typewriter and seeing him immersed in the papers on his desk. I often wondered what my lolo was doing, until I received my first typewritten birthday card from him. Then I realized: my lolo was writing! He was using that big machine to type words!

And then the thought entered my head: what if I learned how to type, too?

It was then—in the age before iPads, laptops, and even computers—that I resolved to buy myself a typewriter. I was nine years old when I bought my first portable typewriter, and it was also at this time when I started to imagine myself as Carolyn Keene (creator of the Nancy Drew series). I would make my own versions of mystery stories and whodunits, and I found myself creating my own adventures. I loved how I didn’t have to leave my room in order to encounter new characters and new worlds, and I loved how I could create my own happy endings.

Although I was already madly in love with books by that time, I was even more enamored of the idea that I would someday create my own books and publications.

At age eleven, I declared to my mother: “Someday, I’m going to create my own magazine. Not the type with celebrities on the cover, but the type that shows stories of real people.”

* * *

Fast forward to today, over 20 years from the time I first declared that I was going to publish my own magazine. I have been using and living with words for over 10 years now, and I have managed to build a fairly comfortable life doing what I love best. I have worked as a communicator for various types of organizations, I have written and produced materials for all types of clients, I have written for all sorts of publications and magazines, and I have used words to inspire people to move toward positive change.

Most importantly, I have already gotten a taste of what it’s like to publish my own books and magazines. Thanks to my work with corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, I’ve been able to produce books, magazines, and websites of all kinds featuring the stories and experiences of real people. I’ve experienced the thrill of creating something from scratch and then seeing the final product of intense collaboration with photographers, designers, and all sorts of creative people. I’ve touched and smelled new books with the satisfaction of knowing that these were my books—made out of my vision, my hard work, my network, my words.

Thanks to words and to my decision to turn writing into a career, I’ve been able to design my lifestyle in a way that combines all the things that matter to me and all the things I love best—such as art, travel, advocacy, creativity, and innovation. I’ve traveled for free, met people from all parts of the globe, and have taken my writing to places that were once just part of my dreamboard. (In 2009, I married the love of my life while in the Homeless World Cup in Milan, Italy—thanks to his work as a performance artist and my work as a journalist.)

Not only have I been able to work in environments that inspire me, I’ve also been able to explore my own creativity in ways that I didn’t think was possible.

All these, I have done while paying the bills, supporting a family, and building a life that tries to add a bit more meaning into the world.

* * *

So, you might ask me, have I already fulfilled the desire that the eleven-year-old me had once declared?

You can say that—but, to me, I’m just getting started.

For in this age of digital formats, free information, and global connectivity, we really are just scratching the surface of what we can do with words. We once thought that words were just confined to books, newspapers, and magazines—then we discovered websites and non-print media. After that, we realized that anyone can now become a writer, editor, and publisher all rolled into one thanks to blogging. Enter social media, and now we’re seeing that we can power and change the world using status updates and 140-character tweets. There is so much that we can do with words—and all these, we can use to create a career and a life that we love.

So the next time your parents ask you, with trepidation, if you still want to be a writer, tell them that you’re not going to be just any writer. Tell them that you’re going to discover new worlds, create unique adventures, build your own ideas, explore new possibilities, make money (of course), make your dreams come true, and—maybe, just maybe—change the world through words.


Niña Terol-Zialcita is a co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, and will be one of the facilitators of “The Write Stuff: a writing lab for teens,” a one-day workshop running on April 21 (Saturday), 10AM to 6PM at co.lab xchange, Unit 301 3/F #3 Brixton Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Find out how you can make your own dreams come true through writing at For inquiries and reservations, email or call/text (0927) 850 8280.

Writing Tip of the Day


Arabs are a people whose place of ethnic origin is the Arabian Peninsula.

The language which they speak, and which has spread widely to other areas, is Arabic. “Arabic” is not generally used as an adjective except when referring to the language or in a few traditional phrases such as “gum arabic” and “arabic numerals.” Note that in these few phrases the word is not capitalized. Otherwise it is “Arab customs,” “Arab groups,” “Arab countries,” etc.

A group of Arab individuals is made of Arabs, not “Arabics” or “Arabians.” The noun “Arabian” by itself normally refers to Arabian horses. The other main use of the word is in referring to the collection of stories known as The Arabian Nights.

However, the phrase “Saudi Arabian” may be used in referring to citizens of the country of Saudi Arabia, and to aspects of the culture of that country. But it is important to remember that there are many Arabs in other lands, and that this phrase does not refer properly to them. Citizens of Saudi Arabia are often referred to instead as “Saudis,” although strictly speaking this term refers to members of the Saudi royal family and is usually journalistic shorthand for “Saudi Arabian government.”

It is also important not to treat the term “Arab” as interchangeable with “Muslim.” There are many Arabs who are not Muslims, and the majority of Muslims are not Arab. “Arab” refers to an ethnic identity, “Muslim” to a religious identity.

The standard pronunciation of “Arab” in American English is “AIR-rub.” Unless you are referring to the character in West Side Story called “A-rab” (with the second syllable rhyming with “cab”), you’ll sound better educated if you stick with the standard version.

Source: Washington State University

Writing Tip of the Day

Wanna Speak and Write English Well?
You’re Gonna Need This

“Girls just wanna have fun,” sang Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s. “When you gonna live your life right?” is another line in this famous song.

We have to allow for poetic license because to sing, “Girls just want to have fun,” and “when are you going to live your life right?” simply will not fit the lyrics. It would sound strange.

Wanna and gonna

Wanna and gonna have been around for a long time and are commonly heard in informal speech. They are found in written work too.

American novelist, short story writer, poet, and journalist Stephen Crane (1871–1900) used wanna as a colloquialism in his novella Maggie: A Girl of the Streets(1893).

American writer John Steinbeck (1902–1968) used wanna and gonna in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939).

In informal speech and in the mouths of characters in creative writing, wanna andgonna have etched their place. This is where they must remain, in close company with other words of their kind. They are called reduced forms.

Reduced forms

Here is a table of some of these reduced forms with the original forms and examples:


Table of Reduced Forms
Reduced form Example of usage Original form Example
dunno I dunno what you mean. do not know I do not know what you mean.
gimme Gimme that gun! give me Give me that gun!
gonna He’s gonna do it. going to He’s going to do it.
gotta I gotta do this. got to I have got to do this. (Better: I have to do this.)
hafta I hafta do this. have to I have to do this.
kinda I feel kinda sick. kind of I feel kind of sick. (Better: I feel sick.)
lemme Lemme take your pulse. let me Let me take your pulse.
oughta You oughta take a nap. ought to You ought to take a nap.
sorta I’m sorta tired. sort of I’m sort of tired. (Better: I am tired.)
wanna I wanna sleep. want to; I want to sleep.
wanna Wanna blanket? want a Do you want a blanket?
wannabe She’s a wannabe movie star. would-be 

(want to be)

She’s a would-be movie star.
whaddaya Whaddaya know! She won an Oscar. what do you What do you know! She won an Oscar.

Remember that these reduced forms must not be used in formal speech and in formal writing. Always call into question any usage that sounds like a reduction and refer to a dictionary to be sure to use the proper term in your essays.

Be sure to do this if you wanna—oops!—want to speak and write well and get good grades in English.


Source: English Essay Writing Tips


Writing Tip of the Day


brouhaha is a fuss or a commotion, especially one over something of exaggerated importance.1 The word came to English from French in the late 19th century, and it is used throughout the English-speaking world. The earliest known instance of the word in English is from the American writer Oliver Wendell Holmes’s 1891 book Over the Teacups:

“Yes,” he answered, modestly, “I enjoy the brouhaha, if you choose to consider it such, of all this quarrelsome menagerie of noise-making machines, brought into order and harmony by the presiding genius … “

But the word was not widely used until the middle 20th century.

Brouhaha’s exact origins in French are unknown. Some sources suggest it may come from the Hebrew barúkh habá, meaning blessed be the one who comes,2though we can’t explain how the modern English word could have developed from this.


Remember the brouhaha about $563 million in Obama administration loan guarantees to Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that went belly up last fall? [New York Times]

Without the brouhaha from the Liberal Democrats, the Bill would have been passed, unamended, a year ago. [Independent]

But, as the clocked edged closer to 3 a.m., the jovial brouhaha turned nasty. [National Post]

Sydney’s Centennial Park is destined to become the centre of the latest brouhaha between recreational cyclists and local authorities … [Sydney Morning Herald]

It’s almost as cringe-inducing as the awkward moment when Steven Tyler made fun of Jennifer Lopez’s much-ado-about-nothing Oscars “nipple slip” brouhaha. [Los Angeles Times]


1. “Brouhaha” in the OED (subscription required) 
2. Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, 1988. ↩

Source: Grammarist

Writing Tip of the Day

Soon means ‘a short time after now’.

  • Get well soon. (NOT Get well early.)
  • We will launch a new edition of this book sometime soon.

Soon can also mean ‘a short time after then’.

  • It was difficult in the beginning, but I soon got used to it. (NOT It was difficult in the beginning, but I early got used to it.)

Early means ‘near the beginning of a period of time we are talking about’. Early does not mean soon.

  • Early this week, I had a strange experience. (NOT Soon this week, I had a strange experience.)
  • He had an accident early this month.
  • He will soon have an accident if he continues to drive like this. (NOT He will early have an accident…)
  • I get up early in the morning. (NOT I get up soon in the morning.)

Early can mean ‘before the expected time’.

  • I arrived early.

Early can be used as an adjective.

  • We will be grateful for an early reply.

There is a difference between soon and quickly. We use quickly to refer to the speed with which something is done. Soon means ‘before long’.

  • I got dressed quickly. (= I didn’t take a lot of time to get dressed.)