Thursday, June 25, 2009

hope sb to ...(?) ; sb is used to doing sth

hope someone to ...

be used to doing .... (habitual?)
--> (R.C.: I do not agree that this is the most common meaning of "be used to doing"), (M.B.: not quite)

am used to (something) ...
--> (Donna R.)

http://www.englishforums.com/English/WouldUsedTo/wjxc/post.htm#42803

The narrow bridge: beyond the Holocaust (By Issac Neuman, ....)
Page 58

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"i before e" rule?; Phonemic Chart

BBC News
Schools to rethink 'i before e'

AUE thread

很巧,剛剛在local news上也聽到關於這的報導:
"... Too many exceptions to this rule ....... Not worth teaching...."

-----------------------
Phonemic chart | Teaching English | British Council | BBC
音標/發音表

the greatest losses usually resultS(?) from...

the greatest losses usually resultS(?) from...

(source:
Britannica Student Edition)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How Reliable Are Dictionaries?

我在AUE網站上逛到這篇,雖然我已經知道最早的OED是源自一群自願者之手,但是讀到這篇還是有些驚訝:
http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxhowrel.html 
基本上是大家互相抄,然後最開始的又是抄自OED,難怪那些紀錄很多字義的字典會有那麼多奇奇怪怪的字義。
關於OED,在 Wikipedia上有這記載:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OED#Origins
.....one that would be based on contributions from a large number of volunteer readers, who would read books, copy out passages illustrating various actual uses of words onto quotation slips, and mail them to the editor. In 1858 the Society agreed in principle to the project: A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (NED).....
這也解釋了為何Dr. Eye的內容那樣差。英文原文版的字典內容如果有問題最低限度有英文為母語的編輯群能夠更正,但是Dr. Eye...我想除了copy過來還是只能copy,內容有問題恐怕他們的工作人員沒人有能力更正,然後再加上錯誤翻譯(我想這也是從別處抄來的).....

You're Doing IT Again

> Are you sure it's idiomatic?
It sure is. You're doing it again. You have what seems to be a fair
bit of "book larnin'", and it sounds like you ate a style manual or
two, but you have no idea what is or is not idiomatic. 

我在AUE上讀到的一小段很有趣的對話。一個印度人"又"在那裏質疑其他英語人士的話,然後另一個英語人士出來吐槽他。想像一下,如果你說某句日常 說法"我們一般都這樣子說的",然後一個中文非母語的人跳出來說"你確定你們是這樣子說的?",你會不會覺得他很滑稽?
=======
另 外一個:
> Again, not something anyone'd say. It would definitely be 'This job doesn't suit you'

Look, English isn't your native language. Saying "not something anyone'd say" is very dangerous even when English is your native language, because there's always someone around who'll disagree with you.
Another one:
J------, I do wish you'd sometimes express your opinions in the form of questions, or use some other sign of tentativeness. The version with commas doesn't mean to me what it means to you: it just looks like a perhaps slightly awkward emphatic form.

答案揭曉了,原來他讀過的大部分的書是一百多年前的作品,難怪那麼脫節:
> Hey, I never said it was a great example. Besides, it becomes quite plausible if you set the clock back a hundred to hundred and fifty years, which is probably where most of my English as well as my imagination of the English speaking world is set, seeing as most of the books I read are from that period .
Ah. No wonder your 'pedantic prescriptivism" comes across strangely to most of us here.

下述的對話讓我想到某人也做了類似事情。他引了一段1970的著 作,上頭寫說呢"現代的"英文用法有出現某種趨勢,所以根據那趨勢,某片語是"現在的"英語人士也廣泛在用.....這是甚麼邏輯?
>No, Fowler himself agrees with me that 'have got' is colloquial at best.
Fowler died more than seventy years ago.
> Personally, I see no grounds for using this form.
No one is forcing you to do so, but you needn't be so quick to criticize those who do.

美國人和他們的味精

美國人對味精好像很敏感,這從這裡的某些中國餐館外頭招牌上的"No MSG"可以看得出來。

有的時候在某家中國餐館吃飯,還會聽到顧客特別交代,"No MSG please.",好像廚房裡頭的廚師真的會為他一個人另外調個沒有味精的醬似的。

可是我看超市裡賣的調味香 料,很多都是內含味精,比如我現在正在用的Soup Mix,或是櫥櫃裡的麵包粉,以及各式各樣的調理包。這時候,味精又成了調味聖品。

(老美室友又舀了一些soup mix到他的湯裡)

如果,超市把所有含味精的調味品放在一區,然後放上標示,不知道會不會有人去買。

Sunday, June 14, 2009

she or him; The door and window were broken

An interesting compromise

我特別喜歡這篇

====================
(國中基測考題)

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/9838b5225aa1bd66/43b4a63786195ac2

Susan: Oh, no! The door and the window_______!
Victor: Who could have done this?
Susan: Go in quickly and see if we’ve lost anything.
(A) are breaking   (B) have broken   (C) were broken   (D) will break
Given answer: (C) were broken

He doesn't know me from Adam's off ox

(Something I heard from NPR online radio)

"He doesn't know me from Adam's off ox."
(Oh my, I just noticed, there's a "Listen Now" link right below the title)

I'm more intrigued by this fact:(even though it's expected)
"Most of the journalists at that news conference had no idea what Clinton was talking about."
Why? Because ....
"It turns out the president was using a regional expression ..."
The merits:
1. Even well-educated native speakers (those journalists) don't always know everything.
2. So, it's really OKAY and absolutely normal if you(learners) don't know everything.
3. (thinking... thinking.. still thinking....)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Essays, short articles, books, writers

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/4e97715c734851c9#

(Note to self)
"Try the Collected Essays of George Orwell, a great master of lucid, stylish but still colloquial prose." - PG
"Any or all of the numerous essays by Herbert Read are worth consideration, as is his book "English Prose Style" - EW

------------------------------
Subject: Sighting of former AUE regularJames Follett
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/3116b5210c76c5e7
(His book was made into a TV miniseries)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Some kind of ghost in an opera house

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1198756160967049266&ei=piIsSs-eE5HiqgLB28WrCg

The original London cast is the best....
(You can download an mp4 file from a link in the page. The sound quality is better.)

---------------------------
      A classmate of mine back in college introduced me to it. Not the musical itself but a CD album. It wasn't a full score but "Highlights from", and still I was drawn to it immediately and bought the CD.
      Years later, during a visit to San Fransisco, I was able to see the real thing at a theater. ($60 it cost me, if I remember correctly.)
      Well.
      I was disappointed.
      Before watching the show, I had been listening to the "Highlights from" for years and I was so accustomed to the voices of the original cast that anything performed even marginally less would seem like a disaster to me. One example would be in the beginning when the character Christine Daaé was singing "Think of Me" and she had to hit the high note at the end of the song. Sarah B., from the original London cast,  could hit it effortlessly, but the actress I was watching, gawd..., before she was about to hit the note, I could visually see her trying to take in as much air as possible, expanding her chest to the max, and forcing the voice out. Gawd... it was a painful sight to watch.

In 2004, the movie version was out. I didn't go to the movie theater to see it(I don't remember why I didn't), but I bought the DVD when it was released. After watching the movie, I then understood the whole story, and it really helped when I listened to the full version of the recording after I found it online last night.
      It was really some'm.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Preposition at end

Preposition at end

So, I quote, "Fowler and nearly every other respected prescriptivist see NOTHING wrong with ending a clause with a preposition; Fowler calls it a 'superstition'."