Friday, August 27, 2010

for + 一段時間

... She _____ that every day for one month. Finally, Ted understood ...
(A) did .... (C) has done

釋疑 第17題
http://cap.ntnu.edu.tw/exam/9101/9101reply-e.pdf

對照題目內容(短文)看較完整
http://cap.ntnu.edu.tw/exam/9101/9101e.pdf

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

由hopefully談起

<<我以前寫的一篇舊文,有增修>>

在mall的一間書局裡,我在翻看一本文法書時在書尾的Q&A讀到這一條: (note:原文是英文,我是另外用自己的話僅記億所及加以引述)(例句我有改過,不是照抄原來的文法書)
"...
hopefully 不能單獨成"句",比如"Hopefully, I'll see you tomorrow"。遇到這情況時要把Hopefully改成It is hoped that,原來"有問題"的句子要改成"It is hoped that I'll see you tomorrow",只是改成這樣子雖然正確,但是讀起來不順,所以可以再改成"I hope I'll see you tomorrow" ....
..."
這本書是Princeton Review出的,書名是Grammar Smart。出版公司是Random House。我本來在想,哇,我用那麼多年的"Hopefully, ...."到今天才知道原來是錯的。原本想默記下來然後回家好好修煉,但是順手又另外翻了本字典出來,查到hopefully之後卻看到:
hopefully adv. .... 2. It is hoped; "Hopefully, we'll ....".
啊?! 怎麼字典上的卻又是可以? 而這本字典卻又是同一家Random House出的,真的是自家人打對台。好奇之下我又翻了另一本字典,這次在hopefully的解釋下頭有個usage note,原來這字的第二意思的用法早就存有爭議,雖然一些"死硬派"的認為這樣的用法是不對的,但是因為使用的人相當普遍,所以已經被接受。我另外又翻兩本字典,Oxford和Oxford American(我在想應該會有英式和美式英語的差異),前者也是提到一樣的用法爭議,後者則寫比較多,大意上也是如此。

這真的是像在網路論壇上看到有人說的"Not one grammar book is complete"。畢竟文法書是一個或是少數幾個作者寫的,書裡代表的主要也是他們的觀點。一些較新的文法書還沒有受到時間的歷練,不像一些老字號的字典出版了幾百年,有足夠的人群閱讀和訂正以及收納各方意見。而且文法書有一個很大的致命傷,那就是如果作者無法很公正的把各方說法寫下來的話,那麼就會造成像上例那樣的主觀寫法。

相較之下,許多大一點的字典會納入"usage note"把有爭議的各方說法寫出來,所以我建議大家不要把"一本"你在讀的文法書當成聖經。它只是本工具書,裡頭所寫的不是絕對。遇到和文法書上所寫的有矛盾的問題時可以多方參考和比對。一個我常去的文法網站有文法問答,其中有些文法上的爭議,回答的專家很多時候會引用某某字典上的定義和解釋,畢竟比較之下字典更為公正與詳細。但是這也不代表字典就是"絕對正確",如同上頭我所說的,同樣的"hopefully",有的字典會列有爭議的使用說明,有的則沒有,所以重要的是仍要多方參考比對。

頭還沒暈的話再看下面最後一段。

最最重要的是,你要學會自己判斷。遇到文法或是英文上的"互相矛盾"問題時要多方收集資料,不要只看或是只聽某個人、某個老師、或是某本文法書,甚至是某本字典的說法。

-------------------
後記:
1. 我最近又去翻了前頭提到的文法書,在書後Q&A的hopefully錯誤用法解說裡頭還提到,"...GMAT... for a period of time....(hopefully) is always in the test..... never the answer..."。所以,對於考試要拿分的人,這用法就只能當它是錯的,但是對於要追求真理的人,也許你要思考的是你要不要寫信去詢問這考題的適當性。(不過由for a period of time這句話來看,似乎現在很少出這題目了)
2. 我另外又翻到這本書"Dictionary of Disagreeable English" by Robert Hartwell Fiske。開頭的一頁這作者就在批評Merriam-Webster字典裡頭列出的一些錯誤用法,尤其是Collegiate。他指出,作為字典出版者就應該要小心,因為"無知"的大眾若以字典裡頭的"錯誤字/錯誤用法"當成是正確無誤的用法依據時,這結果是很可怕的。

Friday, August 20, 2010

as brave as any in the world; hone in on

as brave as any/anything/anyone in the world
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/alt.usage.english/DuYu8XAWn9A
------------------------------------------ 

Homing in on honing in on
http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000378.html

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

grammar taught in schools; most-gifted

3rd Grade Grammar Help
https://groups.google.com/d/topic/alt.usage.english/-vbSO8cicEk/discussion



In what grade in English grammar generally taught in the USA
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/alt.usage.english/8WIxpStrdRo
OP/JJ: junior high school
RHD: all. transformational grammar in ninth grade
O: same. under the guise of "spelling"



What is being taught?
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/e66a1e213f798c07#
E.K.: "I just asked my son. He said he's not sure, but he thinks they
started covering that sort of thing (in public school) in second
grade."
(referring to English grammar taught in school)
....
"... They covered nouns, verbs, and adjectives in second
grade, adverbs in ..... So grammar is definitely being
taught."


Most-gifted
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/921d2fbe937b957b#
(and "incorrect parallel construction")

There's + plural

(稍微增修我貼在PTT BBS裡頭的一篇回文)
作者  dunchee (---)                                          看板  Eng-Class
標題  Re: [文法] a bag of apples
時間  Wed Aug 18 07:06:32 2010
───────────────────────────────────────
※ 引述《Chengheong (Hololang)》之銘言:
: ※ 引述《shingmoon (Moon)》之銘言:
: :  在上課時,發現以下問題
: :  1. There ___ a bag of apples.
: There is a bag of apples.
: There are two glasses of juice.

: 在口語, 不論單數還是複數, 都用There's
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
這是過分簡化/籠統的說法。這用法只是一種選擇,並不是都用There's。或者應該說這犯了很多人都有的通病--以為(英文)口語只有一種。英文口語和我們的中文口語一樣是有分的。在正式的嚴肅場合的交談/演說之類的是一種。有受過良好教育的人的(or聽起來就讓人覺得對方有受過良好教育)的談吐是一種。年輕人/小朋友間的交談(嘻鬧)是一種。談吐粗俗的(or讓人覺得對方是地痞流氓/低教育程度)也是一種。然後他們之間的分界很多時候並不明顯,這個,大家就自己的經驗/中文語感想一下應該就知道了。

比如以下這個的訪談(這也是spoken English):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAIrs30N6Vc&feature=channel
[0:08] I have to say that there are times ...
受訪者:
John Sexton, President, New York University
這種背景的人一般會比較注意自己的談吐。Charlie Rose也有訪問影視明星,他們說話時就比較會用較一般(平民百姓會用)的日常說法(這時候"There's + plural noun"這用法會出現的機會就比較高)

"There's + plural noun"這用法是有,只是這是屬於informal spoken usage。"informal"也是有分的,並不是informal就一定是不好,或是不分任何(口語)場合"都用"這用法
參考:  http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/3ec7694a37109f3e/18c766d977db856f
第二篇(R.L.的主修是英文,我記得他好像是大學英文教授退休),當然還是會有人不喜歡這用法,比如同一串討論文的第一篇發問文,或是這個有名的:
http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/there%27s.html

另外要注意的一點是這日常說法裡頭的"There's"不要分開講成"There is"。這原因其實很簡單,日常一般的口語說法之所以是informal主要就是在日常表達上為了求方便/省麻煩所以語法的選擇和使用上就寬鬆了很多,在這情況下一些日常說法大家使用慣了就成了idiomatic expressions。"There's + plural noun"這用法也是這樣子來的,而大家(指的是native speakers)聽習慣的也是"There's (+plural noun)"。如果你要倒回來用個較正式的"There is",一來這不是大家聽習慣的說法,二來既然要正式,那麼就應該整句都遵守文法,也就是應該要講"There are + plural noun",而不是不上不下彆彆扭扭的來個"There is + plural noun".

-----------------------------
另一篇相關的:
http://dunchee.blogspot.com/2010/08/register1.html

The Paper Scissors Stone Club

     我剛看到篇有關"剪刀石頭布"英文說法的blog,好奇之下我另外查了一下發現這本書裡頭有很有趣的敘述: "The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide" By Douglas Walker, Professor Graham Walker (Google Books可以找到這本書,在chapter 1裡頭。可能會有人無法看到內容。我也只能看到一部份)
      關於這遊戲的起源,這書裡頭寫的("Janken, or the Birth of Modern RPS")和Wikipedia這篇的內容大致符合,是說從日本的Janken開始。接著因為一些理由(*1)the Paper Scissor Stone Club在1842年於倫敦成立。
     (再下來就是很有趣的)在1918年他們改名成World RPS Club(*2),理由呢是因為”有人”惡意稱他們為”PiSSers”(*3)。據傳這是由the Coin-Tossing Confederation的會員傳開的,因為他們認為是the PSS Club的人最早用”Tossers”(*4)這稱呼來取笑他們。
     大約在這時候World RPS Club將他們的總部遷到加拿大的多倫多。理由呢?同樣的也是請看(*1),因為知道整個情況後讀下面這個原文會比較能夠知道笑點:
[quote]
Canada was seen as an excellent choice since it was seen as a "safe, ....., yet not inhabited by the descendents of criminals(*5)."
[end quote]
      另外在這本書裡頭的第18,19頁上有兩個有趣的(對話)例子,有興趣的人也可以找來看


(*1) 有興趣的人可以用books.google.com找來讀
(*2) RPS : Rock, Paper, Scissors。他們在之後又改名成World RPS Society
(*3) http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/pisser
http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/piss_1
(*4) http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/tosser
(*5) 指的是澳洲

---------------------------------
Hopscotch, hangman, hot potato, and ha, ha, ha: a rulebook of children's games - Page 87
Jack Maguire - 1990
[quote]
Scissors, Paper, Stone
(Also known as Rock, Paper, Scissors)
[end quote]

-----------------------------------

另一名稱。看樣子"Stone"這說法並沒有消失在歷史之中:
Derren Brown - How To Play Paper, Scissors, Stone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFaCLUwuORM


------------------------------------------------
這一討論串裡頭提到的"stone"的幾篇都是來自UK
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/7729eebdba800f26/bbf39789682e45c4

---
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/586537b339e83d89/c170f77cfb97566c

Monday, August 9, 2010

波霸奶茶

Register(1)

http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/register_1

      高一時我們有堂聯考不考的課,叫做地球科學(希望我沒有搞錯)。有次上到當時最新的科學知識,那就是物質組成的基本粒子"夸克"。老師講著講著突然班上有個同學冒出一句「那你真的懂這是什麼嗎」,我們老師也很乾脆的直接回答「不懂」,然後這位同學不甘示弱的又回了一句「不懂還教」。
      如果你是這位老師你該怎麼辦?當時我們老師要他站起來,然後問他「你敢說你學過的東西你都懂嗎?」我們老師也沒發很大的火,只是讓他站個十秒鐘(我忘了他有沒有回答)就讓他坐下,接下來繼續上課。
      如果當老師的一個要素是要「真的懂」所要教的所有東西,那麼這世界上恐怕沒幾個人能當老師了。台灣的小學老師本來是由師專畢業生擔任,好幾年之前改為小學老師要有大專/大學學歷,那麼這之前的小學學生是不是都是由不適任的老師教授課業?換句話說,這些小學生全部都程度低落,全部都上不了國中/高中/大學 /研究所?當然不是這樣。我借用下方這link的演講前頭部份提到的:
http://www.azargrammar.com/authorsCorner/2008Panel_Intro.html
      「有那程度」和「能夠教授」是兩回事—一個英文語言博士有英文專業知識,但是不代表他能夠教授英文,特別是當對象是英文非母語的人。而能夠教授英文的人也確實不用非得俱備「絕對的」英文知識才能教授--這包含絕對100%正確和100%全部的知識涵蓋範圍。
      我曾在網路上看過這個說法,背景是一些人在爭論某個英文說法的正確性,然後有人就說如果真的要判定某說法的正確性,那麼應該去問(母語是英文的)英文語言學家/博士(言下之意就是其他人根本沒那學識背景,所以那些人沒資格發言)。很巧的是我曾在 AUE 上讀到一個主修是語言學的人說這樣的話(*1),他說呢他的語言學教授曾跟他們說語言學家主要是在分析語言的使用情況而不是判定某說法的正確與否。 這是什麼意思呢?就用我們中文來說吧,網路盛行後出現的「偶」--比如「偶好想吃雞排喔」。這用法其實沒有所謂的「對錯」,有的只是是否適用於特定的場合。如果這是「對錯」問題,那麼大家應該也把上網時間花在「糾正這個錯誤」上頭,但是為什麼這種無聊人幾乎不存在?但是同樣句子出現在學測作文裡頭,那麼這會被打錯,因為這用法的使用場合不對。一個語言學家會做的是對這用法的形成/分佈情形/使用情況加以分析和歸類,我想應該沒有語言學家會無聊到到處去留言更正年輕人在網路上之間的對談吧。既然沒人無聊到時時刻刻糾正別人網路文章/留言的所有中文錯誤,那麼為什麼換成了英文就要套用「絕對單一性的正確」?
      一個很大的原因是很多人仍是以為英文只有「一種」。我用中文的例子來說好了。一般人到了國中程度(或是程度好一點的小學生)已經有能力判別不同的「文體」(*2),比如報紙文章有特定的文體,課本上的書寫文字也有個特定文體,朋友之間的文字/口頭閒談也是一種,在正式場合發表演說也有一種,到菜市場買菜時和菜販之間的對談也是一種分類,這些「文體」之間有重疊,沒有重疊的部份如果用錯場合那麼就是「不適當」,但是未必一定是「錯」。這在國中英文新教材推出之後更凸顯這個問題。

<<待續>>

(*1) 等我有空找到原貼文再補上
(*2) 我要說的其實是包含”口說”和”文字”兩種,只是我不知道中文術語要怎麼說

刮痧

    One thing about this therapy is that it's foreign to the American general public. Most people here have no idea what it is, let alone seeing the marks left on the flesh after applying the therapy, so when they do see them, it's very likely they would mistaken them as something else. I never realized this until an ER nurse who spotted two purple long stripes on my father's back asked in great concern, "What's going on with those marks?" What was surprising was that it was also my first time seeing them, from that angle anyway.
    When I was a kid, I saw a few times my grandma applying this particular therapy to my grandfather. He lay on his stomach with her kneeling next to him, and she repeatedly scrubbed his back with a ceramic spoon dunked frequently in a bowl of water to keep the edge of the spoon lubricated. The wood board bed my grandparents were on was about the level of my waist, so from my angle of view, when I saw it, I mostly saw the side of my grandfather. At that age, I spent time playing with other kids outside, so I saw it when I was running in and out of the house passing the room; I might have stopped at the door of the room for a while, but I never really stayed in the room and took time examining the formation of the scrub marks.
     Anyway, back to what I was saying. My father was in the ER because he ran a high fever. Despite my mom's efforts trying to fix him, my dad's condition kept deteriorating, so she had no choice but took him to the hospital. It was quite early in the morning when I got the call from my mom. When I arrived there, my father was already admitted and a nurse was tending to him. And it happened -- the nurse saw my father's back. The instant I heard the nurse's inquiry I knew what was going on in her mind, because, God, those two long purple stripes, to untrained eyes, looked like bruises. Bruises caused by, say, being whipped. Repeatedly. AND two large ones weren't something a nurse would or could overlook, so I immediately explained what those were and put an emphasis on its being a type of Chinese therapy in the hope that she wouldn't report it to the police. The last thing I, well, we, needed was a policeman showing up and asking questions.
     During the course of my father's stay in the hospital for the following week, I had to repeatedly explain my dad's bruises to other nurses and doctors who came to examine him; almost to the point I was about to draw in a deep breath, let out, and start explaining, in a dreary tone no less. Next time (not that I want it to happen to my dad again. Knock on wood), I'll just print this Wiki page out and show it to those healthcare professionals.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lexicographic error; a friend of (double possessive/of possessive)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexicographic_error
"A lexicographic error is an inaccurate entry in a dictionary."

======================
線上字典勘誤


================================
possessive, double
http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/index.pperl?date=19990305
a nephew of John
(rather than "a nephew of John's")

---
(In my google docs)
of-double-possessive.pdf
"McGrawl-Hill's essential ESL Grammar"
Double Possessive
He is a friend of (name)
He is a friend of (name)'s

--
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/grammarlogs/grammarlogs8.htm
"She is a friend of Harry"

--
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/grammarlogs2/grammarlogs308.htm
[quote]However, all the writing manuals I own say that "a friend of my mother's" is idiomatically acceptable.[end quote]

--
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/grammarlogs3/grammarlogs414.htm
"a friend of my (uncle/uncle's)"

--
http://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=site%3Agrammar.ccc.commnet.edu+%22a+friend+of%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8


------
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/1cde33ead436f42d/ae32a4d41bfab812
John is a friend of Bill/Bill's

--
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/2b4a79f0ae2d51a7/f9b9746e9d91fe4c
A friend of Stan/Stan's
R.L.: "The possessive
form is more common in American English (and possibly in British
English as well; I just don't know) than the alternative without the
's. .... In some cases you have to use the possessive to differentiate
one meaning from another; compare "A bone of the dog" and "A bone of
the dog's."

--
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/b66e11b611fe110a/95c0fb381d4702c6
a friend of George/George's

--
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/browse_thread/thread/e9f6644d3caa3173#
a friend of John/John's
E.K.: (Note: this is what I'm familiar with)
In the US, a "Friend of John" could well imply that John was some
high-ranking individual and the person being described had no official
position but was known to have a fair amount of influence because of
his personal friendship with John.  I think that this started with
(Friends of) Bill Clinton in the early '90s.  Where I worked, "Friend
of Joel" and (later) "Friend of Dick" (where Joel and Dick were heads
of Labs) were often heard informal titles for certain people.
Note ....
S.H.:
They have different meanings, .....
A "friend of John's" is someone John has friended.

A "friend of John" is someone who has friended John, but John has not
necessarily reciprocated. 
---
http://groups.google.com/group/misc.education.language.english/browse_thread/thread/481b66d8b0adfab/83c007a8ef9fd470?lnk=gst&q=double+possessive#83c007a8ef9fd470

---
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.usage.english/search?group=alt.usage.english&q=%22a+friend+of%22&qt_g=Search+this+group