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Topics - maxsims

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Time Out From English Grammar / Indian boy's death
« on: March 08, 2010, 01:32:27 AM »

For the Indian media, which is getting all bent out of shape over the death in Australia of an Indian toddler, the above link should prove illuminating.   Renz also to note.

Use and Misuse / Meanwhile in Oz
« on: February 19, 2010, 07:15:38 AM »
Just to show that your media is not alone in the bad grammar business, how about this?

"Woman accused of supplying dead former Socceroo with heroin charged."
(Ninemsn news)

)A socceroo being a member of Australia's national soccer team).

You Asked Me This Question / Gonzales and grammar
« on: February 07, 2010, 03:33:34 PM »
Raul Gonzales's book certainly shows that he has an admirable way with words.   But where did "againstness" spring from?    I think his assessment of a certain actor/president won't go unchallenged, and I believe that comparing his WW2 suffering with the trials of Jesus - "almost like carrying the cross up Calvary" - may raise a few religious hackles.

You Asked Me This Question / Verbs across the seas
« on: February 06, 2010, 04:02:12 PM »
Joe, have you ever investigated why the forms of some verbs differ, depending on which side of the ocean you live on?

Take "to hit" as a baseline.   Both the British and the U.S. of Americans use "hit" in the past tense and in the participles.   But with "to bite", the British employ "bit" and "bitten", while many Americans employ "bit" in the participles.

Conversely, the British past tense of "to get" is "got" and so is the participles, but no respectable Brit would be caught dead using the American participle "gotten".

More strangely, the Brits use "fitted" as the past tense of "to fit", and also in the participles, while many Americans use "fit" for both tasks.

The Merriam-Webster shies away from the past tense of "to spit", but most Americans use "spit".  I'm not certain, but I think they used "spit" in the participles, too.    The Brits (and Australians) use "spat" for both.

I also wonder....Is Canadian English the same as American English?

You Asked Me This Question / Another use of an English tense
« on: January 29, 2010, 01:38:58 PM »
Joe,  In a reply to a student, you said:

2.   “My grammar about the Tagal is long ago finished.” The use of the present tense “is” in this sentence is in error.

Will you explain why?

It is my experience that the present indicative in English is also used, albeit usually in a poetic sense, to indicate that a completed act, whether recent or in the past, is done, finished with, gone and irrevocable.   Two examples spring to mind, both from pop songs (not that pop lyrics are prime examples of good grammar).

From the song, "Ballerina"...
"He's not out there, applauding in the second row,
And love is gone, ballerina, gone...."

and from "You Only Live Twice"...
"And love is a stranger,
Who'll beckon you on,
Don't think of the danger,
Or the stranger is gone..."

In the first example, the last line could have been "And love has gone...etc" but that implies a possibility of reconciliation which, I presume, the lyricist wanted to avoid.

In the second example, the last line could easily have been "Or the stranger will be gone", but that doesn't give the doom and gloom finality of "is" in this instance.

Use and Misuse / Dunno
« on: January 19, 2010, 10:43:26 AM »
Here's and interesting, and somewhat surprising, one.

I looked up "dunno" (the contraction of "don't know") in the online Merriam-Webster, and it was absent.  I admit to some surprise, as the expression is in common use in the USA.   I looked in my old Funk & Wagnalls, and again if failed to appear.   More surprise.

Then I looked in the online Oxford, where its use is described as informal.    In my old Oxford, it is down as colloquial.   Does this mean that its use has become more acceptable?

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / Overkill..!
« on: January 18, 2010, 07:52:40 AM »
Joe Carillo,

I saw the following in a piece called "The Importance of Grammar" within the "Commentary" section of your site.   Would you care to comment on it?

4S-AEP contends that by applying a function-related approach to explaining the constituents or elements of grammatical structures, and by focusing also on word and word-form relationships and characteristics, learners not only acquire usable language knowledge but are equipped with language skills that can be readily transferred from text to text thus significantly enhancing their personal ability to make and share meaning.

The outcome is that learners have a greater understanding of the significance of words in a construction and thus are able to use particular words and word groups in correct and relevant ways when communicating either in speech or writing. This grammatical knowledge also engenders confidence as well as competence which is often a hurdle many learners for whom English is not their primary language have to negotiate.

Use and Misuse / ..than what..
« on: December 29, 2009, 07:56:45 AM »
"...which indicates a much stronger break in the thought or structure of the sentence than what a pair of enclosing commas can provide."

Have I mentioned that, in my country at least,  the term "than what" is frowned upon in most circles.  The "what" is felt to be unnecessary.

Badly Written, Badly Spoken / Read more than once..!
« on: December 26, 2009, 05:55:02 PM »
"...Man shot dead by police

Police resorted to their firearms after other methods failed to calm an irate man who died after being shot by police..."

This is an online headline and into produced by a major Australian news network.    Talk about initially confusing!

Lounge / Excuse, excuse!
« on: December 20, 2009, 05:49:36 PM »
Here is the reason I've been so busy in the Philippines - my God-daughter, Madilyn.   Is she not beautiful?

Use and Misuse / Bad Times
« on: December 02, 2009, 07:02:20 PM »
Has anyone else noticed the appalling English in the Manila Times's on-line ad for its journalism school?

And that the Manila Times Language Institute cannot decide between 'equalizer" and "equilizer" and so employs both?

Advice and Dissent / Coming and going
« on: October 26, 2009, 03:30:19 PM »

I notice that you use the phrase (in relation to publications) "gone off the press".   Is this a Filipino variation?    Most Anglo-Saxons would say "come off the press" or, colloquially, "rolled off the press".

My Media English Watch / Who's teaching the teachers?
« on: October 11, 2009, 12:14:20 PM »
The following quotes are from the on-line advertising placed by the Manila Times School of Journalism.   The underlining and italics are mine.

Broadcast journalism students are provided high-end ratio and television facilities for practical application of broadcast theories and concepts.

Apart from the regular subjects prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the school offers additional subjects to enhance the students' writing and speaking skills. These included courses on English Proficiency and TV/Radio Special Training.

By far, TMTC is the only school offering training in both fields in just one course. TMTC's journalism is a four-year baccalaureate course effective SY. 2009-2010.

Apart from the regular subjects prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the school offers additional subjects to enhance the students' writing and speaking skills. These included courses on English Proficiency and TV/Radio Special Training.

·  Upon submission of the duly accomplished application form, the applicant will be given an entrance exam permit, which contains all the information he/she needs for the exam.
·  Applicants will be notified about the results of the examinations either by phone or mail (depending on the applicant's preference).

To inspire and enlighten, through quality education, training and research, the minds and hearts of people, especially the young, and move them to take divisive and purposive action on critical issues.

Enables the student to gain experience as they study.

Members who read the entire advertisement will note that author is in two minds about the serial comma!     

More crtitical is the length of time that this ad has been visible.  Has no one else noticed the errors?   Why not?  Was it not edited by someone on the "professional" staff?

Your Thoughts Exactly / What's in a Name?
« on: September 27, 2009, 05:26:41 PM »

We see that you write under a pen name.    What, then, does the A. stand for?

Use and Misuse / Watch your back for goblins - anywhere!
« on: September 19, 2009, 07:19:50 AM »
Let’s now analyze that passage to see what mischievous grammar or semantic goblins had waylaid it along the way:.."

Where else can one be waylaid?

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