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Joined: August 12, 2010
Comments posted: 737
Votes received: 104

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Five eggs is too many

June 30, 2013

Recent Comments

Hungarian itself has phrasal verbs - "meg" or "el" often correspond to "up" in English, giving a perfective, or sense of completion. Unfortunately, "put on clothes" in Hungarian is more like "dress up", and "dress up" more like "dress out", while "undress" is more like "take down" rather than "take off". The one that used to bug me was "post" a letter, in Hungarian is like "give up", but "Don't give up" translates word for word..
So try learning some Hungarian if you would understand the learner's plight. As for teaching phrasal verbs, with a monolingual class it's a good idea to mark up your own copy of the teaching materials with the translation and prick up ears when they start whispering Hungarian. My success rate for phrasal verbs was abysmally low but "ne adj fel!" "Making Sense of Phrasal Verbs" (Martin Shovel) is still my favorite.

jayles February 26, 2014, 4:20pm

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@Jasper Parts of western Ukraine were at one time part of Poland =- Lviv (or Lvow) for example was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939. Other bits were part of the (Austro) Hungarian Empire until the Treaty of Trianon around 1921.
Linguistically, "Ukrainian" used to slide off toward Polish/Slovak in the west, village by village. There was a survey of language use in Eastern Europe carrried out around 1920, which was supposedly used to determine the current borders, creating Romania, Czechoslovakia and so on.
Out in the Ukrainian countryside things stil tend to look like they did in 1950.....

jayles February 26, 2014, 3:47pm

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@WW "for_CONJ_" on Ngram shows a marked resurgence over the past decade, which threw me. However, I have just realized this might be skewed by republication of old books.
The real reason for my asking was I was asked whether it would be a good idea to include "for" as a conjunction in academic writing (ie IELTS). ??
[I often ban sts from using "and/but/so/because/however/on the other hand" to force practicing alternatives like "as/since/although/in case/in sofar as..." ].

jayles February 26, 2014, 12:23pm

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Perhaps I could raise the matter of "for" as a conjunction.
"Wow I am glad and happy too; for I was late for this discussion."
Or is "for" as a conjunction now deprecated.

jayles February 25, 2014, 12:41pm

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Amen brethren.
In an unguarded unthinking non-PC moment in the supermarket I automatically waved back to a small child instead of turning away PC-wise ... it's just not 1960 anymore. I have also noticed that "bitch" and "slut" have become highly offensive now whilst OMG is just commonplace. And nobody says "crikey" anymore.

jayles February 25, 2014, 12:38pm

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@WW suggests :
upon the soden (1550s)
and this does show up as such on google, although I couldn't quite get an exact date earlier than 1591.

jayles February 18, 2014, 12:25pm

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I wonder by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we googled? and texted?

jayles February 17, 2014, 4:00pm

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@WW Can't remember Dryden but didn't Donne go like:

What did we do till we googled?

For God's sake hold your tongue and let me google...

jayles February 17, 2014, 1:09pm

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@WW evidently failed to convert. How about:

jayles February 17, 2014, 8:43am

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"All the sudden" comes up in the London Magazine from 1738 and "all of the sudden" in John Dryden.
Try googling the phrases.

jayles February 14, 2014, 8:59pm

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@WW "saint valentines day" with no apostrophe comes up in Hamlet.
According to Ngram the possessive sans apostrophe has upticked since 1980.
Of course Warner Bros knew their etymology and thus since there remains an 'e' before the 's' there is nothing to elide. Or perhaps it just didn't look good in CAPS. Who knows. It is all just a spelling convention which wasn't really totaly accepted till the 1850's with the coming of compulsory boredom, or education for children.

jayles February 14, 2014, 8:52pm

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Perhaps leaving off the apostrophe is because some people can't be bothered to find it on the keyboard. (This might also apply to commas.)

jayles February 14, 2014, 12:18pm

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"Bore" is listed in longmans and wiktionary as transitive/intransitive in its literal meaning, but only transitive in its metaphorical sense.
Thus "I am boring" (as a verb) means making a hole; but "I am boring " (as in tedious) is marked with "boring" as an adjective. [I guess because one cannot say "I bore" metaphorically without an object].
No issue with "bored" as the third form of the verb ususally picks up the transitive meaning of the verb, which here can be either.
Multo in parvo.

jayles February 12, 2014, 3:26pm

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Putting the following
_ADP_ whom , _ADP_ who
in to the Ngram viewer of usage in books shows that even in writing the use of whom has been declining, although for some reason it it not matched by a similar increase in who after a preposition, which seems to have upticked only recently.

I wonder whether Hemingway would today have written "Who the bell tolls for", or whether "To whom it may concern" will one day fall into disuse or remain as a fossil.

@Jasper: correct use of "whom" is the essence of non-dysfunctional relationships.

jayles February 12, 2014, 3:11pm

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@WW I tend to agree.My understanding of Ngram is that the incidence of 'shall' is declining on both sides of the Atlantic, and American usage is no more or less than Brit, in writing at least.

jayles February 7, 2014, 1:04pm

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Often it is hard to tell whether it is shall or will as it is only 'll. I do catch myself saying things like "Sh'we go?" "Washaweedoo?" - I guess I picked this up in childhood.
The legal use of shall with the second and third person is very similar to the same-rooted German word "soll": so maybe this is the original meaning.

jayles February 6, 2014, 1:45pm

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@HS perhaps you meant "the timely Stephen Fry" (as opposed to "late")

jayles January 30, 2014, 1:25pm

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It's quite interesting how we balk at "a made mistake", but not at "an easily-made mistake".
Which reminds me of finding a studente with an English grammar book entitled "Made Simple English" - I told her to throw that one away ( "English Made Simple" would have been fine).

jayles January 28, 2014, 12:55pm

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I seem (dimly) to recall teaching "less" vs "fewer", and disagreeing with the materials provided (Murphy/Hewings??). There are certainly bigger fish to fry when it comes to style, word-choice, and gettting the message across clearly, and whether the message is at all relevant and worthwhile.
Mr Gwynne must have been speaking "per caput" (thru his head - as in "per ardua ad astra" - hard-work will get you a Vauxhall).
De gerundivo non est disputandum.

jayles January 22, 2014, 2:54pm

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