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Carol the Dabbler

The Language (and travel) Thread

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Dunno....

I just know the organisation puts up some really good videos of their debates/talks etc.

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7 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I assume TED is an acronym?  What does it stand for?

Technology, Entertainment and Design. I'd heard of them, but thought it was all tech talk, until for some reason or other I watched one, and it was great. So now I pay attention when I see one. They can really gobble up your time, though.

Website: https://www.ted.com/talks

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I just happened across another TED talk, this one by Daniel Kish, a man who's been completely blind since he was about a year old, but who can not only get around on foot just fine, he can actually ride a bicycle through an obstacle course.  He clicks his tongue and uses the sound for echolocation, much as a bat navigates its world.  And he teaches the technique to others, with considerable success.

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Wow!  Very cool stuff.

 

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2 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

... I’m not the best judge by a long straw.

There we go speaking different languages again!  :D

Here in the US, we do have some "straw" expressions.  The person who ends up with the worst of the lot is said to have "drawn the short straw" (as though the choice had been made by each person taking a straw from an assortment containing one much shorter than the others).  A minor inconvenience that is nevertheless just one thing too many is said to be "the last straw" (presumably a shortened form of "the straw that broke the camel's back").

But I've never heard "by a long straw."  I assume you meant that you're far from the best judge, so if I were in your situation, I might say "I'm not the best judge, not by a long shot."  But I have no idea why either a long straw or a long shot should mean that sort of thing.  (There are theories for "long shot," but the ones I've read seem far from intuitive to me.)

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18 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

There we go speaking different languages again!  :D

Here in the US, we do have some "straw" expressions.  The person who ends up with the worst of the lot is said to have "drawn the short straw" (as though the choice had been made by each person taking a straw from an assortment containing one much shorter than the others).  A minor inconvenience that is nevertheless just one thing too many is said to be "the last straw" (presumably a shortened form of "the straw that broke the camel's back").

But I've never heard "by a long straw."  I assume you meant that you're far from the best judge, so if I were in your situation, I might say "I'm not the best judge, not by a long shot."  But I have no idea why either a long straw or a long shot should mean that sort of thing.  (There are theories for "long shot," but the ones I've read seem far from intuitive to me.)

I think Herl was melding two variants on the expression there.  In the UK they have the expression 'by a long chalk', which I'm familiar with from their film and TV but I've never heard 'long chalk' used in the States.

They are fond of their chalk sayings, as they also have 'They are as different as chalk and cheese.'   Never heard that used in American, either.  We'd be more likely to say 'as night and day', probably.

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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

I think Herl was melding two variants on the expression there.  In the UK they have the expression 'by a long chalk', which I'm familiar with from their film and TV but I've never heard 'long chalk' used in the States.

They are fond of their chalk sayings, as they also have 'They are as different as chalk and cheese.'   Never heard that used in American, either.  We'd be more likely to say 'as night and day', probably.

Right.  Or we might say "like apples and oranges," though that's more often used when saying that two things are not merely different, but actually in different categories, as in "you can't compare apples and oranges."

Hmm, trying to think of any American "chalk" sayings.  Well, there's "chalk it up," meaning "credit it to," as in "chalk it up to old age."  There's also the metaphor "like chalk water" to describe something that is supposed to have more flavor.  Can any of you UK members tell us whether those are also used over your way?  Or back to the original question, what can you tell us about "by a long straw"?

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Just a bit o'fun to pass a very cold winter's day.

I bet if you read 'em Scotch mist, they're even funnier.  Just don't go smoking any oily rags in this cold!

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/jun/09/guide-to-cockney-rhyming-slang

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21 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Right.  Or we might say "like apples and oranges," though that's more often used when saying that two things are not merely different, but actually in different categories, as in "you can't compare apples and oranges."

Hmm, trying to think of any American "chalk" sayings.  Well, there's "chalk it up," meaning "credit it to," as in "chalk it up to old age."  There's also the metaphor "like chalk water" to describe something that is supposed to have more flavor.  Can any of you UK members tell us whether those are also used over your way?  Or back to the original question, what can you tell us about "by a long straw"?

I think I unwittingly invented a phrase there Carol😃

I haven’t a clue where that one came from. ‘By a long chalk’ is more like it.

Its the Queen’s English not mine after all😃

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Yeah we use all those over here, except the 'chalk water!'

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Two questions:

1. When you are telling story about someone you know from the past (even recent past) do you use present tense or past tense?

I use past tense to describe the thing relevant back then, like he sounded or looked like, did this that..etc etc.

But when I want t describe something that I know as general truth about him, what should I use? Is it present tense? For example, he always likes (something that is very constant all his life), he is tall. Because for those, I don't feel good using past tense, somehow I feel it sounds like I'm talking about someone who is no longer alive. ??? So I use present tense, but then it seems like I have very mixed sentence. Of course, when all else fails, I'd play dead and use third language card.

2. I'm pretty sure 'rape' is a proper word?

Smart-Select-20190213-011717-Words-2.jpg

I have been playing WoW (Words with Friends) forever and find that sometimes, in very rare occasion though, they don't accept certain words, but mostly they are words that can be considered vulgar. I know rape is a sensitive and bad event, but it is a proper word, isn't it? And it is used formally everywhere? What do you guys think about this game banning it? The way they reject it as 'not acceptable' is the way they reject every gibberish and words that are written wrong. So I'm not sure what if the message is right.

Smart-Select-20190307-175131-Words-2.jpg

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On 3/7/2019 at 5:49 AM, Van Buren Supernova said:

When you are telling story about someone you know from the past (even recent past) do you use present tense or past tense?

I use past tense to describe the thing relevant back then, like he sounded or looked like, did this that..etc etc.

But when I want t describe something that I know as general truth about him, what should I use? Is it present tense? For example, he always likes (something that is very constant all his life), he is tall. Because for those, I don't feel good using past tense, somehow I feel it sounds like I'm talking about someone who is no longer alive. ??? So I use present tense, but then it seems like I have very mixed sentence. Of course, when all else fails, I'd play dead and use third language card.

That all sounds perfectly logical to me!

As you say, though, that can lead to some pretty jumbled-sounding sentences, and fixing them tends to require handling on a case-by-case basis.  If you'd care to give me some examples, I'd be glad to see what I can do with them.

On 3/7/2019 at 5:49 AM, Van Buren Supernova said:

I'm pretty sure 'rape' is a proper word?

Smart-Select-20190213-011717-Words-2.jpg

I have been playing WoW (Words with Friends) forever and find that sometimes, in very rare occasion though, they don't accept certain words, but mostly they are words that can be considered vulgar. I know rape is a sensitive and bad event, but it is a proper word, isn't it? And it is used formally everywhere? What do you guys think about this game banning it? The way they reject it as 'not acceptable' is the way they reject every gibberish and words that are written wrong. So I'm not sure what if the message is right.

Smart-Select-20190307-175131-Words-2.jpg

Yes, "rape" is a perfectly legitimate word.  It's even a legal term.  As you say, the act is a horrible thing -- but if that game will accept the word "murder," then it should also accept the word "rape."

I'm wondering if the game's list of unacceptable words was compiled by someone with a political agenda.  But how are we to be against rape if we don't even have the vocabulary to talk about it?

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On 3/7/2019 at 8:25 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

As you say, though, that can lead to some pretty jumbled-sounding sentences, and fixing them tends to require handling on a case-by-case basis.  If you'd care to give me some examples, I'd be glad to see what I can do with them.

I was a bit confused in my last post talking about TV show Lucifer in other thread. But since you said it's logical, at least I don't feel that bad. 

On 3/7/2019 at 8:25 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I'm wondering if the game's list of unacceptable words was compiled by someone with a political agenda.  But how are we to be against rape if we don't even have the vocabulary to talk about it?

I don't think they have agenda, maybe they just simply worry that it's offensive word although I don't understand why. As you said, how are we supposed to be educated without knowing the term, and it also send wrong idea about something that is in category of proper language, especially in this case, when the word is used in arguably educational games. 

The other example of banned word that I remember is slut. 

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I would guess that they banned "slut" on the grounds that it's not a "nice" word.  Maybe they're trying to make their game kid-friendly?

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I've played a few word games, they all do the same thing. I don't think there's any agenda other than, as Carol says, making the game kid friendly. Some parents think their little darlings should be protected from concepts like rape; I'm not sure I disagree. I know my parents would never talk about money (a much dirtier word! 😄 ) in front of us kids until we were in our late teens. Needless to say, they raised four kids who are clueless about the stuff. :wink:

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The sound animals make, in different languages.  By James Chapman.


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[Link]

 

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Those Hungarian frogs have apparently been reading Aristophanes:D

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Don't laugh, but the German pigeons really sound different from Polish, so maybe the differences we see here are caused not by the human language, but the animal one. :D 

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I've heard that killer whales have regional dialects, but pigeons? :blink: Fascinating!

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35 minutes ago, J.P. said:

Don't laugh, but the German pigeons really sound different from Polish, so maybe the differences we see here are caused not by the human language, but the animal one. :D 

When we lived in upstate New York, I noticed that when the cardinals sang in the spring they had a Swedish accent (which would have made more sense in Minnesota), compared to the ones I'd heard back here in Indiana.

30 minutes ago, Caya said:

I've heard that killer whales have regional dialects, but pigeons? :blink: Fascinating!

It's called pigeon English.

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On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 9:11 AM, Artemis said:

The sound animals make, in different languages.  By James Chapman.


 

tumblr_muzu8vqKot1qcmvfio8_500.png

 


[Link]

 

Cats speak a universal language!

On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 5:56 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Those Hungarian frogs have apparently been reading Aristophanes:D

:blink:

On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 7:36 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:
On ‎3‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 7:07 PM, Caya said:

I've heard that killer whales have regional dialects, but pigeons? :blink: Fascinating!

It's called pigeon English.

Carol!!! Em5DIHI.gif

 

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