Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Everything posted by LauraM

  1. jubvman, that's a wonderful quote. And the story behind it, really is quite moving. Thank you so much for sharing that one. It is so uplifting and at the same time it's a challenge to us. It's why I enjoy rereading this thread so much. Here's one of my recent discoveries which means a lot to me. It evokes some of the same themes as yours. “A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” -Denis Waitley
  2. There are lots of idioms in the English language using "hand" and "hands." Our hands are expressive both literally and figuratively where language is concerned! Here are a few for starters. "To know like the back of your hand" -- to be very familiar with something. "To live hand to mouth" -- a very meager existence, just barely getting by. "Hands down" -- obvious and without question, as in "He is the hands-down winner when it comes to knowing about English literature." "To take matters into your own hands" -- to take charge of circumstances or a situation rather than relying on others. Please add to the list.
  3. That's a new one for me. It might be a slang expression. But as for murder idioms that I do know... "Get away with murder" -- meaning someone is able escape retribution or punishment for their actions, whatever they may be, depending on the context. "Scream bloody murder" or alternately "cry bloody murder" -- complaining about something or in some other way causing a scene over something that doesn't really justify the response. Those are the only two I can think of. Hope to hear from others who know their "murder" idioms!
  4. Here's another one of those articles that examines some of the new words that have become so popular in the past year in the English language. The writer attempts to separate out the words that "matter" versus those that don't. I found it an interesting read. You can see the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/29/selfies-twerking-words-really-mattered-2013 Let us know your thoughts. Do you agree? Do you use some of these words? Like them? Find them annoying? Here's a quick rundown of the list of words that the writer thinks really "matter" versus those that don't. Important words: Big data Metadata Surveillance Sousveillance Bitcoin Precariat Hard-working Obamacare Binge-watching Unimportant or "annoying" words Belfie Schmazing Artisanal Twerk-out Glocal Phubbing Sparrowface Meggings
  5. There are lots of idioms in English with colors. I thought of a few: To see someone's true colors -- The person's real character and/or personality emerges. Horse of a different color -- Refers to something entirely different or in contrast to or an entirely different matter. As in "Speaking loudly is permitted here, but using a megaphone is a horse of different color." Blue ribbon -- something of high or excellent quality. Once in a blue moon -- Rare, something that rarely happens To be in the red -- to be in debt To be in the black -- to be in profit and/or successful
  6. Yes, there are lots of idioms in English that use the verb to see. Here are a few I thought of: See which way the wind is blowing -- To determine the best options or best course of action based on circumstances Can't see the forest for the trees -- To become too embroiled in details to get the full context or understanding of something. There are none so blind as those who will not see -- Willfully refusing to face something.
  7. As I see it with poetry -- as with literature in general -- the writer is fully grounded in and familiar with the rules of grammar and chooses to use the language in a manner that is expressive, and yes, this may mean breaking rules. Contemporary poetry in particular can often have unorthodox punctuation; sometimes the punctuation is completely absent and line breaks are indicated purely by spacing on the page. I think also we must keep in mind that poetry is as much a written language as a spoken language, and it's the rhythm and the music of the lines and of the language that are or greater importance that grammatical rules. So yes, definitely, as I see it, poetry breaks rules even as it breaks new ground thematically and culturally.
  8. linguaholic, thanks so much for sharing the link to the article. I had no idea the word was that old. Like many others who have replied here, the word was completely new to me until Miley Cyrus' infamous MTV VMAs performance. Now suddenly, like it or now, we all know the word! I have a feeling it may run its course eventually, sooner rather than later. It seems already that the twerking craze -- if there ever really was one aside from Miley Cyrus -- is starting to fade away. Maybe in a few years from now it will all seem very dated, like a passing fad!
  9. Having a passion for information and learning new facts, I tend to be attracted to titles that will promise me something that's going to be useful in my life. So titles like these will attract my attention with words such as 10 Tips.... Best Ways to... Top 10.... Little Known Facts about...
  10. It depends on the context, the subject matter, the circumstances and -- most important of all, I think -- the person or people I'm communicating with. I do think the language must be appropriate. If it is a professional setting where there's a standard language or jargon, that's the way to best communicate and that's what I do. In social settings, my vocabulary would be relaxed and informal -- though still grammatically correct and not overly reliant on slang. I do have a pet peeve about pretentiousness and the use of big words to try to impress. That comes across as arrogant at times or insecure, depending on the person.
  11. I find body language fascinating. I'm always striving to become more perceptive about it. I do think that in part, our understanding of body language is intuitive; while we may not be able to identify each and every gesture or facial expression with the precision of sign language, I think that if we are sensitive and mindful we can pick up intuitively what the person is expressing. Or to put it in the vernacular, we may pick up certain "vibes" from someone and I think some of that is conveyed through body language. Thanks for sharing those videos, andre-nunes and PeterPen! Great stuff. Something I have found really interesting over the years is when experts in body language will analyze a video of someone in the news -- often someone in a scandal or otherwise a case in which it's important to determine if they're telling the truth. They will go into some detail about the person's gestures and what they may mean. It's quite instructive.
  12. There are lots and lots of idioms in the English language that make reference to sports of all kinds. Let's start a list of them! Here are a few ..... "Right off the bat" -- from the start or the beginning. "Slam dunk" -- something that is easy to achieve. "Call the shots" -- be in control of something or in control of a situation. "Jump the gun" -- to start or do something prematurely. Can you think of any sports idioms that you use and/or particularly like? If so Please add to the list.
  13. eppie, great topic! There are lots of food idioms in English. You've picked some really good ones. Here are a few more. "As slow as molasses in January" -- yes, very slow! "Bad apple" -- refers to someone who is a bad influence, as the original reference is to how a single bad apple can cause the apples surrounding it to also become spoiled. "Comparing apples and oranges" -- Two different situations, circumstances or things that are not comparable. "Go bananas" -- become excited about something "Out of the frying pan and into the fire" -- to go from a bad situation or circumstance to one that is even worse.
  14. I've always appreciated poetry for the beauty of the language and the imaginative use of imagery, expressions words and phrases. I have favorite poems and poets both contemporary as well as classic. I think that because there is so much diversity and range in poetry that it's possible to find something that's appealing, whether it be rap lyrics -- I like Jay Z and Eminem for instance -- or some of the classics -- Shakespeare's sonnets and the poems of Emily Dickens are favorites of mine. Over the years I've also enjoyed attending poetry readings. Hearing poetry read aloud before an audience can be a very enriching experience.
  15. I agree. There are different genres of fiction as well. Mass market and general fiction, also known as commercial fiction are quite different. The prose, plot, character development is not on the same level as literary fiction. There is a much smaller readership for literary fiction, in contrast. While the writing is richer and deeper and has more to offer -- it's elevating, challenging, etc. -- it may also be less entertaining and have less surface appeal. But that is not the ultimate purpose of course. I am glad to see that despite the fact literary fiction is comparatively less lucrative and not as conducive to widespread fame as mass market fiction, there are still authors who are dedicated to developing and honing their unique voice and vision. By the way there is a similar discussion on this very topic here: http://linguaholic.com/english-literature/define-litreature/ You may find it interesting as there were quite a few in-depth responses.
  16. These three words are used so incorrectly so frequently that I believe it also causes confusion for people who may pick up the incorrect usage without thinking twice about it. I have seen these kinds of errors proliferate on the Internet especially. I've said it before about these kinds of confusions -- you're and your are good examples, as the OP pointed out -- like other things on the Internet they tend to go viral. Unfortunately, catching bad grammar from others, much as one would catch a virus, can have negative consequences such as misusing the words in a cover letter or other important document where grammatical errors are not forgiven.
  17. Thanks for your reply. I see what your topic is now. You're asking us if it's possible to understand a language you can't speak and I have changed the thread topic to that effect. Good topic. I think that because hearing and understanding are not as active and demanding as speaking or writing it is possible. In my case, I heard a lot of Italian opera when I was growing up and as an adult still listen frequently. I have picked up some of the language, but I am by no means fluent. It also helps that I had studied Spanish formally and there are a few parallels with Italian as it is another of the Romance languages.
  18. Wow, that is quite amazing. I didn't see the double "the" in the title, and I must admit I also didn't catch the doubles in the explanation on first reading. I had to read it a couple of times -- slowly -- before I caught them. This is what makes proofreading challenging at times because our brains are doing the mental corrections already for us, but yet, they are not there on the screen or the page, as the case may be. ddrmario123, thanks so much for sharing this.
  19. I have sometimes had that experience of feeling like a different person. When I was more fluent in Spanish, back in college especially, I was taking some literature courses that were conducted entirely in Spanish and the days that I attended those classes was very much like stepping into a different life. It was enjoyable. I had a passion for the literature and it was a challenge to keep up both with the spoken conversation as well as the reading. In other situations I have also had that feeling as well, especially in casual social settings with native speakers whom I felt more at ease conversing with in Spanish than in English. It's hard to explain, but I did get that feeling, perhaps because they were so welcoming, accommodating and encouraging. These were very positive experiences which I would not otherwise have had if I didn't know the language.
  20. I have heard "outfit" refer to clothing for men as well as women. I've also heard it used for children and babies as well. But I do think the tendency is to use it less so for men. I think that "outfit" may seem a little bit odd when referring to men because we may be more likely to talk about women's clothing as a totality whereas unless a man is wearing a suit, we are probably more likely to speak about specific items of his clothing. Perhaps the type jacket he's wearing or the type of pants. We might say "He wore a tweed jacket" or "He wore faded jeans." Or we might label the combination: "He wore jeans and a t-shirt." Or we might say "He dressed casually."
  21. That's so exciting that you'll be moving soon. I know it is stressful, but it is also a new and wonderful opportunity! I think consistency in studying languages is also very important. This can help in avoiding that feeling of being overwhelmed. For instance, a half hour a day every day will yield much more progress than a couple times a week for, say, two or three hours. At least this is what I have found to be true. Plus if you are doing even a small amount every day, it helps to build momentum and confidence. I think stepping away from language study even for a day or two makes the return potentially more anxiety provoking. So bottom line, I would say, decided on what is a reasonable and achievable time to allot on a daily basis and schedule in that time just as you would any other important appointment. I find this works for language study as well as other tasks that need daily attention. I hope this is helpful.
  22. Yes "forte" is borrowed from French, and as such, ultimately it has Latin roots, "fortis." I particularly like "forte" as an expression in English as it means something one excels at, but, as in the case of many of these phrases, it's the simple elegance of being able to say several words with just one. As for Latin words, there are also -- from the academic world -- the honors that one can graduate with: cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude.
  23. I suggest nonfiction. You could pick topics that are of interest to you at the moment and that you'd like to learn more about. This could encompass quite a wide selection of reading materials from self-help books to history to biography to autobiography and memoir. Another suggestion is to take a look at book review sites to get some ideas of what kinds of books are out there that are of interest. Also most major online newspapers have extensive book sections. For instance the New York Times and L.A. Times in the U.S. and The Guardian and The Telegraph in the UK have excellent sections on books of all kinds. I think the key is to find something to read that is of compelling interest. Otherwise it would be drudgery.
  24. As with animals, birds, fish, insects and other topics in this section, we will also find that trees, flowers and plants are featured in many idioms and expressions in the English language. Here are a few: A "late bloomer" refers to someone who attains success later in life. To "nip in the bud" means to stop something before it takes hold. To "turn over a new leaf" means to reform or change one's habits for the better. "Everything's coming up roses" refers to having success or prosperity or things generally going favorably. Can you think of idioms with plants or flowers and/or trees ? If so, please add to our list.
  25. I think this is a better method. You have to have a starting point to gain some basics of grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Otherwise it could be alternately frustrating, overwhelming and intimidating to try to learn these basics when you have no means by which to discuss them or ask questions. I think another disadvantage is that students will not gain a cognitive understanding of the rules of grammar which can make learning grammar even more difficult. Later on, once students have the basics, then the natural progression is for the classes to be taught in that foreign language.
  • Create New...