Egg's off, bacon's off, bread's off, tea's off. English is on though.
14th February 2012 by Joe
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
(By Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809–1892)
What do YOU think? Is it better to have loved and lost? Or is it better never to have loved at all?
to hold something true: to consider/believe something to be true
to befall* (verb): to happen
whate’er befall*: whatever happens
to sorrow* (verb): to feel deep distress; to be very unhappy/sad (”sorrow” is not normally used as a verb in English today)
’tis*: it is
*this language is typical of romantic poetry but is not normal in everyday English
What do you think about this statement: “We are all basically selfish“?
Is it true? At the end of the day, are we all only interested in ourselves? Or are some people genuinely selfless and altruistic?
selfish (adjective): having no consideration for other people; being interested in one’s own personal well-being, profit or pleasure
selfless (adjective): having no concern for oneself; unselfish
altruistic (adjective): having consideration for the well-being and lives of other people
An abbreviation is something like “Dr” or “Dr.” for “Doctor”, or “Ltd” or “Ltd.” for “Limited”.
An acronym is made from the First Letters of other words, for example “NASA” for “National Aeronautics and Space Administration”, or “laser” for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”.
What abbreviations and acronyms do you know?
30th September 2011 by Joe
“ALCOHOL SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.”
What do you think
25th September 2011 by Joe
Some scientists now say that
mobile phones are dangerous and
may damage our brains
or cause cancer.
But not all scientists agree.
What do you think?
The extract below appeared in The Telegraph today. The Telegraph is a daily British newspaper of supposedly high reputation. The inability of its writers and editors to write English, demonstrated below, will cast doubt on that reputation.
The author of the above article is Dr David G Green, who is described as “director of the think tank Civitas”. I have always held think tanks in the lowest regard, and the outrageous and woolly thinking displayed in this article would seem to give weight to my feelings.
“The inability to speak a host country’s language reinforces dangerous divisions in society – and it is a very reasonable requirement of any immigrant.”
In this sentence the pronoun “it” refers back to “The inability to speak a host country’s language”. The writer is therefore saying that “the inability to speak a host country’s language is a very reasonable requirement of any immigrant.” What he means to say (however absurdly) is that ”the ability to speak a host country’s language is a very reasonable requirement of any immigrant.”
This would be comic if this display of bad writing were not at the start of so arrogant and racist an article preaching the necessity for immigrants to Britain to speak English.
Learners of English may take heart from the fact that some quarters of the British and American press, radio and television are full of examples of poor English. This is particularly true of the BBC and CNN, but it appears that the shortcoming is spreading to media of hitherto higher repute.