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My EXPRESSION of the day Options
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 7:23:20 AM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
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NOT A TEACHER


No. 1



Mona: Please sign this petition. We want the school to fire (dismiss) Mr. Smith because he is so rude to his students.

Raul: Yes, he is very rude, but I have found that he is very fair to everyone when it comes to grading (marking) our lessons.

Mona: That is true.

Raul: If we get a new teacher, he may be very courteous but very unfair. Do you want to take that chance?

Mona: You are right! Better the devil you know than the devil you don't [know]! I am going to throw this petition in the wastepaper basket.
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 9:08:24 AM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
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No. 2


Mona: How are your colleagues at your new job?

Raul: They're very nice, except for one woman who always wants to argue with me.

Mona: Do you argue back with her?

Raul: Yes.

Mona: That's the problem. It takes two to tango.

Raul: You're right! One person cannot do the tango alone. And one person cannot argue alone. So I will not argue with her.

Mona: There you go! ( = That's the right attitude.)
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 7:49:23 AM
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No. 3

Every American city has at least one shopping mall.

The largest American shopping mall is the Mall of America in the state of Minnesota.

Sometimes we refer to it as the Mother of all American shopping malls.

"The Mother of all ____" = the greatest example of something.


*****

In the 19th century, people had only newspapers if they wanted to know the news. For most of the 19th century (especially around the middle of the century), The Times (of London, England) was the Mother of all newspapers. Queen Victoria would often become upset because The Times often printed news that the government wanted to keep secret. American President Abraham Lincoln once said of The Times: "I don't know anything which has more power -- except perhaps the Mississippi [River}."
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, June 03, 2017 11:34:33 AM
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No. 4

You walk into the kitchen at 8 a.m.

You see cookies and donuts (doughnuts) on the counter.
You see cake and soda pop in the fridge. (refrigerator)
You see ice cream in the freezer.

By 5 p.m., the cookies, donuts, cake, soda pop, and ice cream are in your stomach.

You are very unhappy with yourself.

Experts tell us that the only way to stop such madness is NOT to have those things in the house.

If you do not see them, you will not eat them. In fact, the longer you do not see them, the faster you will forget them.


As the saying goes: Out of sight, out of mind.
TheParser
Posted: Monday, June 05, 2017 8:33:12 AM
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No. 5


Mona: We're flying to the Big Apple (New York City) next week. Should I book us on Jupiter Airlines or (on) Saturn Airlines?

Raul: Are we going first-class?

Mona: No way!

Raul: Are we going business-class?

Mona: Of course, not.

Raul: Well, then, in that case, you choose the airline. Those two airlines treat coach passengers in the same way. There is no difference between them.

Mona: You're right, dear. It's six of one, half a dozen of the other.
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 8:49:27 AM
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No. 6


Do you wish to speak American English?

If [that is] so, then you should remember that American teachers want us to say "different from" (NOT "different than").

Sometimes, however, "different from" is awkward (not smooth), so then it's OK to use "different than."

*****


Please study these four sentences carefully.


1. "He established a style different from other artists."

2. "Some people feel that [name of a nation] is no different from other nations."

3. "The book gripped me [got my interest] in a different way from the way in which it had ever done before."

a. That is an awkward sentence.
b. So it's better to say: "The book gripped me in a different way than it ever had before."

4. "Today's journalists are no different than yesterday's journalists."

a. We all understand what the writer WANTED to say.
b. But if you read that sentence carefully, it actually says: "Today's journalists are no different than yesterday's journalists were different."
c. That does not make sense.
d. So be sure to say: "Today's journalists are no different from yesterday's journalists."



I wish to credit two books for those sentences (which I changed somewhat): A Dictionary of Modern American Usage by Garner, and Dos, Don'ts & Maybes of English Usage by Bernstein.



Oh my! I have just noticed that I posted this in my "EXPRESSION" thread. I intended to post it in my "PREPOSITIONS" thread. My bad (mistake)! I will just leave it here.



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 9:09:45 AM

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I do have to question one of your examples.

"He established a style different from other artists."

This compares his style of painting with the personalities of other painters.
It does not compare his style with the styles of other painters.

I propose "He established a style different from those of other artists." or at least
"He established a style different from other artists' (styles)."

The only other thing I can say is "Does anyone ever say 'different than'?"
It's not only American teachers - it's the English-speaking world (obviously except for a couple of people who just don't speak correctly).

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 9:25:57 AM
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Excellent point!

I checked Mr. Garner's book, and he agrees with you.

Here is a sentence that he quotes (I have simplified it):

"He established a style very different from that of Robinson, Astaire, and the Nicholas Brothers."


Thanks a million for catching my mistake.



Have a nice day!

TheParser
Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2017 7:29:41 AM
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No. 7


Joe wants to stop smoking cigarettes.

He has been trying to stop for two years.

He has tried everything to help him stop, but nothing seems to work.

Everyone tells him: "Don't be discouraged (don't lose hope). Stopping a bad habit takes time. Sooner or later, you will be successful. Just keep trying. Good luck!"


*****


Betty wanted to be a Roman Catholic nun.

One day she packed a small suitcase, said goodbye to her family, and went to the place where she would learn to be a nun.

Before she entered that building, however, she stood outside and smoked a cigarette. She then threw the cigarette and the package of cigarettes into a trashcan.

She would never, ever smoke another cigarette for the rest of her life. (She lived to be 100 years old.)

Why was Betty able to suddenly and successfully completely stop a bad habit?

Well, she was motivated (had a reason that was important to her). She really, really wanted to be a nun. (They had told her that they did not accept smokers.)


In English, when you stop a habit (usually a bad habit) suddenly and quickly and successfully, we say that you quit cold turkey.

FROSTY X RIME
Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2017 4:55:41 PM

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I gave up smoking cold turkey.

Another useful expression to learn. Thanks, Parser.

What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
srirr
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 1:02:53 AM

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TheParser wrote:


In English, when you stop a habit (usually a bad habit) suddenly and quickly and successfully, we say that you quit cold turkey.



I would have said I went cold turkey. This is the alternative use I was not knowing . Thanks Parser for the info.


We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 8:52:00 AM
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Thanks, Frosty and Srirr, for your kind comments.

I probably could quit ice cream cold turkey, but I do not have the motivation to do so.

I'm 80 years old, so I rationalize (reason with myself): Isn't it foolish to deny myself some pleasure before I ...?

(I have, however, quit potato chips cold turkey, and I DO feel so much better for having done so.)



Have a nice weekend!
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2017 10:56:16 AM
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No. 8


Five years ago, Mona and Raul each wanted to be the new manager.

The company selected Mona.

Raul congratulated her.

He agreed that she was more qualified than he.

He agrees with everyone that she has been doing a great job during the last five years.

BUT the fact that he was not chosen still sticks in his craw. ( = he is still upset about not having been chosen as manager five years ago)


*****


You go to a party.

You meet Betty for the first time.

You and some other guests spend an hour speaking with Betty about many things.

The next day, someone asks what you think of Betty.

You reply: "To tell the truth, she sticks in my craw." ( = I did not like the things that she said and the way in which she said them. I am upset by her general attitude.)


srirr
Posted: Monday, June 12, 2017 1:26:19 AM

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TheParser wrote:

He agreed that she was more qualified than he.



Just to add, you may see many people using the form:

He agreed that she was more qualified than him.

This is a common use in writing as well. This is a debatable topic and depends on whether you treat 'than' as a preposition or a conjunction. What Parser has written is arguably more correct. The format can be said to have a hidden verb.

He agreed that she was more qualified than he [is].

Others may share their views. There are many more qualified than I (or me). Whistle




We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
TheParser
Posted: Monday, June 12, 2017 8:15:07 AM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
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Thanks SO much for your excellent explanation, Srirr.

I am sure that it greatly helped many learners.

I think (repeat: think) that in 2017, most Americans are more comfortable with "him."

But being a very old person, I am sticking with "he," especially when I write. When I speak and don't have time to think, I bet you dollars to donuts that I say "him" because that's what I almost always hear.



Have a nice day!
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 8:50:19 AM
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No. 9

I learned this expression just yesterday. Perhaps some of you advanced learners may like to know it, too.

*****

At school, at work, on the Web, etc., we often meet dangerous individuals.

This saying tells us that we should keep our distance from dangerous individuals. We should not let them influence us (give us bad ideas).

"If you dine with the Devil, you must bring a long spoon."


a. "dine with the Devil" = have a meal with the Devil. ( = If you mix with bad people.)

b. If you have a long spoon, you can reach the food but not have to sit too close to the Devil. ( = keep far away from bad people.)
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:18:04 AM

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If you give your little finger to devil he will take your whole arm.

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
FROSTY X RIME
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 9:35:55 AM

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TheParser wrote:
No. 9

I learned this expression just yesterday. Perhaps some of you advanced learners may like to know it, too.

*****

At school, at work, on the Web, etc., we often meet dangerous individuals.

This saying tells us that we should keep our distance from dangerous individuals. We should not let them influence us (give us bad ideas).

"If you dine with the Devil, you must bring a long spoon."


a. "dine with the Devil" = have a meal with the Devil. ( = If you mix with bad people.)

b. If you have a long spoon, you can reach the food but not have to sit too close to the Devil. ( = keep far away from bad people.)


It's a droll. I had a hearty laugh. Thanks, parser.

What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 8:58:59 AM
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Thanks, Frosty, for your comments.

I just learned that expression.

I will add it to my favorite quotation: "Be afraid, very afraid."



Have a nice weekend!
almo 1
Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 9:24:04 AM
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan
FROSTY X RIME wrote:
TheParser wrote:


b. If you have a long spoon, you can reach the food but not have to sit too close to the Devil. ( = keep far away from bad people.)




It's a droll. I had a hearty laugh. Thanks, parser.





Denmark to extradite South Korea 'Rasputin' daughter



dailymail.co.uk/



TheParser
Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 8:45:58 AM
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No. 10


Mother: I want Joe to bring you home by 10:30 p.m. If you two are late, I will not let you go out with him again for six months.

Betty: Oh, Mother. Stop treating me like a child. I'm 16 years old. You should have confidence in me that I will do what is right.

Mother: OK. I apologize. You may come home at the time that you and Joe think is appropriate.

George: (her brother): She's still a child, Mother. It's your duty to set limits for your children. I like telling my friends that my mother wants me to be home by 10:30 p.m. They are envious of me for having a mother who cares enough to set boundaries.

Mother: Oh, my! I am damned if I do, damned if I don't. ( = No matter what I do, I will be criticized.)
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:29:20 AM
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No. 11


1. What member gives the best answers to learners who post questions in the "Grammar" forum?


That is a no-brainer.

It is _____, of course!



2. What's the most important country in the world?

That is a no-brainer.

It is _____, of course!


3. What is the international language used by people everywhere?


That is a no-brainer.

It is _____, of course!



That is a no-brainer = You do NOT have to use your brain very much to get the correct answer.
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 8:15:59 AM
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No. 12


Mr. Smith (on the telephone): I have great news. I have decided to hire you for that job.

Ms. Smith: When you interviewed me six months ago, you said I was unqualified and even criticized the way I dress.

Mr. Smith: That was just a big misunderstanding. Can you start your job here tomorrow?

Ms. Smith: That ship has sailed, sir. I found a job last month where they feel that I am very qualified and even wear nice clothes. Have a nice day! (She hangs up.)



That ship has sailed = It is too late for something.
coag
Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 1:57:00 PM

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A nice and useful expression. Thanks, TheParser, for posting it.

I would like to add this example, about Arctic ice melting.

"This ship has sailed; the Arctic is as good as thawed— there's little we can do to prevent iceless North Pole summers now." (The Atlantic)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 6:35:57 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
[quote=TheParser]No. 11
1. What member gives the best answers to learners who post questions in the "Grammar" forum?
That is a no-brainer.
It is _____, of course!

Hmmm - there may be several schools of thought on this question . . .

2. What's the most important country in the world?
That is a no-brainer.
It is China, of course!
Population of China - 1.4 Billion
Population of USA - 321 Million
So - as we are all democratic about this - China would out-vote the USA four votes to one.
China GDP - 23 Trillion Dollars
USA GDP - 18.5 Trillion Dollars
China has a national debt to other countries of 1.4 Trillion ($1000 per person)
USA has a national debt to other countries of 19 Trillion (1.4 trillion owed to China) ($96,000 per person)



3. What is the international language used by people everywhere?
That is a no-brainer.
It is Chinese, of course!
First-language 'Standard Mandarin' speakers - 840 Million - plus 400 million who speak a dialect and 'standard' = 1.2 Billion
First-language English speakers - 340 Million (worldwide, not just England)
Total Mandarin speakers (first or second language) - over 1.5 Billion
Total English speakers (first or second language) - 800 million


This is of course an example of Disraeli's "lies, damned lies and statistics" Liar Liar - as the use of Chinese as an international language is not really world-wide, but limited to south-east Asia.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 7:45:14 AM
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Thanks, Coag, for that great example.

*****

All veteran members and guests know the name of the modest member who gives the best answers in the "Grammar" forum.



I wish you both a great new week of work. (Someone once said something like: "Work is so wonderful. Keep some for tomorrow.")


P.S. A million thanks, DragOnspeaker, for Disraeli's quotation. Wow! I hope that fair-minded members and guests will remember those words if they ever happen to venture into a certain forum.
tunaafi
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 4:27:41 PM

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TheParser wrote:


All veteran members and guests know the name of the modest member who gives the best answers in the "Grammar" forum.

I know something about grammar, but I would not like to single out one member as being the one who gives the 'best' answers. We have now, as we have had since long before I became a member, several members who consistently give very sound answers.

I visit this forum frequently - not often to respond, but to read the responses of these members.
.

Quote:
I hope that fair-minded members and guests will remember those words if they ever happen to venture into a certain forum.

Not all members (most of whom seem to me to be fair-minded) are telepathic, James. To which forum are you referring?
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:44:39 AM
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Joined: 9/21/2012
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No. 13


It is a given ( = an accepted fact) that in the United States, the people who still read a newspaper printed on paper are mostly older people.


When they were younger, they became accustomed to touching a physical newspaper every morning (and even every afternoon). So it is difficult to break such a long-time habit.

(I understand that print newspapers in some countries are still read by all ages.)


*****

It is a given that most young people have a smartphone.

In fact, some Americans feel that young children should NOT have a smartphone.

The idea is that the obsession with smartphones is interfering with their social development.


*****


In the United States, it used to be (no more!) a given that elderly parents would live with their grown children.

Today, many American "senior citizens" live in "retirement homes," where everyone else is also elderly.

(I understand that it is still a given in some countries for three generations to live under the same roof.)
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 30, 2017 7:22:23 AM
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No. 14


Mona: Why have you been feeling so blue [sad] recently?

Raul: The board of directors is going to hold a general meeting tomorrow in order to choose the new manager.

Mona: So?

Raul: Well, 30 employees have signed up to speak in favor of Betty as manager, and only 10 of us have signed up to speak in favor of Joe. Furthermore, one of Betty's uncles is on the board of directors.

Mona: You're right: it doesn't look too good for Joe. But don't give up hope. Remember that old saying.

Raul: What old saying?

Mona: It isn't over until the fat lady sings .


( = Does it look as if your favorite sports team is going to lose the game? Does it look as if your favorite candidate in the election is going to lose? Don't give up hope. Sometimes in life there can be a BIG surprise at the last minute.)
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, June 30, 2017 7:32:42 AM

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Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland



In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, July 01, 2017 7:00:19 AM

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Brünnhilde!

When she finishes singing, she rides (her horse) into a fire and all the characters, including all the Norse gods, die.
Götterdämmerung - Ragnarök - the twilight of the gods.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
TheParser
Posted: Monday, July 31, 2017 7:48:42 AM
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Dear Fellow Learners:

(I) just happened to read some terms yesterday that might interest some of you.


"London has never lacked grand hotels. But the City, its financial center, didn't have a five-star stunner until this year. Now two [new hotels] ... are drawing upscale travelers."


*****

Mona (Raul's significant other) : I hear (that) that new restaurant near the railroad station is super. It's beautiful inside and the food is fabulous.

Raul: I have heard the same. But I'm afraid that it's a bit too upscale (or high-end) for our budget. I'm due for a promotion at my job and an increase in salary in 2020. I'll take you there in three years.



VOCABULARY

1. Five-star stunner = a business that is good enough to deserve *****. It will stun (impress) you because of its architecture, furnishings, service, etc.


2. Upscale travelers = Travelers with a lot of money -- their money or their companies' money. They expect excellence when they go to a hotel, restaurant, etc. Of course, one must pay high prices for excellence.

3. Your significant other = your wife or husband or girlfriend or boyfriend.




The quotation is from the July 31, 2017, issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.
TheParser
Posted: Friday, August 04, 2017 8:14:38 AM
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No. 16

When something is dull (boring), we may say that it is as dull as dishwater.

Actually, the expression is "as dull as ditchwater."

But dictionaries now accept BOTH as correct.


*****

1. He was standing on the beach butt naked (100% naked). The correct expression is "buck naked."
2. He was saved from death by a hare's breath (he almost died). The correct expression is "hair's breadth."
3. Being lonely is a hard road to hoe (difficult). The correct expression is "row to hoe."



Source: Reader's Digest, September, 2017.
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 8:27:04 AM
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No. 17


Of course, you know what a "sidewalk" is.

Of course, you know what a "curb" is.

But what do you call the strip of land between the CURB and SIDEWALK?

Answer: parkway/berm.



(P.S. My city is asking residents NOT to park their automobiles on the parkway.)
tunaafi
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 4:21:54 PM

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The word one uses seems to depend on where one comes from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Road_verge#Terminology
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