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BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English

McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 PM
Bassic 13 Oct 03 - 04:43 PM
John MacKenzie 13 Oct 03 - 04:37 PM
jeffp 13 Oct 03 - 04:28 PM
Allan C. 13 Oct 03 - 04:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 02:13 PM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 13 Oct 03 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Nigel 13 Oct 03 - 11:45 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM
Roger the Skiffler 13 Oct 03 - 08:34 AM
Morticia 13 Oct 03 - 08:32 AM
artbrooks 13 Oct 03 - 08:06 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 03 - 07:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 13 Oct 03 - 07:39 AM
artbrooks 13 Oct 03 - 07:20 AM
Geoff the Duck 13 Oct 03 - 06:54 AM
Micca 13 Oct 03 - 06:38 AM
Geoff the Duck 13 Oct 03 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Can Johnson 13 Oct 03 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Can Johnson 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 AM
Dave Bryant 13 Oct 03 - 04:41 AM
Penny S. 12 Oct 03 - 05:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 03 - 02:53 PM
the lemonade lady 12 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 03 - 01:36 PM
Noreen 12 Oct 03 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Wotcha 12 Oct 03 - 12:54 PM
The Walrus 12 Oct 03 - 12:00 PM
Kelly 12 Oct 03 - 11:16 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 03 - 06:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM
Kelly 11 Oct 03 - 06:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Kelly 11 Oct 03 - 06:18 PM
sian, west wales 11 Oct 03 - 05:29 PM
Peter T. 11 Oct 03 - 11:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 09:07 PM
Noreen 10 Oct 03 - 08:47 PM
Gareth 10 Oct 03 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 07:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 07:11 PM
GUEST 10 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Ed 10 Oct 03 - 06:50 PM
Peter T. 10 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Guest 10 Oct 03 - 05:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM
Bill D 10 Oct 03 - 01:32 PM
Dave Bryant 10 Oct 03 - 11:36 AM
sian, west wales 10 Oct 03 - 11:10 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 PM

"look helpless, and maybe she'll do the cooking for you!!

Naah! Look willing and do it, and wreck the kitchen in the process. That's more likely to do the trick for next time...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bassic
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:43 PM

And Allan, I know this is being very picky, and I am really sorry, but it is Blue PeteR not Blue Pete. If you went into a pub and started chatting to a regular at the bar and commented that the painting that the landlords wife had just hung up looked like it had just been made on Blue PETE you would get blank looks. If you said Blue Peter you would bring the house down and the Landlord would probably buy you a pint for agreeing with him!! :-) I now officially confirm that you are studying at advanced level !! (Nice to see you in Banbury by the way.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:37 PM

Ask Mortie she'll know Allan, or pretend you just don't understand, look helpless, and maybe she'll do the cooking for you!!
Giok
Ducks and runs for cover! {To Australia?]


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: jeffp
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:28 PM

You may find it easier to multiply by 9/5 instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Allan C.
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for all of the advice! I've been getting on rather well so far, much to my surprise. Quite honestly, I am starting to realize I have learned much more on the 'Cat than I thought. For instance, Phot made a derogatory remark about some artwork, saying, "Looks like the sort of thing Blue Pete would teach you to make." I knew just what he meant! I had read about Blue Pete here.

I've just finished my first adventure in cooking here. It was a challenge! Meats aren't known by the same names. There are condiments I've never before seen or heard of. But the most difficult realization was that I cannot divide by 5/9ths in my head in order to use the proper oven settings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 02:13 PM

I love a cartoon I once saw. The picture was of a door marked "Department of Philosophy", and a man was coming out of it saying "Oh well, it can't be helped..."


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM

Lie back and think of England was the advice to a daughter about to be raped in one of the revoting colonies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 12:55 PM

One way to understand the English is to study their proverbs, especially the ones that never caught on in America:

It can't be helped.
A change is as good as a rest.
Lie back and think of England. (Advice to a girl on her wedding night.)
…as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. (Anything is permissible as long as it's done quietly, in private—but more and more these days, it's being done loudly in public.)
Where there's muck, there's brass. (Translation: Where there's shit, there's money - from Yorkshire, I think.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Nigel
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 11:45 AM

"Git" : one derivation "Girl In Trousers"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM

"gits" is pronounced with a hard g; no connection with "idgits"


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 08:34 AM

Don't forget to try out the echo in the British Museum Round Reading Room in the new Great Court: yodelling works best.
You'll find single person urinals on many street corners, some are red and some have glass sides. Dial 999 to flush.
London cabbies hate to be tipped and love you to haggle over the fare.
Want a free meal? The Queen runs regular Garden Parties at Buck House, just go along and join in.
Bringing your hunting rifle? Try potting the pigeons in Trafalgar Square.

RtS
(Don't thank me, just enjoy....)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Morticia
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 08:32 AM

well, he's just survived Banbury Folk Festival, meeting assorted Mudcatters and Shellbacks as far as the eye could see.He also very calmly ate black pudding on Sunday morning with barely a blink as a massed crowd of folkies, dressed in little policeman helmets erupted into The Laughing Policeman in a transport cafe....I think the assimilation is going very well....of course, I have taken the cautionary measure of hiding his passport *G*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 08:06 AM

Ah, but "idgit" is American (you sound the "d")


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 07:46 AM

"gits" is standard Englsh, more especially Northern; "twits" is more contemptuous than hostile, and is more typically Souther. "eejits" is Irish, and is often quite friendly.

More than one variety of "Typically English". For example football hooligans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 07:39 AM

Re ice cream. When last in US I was always asked to choose between ice cream and yogurt. Frozen yogurt appeared here for a while but never caught on.
We say yog as in dog, not as in Bogle


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 07:20 AM

Don't forget, Allan...if it all gets to be too much for you, you can always log on to Mudcat and the rest of us will help you forget all about the silly gits (I think that's idgits in UKish).


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 06:54 AM

Many English also resemble Arthur Dent, also of the Hitch Hikers Guide - well meaning, but confused and bewildered.
If you, as an American can learn to also be bewildered about the World, you will make friends of us easily.
What we don't like is people who tell us they know what is happening, because, quite frankly We Don't Believe Them, and wouldn't trust them as far as we could throw them!
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Micca
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 06:38 AM

It may help also to bear in mind that the Archytypical English person is Not Christopher Robin, or the irritatingly optimistic Pooh Bear, but much much closer in attitude and thinking to Eyore!!!! or Marvin , the paranoid Android, his literary and spiritual sucessor ( in Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy).


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 06:28 AM

Allan - go to see a Panto this Christmas. If you understand it - You've got the problem cracked (oh no he hasn't! - Oh yes he has...). If you don't - keep going back each year until you do!!
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Can Johnson
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:51 AM

You can order essay or term paper on this site

http://www.essayfabric.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Can Johnson
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:49 AM

You can order any type of essay or tern paper at this site:


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Oct 03 - 04:41 AM

Whoops Noreen - I just hadn't realised he was that Allan. Ah well, he won't need anyone to show him around or introduce him to venues etc. Now I realise that he's just coming over here to steal one of our beautiful women, I can start being rude to him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Penny S.
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 05:34 PM

Going back quite a way - icecream. There are a number of small local concerns producing excellent stuff. Roskilly's in Cornwall, and another, Rocombe (I think), in Devon. There's a very good one just outside Bicester, too. These can't be the only ones. They just happen to be where I have been. And you can get Ben and Jerry's. Wall's Carte D'or isn't bad, and many supermarkets have own brands with very good ingredients. Marks and Spencers, Sainsbury's and Waitrose are good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 02:53 PM

Eat with a knife and fork.

But not when it's breakfast cereal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 02:11 PM

Wear socks with your sandles.

Eat with a knife and fork.

Don't end all sentences with a question mark.

sal


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 01:36 PM

Driving in Central London is a mug's game anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 01:08 PM

A lot of ignorance dressed up as inside knowledge there from Wotcha- I suppose American tourists in London would get the impression that we put the Union flag on everything from underwear to tea-towels, but I would say that's the only place in the country you'll see such things.

Demarkation disputes were a thing of the 1970s- things have changed rather a lot in this country since then. I could go on but won't waste my time.

I'm sure Allan will take other things with a pinch of salt too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Wotcha
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 12:54 PM

As Monty Python pointed out many years ago ..."Are you embarrassed easily? If so, don't worry; it is all a part of growing up and ... being British." This might explain British "reserve" but not necessarily the reverse affection felt for the flag (the British like to put it on everything from tea towels to underwear/pants): in South Carolina, they'd have a fit.


If you are dragging kids to the UK, they won't be swearing allegiance to a flag except maybe to some football (soccer) team. The good old "O" and "A" Levels standards have been supplanted/watered down by a National Curriculum (no local determination in schools) but are still better (IMHO) than anything you'll find in the States ... If you drive (no matter what lane you choose)in central London, you'll pay Red Ken (the Mayor, when he's not making the headlines for non-mayoral activity) for the privilege ... Doing someone a favor,in a union run workplace, could be cause for industrial action (strike) or unrest: "Demarcation" of tasks can be quite a problem.


Probably not a good idea to remind folks how many times Uncle Sam has bailed Europe out of various conflicts ... It'll be another sore point when Bosnia erupts again in a couple of years when the EU takes over ... just watch.


Britain is not part of Continental Europe (or the Euro yet), so be careful when referring to someone in Britain European ... some are still smarting after the 1975 referendum that changed geography and got Britain into to then Common Market.


Have a great time and don't forget to bring a brolly or raincoat whenever you go out.

Cheers,

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: The Walrus
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 12:00 PM

Allan,

There is one point that will probably strike you immediately - be assured it is not your hearing and it is not a local phenomenon; The worst speakers of English in the World are the English (closely followed[1] by the rest of the 'Home Nations').

Best Wishes

Walrus

[1] As in, 'you can hardly get a cigarette paper between them' close.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Kelly
Date: 12 Oct 03 - 11:16 AM

Oh, another key feature of December 26th in the US is MAD MAD MAD shopping! After-Christmas sales are an American tradition of capitalism that millions take advantage of. lol


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:35 PM

Here's that Canadian holidays link


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM

But I note from this website about Canadian holidays that they do appear to keep Boxing Day, even if their benighted southern neighbours don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Kelly
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:29 PM

Nope, no Boxing Day here. The day after Christmas is just.. the day after Christmas. Usually a day of bloated bellies, sandwiches made from leftovers, and lots of naptime.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM

You mean you don't have Boxing Day across the Atlantic?

Otherwise known as St Stephen's Day, but only when you are singing Good King Wenceslas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Kelly
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 06:18 PM

*chimes in*

Allan is my pops (as some know) and yep, he's in England all permanent-like, and living with the lovely Morty, so no apartment hunting required.

Without being overly specific, he's living west-ish of London but not right ontop of things (if Im reading my map correctly.)

And he did arrive most safely and soundly :) I'm sure he'll be posting in the near future, so keep those suggestions coming!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: sian, west wales
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 05:29 PM

Gareth, don't confuse him with Tips on Learning (to be) Welsh. He's got enough to cope with, without "tidy", "butty", "tampin" and (heaven forbid) "faggot".

I did come across another one in the supermarket this evening. I was told that something that I was looking for was in Aisle 9 "down the bottom". This one still catches me out, even after 23 years! I was half way down the aisle, looking at the lower shelves, when I remembered that "down the bottom" means "at the end". This may be Welsh, but I'm sure that I've heard it in England too. If you ask directions to somewhere, someone usually say "you go down to the bottom here and turn ..." This does not always mean "the end"; sometimes it's the bottom of the hill or whatever. Often a very local reference so that you don't really understand if you don't live locally, and if you lived locally, you wouldn't be lost.

Used to drive me mad when I first moved here...

Oh! But you can use your accent to good advantage. I lay on my thickest Canadian when I'm looking for a parking spot during Boxing Day sales. Some traffic wardens can be REALLY nice! Also got out of driving the wrong way on a one-way street with the same tactics. Got a bit awkward when the Very Nice Policeman asked me if I might know his Aunty in Vancouver but I just asked her name and then told him 'probably not'.

Oh. And Boxing Day = Day after Christmas.

sian


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 Oct 03 - 11:09 AM

I had no idea he was going over to stay!! In that case -- invest in central heating, and find somewhere that has some water pressure so you can have a decent shower sometime.

If you can find the album of Gerry and the Pacemakers where they sing the live version of Billy' Joel's "Don't Go Changing" that will (a) put you in good stead for marriage; and (b) sums up a whole universe of British music making that if you go to Blackpool or most anywhere you will be exposed to at some time, so it is best to be prepared.


yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 09:07 PM

I'd got that, Noreen - but the thread was drifting into advice for visitors too, and not reading the newspapaers for a bit is one of the great pleasures of travel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 08:47 PM

McG, Allan's not coming on holiday, he's coming over to stay!

And do you really mean to say, Mr Bryant, that you've missed the news that Allan's coming over to be married to the wondrous Morticia? I thought you got the news first!

In fact, he should be posting on this thread from the right hand side of the Atlantic at any time now....


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Gareth
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:34 PM

Just remember - Us Celts, in the west - thats alomg the M4 and over the Bridge - You may see us and look down when the Captain says "We're are comencing our descent into London" don't like being called English !

Remember - " It' another triumph for Great Brittain - or - England looses again !"

Gareth


"If you ever come to Wales,
You must try our Brains Pale Ale's,
If you want to drink on Sunday,
You do have to wait till Monday !"

" have you ever saw etc ....!
Continued for 700 verses !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:12 PM

Who reads newspapers on holiday anyway?

If you have to, The Telegraph, Guardian and Independent are pretty good on world news, at least as good as The New York Times. Even the Times is sometimes, though it's really gone down in recent years. The rest are basically for wrapping chips.

But you'd have a much better time with Private Eye and The Oldie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 07:11 PM

Who reads newspapers on holiday anyway?

If you have to, The Telegraph, Guardian and Independent are pretty good on world news, at least as good as The New York Times. Even the Times is sometimes, though it's really gone down in recent years. The rest are basically for wrapping chip.

But you'd have a much better time with Private Eye and The Oldie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM

Never eat in a railway station.

You've obviously never been to Stalybridge station. The black peas are splendid. (Good folk club too)

As a general rule, you're right. Most station food is really bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:50 PM

Peter T,

England does not solely consist of London, as your post would suggest.

We also have Hull ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 06:33 PM

Recent soundings:

(1) There are now only about 2 hours during daylight you can go onto Hampstead Heath and not be very surprised.   

(2) English newspapers have degenerated, and are now filled with what can only be called "Little Englanding". If you want to find out what is going on in the world, you have to tune into the World Service of the BBC or read the New York Times.

(3) Never eat in a railway station.

(4) Go to the English National Opera, it is cheap and good. If you have the patience, you can stand in line for cheap tickets on the day for the National Theatre. If you go to a West End Theatre at any time, do not dress up: the seats are very small, and the theatre is always overheated, you will be very unhappy.

(5) If you like museums, go to the Wallace Collection. No one ever goes there, but it is one of the best museums in the world. You will have the place to yourself. Why this is, I do not know.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 05:40 PM

I guess Allan won't know the difference between England and Britain as half of the mucatters commenting on this thread seem confused. I would advise giving England a miss and head for the continent instead .. France, Germany, Spain .. Europe is so much more exciting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 01:41 PM

It's pretty safe to say that, even if you don't understand the language the English use, they'll understand the language you use, because of the movies and the telly.

And if they then correct you and tell you what the proper word is, if they didn't do that it would be unhelpful and discourteous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 01:32 PM

words are funny...words attain weight and power in a culture. They often mean much more than just 'reference', they can convey overtones of how the users think about things. Depending on the context, they can be anything from light-hearted to deadly serious. There are words, especially swear words... and words referring to sex and bodily functions and 'delicate' topics which can offend one person, and barely elicit a huh? from someone who doesn't get the context or referrent. It takes awhile to let 'foreign' terms like 'W.C' and 'Loo' and 'knickers' and 'wanker' attain their relevance in my American head, as those phrases are just not in my daily conversation...and those may not even be the best examples *grin*...

I guess this internet thing has done a lot to blend and blur the language distinctions and make it a bit easier to visit another country, but stuff we have known from childhood is set pretty firmly...it takes a bit of forebearance to make it all work...


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 11:36 AM

My definition of Essex Girl is the lass who shares a bed with me - Linda.


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Subject: RE: BS: Tips On Learning (to be) English
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Oct 03 - 11:10 AM

Ummm ... is he ready for the advanced stuff, like defininitions of Essex Girls, White Van Man, etc?

(I remember having to ask what 'wanker' and 'slapper' meant, although I'd pretty well worked out the generalities through context ... maybe this is PM kinda stuff?)

sian


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