A nice resource for them learners of English

July 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm | Posted in English | 2 Comments
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…is One Word a Day. After signing up, they’ll send you one word a day the meaning of which you have to guess from three options. You can look up the solution in you email (i.e. don’t need a web browser) or you can listen to it online (on their website). You can also make recommendations – I think two years ago after having watched “First Blood” (Rambo in German) I suggested “war of attrition” – which finally made it into the league of word’s of the day today 🙂

Etymology: from around the 15th century. The original meaning referred
to rubbing away by friction and was borrowed from the Latin attritio and
from attritus, the past participle of atterere, meaning to rub against.
(The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology)

Attrition is used in a variety of contexts to denote something that is
gradually being reduced or weakened. It’s often applied in situations
where a company wants to reduce its workforce, but without layoffs or
firings. In this context, attrition means as workers leave for new jobs
or retire, their positions are not filled.

Another context is the phrase “war of attrition”, which is a protracted
conflict in which one side attempts to wear down its enemy by
continuously engaging in battle. In the 20th Century, fighting a war of
attrition also came to include attacking enemy civilians and resources,
and not just confining itself to battles between military forces in a
traditional battle setting.

Examples of wars of attrition are World War I, World War II, The Vietnam
War and the 1968 to 1970 struggle between Egypt and Israel, so named the
War of Attrition.

(sources: answers.com)

First Language Attrition would be another important use to add.

Done with teaching!!!!

July 9, 2007 at 5:24 pm | Posted in English | 3 Comments
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And who knows for how long, probably the rest of my life? Having been a teacher for three years now (lecturer according to my card, but I’ve said it before: that was a lie and a huge overstatement, definitely on my paycheck – on leaving I learned that I made 800 Euros less than what the alleged salary for lecturers is at the institution to which I am saying good bye now; gender pay gap in Vorarlberg, bigger than ever), and employed as one for six more weeks, I am now very much inclined to say that this is true:


So I am also leaving this place to show myself than I can… yet need to find what that is. Or was. I forgot. Three years of teaching fried my brains.

My favourite English words, pt. 1

June 20, 2007 at 8:51 am | Posted in English, Word | 9 Comments
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Muzzle. It sounds so soft. Who’d have thought.

muzzle (ANIMAL)
noun [C]
the mouth and nose of an animal, especially a dog, or a covering put over this in order to prevent the animal from biting

I’d like to have this one as a handbag:


Lolcats and their Flawed Language

May 20, 2007 at 7:11 pm | Posted in Blogging, Culture, English, Language, Learning English, Lolcats | 3 Comments
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As a an addition to Lenina’s recent txt spk post, it might be worthwhile to have a (brief) look at the I Can Has Cheezburger blog which has been consistently among the top ten blogs in the past weeks. It works as follows: The owner(s) post a picture of a pet, mainly a cat, and add a bubble to it to indicate the ‘thoughts’ of the pet. The thoughts are offered in flawed English, the flaws supposedly representing the inferiorness of the animal to the human. The humans who visit this site, however, seek to come up with even more faulty language, and they assess each other’s comments too. The trashiest or most infantile comments (or those of members who have earned a standing in the group) get the highest ranking of 5 out of 5 cheeseburgers. Lolcats, according to the group’s language, are photographic representations of cats that make you laugh out loud.

Starten a gang

And while I am struggling to suppress an allergic reaction when reading the comments, the ‘lolcats tagged for you convenience’ do make me chuckle:-)

Which kind of a blogger am I?

May 17, 2007 at 11:36 am | Posted in Blogging, English, German, Life | 10 Comments
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There seems to be a general consent that there are two kinds of bloggers, even if the lines and criteria of distinction are often dissimilar.

Greg Knauss, emulating Jason Kottke, thinks that the two kinds of bloggers are the referential and the experiential one:

The referential blogger uses the link as his fundamental unit of currency, building posts around ideas and experiences spawned elsewhere: Look at this. Referential bloggers are reporters, delivering pointers to and snippets of information, insight or entertainment happening out there, on the Intraweb. They can, and do, add their own information, insight and entertainment to the links they unearth — extrapolations, juxtapositions, even lengthy and personal anecdotes — but the outward direction of their focus remains their distinguishing feature.

The experiential blogger is inwardly directed, drawing entries from personal experience and opinion: How about this. They are storytellers (and/or bores), drawing whatever they have to offer from their own perspective. They can, and do, add links to supporting or explanatory information, even unique and undercited external sources. But their motivation, their impetus, comes from a desire to supply narrative, not reference it.

Aaron Brazell proposes that

There are two kinds of bloggers: those who blog for themselves, and those who write for others. The first kind of blogger writes as an outlet for themselves; the second type tries to meet the readers’ needs. The problem comes when the first type tries to be the second type and fails.

A chap who calls himself Sirbastian Manning takes a technological approach:

There are two types of bloggers.
1. People who use premade software. These guys usually have loads to write about.
2. People who make their own software to blog with. These guys usually have nothing to write about (some do though).
I fit into the last group of people but now I’m using wordpress so I should start writing more.
Maybe tomorrow.

And cartoonist Jeff Danziger knows the ultimate truth about the two types of bloggers🙂

Jeff Danziger

So which kind of a blogger are you? Which kind of a blogger am I? For the time being, I would simply describe myself as a blogger who has at one point made a resolution to write on post per today. That’s a statistical approach, but the rest follows from this. A certain quantity counts. And at the moment, I am also a blogger who considers reconsidering this resolution, as I feel I don’t really have the time for it – neither for writing about the things that do REALLY matter to me,

(e.g. about the annoying campaign of a club called Familiennetzwerk, i.e. family network, who are rallying to spread the word that day care children are severly traumatized and that there is no other way to protect a child’s sanity than by mothers’ giving up their jobs; recently on a television program, one of their spokes persons claimed that every third child in Sweden – a country where day care centres are not considered prisons, but a place of early social integration – was neurotic, basing her ‘research’ on just one Swedish publication by a woman who could, upon request, not produce any evidence for her findings; but the Familiennetzwerk doesn’t care, everybody can sing in their choir, for as long as they sing their tune… *grrrrrrrrr*)

nor for reading all the blogs out there that interest me. And if you have got just 11 blogs on your daily reading list, like I do, and you have another, presumably ‘real’ life to tend to, the demands of both tend to collide.

I am also considering writing in German – when I started, writing in English also meant to not align myself geography, which also lead me to the misspelling of the name of the province I live in, i.e. Vorradelberg. And know that I know that I am going to move away (relatively) soon, I might want to. Align myself. Geographically and linguistically. But then Cabbage, Lallopallo, Whetted and Nova wouldn’t be able to ‘read me’. Hmm.

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