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  1. #1
    Sanmayce is offline Junior Member
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    Default Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    Hi,
    here I want to share my fondness of a ("secular saint" as I read somewhere) bright individual. Also to pay tribute to a legend by showing at least two facets of his life.

    I have been hit having watched for the first time the BBC documentary 'Samuel Johnson - The Dictionary Man'. And I was massively inspired from Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson, that very day I could not think of anything else. In my view he represents a full-of-life (vivid) way of how to approach/use (not only) the English language.

    A nasty thing I discovered during/down the years: my ability to understand spoken words has not been improving (maybe because of my defiance to accept rules of language with different speak/write expressions, it is very unnatural to me not to speak what is written), grmbl.
    As a foreigner who has many difficulties with using English please help me to transcript (I need to quote it) the narration of this clip/excerpt:

    Clip Samuel.Johnson.The.Dictionary.Man SO_ASHAMED:
    "Johnson returned to family bookshop in Lichfield where his father was now seriously ill and soon to die.
    He was expected to take over the business but after Oxford he thought that selling books was beneath him."
    'I remember once I was disobedient to my father, ??? wasn't longer ??? I ??? returned from Oxford, and ??? just weeks before he died.
    I refused to accompany him to Uttoxeter market where he went regularly to sell books.
    He asked me for help.
    He needed my help, and despite his condition, I withheld it.
    Only a few years ago, I desired to atone for this fault, so I went to Uttoxeter, ??? very bad weather,
    I stood for hours bareheaded in the rain, on the very spot where my father's bookstall used to stand.
    I stood in contrition, it was my penance my atonement.
    I'm so ashamed.'
    /An excerpt from BBC's documentary 'Samuel Johnson - The Dictionary Man'/

    I even can't make difference between "I am", "I was", "And" in the last sentence.

    Also 'went regularly' sounds (to me) illogical for a repetitive action to use 'went' instead of 'would go' or 'was going', can anyone explain this!
    I ran 'Graphein' in search for '*went_regularly*' and the following matches popped:
    went_regularly_to_the
    but_she_went_regularly
    children_went_regularly_to
    came_and_went_regularly
    went_regularly_to_see
    she_went_regularly_to
    i_went_regularly_every
    and_went_regularly_to
    and_went_regularly_through
    and_he_went_regularly
    we_now_went_regularly
    he_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_to_a
    went_regularly_to_his
    he_went_regularly_to
    we_went_regularly_into
    went_regularly_to_work
    went_regularly_every_night
    she_went_regularly_through
    that_he_went_regularly
    went_regularly_with_his
    we_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_into_camp
    went_regularly_to_mass
    went_regularly_to_their
    went_regularly_to_school
    went_regularly_to_sunday
    still_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_twice_a
    she_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_into_the
    also_went_regularly_to
    who_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_to_confession
    now_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_every_day
    went_regularly_through_the
    went_regularly_to_hear
    they_went_regularly_to
    and_i_went_regularly
    becky_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_to_mass
    went_regularly_to_bed
    went_regularly_once_a
    where_he_went_regularly
    i_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_to_church
    went_regularly_to_meeting
    they_went_regularly_to
    went_regularly_to_visit
    but_he_went_regularly

    The second clip is very interesting too:
    Clip Samuel.Johnson.The.Dictionary.Man POOR

    Thanks in advance.

    Add-on:
    After posting and looking at the thread name 'Need a help ...' I recalled that I do not know (exactly) the rules for using the indefinite article, I mean 'need a help' versus 'need help', so here is my question: 'Does the lower (2000 times: 0.000000200% vs 0.000100%) usage (of 'need a help') has anything to do with the correctness?'
    For reference: need a help, need help.
    Last edited by Sanmayce; 11-Feb-2011 at 17:44. Reason: An additional question

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    Johnson returned to the family bookshop in Lichfield where his father was now seriously ill and soon to die.
    He was expected to take over the business but after Oxford he thought that selling books was beneath him.
    'I remember once I was disobedient to my father. It wasn't long after I'd returned from Oxford; in truth it was just weeks before he died.
    I refused to accompany him to Uttoxeter market where he went regularly to sell books.
    He'd asked me for help.
    He needed my help, and despite his condition, I withheld it.
    Only a few years ago, I desired to atone for this fault, so I went to Uttoxeter, in very bad weather,
    I stood for hours bareheaded in the rain, on the very spot where my father's bookstall used to stand.
    I stood in contrition, it was my penance, my atonement.
    I'm so ashamed.'

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanmayce View Post
    Add-on:
    After posting and looking at the thread name 'Need a help ...' I recalled that I do not know (exactly) the rules for using the indefinite article, I mean 'need a help' versus 'need help', so here is my question: 'Does the lower (2000 times: 0.000000200% vs 0.000100%) usage (of 'need a help') has anything to do with the correctness?'
    For reference: need a help, need help.
    If you're lacking other premises, it's best to choose the more popular form, of course, but it's not enough to draw ultimate conclusions.

    But in this case, "need help" is what you want.

  4. #4
    Sanmayce is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    Double thanks birdeen's call,
    you did me a favor, for a long time this scene affects me, it's very strong.

    I am in dismay of the nasty fact that my callibration to hear is not improving, whole words are totally lost regardless of my attempts to adjust my perception - I am afraid it is a psyhological issue of mine.

    As for 'need help' in the beginning I thought that by using 'a' I did a total mistake, it turns out that it is plausible. I make a lot of such blunders, grrr.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanmayce View Post
    Double thanks birdeen's call,
    you did me a favor, for a long time this scene affects me, it's very strong.

    I am in dismay of the nasty fact that my callibration to hear is not improving, whole words are totally lost regardless of my attempts to adjust my perception - I am afraid it is a psyhological issue of mine.

    As for 'need help' in the beginning I thought that by using 'a' I did a total mistake, it turns out that it is plausible. I make a lot of such blunders, grrr.

    Thanks again.
    You're welcome.

    Those red parts in your transcript weren't easy to understand. His pronunciation is very unclear there. Often, listening to unclear speech, we can't really hear what is being said. We must imagine that, because the words themselves are slurred. I wanted to say that in my first post, but forgot finally: you did very well. There were a lot of difficult parts you got exactly right.

    I have already told you this, but I will repeat. Your English is very good.

    I don't think "need a help" is plausible, actually. "Help" is an uncountable noun, like "water". We don't use "a" with them.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    Say 'need help'. But if you forget and accidentally say "need a..." you can repair the slip by inserting a countable noun like '...[helping] hand', '...bit of help' or '...bit of a hand'.

    b

  7. #7
    Sanmayce is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    callibration -> calibration
    psyhological -> psychological

    Thanks birdeen's call, thanks BobK ('drudge' - a new word to me: in sense of working donkey to make contrast with stallions? Although, I recall, these very words 'harmless drudge' were used in the documentary movie (mentioned above) by Samuel Johnson as a definition).

    BobK you put it right - the problem (for me) is that I do such slippery errors all the time, the superficial cause is that I give rough equivalents to my native phrases (here 'help' has a plural form in my native language) - the real cause is that I am the living-proof that is not a good idea to skip elementary/intermediate grammar lessons.

    Historical Sketch of the Second War Between the United States of ... - Page 527
    ... who may need a help of this kind ...

    Cincinnati Magazine - Mar 1993 - Page 82
    ... we're going to need a help.

    "Often, listening to unclear speech, we can't really hear what is being said. We must imagine that, because the words themselves are slurred."
    I totally agree, our psychic (in its true sense: 'spirit') is capable of unimaginable feats - even to understand the unspoken, he-he, I guess I entered an undeveloped yet area.
    As for 'water': 'a water', 'waters' are plausible (in some rare cases), though, or not?!

    I found a bug in google's ngram usage: they treat 'need, a help' and 'need a help' as trigrams in an errorful way - the former (not being a trigram at all) has nothing to do with the latter.
    I don't care of exact rules which form ngrams (much less google's ones), but it is obvious: a stable phrase/ngram cannot contain '.', '!', '?', ';', ':' symbols between words.

    Regards

  8. #8
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanmayce View Post
    As for 'water': 'a water', 'waters' are plausible (in some rare cases), though, or not?!
    Yes, many uncountable nouns are occasionally used countably. (I can't think of any example for "a water" though. "Waters", yes, of course.)

  9. #9
    Sanmayce is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    The chemical analysis of water: general principles and techniques - Page 66:
    The same authors go on to make the important point that, when the estimation of a percentile is required in checking the compliance of a water with a water quality standard, the objective of the measurement programme can be reformulated ...

    Water supply management - Page 236:
    The stability of a water is expressed as the degree of calcium carbonate saturation ...

    An Agenda of science for environment and development into the 21st ... - Page 188:
    ... water has a multitude of parallel functions both in the natural landscape and in society: (a) water is the unifying agent of natural ecosystems with functions similar to the blood and the lymph of the human body; ...

    Water for Subsurface Injection - STP 735 - Page 70:
    The pH of a water is largely dependent on pressure ...

    These chemical guys are (like me) in error, yes it is stupid to use an 'a' here.

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Need a help to transcript a clip regarding Samuel 'Dictionary' Johnson

    'Thanks birdeen's call, thanks BobK ('drudge' - a new word to me: in sense of working donkey to make contrast with stallions? Although, I recall, these very words 'harmless drudge' were used in the documentary movie (mentioned above) by Samuel Johnson as a definition).'

    Yes. 'A harmless drudge' is one of my favourite definitions of his; but I'm only a lexicographer in that I write about words (which is what the word means - although in that context it refers to composing dictionaries).

    b

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