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  1. #11
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Hugo:



    1. I believe in formality. I always address non-family with titles. I think that it is important to show respect.

    Since you have asked me not to, however, I shall honor your request. (I also used to address or refer to the great

    teachers here with titles, but this upset them. So I now just use their user names.) (P.S. I hear that the teachings of

    Confucius -- who believed in good manners -- are again being taught in your country. That's great. In my opinion only,

    I think that Confucian ethics are needed here in the United States, too!)

    2. Oh, yes! The Fowler brothers were "stars" of good English. As I understand it, many English people in the 1920's

    were seeking advice on good English. So Henry Watson Fowler (his brother had died in the Great War) produced a magnificent

    book entitled Dictionary of Modern English Usage in 1926. I have the second and third editions. Some people today "laugh"

    at his book as being "old-fashioned." In fact, one modern grammarian named Randolph Quirk said that Mr. Fowler was not

    a real grammarian. Another person ridiculed his book. She said something like this: If you can understand Mr. Fowler's

    book, you deserve a medal! Nevertheless, many people still admire his book (especially the first and second editions).

    If you ever happen to see his book on sale, do buy it. I think that it will fascinate you, as has happened to many people

    since 1926. As you can tell, the Fowler brothers are my heroes -- along with Florence Nightingale and Confucius.


    James


    P.S. He and his brother produced a magnificent book in 1906 called The King's English. It's a classic. You can probably find sections of their books on the Web.
    Last edited by TheParser; 18-Nov-2012 at 15:12.

  2. #12
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    As you can tell, the Fowler brothers are my heroes -- along with Florence Nightingale and Confucius.
    What's happened to GOC?

    If you are interested in how Fowler thought people should write in 1926, Hugo, then his book is indeed fascinating. However, if you want a guide to today's usage, then Fowler is hopelessly outdated.
    Last edited by 5jj; 18-Nov-2012 at 15:39. Reason: typo

  3. #13
    Hugo_Lin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    Both advice will be taken seriously, 5jj and Mr. Parser. ;) And many thanks.

    Since you're also a believer in formality and courtesy, I think I can call you mister without bothering you? Mr. Parser ;)

    There's a big difference between western and Asian cultures. We only pay respect "upward" (Upward or upwardly?). Which means I can call you mister because you're senior to me. Also I can call my boss mister. But can't be the other way round.

    I was once amazed by the fact that in a movie I saw (Scent of a Woman), in a high school, every students was addressed as Mister. It's unthinkable in China.

    Also we can definitely not be on first-name terms with seniors or superiors. That's why I feel a little upset calling you James.

    Btw, the name James makes me feel like there're many Jame on the other side of the web. ;)

    But China is now very internationalized and many Chinese would follow Westerners' tradition. They might be on first-name terms with Westerners, but definitely would not be with fellow Chinese seniors.

    If you were Chinese, it'd be very rude of me to call you James.

    Speaking of Confucius, he's a bit controversial in China. Some scholars contend that Confucism is the very spiritual base that helped Chinese rulers slave people's souls. That said, Confucism does have its redeeming values. Sadly, many Chinese are ignorant of Confucius teachings, myself included.

    However I do believe in courtesy.

    Some sentences deleted. See post #16


    I don't want to go any further. Thinking of these make me mad.
    Last edited by 5jj; 18-Nov-2012 at 17:36. Reason: see post #16

  4. #14
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****



    Hello, Hugo:


    I would love to reply to your last paragraph, but on?/ in? the "Ask a Teacher" forum, we must limit our comments

    to language matters -- nothing political or sociological. So I have to keep my mouth shut.

    James
    Jim
    Jimmy
    Jimbo
    Last edited by TheParser; 18-Nov-2012 at 17:09.

  5. #15
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    The drawback with "Mr Parser" is that it doesn't really make any sense. We use the formal addresses "Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms" before someone's surname/family name. A username is not the same kind of name. It is just a name specifically for use on the net and I would say that it's not just that it doesn't require a title before it, I would say that putting a title before it is simply wrong. I don't mean wrong culturally or traditionally, but literally just wrong.
    If someone's username were 123ZX7343 it really would be very odd indeed to refer to them as, for example "Miss 123ZX7343". Do you see my point?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #16
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I would love to reply to your last paragraph, but on?/ in? the "Ask a Teacher" forum, we must limit our comments to language matters -- nothing political or sociological.
    . Thanks.

    Parser is absolutely right. This forum is read by members of all nationalities, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, poltical beliefs, etc. We are free to express our opinions about language (provided we do so in a reasonably civilised manner) but we don't enter other fields. There are plenty of other forums around for that.

    I have, reluctantly, deleted some parts of post #13. They were not about language, and might offend one group of people.

  7. #17
    Hugo_Lin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    . Thanks.

    Parser is absolutely right. This forum is read by members of all nationalities, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, poltical beliefs, etc. We are free to express our opinions about language (provided we do so in a reasonably civilised manner) but we don't enter other fields. There are plenty of other forums around for that.

    I have, reluctantly, deleted some parts of post #13. They were not about language, and might offend one group of people.
    Quite understandable. Forgive my rant, please.

  8. #18
    Hugo_Lin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    Hi, folks, I forgot that two of my questions were still unanswered.
    Since they were ignored here's a reposting:

    I'm making a great effort refraining myself from slapping her in the face.
    I'm making a great effort to refrain myself from slapping her in the face.

    "I'm making a great effort doing something" or "I'm making a great effort to do something. "?

    My English teacher(not a native speaker) says only the latter(to do) is acceptable. But the former one sounds natural to me too.

    And:
    what's the difference between shortbread and shortcake?
    What's the difference of shortbread and shortcake?
    between or of, which one is good?


    New questions:

    1. gesture for/toward me (which one is correct? Or both acceptable but have different meanings?)

    2. on the right (of something or somebody)
    to the right (of something or somebody)
    on the right-hand side (of something or somebody)
    All acceptable? No differences?


    Many thanks.
    Last edited by Hugo_Lin; 20-Nov-2012 at 00:49.

  9. #19
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post

    Over the weekend, Netanyahu said he spoke with a number of leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama.



    Is there any difference between what has been stated in the given text and your example when it comes to over and on.


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****



    Hello, Odessa Dawn:



    I was mortified (ashamed of myself) for not knowing the answer. Until I read your question, I had never thought about this matter in my 75 years of life.

    I have found an answer. It satisfies me. It may not satisty everyone. I present it for your consideration.

    *****

    1. Over the weekend, the prime minister spoke with a number of world leaders.

    a. When you see a bridge, do you notice that it "spans" the river? That is, it goes across the whole river. Well, one source says that when "over" is used for time, it means "to span." My source gives this sentence: "over the weekend."

    b. My second source brings out the meaning more clearly by explaining that "over the weekend" probably means that the prime minister spent Saturday and Sunday talking with world leaders. (That is, his talks spanned the whole two days.)


    2. On the weekend, the prime minister spoke with world leaders.

    a. This may indicate that the prime minister spoke with world leaders on Saturday and Sunday, or only on Saturday, or only on Sunday.

    b. This is only my thought. Neither of my sources gave this: If I invite you to a party "on" the weekend, I am probably referring to a party on either Saturday or Sunday. (Yes, I have heard that some wild parties last all weekend! In such a case, I guess that I would say: I'm having a party over the weekend. Drop in anytime during the weekend. There will be lots of
    food, 1960's music, and -- only respectable dancing, dude!)


    James

    First source: Mesdames Marianne Celce-Murcia and Diane Larsen-Freeman, The Grammar Book / An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course (1983), page 258.

    Second source: an excellent online teacher named Jennifer. (Or as I am more comfortable in referring to her: Miss Jennifer.)

  10. #20
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Prepositions: What a big headache!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post

    Over the weekend, Netanyahu said he spoke with a number of leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama.
    More: Netanyahu: Israel 'prepared for a significant expansion' of Gaza operations - CNN.com


    Help me with this dear James, is there any difference between what has been stated in the given text and your example when it comes to over and on.

    Over is like during here for me.

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