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  1. #1
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    Default newspaper

    Which question is better?

    1. What do you call that in English?

    2. How do you call that in English?

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    What does a 'duck anorak' mean? I have come across this in one newspaper. Here I write two short paragraphs of this article.

    Dilligently kept by volunteers, the tally of wildfowl - geese, moorhens and visiting exotica are allowed to count as well as common ducks - once again has York University far ahead of all rivals.
    Founded by green-minded reformers, including a strong - minded group of Quaker enviromentalists, the out-of-town campus has an exceptional 50,000 square metre lake, or 49.5 roods, which the duck anoraks prefer to use in their calculations

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    Here I write one paragraph of another article. I think that in the last sentence there is one extra word (are) . Is there really a grammatical error? If the sentence is correct, could you explain me any difference in meaning that would occur if this word was missing?

    A gay man recently needed stitches after an attacker leapt at him and bit a chunk out of his face as he stood outside a chip shop in the Waterside area of the city. Cars are have been daubed with slogans, windows shattered and...

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    Default Re: newspaper

    It would be better to say what do you call that in English.

    I haven't heard of "duck anoraks" before, although I know what each word is individually. An anorak is a type of raincoat, and a duck is a type of bird. A nice little bit of information; Ducks are always female, the male form of the species is known as a duke. Most native speakers don't even know that though.

    I assume that a duck anorak is either a species of bird, or a person that studies ducks.

    With the last sentence you gave, "Cars are have been daubed with slogans, windows shattered and..." that is indeed a grammatical error.

  3. #3
    curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default Re: newspaper

    The term 'Anorak' is used to describe someone who is a bit out of balance with normal society. Someone for instance who spends all their time in their bedroom on computer and in the process becomes a bit of a 'whizz kid' or knowledgeable about computers, but, for instance has not developed the social skills to talk to girls (or, less commonly boys - it appears there are more males described as 'Anoraks' than girls)

    I suspect the term 'Anorak' originally referred to spotty youths who obsesivelly watched trains - 'Trainspotters'. The anorak (a type of overcoat with a hood) being the 'uniform' of this group.

    Thus, anyone who fitted this description was called an 'Anorak'

    The natural progression of this would be to describe someone who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of ducks as a Duck Anorak.

    Hope this is clear.

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    Default Re: newspaper

    You are nearly right. The male duck is called a 'Drake'

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    Default Re: newspaper

    Nice response curmudgeon. Also, thanks for correcting me.

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    Default Re: newspaper

    Additionally,

    [1] What do you call . . . ?
    [2] How do you say . . . ?

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    royh is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: newspaper

    Very interesting, Robbie.
    The way I see it, its just social pressure in action.
    Since everyone , at least the people around me, uses the word duck for both the male and the female of the species, I don't wish to stand out like a sore thumb by using the word 'duke'.

    Moreover, isn't duke the english word for king of some sort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbie_Durham
    Ducks are always female, the male form of the species is known as a duke.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: newspaper

    We often use one word for both sexes of an animal, except where the gender is important. People use 'dog' for females, and 'bitch' tends to be used when talking about mating.

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    Default Re: newspaper

    royh, "duke" was a typo(graphical error). The term is "drake". Male ducks are called drakes.

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    Default Re: newspaper

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    royh, "duke" was a typo(graphical error). The term is "drake". Male ducks are called drakes.
    Indeed, sorry for the confusion royh. Duke isn't an alternative word for King, but they're often related. A Duke was the highest rank of the nobility, other than the King. Only members of the royal family (in England) were Dukes, so it was likely that upon the Kings death one of the Dukes would become King.

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