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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #1

    I'm So Confused.....:(

    My apologies for having to post a lengthy post. The reading material I'm reading confused me a lot. Although I know all the words, I can't understand what exactly does the author mean. Here's the whole text:

    (Sentences in bold red are those I'm having problems with; The blue senstences in brackets following the red sentences are my questions. Can you see what I mean? Sorry for any trouble caused. TIA)
    When Taking Home a Paycheck Means More Than Dollars and Cents

    I have worked for money since I was 16 and went to the principal's office to ask for working papers. My problem is that I don't know how to stop, even when it would make sense and be possible to do so for a time. Working for money has always meant something more to me than a bank balance. I suppose I have felt that at some level I am my paycheck. Not how much I take home; if quantity were a real issue I wouldn't be in journalism. Just that, like Everest, the money is there. I need to be on a payroll to affirm myself. It doesn't seem like a healthy need; if I were male, of course, it would seem like second nature.(does that mean the need to make money is men's second nature? so what is their first nature?)

    It's an interesting concept, money, sort of the way respiration is an interesting concept.(I have no idea what does this sentence means. The sentence sounds weird to me. I can't analyse it's structure grammatically) We're not supposed to care about it too much, especially now, when the bad rap on baby boomers is that they've forsworn drugs because they can get high from their cash management accounts. To say it's central to who and where we are may be verboten; it also happens to be true.(What do the two pronouns "it" refer to, respectively?? What is central to whom and where?? and what happens to be true?)If you haven't got any, you're on the streets or on welfare. If you've got a whole lot, you're on the best-seller list and you don' t have to play Monopoly anymore because in real life the entire boardwalk bears your name.(?????)

    Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Most of us need to work to pay the rent, make the mortgage payments. Lots of us convince ourselves that we need to work 60-hour weeks to do that, but that's often because we've let the size of our toys get out of control.(????, is "let the size of our toys out of control" an idiom? What does it mean?)
    We've got a gender gap on the issue, too. A man who is not interested in earning money is a ne'er-do-well or a freeloader; a man who is supremely successful is a captain of industry. But society is still more comfortable with women who see earning power in terms of selfprotection, not self-promotion.

    While it has been fashionable during my lifetime for professional women, plagued by guilt over conflicts between their roles as mothers and as workers, to say that they work because it fulfills them, that's only half the story for me. I also like it because it pays. That makes me feel guilty. I should have better priorites. The new saw about not mimicking male behavior turns out to be an old saw in disguise: we should not be prey to the baser impulses.(what does this old saying mean?)

    Oh, English is so hard. Should I give up learning?

    Frustrated,
    bird
    Last edited by VividJailbird; 08-Aug-2009 at 11:51. Reason: supplement

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I'm So Confused.....:(

    Quote Originally Posted by VividJailbird View Post
    Oh, English is so hard. Should I give up learning?

    Frustrated,
    bird
    No, not if your first language is English, as you have listed.

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    #3

    Re: I'm So Confused.....:(

    When Taking Home a Paycheck Means More Than Dollars and Cents

    I have worked for money since I was 16 and went to the principal's office to ask for working papers. My problem is that I don't know how to stop, even when it would make sense and be possible to do so for a time. Working for money has always meant something more to me than a bank balance. I suppose I have felt that at some level I am my paycheck. Not how much I take home; if quantity were a real issue I wouldn't be in journalism. Just that, like Everest, the money is there. I need to be on a payroll to affirm myself. It doesn't seem like a healthy need; if I were male, of course, it would seem like second nature.(does that mean the need to make money is men's second nature? so what is their first nature?)
    That's just an idiom that means it's easy or natural. I suppose first nature is simply being a man - eating and sleeping etc. is first nature. If something is second nature, it's usually something more complicated that isn't natural, but seems that way. Of course, work is no more second nature to men than cleaning the toilet is to women.
    (So you have a right to be confused here)
    By the way, this is very informal writing, with lots of "kind of, sort like ...".

    It's an interesting concept, money, sort of the way respiration is an interesting concept.(I have no idea what does this sentence means. The sentence sounds weird to me. I can't analyse it's structure grammatically)
    Money is an interesting concept, in a similar way to how respiration is an interesting concept.
    We're not supposed to care about it too much, especially now, when the bad rap on baby boomers is that they've forsworn drugs because they can get high from their cash management accounts. To say it's central to who and where we are may be verboten; it also happens to be true. (What do the two pronouns "it" refer to, respectively?? What is central to whom and where?? and what happens to be true?)
    We're not supposed to care about money (or respiration) too much.
    To say that money is central ... may be forbidden; however it also happens to be true that money is central to who we are. (The second 'it' is a dummy). It is true that X = Y simply means X = Y.


    If you haven't got any (money), you're on the streets or on welfare. If you've got a whole lot, you're on the best-seller list and you don' t have to play Monopoly anymore because in real life the entire boardwalk bears your name.(?????)
    You own all the properties in reality, so you don't have to play Monopoly, in which you only pretend to own property.


    Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Most of us need to work to pay the rent, make the mortgage payments. Lots of us convince ourselves that we need to work 60-hour weeks to do that, but that's often because we've let the size of our toys get out of control.(????, is "let the size of our toys out of control" an idiom? What does it mean?)
    It means we lose control of our ability to buy only those "toys" we can afford. "Toys" are cars and boats, the latest plasma TV, etc.
    If you can only afford a 30 inch TV and you buy a 50 inch TV, you have let the size of your toys get out of control.


    We've got a gender gap on the issue, too. A man who is not interested in earning money is a ne'er-do-well or a freeloader; a man who is supremely successful is a captain of industry. But society is still more comfortable with women who see earning power in terms of selfprotection, not self-promotion.

    While it has been fashionable during my lifetime for professional women, plagued by guilt over conflicts between their roles as mothers and as workers, to say that they work because it fulfills them, that's only half the story for me. I also like it because it pays. That makes me feel guilty. I should have better priorites. The new saw about not mimicking male behavior turns out to be an old saw in disguise: we should not be prey to the baser impulses.(what does this old saying mean?)
    We should not let our more primitive impulses control us: we need to control them.


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    #4

    Re: I'm So Confused.....:(

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, not if your first language is English, as you have listed.
    Thanks for the most detailed explanation. Mr. Raymott. Sorry that I didn't notice my listed information was wrong. My first language is Chinese. *blushes*

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    #5

    Re: I'm So Confused.....:(

    Quote Originally Posted by VividJailbird View Post
    Thanks for the most detailed explanation. Mr. Raymott. Sorry that I didn't notice my listed information was wrong. My first language is Chinese. *blushes*
    Don't worry. I've noticed that many learners are filling out this field wrongly. It's a bit confusing at times.

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