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    #1

    firelighter

    "We have jet pilots, firelighters, physicists and an austronat-that were once considered out of bounds for women." I was trying to look it up in dictionaries." I even tried this one firelighter - definition of firelighter by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. But none of them gives a definition in terms of an occupation. Another question would be, why is it "an austronat" in this sentence not "austronats? I would have used the plural.
    Last edited by ostap77; 08-Feb-2011 at 15:24.

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    #2

    Re: firelighter

    They must have only one female astronaut, so he used the singular. He is giving examples from his real life experience.

    I don't know what a firelighter is, but it sounds like some sort of dangerous job that only big tough men were traditionally doing. If I had to guess, I would think something to do with starting industrial furnaces, like in steel making. But that is just a guess.

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    #3

    Re: firelighter

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "We have jet pilots, firelighters, physicsits and an austronat-that were once considere out of bounds for women." I was trying to look it up in dictionaries. I even tried this one firelighter - definition of firelighter by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. But none of them gives a definition in terms of an occupation. Another question would be, why is it "an austronat" in this sentence not "austronats? I would have used the plural.
    Where is this text from? Are you sure it's not meant to be "firefighters"? (there are other misspelt words there).

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    #4

    Re: firelighter

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Where is this text from? Are you sure it's not meant to be "firefighters"? (there are other misspelt words there).
    It's from the text we've been given to translate. Sorry for mistyping several words. I've tried to correct them. I've doublechecked it. It's "firelighters".
    The text is called "Weak Men, Strong Women". It's about the western stereotype of Japanese women in the 60s. To tell you the truth, I've been thinking if the word "firelighter" exists in English.

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    #5

    Re: firelighter

    Firefighter does make more sense. And it was a traditional "man" job.

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    #6

    Re: firelighter

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "We have jet pilots, firelighters, physicists and an austronat-that were once considered out of bounds for women." I was trying to look it up in dictionaries." I even tried this one firelighter - definition of firelighter by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. But none of them gives a definition in terms of an occupation. Another question would be, why is it "an austronat" in this sentence not "austronats? I would have used the plural.

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


    Ostap,


    (1) Yes, there WAS an occupation called "firelighter."

    (2) I googled "Firelighter occupation." The 9th result on the first

    page explains:

    "...an occupation within the Railways or any other industry

    that had boilers. [He] lit up and brought into steam a loco[motive]

    or boiler."

    (3) I then clicked on "more" in the menu on the left side of the results

    page, and then clicked on "books." On the first page was an article from

    Chambers's Journal (1907):

    "Woe betide [Feel sorry for] the firelighter if he has not a fair head

    of steam and a good fire when the enginemen [driver of the train

    and fireman] appear on the scene."

    (4) You young people may not know that trains used to be pulled by

    steam locomotives. I guess a firelighter's job was to start the

    boiler. If he did a bad job, it could blow up and kill many people.

    (5) Nevertheless, I agree with the other posters. The use of

    firelighter is obviously a typo (people who write books are only

    human. They make mistakes like all of us!!!) First, probably the

    job of firelighter no longer exists; second, it does not make sense

    to list this kind of "unimportant" job with "important" jobs such as

    jet pilots, physicists, and astronauts. "Obviously," the writer meant

    firefighter.

    (a) Here in the United States, teachers usually do not get angry

    if a student respectfully reports that a book has made a mistake.

    If you have a nice, understanding teacher, maybe you can tell

    her about the mistake. (I wrote "her" because I hate using

    "him/her.")

    (6) Thanks for introducing me to a new word. As you know,

    English has the largest vocabulary of any language in the world.


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

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    #7

    Re: firelighter

    Thanks, TheParser. My second thought, after my original posting was railroad-related.

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