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  1. Senior Member
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    #11

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    I agree. However, anyone who has got through Ulysses will have no trouble understanding almost anything else written in English, and that's why I suggested it -- a master-level litmus test.

    PS. As an antithesis to Joyce, the non-fantastical work of H.G. Wells is as good an English as I can think of.
    Last edited by abaka; 27-Aug-2019 at 18:59. Reason: added postscript
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    With respect, I think we may be confusing Ulysses with Finnegan's Wake. Ulysses is written in plain English, or at least that's what I thought when I read it. Its structure is complex but its language is not.
    Last edited by probus; 27-Aug-2019 at 19:48.

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    #13

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    Coming back to my suggestion of Dickens and Tdol's further suggestion of Bleak House, the very first sentence of the preface is a beauty:

    A Chancery judge once had the kindness to inform me, as one of a company of some hundred and fifty men and women not labouring under any suspicions of lunacy, that the Court of Chancery, though the shining subject of much popular prejudice (at which point I thought the judge's eye had a cast in my direction), was almost immaculate.
    Last edited by probus; 27-Aug-2019 at 19:57. Reason: Typo

  4. Senior Member
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    #14

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    I meant specifically Ulysses, each chapter of which lampoons a particular style of English.

    Another suggestion, altogether more modern, would be the whole of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #15

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Coming back to my suggestion of Dickens and Tdol's further suggestion of Bleak House, the very first sentence of the preface is a beauty:

    A Chancery judge once had the kindness to inform me, as one of a company of some hundred and fifty men and women not labouring under any suspicions of lunacy, that the Court of Chancery, though the shining subject of much popular prejudice (at which point I thought the judge's eye had a cast in my direction), was almost immaculate.
    Please stop - you're giving me nightmares! I had to do Bleak House for O Level English Lit and I hated it. I didn't even finish it (yet I wrote a 500-word essay on it in the exam!)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. probus's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Please stop - you're giving me nightmares! I had to do Bleak House for O Level English Lit and I hated it. I didn't even finish it (yet I wrote a 500-word essay on it in the exam!)
    In my teens I did something similar with Pride and Prejudice. I've still not read it, and at this point it looks like I never will.

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    #17

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    P. and P. was such a girlie book in Grade 9. I only read it to the end (and loved it) after the serial with Ehle and Firth.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    A "girlie book"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. probus's Avatar
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    #19

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    A "girlie book"?
    Nothing wrong with that in the right context. One of my daughters, a professional writer and editor, and a staunch feminist often describes things as girly.

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    #20

    Re: Looking for a way to further improve my English !

    Can you really object to fourteen-year-old boys describing books only the girls in their classes like as "girlie books"?

    I should never say it now. I'm not ashamed of saying it then.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

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