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    #11

    Re: I am in the gutter, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    No, "on the balcony" is correct. Tdol was joking because you really can't be on the balcony and in the gutter at the same time.

    This is the meaning I refer to.

    gutter noun (SOCIAL LEVEL)
    the gutter [ S ]

    the lowest level, especially of society:
    Born to a poverty-stricken family, she dragged herself out of the gutter to become a successful business owner.
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/...tter?q=gutter+

    I am not actually at the lowest level of the society in China, but in my opinion, I am not very different from them. So do other white collars who seem to be well-paid. For example, some IT guys in China and maybe in other countries. They/we work very hard to survive. We sit in air-conditioned clean offices, but most of us work overtime. It takes around 3 hours for traffic every working day. When people reach the middle age around 35 years old, many would actually be kicked out of careers.

    A poor peasant who earns 2000RMB per month in the rural area is not very different from a white collar who earns 20,000RMB per month in the big cities like Shanghai, Beijing, etc. where housing is very very expensive. A few people can afford when it comes to ratio. My friend teaches in a university of Beijing, and he holds a Ph.D. degree but he can't afford to buy an apartment either. We call ourselves 'house slaves' if we loan and we will have to work almost all our lives to return the loan and interests. Are "slaves" not in the lowest level of society? The mover and shaker, the business tycoons take out all of our hard-earned savings.

    Though I am probably financially better than real vagrants and peasants (some vagrants could be very rich), I don't think I am superior than them when it comes to finance, happiness, etc.

    In my writing, I refer to Oscar Wilde's quote: We are all in the gutter,but some of us are looking at the stars as I indicated I decided to name one of the stars as "Oscar Wilde".

    The stars above the sky reminds me of Oscar Wilde and many other brillian philosophers like *Kant etc.

    I interpret Wilde's words as we are not very successful unlike prominent politicans, business tycoons, brilliant people, we are just nobodies, we are just tools, but we still have our dreams, our morals, our independent thoughts.

    It's like Peter is on the lowest rank of the ladder in a company, but there's not really a physical ladder in the company. 'In the gutter' is a metaphor. I didn't know today the meaning of lowest level of society is not practically applied. This is what I was trying to express about myself.


    I don't try to blame China or the government in this comment. I am not a very aggressively cynic as I realize there's not such a Utopia in every country to make everyone happy. I would like to adapt myself in any situation, any place, because I can still look at stars, my dreams with my own efforts. I assume the situation is very similar almost all over the world from the reports I've read and the stories my foreign friends told me. I didn't and don't and won't have any intention and desire to discuss politics on this forum. Just a throwaway comment.

    *Kant's quote

    Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me
    Zwei Dinge erfuellen das Gemuet mit immer neuer und zunehmender Bewunderung und Ehrfurcht,je oefter und anhaltender sich das Nachdenken damit beschaeftigt:der bestirnte Himmel ueber mir und das moralische Gesetz in mir.
    Last edited by tree123; 25-Jul-2020 at 02:51.
    Please correct my writing if there's any grammatical solecism.

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    #12

    Re: I am in the gutter, but...

    I went into the room and took out a stool to the balcony, sat on it ...
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: I am in the gutter, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    I went into the room, and took out a stool out onto the balcony, and sat on it ...
    See above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #14

    Re: I am in the gutter, but...

    Just one thing. Say:

    I'm not actually at the lowest level of society. (No "the".)
    Not a professional teacher

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    #15

    Re: I am in the gutter, but...

    but, in my opinion, ...
    superior to, not than
    lost rung of the ladder, not rank
    an aggressively cynic

    A Only a few people can afford when it comes to ratio
    .

    What is ratio?
    Last edited by tedmc; 26-Jul-2020 at 02:27.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  6. Member
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    #16

    Re: I am in the gutter, but...

    It depends on how to define "a few people".

    China has a huge population. If I say 10,000 people can afford to buy, but 10,000 people are not a few people. If just one person out of 30,000 people or more can afford, the 10,000 people who can afford to buy are just a few people. This is about ratio.

    And it also depends on the context.

    I couldn't say 10,000 people who died in a natural disaster were just a few people, no matter we have the biggest population in the world.
    Last edited by tree123; 26-Jul-2020 at 14:15.
    Please correct my writing if there's any grammatical solecism.

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    #17

    Re: I am in the gutter, but...

    A ratio (maths) is the number of times a number is bigger or smaller than another, and the numbers may not be related.You are talking about how a number, which is part of a total number, are related. It is called the proportion or percentage . You can say only a small proportion of the people can afford to buy houses.
    Last edited by tedmc; 27-Jul-2020 at 05:29.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

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