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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #1

    Weeds and Crops

    Your grammar and style corrections would be appreciated.

    Xanthus, a philosopher, had to buy some vegetables for lunch. He told his slave Aesop to take a sack, and they went to the gardener. The gardener was very glad to see them. He gave them all the vegetables they wanted but refused to accept money as payment. Instead he asked Xanthus to explain to him why weeds grew faster than crops, hard though he tried to water and earth them up. Xanthus was puzzled by the question and turned to Aesop for help. Aesop said, "Imagine a woman, a widow or a divorced one, married to a man who has also been married before. They both have children from their previous marriages. Whose children would that woman love more: her own or the other woman's? Of course, her own. So why are you surprised that the earth is better taking care of her own plants than of those you stick in it?" "What a clever slave!" thought the gardener.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Your grammar and style corrections would be appreciated.

    Xanthus, a philosopher, had to buy some vegetables for lunch. He told his slave Aesop to take a sack, and they went to the gardener. The gardener was very glad to see them. He gave them all the vegetables they wanted but refused to accept money as payment. Instead he asked Xanthus to explain to him why weeds grew faster than crops, hard though he tried to water and earth them up. Xanthus was puzzled by the question and turned to Aesop for help. Aesop said, "Imagine a woman, a widow or a divorced one widowed or divorced, now married to a man who has also been married before. They both have children from their previous marriages. Whose children would that woman love more: her own or the other woman's? Of course, her own. So why are you surprised that the earth is better taking care of her own plants than of those you stick in it?" "What a clever slave!" thought the gardener.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Xanthus, a philosopher, had to buy some vegetables for lunch. He told his slave, Aesop, to take a sack, and they went to the gardener. The gardener was very glad to see them. He gave them all the vegetables they wanted but refused to accept money as payment. Instead, he asked Xanthus to explain to him why weeds grew faster than crops,

    hard though he tried to water and
    earth them up.: what do you mean by this? Even as a gardener and native speaker, I wouldn't know what this cultivating technique is. Though if I heed your gardener in the fable, it doesn't work anyway.

    Xanthus was puzzled by the question and turned to Aesop for help. Aesop said, "Imagine a woman, widowed or divorced, now married to a man who has also been married before. They both have children from their previous marriages. Whose children would that woman love more: her own or the other woman's? Of course, her own. So why are you surprised that the earth is better taking care of her own plants

    than of those you stick in it?" :omit 'of'. You have written, "...is taking better care of her own plants than those..." - the first 'of' is then understood when you get to 'than those'.


    "What a clever slave!", thought the gardener.


    (watch the punctuation )
    Last edited by David L.; 06-Aug-2008 at 14:23.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    ..
    hard though he tried to water and
    earth them up.: what do you mean by this? Even as a gardener and native speaker, I wouldn't know what this cultivating technique is.
    I see your and raise you! Have you never grown potatoes?

    b

    PS Off-topic: Aesop was writing before Darwin. The weeds are ideally suited to the conditions. It's quite a neat story, but you don't have to resort to anthropomorphism to explain weeds!


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #5

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post

    hard though he tried to water and
    earth them up.: what do you mean by this? Even as a gardener and native speaker, I wouldn't know what this cultivating technique is. Though if I heed your gardener in the fable, it doesn't work anyway.
    Thank you very much, David.

    P.S. It's just occurred to me, maybe it's better to say: 'though he spared no effort to water and earth them up'?

    It's easier to show what earthing up means rather than to explain. Earthing up a plant is done with a gardening tool in the shape of a little fork or copper. You make the soil friable around a plant and rake it closer to it, making a kind of circle around the stem. Does it make sense?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #6

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    Thank you very much, David.

    P.S. It's just occurred to me, maybe it's better to say: 'though he spared no effort to water and earth them up'?

    It's easier to show what earthing up means rather than to explain. Earthing up a plant is done with a gardening tool in the shape of a little fork or copper. You make the soil friable around a plant and rake it closer to it, making a kind of circle around the stem. Does it make sense?
    I think you may well be wiser to avoid this by simply saying "though he spared no effort in their care and cultivation".

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    ...
    P.S. It's just occurred to me, maybe it's better to say: 'though he spared no effort to water and earth them up'?
    ...
    I think 'spared no effort' is better, if only because 'hard though he tried' suggests failure (of the processes rather than the results). If you'd be happier with a 'hard though he...' construction, you could say 'hard though he worked at watering them and earthing them up'; but rather than that I'd prefer the less literary 'however hard he worked at...' or 'no matter how much he...'.

    b


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #8

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Go right ahead, Bob - expose me as the dilettante in the garden I am.

    As for potatoes: I have a bad enough time with the rabbits making a smorgasbord of my seedling flowers to attempt carrots and such!

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    #9

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    Hmm. Just got my latest gas bill; however much you think it'll be, 's more. "Smorgasbord" would be a good name.

    But you could hardly be more of a dilettante than me - 18 potato plants (that I have yet to earth up), and a grobag of toms.

    b


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #10

    Re: Weeds and Crops

    You've all read it!
    His admission!
    Oh, the injustice we suffer, under the rule and unruly remarks of Moderators. For a time there, I felt positively disgraced.
    Vengeance: I'm all electric. I hope the price of North Sea Gas means you'll be stuck with salads for tea

    NB: non-native speakers.
    'positively' is being used with the meaning "really', to emphasize just how 'disgraced' I am (jokingly) saying I felt.
    Last edited by David L.; 06-Aug-2008 at 19:04.

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