Sunshine & snow
I was pleasantly surprised to see that so many people had written, and I’m sorry for not replying sooner; free time has been spent skidding down Surrey hills. My friend made a video of my first attempt at dinner tray sledging, but I don’t look particularly dignified ;-) However, the light was golden and the hills were blanketed in white, so at least the view was good. It is so important to be able to glimpse a nice view now and then in your daily life.
I’ll try to respond to all your messages, but there are a lot of them! However, I hope to answer as many as possible, not least because it’s a completely new & very exciting experience for me opening up a page with missives from Bangladesh, Brazil, Spain and many more countries. I wonder what life’s like where you are...
James Wu from China – I like the enquiring spirit of your post! It’s more usual to say
‘All my dreams have come true’
or something similar, without collocating it with either ‘at last’ or ‘at least’. This is because ‘At last!’ is an exclamation which shows you’ve been waiting a while for something, but also indicates that you might be annoyed through having to wait too long & are slightly exasperated. I believe ‘At least…’ is usually followed by
At least + subj + verb
but is also slightly unsuitable because ‘at least’ means that the bare minimum of positive things have recently happened. Not suitable if you’re talking about ‘all your dreams’.
Everyone found at least 1 or 2 good places for a colon. Sometimes, the sentence needed altering, too, but the focus of the exercise was on the colons. I’ve added syntax corrections in here and there in italics.
Halima from Bangladesh – hello there.
1. An interesting choice of sentence.. This sentence from Lily's blog actually needed a semicolon & a bit of rejigging. The original meaning in Lily’s post was clear, but it would more grammatically correct to write:
I’m from Peru; I’d like to show you what a rich country it is
2. Well, there was the time when I started to work at the Travel agency in the accounts area: it was nice, but too much work.
> CORRECT use of colon, well done.
3. > CORRECT well done
Paulraj – hi, have you been blogging here for long? Whereabouts in India are you from?
Yes, you could use a colon in all of the places you listed. I’ll have to look back at Lily’s original post to understand exactly what Lily meant by the first sentence you quote.
Hi Monica – nice to hear from you.
You know, I’d love to post some photos to show what I’ve been up to. As they say: ‘a picture’s worth a thousand words’, however I’ve been stalled in my efforts by the mysterious disappearance of the appropriate cables. Do any of you ever lose things?!
I’d love to hear something about your daily routines. They say that understanding the culture or the history of a people isn’t all about knowing about the grand events, or wars fought in the name of a famous cause, but rather that we also need to know about people’s ‘microhistory’ (i.e. the minutiae of their daily life) in order to arrive at a more complete understanding of their daily reality. What do you think?
Look how many times I’ve put ‘They say’ for provincial tidbits of hand-me-down wisdom: how lax of me. I’ll look up the sourcing for those quotes and post them later for all you eagle-eyed students!
I haven't yet read Lily's post; I'm saving that for tonight's reading, so I'll be on the blog again soon. In the meantime, have a great weekend everyone.
p.s. Here’s a little glossary of some of the more unusual vocabulary, although I’m sure many of you were able to guess the meaning from the context:
Blanketed- covered as by a blanket
To skid down something e.g. the stairs – to descend a sloped surface at medium velocity with minimum balance & poise
Missives – written communication e.g. in military term, could be used for a letter instructing a general to do something. Also used in business to describe rapid-fire emails.
enquiring (adj) - questioning, explorative, investigative (also spelt inquiring)
Syntax – You could say that this word describes ‘the proper structure & order of words in a sentence’. Can anyone add to this definition?
Here-and-there – at a couple of points, say in paragraphs 2 and 4 in e.g. an essay
To rejig something – to tweak information into an improved format
to stall in one's efforts – unusual verb formation; ‘to stall’ is usually used when a car engine cuts out because the revs are too low
Tidbits of information – small bits; small choice pickings
Hand-me-down – 2nd hand clothes you get handed by close relatives, esp. brothers & sisters
lax - neglectful, lazy
Eagle-eyed – watchful, picking up on things visually
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: If you can, use 2/3 of the words & phrases above to write a few sentences about your own daily lives. I look forward to hearing from you!
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