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Tuesday, 04 August 2009

Well done, Asha/mincemeat(!)

Hi all

The cricket mentioned in my previous post ended in a draw, as it often does. This is one reason why the game has never been popular in the USA – a five-day contest without a winner can be a hard sell!

Thank you for such an interesting first post, Asha. Looks like you’re going to have a very busy August with your blog and your banking exams. And it can’t be easy having to use an Internet café to go online. Are they expensive by local standards?

Do most people in Kerala have home computers and Internet access? We know that India is now a major centre for IT but are computers widely available to the general public?

A few small corrections to a generally fluent post:


For my whole life – needs personal pronoun rather than direct article. You could perhaps rephrase as follows ‘I realized that I was not born to be a software engineer. I don’t want to just do coding for the rest of my life.

More than a year – use 'a' rather than 'one' here

By the end of the month – ‘at’ here refers to a single action e.g. ‘they will pay me at the end of the month’. Here you are referring to a process.

After just – reversal of these two words changes meaning. ‘Just after’ is a direct time reference: ‘just after eight.


I’ll reply to comments in a separate post. In the meantime here’s a fun clip from a BBC science programme. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything – some of the technical stuff was over my head.

At one point (1.31) the presenter uses the idiom ‘to make mincemeat’ in describing what happens to the wall. Funnily enough the same phrase appears in the song ‘That’s Entertainment’, which featured in the BBC Prom last Saturday night:

‘A king and a prince meet/And everyone ends up mincemeat’.

The line describes the plot of one of Shakespeare’s plays. Do you know which play?

Vocabulary

Hard sell – something which does not sound attractive to the buyer/customer
Over my head – to complex to understand
Make mincemeat – literally grind meat into particles. To make mincemeat of something/somebody is to violently destroy them/it.
Prom - summer series of classical concerts held at the Albert Hall in London and broadcast by the BBC

Comments

Hi Kieran, The draw wasn't bad against Australia. Goodluck next time. I watched the clip but it was over my head. I reckon it was about a new cannon used a special power. It seems a new innovation. With regard to Shakespear's play, I am not sure a bout my response. I reckon it is a 'Hamlet' play. Am I right? I am looking forward to hearing from you the correct answer. By for now, Mohammed

Hi Kieran, Thank you for the recommendation of the science program on BBC. I watched it with my son . The test was cool and wicked although in terms of Scientific and technical stuff, they are not always intelligible to me and go over my head. The vortex cannon and ring, fire, racket blasts and talking the speed of 200 mph of cloud immediately fascinated my son and he watched it over and over for a nearly half-hour meanwhile I was scrutinizing your posts and trying to stick the new words in my brain. I’m afraid I haven’t got the slightest idea of your question, and all I can do is to wait until you put a damsel in distress out of her misery. I genuinely appreciate the explanation of the history of ‘hogwash'.

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

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