TEFL – Prepositions

I’m enjoying studying for my CELTA TEFL course and have been reading the excellent Grammar for English Language Teachers by Martin Parrott. On reaching the chapter explaining prepositions, I was reminded of this hilarious clip from my favourite Sci-fi series, Stargate SG-1.

 

Personally I agree with Jack but in every-day language, especially for non-native speakers, ending sentences with prepositions is usually best, sort of …

Dutch Word Clock 2

A much neater version of a Dutch Word Clock, with options for changing both language and background colour. This code features in a word clock app and was released by the foremost manufacturers of word clocks, QLOCKTWO. The app and code here, have the advantage of being about a thousand pounds cheaper than the real thing!

Mortgage free!

This chart shows the rapid decline of my mortgage. That large, final drop was due to the sale of my garage, so thank you to my lawyers and the buyer. The deal was concluded in a day and so once the paperwork is done, that will be me. It’s gone seven years early and the first time since 1986 I will have no monthly expenditure for rent or mortgage. “And relax……”

 

 

 

When I Heard the Learned Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman, 1819 – 1892

Homophones or homonyms?

I love the idiosyncrasies which arise between and in languages.

For example in English the sentence; “My orange is orange” could be translated into Dutch as “Mijn sinaasappel is oranje.” Oranje is not repeated in this instance because the Dutch distinguish between the fruit and the colour.

Going the other way, “Mijn bloem is geel” translates as “My flower is yellow.” But consider this sentence from a recipe; “Schudt de kip met een paar stukken tegelijk, in een plastic zak in de bloem met wat zout en peper door elkaar.” Which translates as “Shake the chicken, a few pieces at a time, in a plastic bag containing flour with some salt and pepper.”

“Flower” and “flour” are homophones of each other, sounding the same but being spelled differently. “Bloem” is a homonym, being a word which has the same spelling but different meanings.

I find it a fascinating coincidence that the Dutch use a homonym for an English homophone.

Although etymologically is should not be that much of a surprise as bloem and bloemen, originate as does “bloom” from old Norse while “flower” and “flour” originate from Latin florere to flourish, to thrive and of course to bloom.

Languages are connected in so many ways.