Posts Tagged ‘english’
I have my Google account set up with English as the preferred language, my browser sends the HTTP header message:
So why do you keep shoving a language I do NOT choose in my face after I’ve asked you numerous times, and in numerous ways, not to. I thought computers listened to people, do you just program your computers to be stupid?
I know I’ve asked this many times, and every single time I’ve been ignored. Perhaps they will listen to me some day…
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is another book my mother gave me. It wasn’t a hint, she had received an extra copy and gave it to me.
I thought the book was fun, it taught me a lot about where I make mistakes in punctuation. It should really be taught at school, I can’t remember ever being taught how to correctly use a semicolon or a dash. (Did you spot me split that infinitive? Hack!)
So how would you grade me?
To be honest I didn’t really read it, it’s just that this section of my blog is called “Just Finished Reading”.
I was really lucky finding The Oxford Style Manual, the Amazon list price is $35, and the price on the book is $49.95. I picked it up in the Hague – which is with an uncapitalized t according to the Oxford Style Manual – for €10. It was actually €18.50, but had some damage.
There are some online style guides available:
- The Economist Style Guide
- The Columbia Guide to Standard American English
- The Chicago Manual of Style Online
I never need to wonder whether I am using English with style.
No, I haven’t finished Vurt! This book was pushed into my had today, and I needed to read something on the long train ride – which doesn’t explain today’s lack of entries. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is very funny, and for somebody who wants to become a stickler.
Another book, in the same genre, which was given to me yesterday is Righting English that’s gone Dutch. This one I still need to start into, but what with all the books and projects I have on the go I’ll have to make a move.
Tomorrow I have a long train journey, perhaps I’ll have more time to read then.
As I said previously I was getting into translation, I actually translated two documents yesterday. It was quite a challenge to correctly word something, keeping the spirit of the Dutch while writing coherent English. The guy who contracted me to work for him send me a number of links, and I found George Orwell’s six elementary rules (“Politics and the English Language”, 1946):
- Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.
As you may or may not know I like linguistics, I played with Word Sense Disambiguation using a number if the corpus’ available. I’m not a linguist, the closest is being touched by linguini. *pastafarians groan*
As of today I’m investigating adding another arrow to my bow, and because of this I’m learning about Computer Aided Translation tools. Soon I may become a part-time translator, from Dutch to English.
A friend of mine will soon be studying Dutch so she bought the Van Dale Nederlands Engels dictionary to look up Dutch words. Van Dale is comparable to the quality of the Oxford English Dictionary when it comes to Dutch. I naturally did what you usually do when you get a dictionary, I went to look up dirty words … they are in there.
I was however surprised to see that they don’t understand how dictionaries work, at least for non Dutch speakers. There are two translations which caught my eye: Hibiscus and Hoax. See the definitions below:
hibiscus – hibiscus
hoax – hoax
To further confirm, it’s not just in the H:
indiscreet – indiscreet
lotus – lotus
ohm – ohm
If the words are identical in both languages you would at least explain what it is. In the English – Dutch version the words are explained, with the exception of indiscreet. So I assume that they are specifically targeted at the Dutch speaking market, not at the English speaking one.