08-09-12, 10:38 PM #681LONDON – Until 11:45 p.m. London time on Thursday, Usain Bolt had achieved something even more remarkable than turning the Olympic Stadium track into his own personal drag strip.
08-09-12, 10:40 PM #682Bolt's run as the most popular foreign athlete in the United States – maybe ever, or at least in the argument – might have ended abruptly Thursday night. After winning his fifth career Olympic gold medal and second of the London Games, he veered out of his way in the 200-meter news conference to savage Lewis, who merely won nine gold medals for America during his brilliant sprinting-and-jumping career. Them's fightin' words.
08-09-12, 10:46 PM #683Until going after Lewis, Bolt had shown the world that it's possible to be the world's fastest man, have the world's biggest ego and still be the world's most enjoyable athlete.
This is normally a toxic combination. We like our superstars humble – even if the humility is false. We've bred an entire generation of athletes who will throw no-hitters, rack up triple-doubles or score four touchdowns only to blandly chalk it all up to great teammates and good luck. That has become the accepted, recommended and even enforced method of analyzing one's own greatness.
08-10-12, 11:04 AM #684
Drag racing has become a professional sport which now takes place on formal tracks with electronic timers, not just friendly races on city streets, scaring all the pedestrians and attracting the cops. A drag race is exactly one quarter of a mile (approx. 400m). Custom-built vehicles with specially-prepared engines can reach speeds above 150mph/240kph and cover the distance in a few seconds
"Them's fightin' words" is simply "Those are fighting words" rendered in the dialect of the southeastern United States. "The South," as we call it, is stereotyped as backward and ignorant, so we joke about their people speaking improper English. In many cases it's simply their accent, but sometimes it's just an exaggeration. In other words, if one of us walked into a bar in Alabama or South Carolina and said, "You Rednecks can't even speak proper English," three big tough guys might stand up and say, "Them's fightin' words, mister."
So these are all example of individual members of teams who play phenomenally well and help their team win many games, perhaps the championship. It's common today to downplay the role of the individual in his own success and to say that he wouldn't have been able to achieve it without the nurturing of his parents, the training he got from his teachers, the encouragement from his team's coach, the cooperation of his teammates, the advantages bestowed by the American system of culture and politics, the farmers who grow such bountiful and nutritious food, the clean air that our environmentally-conscious factory owners produce, etc... (Yes, much of that statement is sarcastic. )
Barack Obama has lately been criticized for going overboard with this kind of talk, and downplaying the role of the individual in his own success.
This speaker is criticizing this philosophy, which has much truth in it but is exaggerated. He may in fact be criticizing Obama, but since the examples are all from sports, this is probably not the case. Nonetheless, many people do say things very much like this about Obama.
08-10-12, 07:00 PM #685
08-11-12, 08:38 AM #686
With the spread of TV after WWII, exacerbated by the extreme mobility of the American population in the last decade or two as the concept of "lifelong employment" has faded away, American speech has nearly merged into a single dialect, distinguished only by accents. (An accent is merely a difference in pronunciation, whereas a dialect must differ in vocabulary and/or grammar.) So classic Southern speech is heard more often in songs and TV shows than in the South. Their cities are full of Yankees, Afro-Americans and immigrants just like ours, and their children grow up listening to the hybrid Hollywood-Manhattan accent of TV announcers (the country's two original broadcast centers). You have to go out into rural regions to hear people talk like Hank Williams sang.
"This here" ("hyar" in cartoon Southern speech) and "that there" ("thar") are constructions of the Scots-Irish immigrants to Appalachia in the 19th century, which vaguely mimic Gaelic grammar. The same is true of "I have it with me" (Irish has no verb "to have") and the plural pronoun "youse." We call this Hibernian English.
Usually said with an approximation of a good southern drawl.
Maybe it's because rock was originally the music of rebellion, and the Southerners still called themselves "Rebels."For some reason I associate it with Yosemite Sam, but I can't find any clips of him saying it.
I lived in Arizona when I was a kid and although I never spoke like that, as a budding little linguist I learned how. Today I can sing the old country music hits in the original accents and people really enjoy it. Ah'm jez an ole Air-zona cah-bowie.
Yosemite Sam, of course, is named after Yosemite National Park, which is in central California, a little beyond the acknowledged boundaries of the "Southwest" (western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, perhaps Wyoming and the southeastern corner of California). But the name was chosen strictly for the quasi-alliteration. His original character was a prospector, which links him to the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush drew many prospectors from the South so his accent fits. When Americans want to make fun of rural people, they're always from the South. Never from rural Maine or North Dakota, which have their own amusing rural accents.
08-12-12, 04:45 PM #687
I'm sure there's more in this post I want to address, but for now this:
For the most part, I could probably identify three american accents.
Northern, Southern and New York. But the New York accent, for me, is divided up into several subgroups:
New York Cabbie.
New York Italian.
New York Jewish.
Or something like that anyway.
08-13-12, 12:57 AM #688
oxymoron = Contrdiction in terms; combination of two opposite words, such as sweet sorrow, or bittersweet.
How to create our own oxymoron?
08-13-12, 01:19 AM #689In the end, the United States men's basketball team wouldn't be denied the gold medal. But Pau Gasol and Spain's national team made sure that the traveling troupe of NBA All-Stars with USA emblazoned across its jerseys had to sweat it out until the very, very end.
In a taut, physical affair that evoked the thriller played between these two teams in 2008, USA basketball held off Spain, 107-100, to capture the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
With Spain having closed within six points deep into the fourth quarter, LeBron James reeled off five straight points on a three-point shot and a driving right-handed slam dunk to propel the U.S. to victory and its second straight gold medal.
In a taut = not relaxed?
held off = deterred?
reeled off = ?
08-13-12, 09:36 AM #690
"Southern" can still legitimately be called a dialect because it has a few grammatical differences (most recognizably a second-person plural pronoun that the standard English dialects lack: y'all) and a stock of its own words, many of which are now merely slang.
And don't forget AAVE (African-American vernacular English, briefly called "Ebonics"). This is a true dialect with significant grammatical and vocabulary differences, in addition to Southern pronunciation plus other phonetic idiosyncrasies borne out of a substratum of West African languages, propagated during more than a century of enforced separation from the Euro-American mainstream. Today virtually all Afro-Americans except in the most remote rural regions of the South can speak Standard American when appropriate, but many use AAVE in various situations for various reasons. An exaggerated, theatrical version of AAVE can often be heard in rap music.But the New York accent, for me, is divided up into several subgroups: New York Cabbie, New York Italian, New York Jewish.
As for "New York Jewish," that's just a Yiddish accent which you can hear just as easily in the Borscht Belt of Hollywood. Few people speak Yiddish anymore (except a small community in Israel who believe it's blasphemy to speak Hebrew except liturgically) so like all quaint relics of the past, it survives in a much exaggerated form in movies.Have you watched "Big Bang Theory" at all?In a taut = not relaxed?held off = deterred?reeled off = ?
08-14-12, 10:45 AM #691The headwind facing the economy, which could doom President Barack Obama’s re-election, grew stronger this month. Gasoline prices have spiked, food-price increases are imminent because of drought, and Friday’s unemployment numbers further highlighted the fact that Obama’s policies do not create jobs. The increase in unemployment to 8.3 percent in July is bad news for the United States and bad politics for the president.
08-14-12, 01:35 PM #692
If you're running, flying a plane, driving a heavy truck, etc., and a headwind is blowing into your face, then it slows you down. If a tailwind is blowing against your back, it helps you go faster.
The price of gasoline, one of the most important commodities, has risen rapidly. The price of food will increase because we're not getting enough rain. The number of people with jobs has decreased, making them unable to purchase anything except what is minimally necessary for survival--if they're lucky.
This headwind pushes against the President as he tries to move the country forward. It's difficult or even impossible for him (or anybody) to improve the economy under these conditions.
This was an odd choice of words. Most news commentators like to convince us that everything that's gone wrong is Obama's fault. Yet a headwind is a phenomenon of nature. If something is fighting us and we call it a headwind, we're saying that it's just bad luck.
But unlike news commentators, most economists agree that things that happen during a President's term are usually not the result of his own policies but those of his predecessors, which would actually make this simply bad luck for Obama: a headwind. In this case, the blame can be shifted all the way back to President Reagan (1981-88). He presided during prosperous times, and that's when the government is supposed to reduce spending (because a prosperous population doesn't need any help) and increase taxes (because a prosperous population can afford them). This allows it to pay off its debts and be ready to intervene if times get bad. Instead, Reagan did not raise taxes, but embarked on an unprecedented spending program that increased the national debt enormously. His successor, Bush the elder (1989-1992), was no wiser, and Clinton (1993-2000) made only a modest attempt to rein in the national debt. Bush the younger (2001-2008) reduced taxes even further and increased spending to an astronomical level instead of reining it in. (The War On Islam has cost about $3 trillion.)
As a result, the nation was in a precarious position, in which it would be difficult to survive a downturn. Yet, thanks to the incompetence of Bush's own appointee, the Controller of the Currency, a downturn happened. The subprime mortgage disaster is difficult to explain to an American, much less a foreigner, but basically they were selling people houses that they'd never be able to pay for. Suffice it to say that the CoC's job is to make sure that the nation's banks are managed soundly, and he failed in his duty. The economy began to crash in 2008, before Obama was even elected, and it's been going downhill ever since.
The headwind began before he was in office, and it hasn't stopped.
08-14-12, 06:56 PM #693
If a headwind is blowing against you, it will exert resistance on you, it is an obstacle, it is challenging.
08-15-12, 10:51 AM #694
A headwind, on the other hand, is a force that pushes on you no matter which way you turn, no matter what you do. You can't get out of its way. The only way to overcome a headwind is to push harder against it, to put more strength into your steps, so you're making progress, if only slowly.
08-20-12, 09:06 PM #695
08-20-12, 09:11 PM #696
1.Because of the fact that; since.
2.To the extent that; insofar as.
Can you construct some sentences to show me how to use this conjunction?
08-20-12, 09:27 PM #697
08-21-12, 10:06 AM #698
"There is no evidence that defendant's action was willful, contumacious, or the result of bad faith." In other words, he was not deliberately or obstinately doing something that he knew was wrong. He was not being stubborn, contrary, rebellious, etc.
Anyone who throws this word around in casual conversation is just trying to impress you.
Frankly, in casual conversation, even in mixed company, an American would probably just say, "He's being a dick."
Meaning #1: Inasmuch as you have already apologized to your brother for damaging his bicycle, you have offered to pay for repairs, and the damage was not entirely your fault; I will not punish you for this, but merely warn you not to let it happen again.
Meaning #2: Inasmuch as construction on our new office building is behind schedule due to the unexpected rainstorms, I have leased temporary office space and we will have to work there for a few months until the building is ready.
In the 1960s when surfing became a craze, the surfers co-opted the word "dude" to mean any man, including active adolescents.
It is still slang, but it's now universally understood in the USA, and probably in the U.K., and perhaps throughout the anglophone world, since David Bowie wrote the song "All the Young Dudes" back in 1972. It still has the same meaning: any man or reasonably mature adolescent boy.
You are a dude.
08-21-12, 11:16 AM #699
Is "perchance" still used in today's English writing?
How about "behoove"?
08-21-12, 11:21 AM #700
By gendanken in forum LinguisticsLast Post: 08-09-11, 04:18 PMReplies: 114
By jmpet in forum Religion ArchivesLast Post: 01-20-11, 11:24 AMReplies: 49
By S.A.M. in forum PoliticsLast Post: 01-13-11, 01:50 PMReplies: 31
By science man in forum LinguisticsLast Post: 07-03-10, 04:24 PMReplies: 31
By mikenostic in forum Ethics, Morality, & JusticeLast Post: 04-14-08, 06:22 AMReplies: 88