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#4703 - 07/29/00 01:10 PM english, the easy language
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10508
Loc: this too shall pass
someone on my distribution list sent me the following:

21 Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn:

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?


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#4704 - 07/31/00 05:13 AM Re: english, the easy language
Camby Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/15/00
Posts: 5
I seem to remember one such sentence from my (distant) school days, I hope I can remember it correctly.

Whether the weather be hot, or whether the weather be cold, the wethers in the paddock will be sold tomorrow!


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#4705 - 07/31/00 07:02 AM Re: english, the easy language
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Welcome, Camby.
Are you Australian? (She asked, referring to the centennials thread in Q&A about words.) Wether you are or are not, I hope you come baa-ack with many more posts.


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#4706 - 07/31/00 11:59 PM Re: english, the easy language
Camby Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/15/00
Posts: 5
Yes Jackie, I am (that paddock was a dead giveaway.) However I am presently living and working in Southeast Asia so I often find myself explaining the foibles of my mother tongue to learners who sometimes find it confusing!


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#4707 - 08/01/00 12:47 AM Re: english, the easy language
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Too long to copy here maybe, but try clicking on http://reality.sgi.com/relph/humor/chaos.html for The Chaos or English is Tough Stuff.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#4708 - 08/02/00 08:03 PM Re: english, the easy language
maeve1 Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/02/00
Posts: 2
I seem to remember this one as:
"Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot, we'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not."


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#4709 - 08/30/00 10:40 AM Re: english, the easy language
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
I seem to remember trying to explain English pronounciation to my Polish friend. She said English was a hopeless language. She was asking me about the name Peter. If it's the same letter "e" then why is it pronounced differently? How would you explain it to her?


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#4710 - 08/30/00 12:14 PM Re: english, the easy language
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
"it's pronounced differently"

sounds adequate to me.


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#4711 - 08/31/00 12:30 AM Re: english, the easy language
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
In reply to:

If it's the same letter "e" then why is it pronounced differently? How would you explain it to her?


We've got twenty-odd spoken vowels and five written ones. We're doing our best, honest. Anyway given the way Polish looks, she's in no position to complain.


Bingley

_________________________
Bingley

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#4712 - 08/31/00 12:59 AM Re: english, the easy language
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
Anyway given the way Polish looks, she's in no position to complain.

True, but just imagine the scores you could get playing Polish Scrabble with an English set - once you'd raided a hundred other sets for the extra zeds!

"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of humanity" - Albert Einstein

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#4713 - 08/31/00 03:49 AM Re: english, the easy language
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
>Anyway given the way Polish looks, she's in no position to complain<
Interesting coincidence: It was an expatriate POLISH colleague who helped me polish my ENGLISH during my stay in London.


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#4714 - 08/31/00 05:07 AM Re: english, the easy language
paulb Offline
addict

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
< Polish Scrabble>

which leads to an interesting question -- has Scrabble been adapted for other languages and, if so, how has the number of letters (and their numerical value) changed?


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#4715 - 08/31/00 05:16 AM Re: Polish Scrabble
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
Google results 1-10 of about 13,800 for Polish Scrabble. Search took 0.34 seconds.

"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of humanity" - Albert Einstein

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#4716 - 08/31/00 10:09 AM Re: english, the easy language
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
>> given the way Polish looks, she's in no position to complain

On the contrary. I think Polish is an easy language to learn. It may be hard to pronounce for non-native speakers but it's very easy to read and write. There aren't as many spelling and reading rules there, (almost none). It really is written the way it sounds.

It also has an almost non-existent sentence structure. Unlike in English where you have to follow a guideline of Subject Verb Object, in Polish you can mix it all you like because of Object suffixes and subject-to-verb agreement. SVO, SOV, VOS, VSO, OSV, OVS.


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#4717 - 08/31/00 10:34 AM Re: english, the easy language
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
>>once you'd raided a hundred other sets for the extra zeds

There is a reason for those extra Zs. They're not really all Zs. There's a regular Z, and there's a Z with a line accent above which has a long equivalent of "zi" and that's how you pronounce it. Then there's a Z with a dot accent above, which is pronounced like the French J. There are more accented letters in the Polish alphabet, and if you take away the accent you can also alter the meaning of the word. So in a scrabble game you wouldn't be able to use one Z in place of another.

And there aren't a hundred of them. There are only 3.



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#4718 - 08/31/00 10:45 AM Re: Polish Scrabble
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
Here's a short history on Polish scrabble I found on http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arcade/7724/english.htm

Some people in Poland had already started playing a polish version of SCRABBLE in the 1970's using boards and letters they made themselves.
The first tournament was organized in 1987 by Jacek Ciesielski who popularized the game in a weekly publication called "Razem". He had also Polonized the rules of the game and determined the distribution of the letters.
Finally, in 1993, Polish SCRABBLE had officially started. The first polish championship took place that year with the winner being a businessman from Warsaw named Tomasz Zwolinski. Zwolinski repeated his success the following year and again in 1996 and in 1997.
In 1995 Pawel Stefaniak, a student from Biala Podlaska, became the national champion.
Zwolinski also won the second Cup of Poland in 1996. Ryszard Debski, teacher from Biala Podlaska won the first one in 1995 and Pawel Dawidson, a student from Czestochowa, won the third one in May 1997.
We have been holding local tournaments since the beginning of this year.
We play polish SCRABBLE using the same board and basic rules as the original english version, but we use a different set of letters, of course.




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#4719 - 08/31/00 01:07 PM Scrabble
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC
>once you'd raided a hundred other sets for the extra zeds!

many years ago Some of us were playing Scrabble and someone mentioned, "Gosh, if I just had another 'a' I could add to 'tore' over there and have cacciatore and a triple word score." I said, "Nope, there are only two c's in the set." She replied, "But I have three right here."

Sure enough, we were playing with two sets mixed together.

_________________________
TEd

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#4720 - 08/31/00 02:36 PM Re: english, the easy language
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
And there aren't a hundred of them. There are only 3.

I meant no disrespect to the Polish language. My comment was simply an attempt at humourous hyperbole, recognizing the fact the frequency of use for the letter zed is much greater in Polish than in English, and so playing Scrabble in Polish would be impossible with a standard English set. If however one combined several English sets, then one could score quite incredible points with Polish words, due to zed's being worth ten points. It was supposed to be funny! For any offence taken at my good-natured jibe, I apologise.

"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of humanity" - Albert Einstein

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#4721 - 08/31/00 02:56 PM Re: english, the easy language
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
My comment was simply an attempt at humourous hyperbole, recognizing the fact the frequency of use for the letter zed is much greater in Polish than in English

Yes, it is true that the Polish language has more uses for the letter Z than English. I was not offended though, merely jumping to the chance of being able to share my knowledge of Polish with others.


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#4722 - 09/07/00 01:15 AM Scrabble
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
Even in German or French, the distribution and values of letters are completely different from the English set. In German, the newer version of the game has a different distribution from an older one, making it "easier", but reducing the potential for really high scores.


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#4723 - 09/07/00 10:39 AM Re: Scrabble
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Is it difficult, for one who is bilingual, to remember which
language set you're playing with, and therefore which words
are "foreign" and illegal?


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#4724 - 09/07/00 11:57 AM Re: Scrabble
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
> Is it difficult, for one who is bilingual, to remember which
language set you're playing with, and therefore which words
are "foreign" and illegal?


The people I play Scrabble with, it's difficult to remember which is legal, foreign or otherwise in one language - but that's because they are all cheats !




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#4725 - 09/07/00 12:19 PM Re: Scrabble
Jackie Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11605
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
The people I play Scrabble with...are all cheats !


Learned from you, did they?





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#4726 - 09/07/00 01:28 PM Re: Scrabble
Brandon Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 218
Loc: Mountain West, USA
The people I play Scrabble with are all cheats !

Long live the awesome power of the bluff. And bluffing isn't cheating. The Scrabble creators took this into account when they established a penalty for challenging a word and losing the challenge.

It's tough to bluff true wordsmiths (which is why I'd never play tsuwm). One must have excellent wordsmithing skills for both the offensive and defensive positions of the game.

Bluff, another word we owe to those Dutch settlers.

Brandon




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#4727 - 09/07/00 03:34 PM Re: Scrabble
apples + oranges Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/30/00
Posts: 46
Loc: Canada
>>Is it difficult, for one who is bilingual, to remember which
language set you're playing with, and therefore which words
are "foreign" and illegal?


I don't get confused when I play English scrabble. I've never played Polish scrabble, but I don't think I'd have difficulty with it. Maybe it's because English and Polish are such different languages, but I suppose it's because I have always kept, or tried to keep, the two languages separate.

"A sobering thought: what if, at this very moment, I am living up to my full potential?" JANE WAGNER

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