Monthly Archives: March 2014


Language/Writing Tip 27

Here are two quick ones:

1) “too long” can neatly be replaced by “overly long” when used before a noun.

“This too long novel is dull.”
“This overly long novel is dull.”

(Hyphenated “too-long” has a smidgen of humour. E.g. “‘Yet another of his too-long lectures,’ moaned Raul.” The humour comes from the intentional flouting of the rules.)

2) “The gossips were gossiping about gossip.”
a) “The gossips” – people
b) “to gossip” – verb
c) “gossip” – singular noun. No need for the plural, even if you have oodles of stories about your neighbour.


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Calls Events

The last reminder for ESSE 2014 Kosice Conference seminars and PhD sessions

Dear SDAŠ members,
below is the last reminder for ESSE 2014 Kosice Conference seminars and the PhD sessions deadline. There is also a new seminar in the linguistics section, please find below its description.


ESSE 2014 Kosice Conference Reminder: Abstracts of individual papers at SEMINAR SESSIONS, DOCTORAL SESSIONS  and abstracts of POSTERS must be sent before 31st MARCH 2014! More information on the Conference website

The new seminar in the linguistics section:




Ewa Domagala-Zysk, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland,

Edit Hegybiro Kontra, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary,

The seminar addresses educators and linguists involved in the recent upsurge of European action research focusing on learners with special educational needs. For many years in the past D/deaf, blind, intellectually challenged or dyslexic students were excluded from learning foreign languages, but contemporary educational and social trends such as normalization, integration or inclusion have changed this situation. The purpose of the seminar is thus to share experiences and bring to the fore a discussion on the following points: 1). Conceptual representations for words in English in individuals with sensory or cognitive challenges; 2. Teaching strategies and class techniques to enhance both motivation and language performance; 3. The role of oral communication and sign languages in EFL classes for the D/deaf; 4). Cooperative practices in primary, secondary and tertiary foreign  language education for students with disabilities.



Language / Writing Tip 26

Here’s a quick rule that you’ll be tempted to break often: don’t have two massive sentences in a row.

A fiction editor once told me that 20 words is already a long sentence. Two qualifications: “long” is not pythonesque; fiction is not academic writing.

In lieu of an example, a mathematical formula: 2x (where x means 50 or more) = pain for the reader.

All tips to date are available at:


Language/Writing Tip 25

Instead of a proper tip,a list of comma splices:

1) “The ending is also the climax, the whole story almost unveils in front of us, but when the friend tells him what the flower means, we are surprised and understand the meaning of the whole story.”
2) “Everything could have been easy, if the boy was a ‘homebody’, however he was mischievous.”
3) “She lays bare the structure of the story, she presents it very clearly.”
4) “I do not know what the idea was, I was very confused.”
5) “The content of Gilbert`s letter to Nevada is also revealed and indeed resolves an argument, at the same time it also alludes to the somewhat Biblical explanation of sisterhood between women in the story and which now reaches a definite end.”
6) “People would be very strange to think dead frozen horses are romantic, they are scary.”
7) “It was shown in the film that there are steeple-chases, in my country we rear horses mostly for rehabilitation.”
8) “He did not want to make the scene believable, he wanted the audience to see the irony he was trying to show by making it obviously fake.”
9) “These people have no sense of time, they can never remember what year it is.”

For some reason, this type of error is on the rise.
Remember: don’t glue two stand-alone sentence together with a piddly little comma!
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Language/Writing Tip 24

Two quick tips:

1) In written English, don’t bother with “it seems TO ME.” “It seems” always shows your personal attitude.

2) The sentence lead-in “It can be seen that….” very soon clogs up the sentence.

To save a few words – and to get to the point – you can use an adverb.

a) “It can be seen that the hero is hurt when the dragon leaves him” (pretty, like truck).
b) “The hero is evidently/obviously/visibly hurt when the dragon leaves him.”