Monthly Archives: May 2015

Various

Language Tip 34 (2014-15)

Take note vs. take notes

“Take note of this tip; take notes if you need help remembering.”

“To take note of something” means to pay attention to it.
E.g. “I took note of his advice, but I still ignored it.”

“To take notes” means to jot things down.
“What happened during the lecture? Dunno. I forget to take notes.”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

All tips to date…
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/tips%20-%202014%202015.pdf

Various

Language Tip 33 (2014-15)

Get vs. acquire; get vs. become

“Get” and “acquire” are not interchangeable, because “acquire” means specifically to gain possession of and is normally not used with things you cannot actually have and hold, such as attention.

CORRECT: “I finally got her attention.”
INCORRECT: “I finally acquired her attention.”

Similarly, “get” and “become” are not always interchangeable. The short version: “get” is less formal than “become.”
One of us was taught a long time ago never to use “get” in an essay; the other one pretty much figured it out by themselves.

Consider the mixed-register tone of this:
“Hamlet, never a happy man, gets increasingly world-weary and melancholic as the play progresses.”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

All tips to date…
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/tips%20-%202014%202015.pdf

Various

Language Tip 32 (2014-15)

Sentence fragments can sound very, very silly in English. Slovenian seems to have a higher tolerance for syntax-poor snippets of language.
Though we are tempted to say, “Always use full sentences,” that would be going too far!
Instead, a simple never-rule: never start a sentence fragment with a relative clause.
Which would look and sound strange.

Here’s an example in context:
“The world is swimming in horrible movies, whether they be violent action movies or saccharine, simplistic romances. Which is not surprising, given the necessity for studios to produce in a hurry.”

If you’re really really tempted and you feel a comma just wouldn’t do your thought process justice, use a dash:
“The world is swimming in horrible movies, whether they be violent action movies or saccharine, simplistic romances – which is not surprising, given the necessity for studios to produce in a hurry.”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

All tips to date…
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/tips%20-%202014%202015.pdf

Various

Call for papers

We would like to invite you to submit papers for the ELOPE autumn issue (Vol. 12, No. 2)! We are a peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes original research articles, studies and essays that address matters pertaining to English language, literature, teaching and translation. More information at:

http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/elope/announcement/view/28

Various

New web page and publisher!

Dear followers and friends! We have some amazing news: ELOPE has launched its new and improved web page and has the great fortune of also having a new publisher; Ljubljana University Press. Check it out at the following link:

http://revije.ff.uni-lj.si/elope/

Various

Language Tip 31 (2014-15)

Two very useful expressions for (often useless and unproductive) reciprocal actions are:

1) to and fro
2) back and forth

Make sure, however, not to mix and match them!
NOT: “They threw insults back and fro.”
But: “They threw insults back and forth.”

With “to and fro” spelling is tricky when it switches word classes. If you want to use it as a noun or verb, look it up in the Oxford English Dictionary to make sure you’re sticking the hyphens and -s endings in the right places.
Example: the to-and-fro of the haggling process

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

All tips to date…
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/tips%20-%202014%202015.pdf

Various

Language Tip 30 (2014-15)

“According to” vs. “in accordance with”

Note the difference between these two expressions.
Perhaps it’s easiest to think of “according to” as a synonym for “says”, and “in accordance with” as a synonym for “in conformity with”.

1) According to Sarah, the party was fabulous.

In Sarah’s opinion, the party was fabulous.
Sarah reports that the party was fabulous.
I have it from the horse’s mouth that the party was fabulous.

Usually, there’s a flesh-and-blood, literal speaker with “according to.”

2) Searching online for “in accordance with” + “party” yields results like (i.e. similar to):

“In accordance with subsection 7, each party will pay his/her share of the rental.”

Usually, “in accordance with” pertains to a document or theory.

“According to Smith (2012) and Novak (2007), it is impossible to make hot dogs out of wool. In accordance with their theory, our wool – in spite of the loose affiliation with mutton – could not be turned into a hot dog or sausage of any variety.”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

All tips to date…
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/tips%20-%202014%202015.pdf

Various

Language Tip 29 (2014-15)

Consider these structures. Which is correct?

1) “I was involved in a six year long fan relationship with a bad football team.”
2) “I was involved in a six-year long fan relationship with a bad football team.”
3) “I was involved in a six-year-long fan relationship with a bad football team.”

The winner is option 3, the one with all the hyphens.

This, however, is snappier (since “year” already indicates duration or long-ness).

“I was involved in a six-year fan relationship with a bad football team.”

Jason Blake and Monika Kavalir

All tips to date…
http://www2.arnes.si/~bjason/tips%20-%202014%202015.pdf