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Mind the gap

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Comment from: Hinermad [Visitor]


Welcome home, first of all.

I’ll bet if you spent a few minutes browsing a gift shop you could have found a book giving the specs on the Crown Jewels. For another twenty quid, that is.

I do recommend Ireland. I’ve been to both Dublin and Belfast, and enjoyed both. In Belfast you can still see signs of the Troubles - police stations look like high security prisons and police cars look like tanks - but other than that things are as peaceful as anywhere else in the UK. I just missed a Thin Lizzy concert in the auditorium next to my hotel while I was there. Of course the entire audience went for a pint afterwards, making the local pubs a little less peaceful than what you describe.

If you go to Dublin, by all means have a pint of Guinness. It tastes different in Dublin. The locals there say it’s different than what you get even elsehwere in Ireland. Also, if you go shopping there, do your browsing on Grafton Street then walk across the river to Henry Street. You’ll save a lot of money.

I’d noticed the purchasing rule-of-thumb you described (1 dollar = 1 pound) when I was there, but on Henry Street (at the far end, where the shops are lucky to have electric lights) I found a military surplus store and bought a Swiss Army knife for 9 pounds, and it’s a model that usually retails here for $24.

As for needing a vacation to rest from the vacation, that’s what coming home is for. A vacation like that makes you appreciate home more.


07/29/07 @ 20:15
Comment from: Linda [Visitor]  


Glad you have a fabulous holiday! A week just is not enough though is it?

I lived that life for two years and I still never saw everything there is to see there. One thing I think I loved the most was what most people would consider a bit weird ~ I loved the cemetaries, mainly because many of them dated back so far.

I am glad you had your taste of pubs - they are the best! I lived on chip butties (a crusty roll with fries in the middle and topped with tons of old white cheddar cheese) mainly because they were always the cheapest on the menu at the time. Bitters is something we can get here in Canada too, but there is something about sitting in an old English pub with your mates with the bitters and fried food that makes it all the better!

Also fantastic that you enjoyed the British Museum - that can take a whole day no doubt about it!

And I do agree with David on the resting when you get home! We are kind of getting (at least David is more than me) to be experts at it with the having to see each other at border crossings. (grin)

But tickled pink that you had a lovely time!


07/30/07 @ 11:27
Comment from: Kevin [Visitor]  

[…] a country girl like me,* […]
* I know the grammar is poor, but “a country girl like I” just sounds retarded.

Basically, English has three cases: subjective, objective, and possessive. The possessive case is usually indicated by an apostrophe-s[a]. The subjective and objective cases are usually the bare form of the noun, with nothing distinguishing them. Pronouns are the exceptional forms, easily demonstrated with the first-person singular: “I, me, my” are the subjective, objective, and possessive cases. You use the subjective form when the pronoun is placed in a subject position, the objective form when it’s placed in an object position, and the possessive case when it’s in a possessive position. It’s key that “object” is syntactic here: the verb “be” takes an object just like the verb “hit” does, even though they signify very different states of affairs, as do prepositions like “like” (when used as a preposition).

THUS I AM CONFIDENT IN SAYING that the grammar is rich with “a country girl like me"! …and incidentally, “a country girl” itself is the object of the preposition “to".

This is why people say “It’s me!” instead of “It’s I!": Real™ English uses the objective case for this; contrast this with forced-into-the-Classical-Latin-mold English, in which it is verboten to split an infinitive[1], use negative concord[2], strand a preposition[3], use a sentence-initial “however"[4] (see also the exciting Part II[5]!) and many other things that happen in Real™ English all the time.

Also, HI! Remember me? &#59;)
I hope to avoid dropping off the face of the internet (relative to you and a few other people) again in the future, and I’m trying to get back in touch with y’allz. Giving you a faceful of linguistics might not be the BEST way to do this… but I’ve already gone and typed it all out and struggled a bit with the blog software to not give me hilariously useful messages like “Parser error: > required near xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional", AND I’ve continued to read your blog even though I stopped going to other places which clearly places you in a binding contract to read this, so I’m gonna post it anyway. HA.

Nerfariously Yrs.,
p.s. feel free to email me at the specified email address so as to avoid cluttering up these comments more than I already have with pretty much off-topic stuff. I WAIT BY MY INBOX, DOUBLE-CLICK AT THE READY!
p.p.s. also i am a linguist now amirite. If’n that wasn’t blindingly obvious.

because I am too stupid to work the allowed XHTML tags (or inline linking just don’t work none by reason of being disallowed), here is a list of links that I tried to embed in phrases above. But before that are a few footnotes that I decided to put in the same format, but with letters instead of numbers so I don’t have to renumber ALL FIVE of my links lines. I’M WORKING SMARTER NOT HARDER!!

[a]the ModE[b] possessive case is actually the direct descendent of the OE genitive case, but sometime during ME, people got confused and thought that the “’s” was an abbreviation of “his", leading some of them to write things similar to “the man his horse galloped” (with “the man his horse” being the subject), believing that they were just correctly expanding this never-actually-a-contraction. If they’d stopped to think about such forms as “the people their crazy ideas” or “the lady her counterexample", they’d've noticed that “people’s” and “lady’s” aren’t contractions. Or maybe some people did notice, but enough didn’t that we now use an apostrophe in the possessive case.
[b]Middle English is always abbreviated as ME, while Modern English is abbreviated as ModE. Sometimes it’s called Present Day English instead, which is abbreviated as PDE.

[1]split an infinitive: and (because of this strange citation-ish format I’m doing, I can direct the assiduous reader to multiple addresses from a single pseudo-anchor!)
[2]negative concord:
[3]strand a preposition:
[4]sentence-initial “however":
[5]exciting Part II: (this time I decided to not have a single pseudo-anchor reference both these URLs related to ’sentence-initial “however"‘. IT GOT BORING.)
Damn you, failure to embed links, whether you are a personal failing or a journal-wide thing. I’ll get you next time!

08/01/07 @ 01:11
Comment from: [Member]

Would you be horribly offended if I admitted I don’t remember who you are, Kevin? I’ve ruled out the possibility that you are one of my students, if that’s any consolation. :)

I continue to use “poor” English (or as you style it, Real English), much to the consternation of my department head. I do, however, admit to avoiding answer a telephone query with “This is she"–because it sounds, that’s right, retarded–by saying “Speaking.”

Should I cruise back through three-year-old blog entries to refresh my memory? Or can I just throw myself on the mercy of the court?


08/01/07 @ 20:16
Comment from: Aunt B'Ann [Visitor]  
Aunt B'Ann

Diana, I loved your travelogue! Wish I had been there! (I know, I know. It’s not “cool” to travel with old folks, even one who is your favorite aunt!) Sounds as if you really enjoyed the trip, and spent a good sum of money doing it, but I’d almost be willing to bet that you would gladly do it all again right away! One of these days…….maybe I’ll get to go “over the ocean” and see some of these sights—and others!

Love you muchly, dear, and would love to see you!

08/01/07 @ 23:01
Comment from: [Member]


I’ve heard that about Ireland: the police stations and the Guinness, both. :) I’m thinking of going next summer. I may never have another chance (it is this sort of thinking that has gotten me to numerous other destinations in the past, come to think of it).

No time to rest, as it turns out. I must now work up syllabii I’m happy with. School starts next Thursday.


I must do museums slower than you (I do them slower than everyone I know, so no surprises there); I may have made it through about 1/3rd of the British Museum in the 10 hours I spent there.

Also…I’ve always been a big cemetery fan, too. I worked for a while at Arlington National Cemetery. I love finding random country cemeteries and looking for the oldest stone and the unpredictably odd stone. As a matter of fact, the morning before I went to Westminster Abbey, I visited All Saints Church (next door to the B&B ) and they were celebrating the birthday of the man who began England’s fight against slavery, who was buried there. I found his tombstone and took a couple of pics. I was delighted to find a memorial to him in Westminster Abbey the same day.

Aunt B’Ann,

I’d be willing to do it again, but probably not back to London. The cost is truly prohibitive. If it weren’t for Phil’s wedding, I wouldn’t have forked over that sort of change for a vacation.

I’m basically pretty cheap. &#59;)

Jeff says the pics are working again. I’ll post pics soon.


08/01/07 @ 23:37
Comment from: Kevin Walker [Visitor]
Kevin Walker

Ye do notte remember who this “Kevin” character is! He signed his post with “K".

> throw myself on mercy of court
Though this Automagical™ System™ of Text™-Understanding™ be mightily advanced, it cannot understande queries of more than four words at a tyme. Perhaps try concatenating some wordes?

> throw myself on mercy_of_court
Ye throwest thineself on ye Mercy Of Ye Court! (In this dramatization, the part of Mercy Of Ye Court will be played by a soft pillow, rather than the bed of nails that was originally slated for this performance. We apologize for the inconvenience.) Ye are softly cushioned by ye Mercy Of Ye Court. Ye thinke “perhaps this poste wille reminde me who thou art, K!”

Ye musteth type somethinge.

> why do I have another text prompt now?
Erre… we do notte knoweth. But our fake olde-tyme Englishe is catchye, yea?

> what! you said you couldn’t understand more than four words in a single query!
Shutuppe shutuppe shutuppe! Do notte telleth anyone! *shiftye eyes*

I don’t want to spell it out TOO clearly, because that takes all the fun out of it. :)

Mind-bogglingly Yrs.
p.s. I have put a different address this time: it’ll continue to exist for about a week, until I remove it (I can have 8 different account names through my mailserver at one time, and I typically use that eighth username as a spam sink for when I need to do a free registration at a website).

08/02/07 @ 14:04
Comment from: Daddy [Visitor]  

Kevin, i could not have said all you said, and I am sure I wouldn’t have wanted to. I was only going to say to PD that “as” instead of ‘like’ is probably more nearly correct, and then she would have realized that ‘me’ is correct. The wording would have been changed, I think to something far less poetic, and certainly less relaxed, such as ” a country girl such as I", or ‘a country girl such as am I’, the first being far more acceptable than the second. PD, I have enjoyed very much the notes you have made. Perhap-s sometime soon, I will have the opportunity to sit with you–somewhere–and get the long detailed accoun t of your tryp. Daddy

08/11/07 @ 16:54
Comment from: [Member]


You’re coming to the Springs? You must visit my classes with me. :)

Incidentally, “I” was correct, if one adheres to prescriptive* English, which I believe was Kevin’s point (the full phrase would have been “a country girl like I am"). I, however, am not a huge fan of prescriptive English where it makes people worry about which pronoun is “proper” generations after the “proper” one has fallen out of common usage, as is the case here. I don’t bother with “who” and “whom” distinctions, either. (However, for some reason, overcorrection to “I” annoys me. I avoid correcting it, though, unless the person asks if their usage is correct or otherwise flings the grammar door wide.)

* “Prescriptive” English grammar usually entailing, as Kevin so eloquently put it, the forcing of German-based grammar into a Latinate form where it does not fit and never has (square peg, round hole).


08/12/07 @ 21:53
Comment from: Daddy [Visitor]  

Grandmother and Newt want to come up sometime next summer. You will have to let us know when an excellent time is, so indeed we (that is , at least Newt and I) will be able to visit the class. Newt will be a smooth 100 his next birthday, and I would guess that most of your students have never met a man or woman who is actually that old, and still has his horse sense. We are in fact looking forward to that. Daddy

08/22/07 @ 20:54
Comment from: [Member]

Hi, Daddy. :)

An excellent time would be sometime around…now, but next year-ish. In the summertime proper, I generally don’t have class (if I can help it). I try to arrange leave and other pleasurable, goof-off-able activities if at all possible during those spare nine weeks of quasi-freedom, instead.

I’ve just gotten to where I know my students’ names, and we’ve established a shaky relationship. We aren’t what you might call “close” yet, as they haven’t…well, graduated my class and moved up in the world, remembering me with fondness following the distance of several months. They haven’t even turned in their first paper at this point. I teach the 6th class of a 40-class semester tomorrow.

I was thinking it would be perfect if you could come for Parents’ Day, which is an annual event wherein the cadets (and the occasional faculty) bring their parents, and sometimes their extended families, to class. But you, having the distinguished status of being my parents–are welcome anytime you come to visit.

I’m already looking forward to it. I hope all of you make it up this-away during the school year. I’d love to host you. :)


08/22/07 @ 22:35

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