Archive for April, 2011

Step away from the dictionary


One aspect of the English language which non-native speakers find difficult, as

Stuck up cow?

there is not generally something similar in many other languages, are phrasal verbs and verbs with prepositions.  Even people with a good level of English seem to have difficulty with this form of English and need extra work at it.

A stuck?

One example this morning was the story of the Scots Guard ‘sacked’ from Royal wedding duties after referring to Kate Middleton as a ‘Stuck-up cow’ on his social media site. A report on the French media this morning had the soldier saying she was a ‘vache coincé’.  Coincé is the first translation you find in the dictionary for ‘stuck’ – making the translation a ‘stuck cow’. You have to look below it for stuck-up which my dictionary has as ‘snob’ so the correct translation would be ‘vache snob’, showing the problem of a hurried look at the dictionary by someone not aware of the phrasal verb.

Happy Easter


Caption competition II (Luvvie edition)


After the great response to yesterdays caption competition here’s another one from the recent stay in London.  Get thinking and commenting. The picture was taken in a churchyard in Covent Garden that JTO and I discovered on our last full day in London.  I had seen the front of the building, it is generally the place where the street entertainers perform in front of, the columns and roof extending in front of the building providing a very good stage or backdrop.  We were on our way back to our hotel when JTO saw what looked like a little garden.  We walked into it and there was a fountain facing you and this wonderful head was on the rear side of the chute the water came out of.  Walking around the side of the building we came to a wonderful garden, an oasis of green and calm which we saw was the garden of the actors’ church, St Paul’s, one of the entrances can be seen in the photo above.  Built by Inigo Jones in 1633 the inside of the church is quite plain and spartan in comparison with the Orthodox or Catholic churches which were the last ones I visited on my trip to Cyprus. I also liked the large unstained windows which let in a lot of natural light which was a pleasant contrast with the darker insides I had seen on other churches.  At the back of church were a number of plaques commemorating the lives of a number of actors, writers, songwriters etc including a number I recognised; Margaret Rutherford, Boris Karloff, Ivor Novello, Richard Beckinsale, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Harvey and Hattie Jacques.

There weren’t many plaques along the side wall of the church but I took the photo on the right of three there were, including a reflection of one of the wonderfully simple windows.  As you can see these three plaques commemorating Sir Terrence Rattigan, a number of whose plays I saw advertised whilst in London no doubt as a result of it being the 100th anniversary of his birth, Sir Noël Coward and Sir Charles Chaplin. No doubt getting a special place because they were all  knighted by the Queen.

Caption competition


I have been in the UK for a while with very poor access to the internet. Whilst there I took a number of photos and will be posting them here.  The first one was seen in Trafalgar Square on the way to see a play.

Apart from someone being there with a proper camera filming the whole event there was no indication of what it was about or for.  There is only one rule for the caption competition, there must be no mention of Lady Gaga and her appearance at the 2011 Grammy awards, see the example photo on the left and the video of her arrival on the red carpet below,

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