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Re: [Czechlist] Re: Help: Pedagogika volneho casu

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  • Bedrich Hadziu
    James Kirchner wrote: A problem with this term the third age in particular -- other than it sounding like it came from a science fiction novel or a
    Message 1 of 66 , Jun 3 9:24 AM
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      James Kirchner wrote:

      "A problem with this term "the third age" in particular -- other than
      it sounding like it came from a science fiction novel or a
      Scientology tract -- is that the idea of there being "three ages" is
      out of kilter with the American view of age and maturation, which is
      VERY different from that in France or Eastern Europe."

      Is it really "out of kilter" with the American view of age and maturation?

      Maybe it is, maybe it is not. Either way, no one else on the group seems to be so bothered about the "freakish aspect" of it as you are.

      Fortunately, it will not be decided by you or me but simply by the fact whether the majority of speakers will accept the term or not at some future point.

      As to your other comments - I agree with some parts and I have different views of others. But I do not have another 1/2 hour to spend on this banter.

      Be swell,

      Bedrich



      James Kirchner <jpklists@...> wrote:

      On Jun 2, 2007, at 7:34 AM, Bedrich Hadziu wrote:

      > I like the "third age" thing. And I know it is used as an English
      > translation of their native term which carries the same meaning in
      > some other European countries, too

      Whose native term? You've lost me here.

      > Why not? New words and phrases are born every day. I am sure that
      > "native speakers" will learn the meaning wihout much pain.

      The pain is that in English it has been preceded by various similar-
      sounding expressions from science-fiction and religious cults, which
      gives "the third age" as freakish quality. English frequently
      accepts words and calques from other languages, as I have pointed
      out, but when they sound not just unfamiliar but actually freakish,
      people resist them.

      > In addition, why should a term could not be accepted as a general
      > term because it is UK-only? Would it be good enough if it is US-only?

      Nobody said a term has to be UK-only to be acceptable. It doesn't.
      The idea that it would have to be UK-only is mostly an East European
      delusion and barely even exists in the English-speaking world. I
      seldom have had trouble from British people about a term not being
      British, but with Czech anglictinari it's a daily battle.

      The great majority of new words and expressions in world English come
      from the US, not the UK, as the compilers of the Oxford English
      Dictionary have confirmed numerous times in the press. They claim
      that the "center" of the English language is now closer to Cleveland
      than to Oxford.

      > The UK has, without a doubt, played a much bigger role in the
      > fomation of the English language than the U.S.

      But that is history, and it involves forms of the English language
      that are extinct now and require special study to understand. The
      British have no particular claim to speaking the "original" English
      language, because no one speaks anything close to "original" English
      anyway. Many of the differences between US and UK English exist, in
      fact, because speakers in the UK have altered original forms and
      speakers in the US haven't.

      > The U.S. simply inherited the language and adjusted it a bit.

      From what I've read, the compilers of the OED would say that you've
      greatly understated the matter.

      > The EU, for example, adheres more to the British usages and style
      > in its texts.

      No, it doesn't. It adheres to its own distorted style and usage that
      is not British and not American. Certainly you've noticed on this
      list that Czechs and native English speakers both have trouble making
      sense of the English in EU texts, and that the person who saves the
      day is the one who dissects the text as if it were French rather than
      English. Euro-English is not British.

      > So what is the big deal?

      The big deal is that some English words made up by foreigners fit
      well into the English language and some don't. Sometimes Europeans
      coin "English" terms that already mean or sound like something else
      in the English language. Sometimes they make up strange-sounding
      terms for which a normal-sounding term already exists. Sometimes --
      such as with the Swedish word "mobbing" -- the word they make up
      already exists in English but has a completely different meaning.

      These problems are not caused by conservatism and jingoism on the
      part of native English speakers, but by foreigners who make up terms
      that don't work in English and then complain that they are not accepted.

      A problem with this term "the third age" in particular -- other than
      it sounding like it came from a science fiction novel or a
      Scientology tract -- is that the idea of there being "three ages" is
      out of kilter with the American view of age and maturation, which is
      VERY different from that in France or Eastern Europe.

      Jamie






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    • Bedrich Hadziu
      Thank you for the treatise, Jamie. Although it has not changed my opinion about the original issue, you certainly are a prolific GROUP contributor. Take it
      Message 66 of 66 , Jun 6 11:06 AM
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        Thank you for the treatise, Jamie.

        Although it has not changed my opinion about the original issue, you certainly are a prolific GROUP contributor.

        Take it easy!

        Bedrich

        James Kirchner <jpklists@...> wrote:

        On Jun 3, 2007, at 12:24 PM, Bedrich Hadziu wrote:

        >> "A problem with this term "the third age" in particular -- other than
        >> it sounding like it came from a science fiction novel or a
        >> Scientology tract -- is that the idea of there being "three ages" is
        >> out of kilter with the American view of age and maturation, which is
        >> VERY different from that in France or Eastern Europe."
        >
        > Is it really "out of kilter" with the American view of age and
        > maturation?

        Yes.

        -- When I moved to the CR, I at first thought that babies I saw on
        the street were being accompanied by their older sisters, but the
        girls were their mothers.
        -- When I got home, after having gotten used to the CR for a few
        years, I thought I saw many babies in my neighborhood being pushed
        down the street by their grandmothers, but the women were really
        their mothers.

        -- A Czech woman I knew had her first baby at 34 and was constantly
        getting hassle about having had a child "late", and this prejudice
        sometimes even impaired her access to pediatric medical care. In the
        US, it's not "late" to have a baby at 34, and having one at 40 is not
        odd.

        -- Czech people's children typically start moving out of the house
        when the parents are in their late 30s, but in the US it's when
        they're in their early to mid-50s.

        -- Job seekers in the CR start having trouble with age
        discrimination around age 40, but in the US that doesn't start until
        at least 10 years later.

        -- Czech women start being considered "too old" for marriage
        somewhere in their mid-20s (although the age is certainly creeping up
        now), whereas in the US it's the mid- to late 30s.

        -- Germans (I don't know about Czechs) typically think that in their
        mid-30s they're too old to change careers. Americans change careers
        anytime.

        -- Many Czechs as young as their mid-30s in adult classes complain
        that their brains are "old" and that they can't be expected to learn
        easily. Most Americans don't start talking about this until about
        their 60s.

        -- This is probably also changing, but many Americans have trouble
        discerning Czech people's ages until they've lived in the CR for a
        year or so. The typical explanation from one American to another
        (particularly about the women) has been, "They look 18 for years
        until at a certain age they suddenly look 50." (Obviously, this is
        an exaggeration, but it has some truth.)

        -- A Czech kid took a trip here and wanted me to take him to visit
        the family of his grandfather, whom he'd never met. (His grandfather
        had been a GI in Marianske Lazne at the end of WWII.) The kid told
        me that his grandfather wasn't alive, but that he wanted to visit is
        son. When we got to the house, we found it was not occupied by the
        son, but by the grandfather. Later I asked the kid, "Why did you
        think your grandfather was dead?" He replied, "Because in my
        country, if you're that age, you're dead."

        We view age QUITE differently in the States than elsewhere.

        Jamie

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