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Think Global Talk Local

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  • kellogg
    Maybe I was talking in my sleep (what OUGHT to be language turns out NAUGHT...yet I understand myself so well when I talk in my sleep....) I notice that I got
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 1, 2002
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      Maybe I was talking in my sleep (what OUGHT to be language turns out NAUGHT...yet I understand myself so well when I talk in my sleep....) I notice that I got all the adverbs in the wrong places, I said "laconically" when I meant "languidly", and I seem to have started a thread on nativism and second language acquisition.

      Of course I'm not a nativist, Dennis; I don't believe in UG or the language instinct or even a mental lexicon. The words I use are usually not the ones I really need but just ones I've left lying around recently (which is why I made the mistake with "laconically"). My mind works very much like my office; it's easier for me to find a book, a phrase, or a word by asking myself where did I last see something like that than by asking myself in what network of meanings does it belong.....

      Really, the baby was just there the same way as the hot weather and the bamboo mat; a handy peg on which to hang a handy prop. I don't really know how people learn languages; I was just trying to make the same kind of suggestion you did, a way of bringing meaning to two correct but confusible and even fusible verb forms using things that happen to be at hand in even the poorest classroom.

      It's not that I am against theory, mind you (although I probably am against SLA theory--I loathe the word "acquisition" and all it stands for). It's just that I think that when people make decisions in the classroom they often do so for reasons that have little to do with theory, a lot to do with immediate human relations, and maybe a little to do with what was going through their heads the night before or what they read on this list a few days ago.

      Know what a Discourse Complete Test is? Well, here's one (apologies to Kingsley Amis):

      You are for some reason spending the night at the home of your professor. Unfortunately, you fell asleep over his latest book in bed. Worse, you were smoking a cigarette. When you wake up in the morning, you find a very large black circle burned in the itchy army blanket which is wife put on your bed (without a sheet). There is a knock at the door. It is your professor's son's girffriend. What do you say?

      YOU: ...........................................................................

      Well, I admit, they are not all that novelistic. Most of them end more like this:

      a) I'm sorry for burning your blanket.
      b) I'm sorry to burn your blanket.
      c) I'm didn't finish the book yet.
      d) Nothing (you cut off the burnt end of the blanket with a pair of toenail scissors and turn it around so that it's not visible when you make the bed.)

      Well, for my last academic woozle, I had to wade through a stack of research on these things: some in multiple choice form, some in production questionnaire form, some in role plays, and some in virtual-reality cyber-simulation. They all have very different coefficients of reliability and wildy different degrees of validity (depending on how you measure it), and at one point I actually managed to persuade myself that there were two different conceptions of sociolinguistic and socio-pragmatic knowledge at stake here: one which treated it as knowledge in the mind, like the mental lexicon or the universal grammar, and another which treated it as human relations, chemistry in the air.

      That may be, and I know which side I stand on, but I also know that these decisions are usually made by real teachers for purely practical reasons. And not just the teachers! When I went back over the research, it fell very neatly into two piles: North American and non-American. In other words, do you have the wherewithal to create a socio-pragmatic situation at hand (as you do in what the Yanks like to call ESL) or do you have to make do with imagination and intonation (what we call EFL). In other words, what's at hand?

      And for a lot of learners, intonation is what's at hand. It's got fewer patterns to memorize, it is very immediate and recognizeable, and it is...in a funny way...universal.

      Oh, not in the nativist way--not as knowledge in the mind. But in all human languages (with the exception of the Irish, who just like to be contrary) the default intonation (the one used for declaratives, and by unmarked, normal people, like white men) is DOWN. This is a physical universal, caused by the fall in air pressure in your lungs when you speak. Even wolves use DOWN intonation when they howl at the moon. In all the languages I know, "sad" intonation sounds a little like sobbing, and "happy" intonation has more spread vowels, because it is associated with simling. There are even some non-physical, social universals: friendly intonation hardly ever sounds unfriendly, no matter how strange the language is, and angry intonation always sounds rather premptory and abrupt. It's really just a verbal gesture, and, like the use of any other gesture in teaching, it doesn't have to hold the weight of a whole theory of acquisition or even teaching order to be useful.

      But here an objection occurs to me that will probably not have occurred to acquisitionists. Intonation is not simply universal, it's also LOCAL. In fact, it's the first thing that really diverges when human communities split up and begin to develop their own dialects. Our friend Fiona probably says "from NOWT to OUGHT" and maybe even missed Luke's delicious rhyme. Irish intonation seems perfectly up-side down to me, with questions falling and declaratives rising. Teacherese has very distinct intonation patterns that really don't occur in any other dialect I know of. So an intonation-led pronunciation syllabus risks tying our learners ever-tighter to teacher talk, and to the native speaker standard.

      What is to be done? What if we could create a classroom dialect based on the intonation patterns of LEARNER language--the mother tongue! Yes, it would have to be comprehensible (but it could be made so, because of course a lot of intonation is universal). Yes, you would have to learn your learner's language, so that you could put your words to their music. But think how very expressive it would be! You would even get amusing regional dialects, like:
      Y!!!!!
      A
      S
      you
      did
      What

      (to the tune of the Korean "Mo rago????"

      Or:




      aaaaaaaaay

      Wwwwwwww did
      you
      HIT


      m
      e
      !

      (to the tune of "Waeeee Deryeo?????")

      Who would do this? The non-native teachers, of course! All we really need to do is persuade them that it is understandable, and far more expressive than the usual "reading aloud" drone that they are using now.

      Why not develop intonation based on learner language? We might as well; we already use an unnatural intonation based on the fact that we are teachers. It's really a matter of recognizing how local languages really are.

      I'm not an anarchist, of course, but I think if I never stuck my head out of a classroom I probably would be.
      But then, if I never stuck my head out the classroom, I wouldn't know the Korean tunes.

      (I hope this is a little more sensible than the last one--I have to run, though, because I'm going to a demonstration for two of our middle school students who got run over by an American tank...)

      dk

      Luke--In China, my students often complained that leaving my class and going through the market they could hear people speaking in English (they were mostly Mandarin speakers and the market spoke Cantonese).

      I think a lot of what they/you heard can be explained by the speech segementation problem. As you probably know, there is no actual physical separation between words and syllables when they are spoken; only knowing what language you are listening to really tells you where to put the spaces and only intonation tells you how to punctuate what you are hearing. Since language spoken at speed and through walls (as well as in crowds) destroys the segmental information, we are left grasping at the suprasegmental straws.

      d


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Fiona
      Just for the record, I d say something like nooot with a very open, long /o/ (between English and American, I guess), and something like o-it with open /o/
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 1, 2002
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        Just for the record, I'd say something like 'nooot' with a very open, long
        /o/ (between English and American, I guess),
        and something like o-it with open /o/ and short i. Though the more
        consonantal 'should' is far more accessible
        But then, my surname's Mauchline, so I've had years of practice ;-))
        Also, my family base is in a part of Argyll where very few words are used
        and intonation is the basis of communication. (aye, uhuh, ah right, ach and
        eeeeeh are amazingly flexible between friends). The local 'dialect' is to
        intonation what The Jabberwock is to structure.

        fiona
      • Robert Haines
        In other words, do you have the wherewithal to create a socio-pragmatic situation at hand (as you do in what the Yanks like to call ESL) or do you have to make
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 1, 2002
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          In other words, do you have the wherewithal to create a socio-pragmatic situation at hand (as you do in what the Yanks like to call ESL) or do you have to make do with imagination and intonation (what we call EFL). In other words, what's at hand?

          Question: Is "Yank" a derogatory term in British English, or is it neutral like "Brit" here in North America?
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: kellogg
          To: dogme@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 1:12 AM
          Subject: [dogme] Think Global Talk Local


          Maybe I was talking in my sleep (what OUGHT to be language turns out NAUGHT...yet I understand myself so well when I talk in my sleep....) I notice that I got all the adverbs in the wrong places, I said "laconically" when I meant "languidly", and I seem to have started a thread on nativism and second language acquisition.

          Of course I'm not a nativist, Dennis; I don't believe in UG or the language instinct or even a mental lexicon. The words I use are usually not the ones I really need but just ones I've left lying around recently (which is why I made the mistake with "laconically"). My mind works very much like my office; it's easier for me to find a book, a phrase, or a word by asking myself where did I last see something like that than by asking myself in what network of meanings does it belong.....

          Really, the baby was just there the same way as the hot weather and the bamboo mat; a handy peg on which to hang a handy prop. I don't really know how people learn languages; I was just trying to make the same kind of suggestion you did, a way of bringing meaning to two correct but confusible and even fusible verb forms using things that happen to be at hand in even the poorest classroom.

          It's not that I am against theory, mind you (although I probably am against SLA theory--I loathe the word "acquisition" and all it stands for). It's just that I think that when people make decisions in the classroom they often do so for reasons that have little to do with theory, a lot to do with immediate human relations, and maybe a little to do with what was going through their heads the night before or what they read on this list a few days ago.

          Know what a Discourse Complete Test is? Well, here's one (apologies to Kingsley Amis):

          You are for some reason spending the night at the home of your professor. Unfortunately, you fell asleep over his latest book in bed. Worse, you were smoking a cigarette. When you wake up in the morning, you find a very large black circle burned in the itchy army blanket which is wife put on your bed (without a sheet). There is a knock at the door. It is your professor's son's girffriend. What do you say?

          YOU: ...........................................................................

          Well, I admit, they are not all that novelistic. Most of them end more like this:

          a) I'm sorry for burning your blanket.
          b) I'm sorry to burn your blanket.
          c) I'm didn't finish the book yet.
          d) Nothing (you cut off the burnt end of the blanket with a pair of toenail scissors and turn it around so that it's not visible when you make the bed.)

          Well, for my last academic woozle, I had to wade through a stack of research on these things: some in multiple choice form, some in production questionnaire form, some in role plays, and some in virtual-reality cyber-simulation. They all have very different coefficients of reliability and wildy different degrees of validity (depending on how you measure it), and at one point I actually managed to persuade myself that there were two different conceptions of sociolinguistic and socio-pragmatic knowledge at stake here: one which treated it as knowledge in the mind, like the mental lexicon or the universal grammar, and another which treated it as human relations, chemistry in the air.

          That may be, and I know which side I stand on, but I also know that these decisions are usually made by real teachers for purely practical reasons. And not just the teachers! When I went back over the research, it fell very neatly into two piles: North American and non-American. In other words, do you have the wherewithal to create a socio-pragmatic situation at hand (as you do in what the Yanks like to call ESL) or do you have to make do with imagination and intonation (what we call EFL). In other words, what's at hand?

          And for a lot of learners, intonation is what's at hand. It's got fewer patterns to memorize, it is very immediate and recognizeable, and it is...in a funny way...universal.

          Oh, not in the nativist way--not as knowledge in the mind. But in all human languages (with the exception of the Irish, who just like to be contrary) the default intonation (the one used for declaratives, and by unmarked, normal people, like white men) is DOWN. This is a physical universal, caused by the fall in air pressure in your lungs when you speak. Even wolves use DOWN intonation when they howl at the moon. In all the languages I know, "sad" intonation sounds a little like sobbing, and "happy" intonation has more spread vowels, because it is associated with simling. There are even some non-physical, social universals: friendly intonation hardly ever sounds unfriendly, no matter how strange the language is, and angry intonation always sounds rather premptory and abrupt. It's really just a verbal gesture, and, like the use of any other gesture in teaching, it doesn't have to hold the weight of a whole theory of acquisition or even teaching order to be useful.

          But here an objection occurs to me that will probably not have occurred to acquisitionists. Intonation is not simply universal, it's also LOCAL. In fact, it's the first thing that really diverges when human communities split up and begin to develop their own dialects. Our friend Fiona probably says "from NOWT to OUGHT" and maybe even missed Luke's delicious rhyme. Irish intonation seems perfectly up-side down to me, with questions falling and declaratives rising. Teacherese has very distinct intonation patterns that really don't occur in any other dialect I know of. So an intonation-led pronunciation syllabus risks tying our learners ever-tighter to teacher talk, and to the native speaker standard.

          What is to be done? What if we could create a classroom dialect based on the intonation patterns of LEARNER language--the mother tongue! Yes, it would have to be comprehensible (but it could be made so, because of course a lot of intonation is universal). Yes, you would have to learn your learner's language, so that you could put your words to their music. But think how very expressive it would be! You would even get amusing regional dialects, like:
          Y!!!!!
          A
          S
          you
          did
          What

          (to the tune of the Korean "Mo rago????"

          Or:




          aaaaaaaaay

          Wwwwwwww did
          you
          HIT


          m
          e
          !

          (to the tune of "Waeeee Deryeo?????")

          Who would do this? The non-native teachers, of course! All we really need to do is persuade them that it is understandable, and far more expressive than the usual "reading aloud" drone that they are using now.

          Why not develop intonation based on learner language? We might as well; we already use an unnatural intonation based on the fact that we are teachers. It's really a matter of recognizing how local languages really are.

          I'm not an anarchist, of course, but I think if I never stuck my head out of a classroom I probably would be.
          But then, if I never stuck my head out the classroom, I wouldn't know the Korean tunes.

          (I hope this is a little more sensible than the last one--I have to run, though, because I'm going to a demonstration for two of our middle school students who got run over by an American tank...)

          dk

          Luke--In China, my students often complained that leaving my class and going through the market they could hear people speaking in English (they were mostly Mandarin speakers and the market spoke Cantonese).

          I think a lot of what they/you heard can be explained by the speech segementation problem. As you probably know, there is no actual physical separation between words and syllables when they are spoken; only knowing what language you are listening to really tells you where to put the spaces and only intonation tells you how to punctuate what you are hearing. Since language spoken at speed and through walls (as well as in crowds) destroys the segmental information, we are left grasping at the suprasegmental straws.

          d


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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        • lifang67
          Rob: Europeans say Yank to talk about Americans--including southerners. Southerners use it to talk about all northerners, northerners use it to talk about
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 2, 2002
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            Rob:

            Europeans say "Yank" to talk about Americans--including southerners.
            Southerners use it to talk about all northerners, northerners use it
            to talk about northeasterners, and northeasterners use it to talk
            about Boston. Hey, it's gotta be a pretty bad word.

            But wait. That in itself shows that all coherence is local (which is
            why teachers have to talk to their local students and not their
            global textbooks). And being derogatory or not is certainly part of
            that local coherence.

            So, in answer to your question, the word "Yank" is not locally
            derogatory when I say "what the Yanks call ESL".

            On the other hand, the word "American" is most certainly locally
            derogatory when I say:

            "I'm going to a demonstration for two of our middle school students
            who got run over by an American tank..."

            American soldiers who commit crimes in Korea are normally treated
            with extraterritoriality under the so-called "Status of Forces
            Agreement"--they owe an absolute fortune in parking tickets, for
            example, but a spate of particularly gruesome murders forced the US
            to allow Korean courts "with due consideration of American interests"
            to try a couple). So as a result of big demonstrations, the Americans
            driving the tank were finally charged with manslaughter. But by then
            they had gone home.

            dk
          • Robert Haines
            So, in answer to your question, the word Yank is not locally derogatory when I say what the Yanks call ESL . Isn t this a global e-group, ie people from all
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 2, 2002
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              So, in answer to your question, the word "Yank" is not locally
              derogatory when I say "what the Yanks call ESL".

              Isn't this a global e-group, ie people from all over can join in?

              On the other hand, the word "American" is most certainly locally
              derogatory when I say:

              "I'm going to a demonstration for two of our middle school students
              who got run over by an American tank..."

              I don't agree. I think it's just an adjective here. Certainly the speaker feels strong emotion, possibly hatred; but, the word "American" without hearing the intonation used is simply an adjective to me. Perhaps I'm biased due to my nationality?

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: lifang67
              To: dogme@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Friday, August 02, 2002 2:37 AM
              Subject: [dogme] Yanks and Tanks


              Rob:

              Europeans say "Yank" to talk about Americans--including southerners.
              Southerners use it to talk about all northerners, northerners use it
              to talk about northeasterners, and northeasterners use it to talk
              about Boston. Hey, it's gotta be a pretty bad word.

              But wait. That in itself shows that all coherence is local (which is
              why teachers have to talk to their local students and not their
              global textbooks). And being derogatory or not is certainly part of
              that local coherence.

              So, in answer to your question, the word "Yank" is not locally
              derogatory when I say "what the Yanks call ESL".

              On the other hand, the word "American" is most certainly locally
              derogatory when I say:

              "I'm going to a demonstration for two of our middle school students
              who got run over by an American tank..."

              American soldiers who commit crimes in Korea are normally treated
              with extraterritoriality under the so-called "Status of Forces
              Agreement"--they owe an absolute fortune in parking tickets, for
              example, but a spate of particularly gruesome murders forced the US
              to allow Korean courts "with due consideration of American interests"
              to try a couple). So as a result of big demonstrations, the Americans
              driving the tank were finally charged with manslaughter. But by then
              they had gone home.

              dk


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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • lifang67
              Rob: Yes, subjectivity--or rather inter-subjectivity--is the key issue here, as in much of dogme. Scot talked about how derogatory words are appropriated by
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 2, 2002
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                Rob:

                Yes, subjectivity--or rather inter-subjectivity--is the key issue
                here, as in much of dogme. Scot talked about how "derogatory" words
                are appropriated by the people being derogated (c.f. "queer" theory,
                a very early entry on this list. The word "nigger", or "bitch" means
                one thing used by white racists or black sexists. It means something
                very different when used by rappers or lesbians. The former use
                derogatory language to exclude the word hearer. It is because of this
                denial of intersubjectivity that the naked word "you" is considered
                quite rude in many languages, including English. The latter use it
                intersubjectively, to include speaker and hearer, (like the
                word "we").

                This exclusivity explains the strange "not us" use of words
                like "Yank" (or "Cockney", or even "kid"), where the ingroup (non-
                Americans, non-Londoners, teenagers) use it to refer to the outgroup
                (Americans, Londoners, and infants). Now, I am, actually, an outgroup
                member, having been born and raised in the United States. It would be
                possible, then, for me to say that I used the word "Yank"
                inclusively, self-deprecatingly, and of course those on this list who
                know that I am still legally an American citizen would have caught
                the joke.

                But the joke was not really the point (and if it were I think you
                would be right to object to my making such an in-joke on a global
                list). I was actually using "Yank" exclusively, as an ingroup member,
                because I am involved in EFL and not ESL. The question you really
                need to ask is whether the distinction made in that sentence is a
                derogatory one or not. That is, is teaching ESL somehow less noble
                than EFL? I think not, although I will admit that you lot are paid
                like Coolies and we get paid like Yanks.

                Actually, ESL/EFL is not a very deep distinction at all--we do the
                same kinds of things to the same kinds of people--often the same
                identical people at different stages of their lives. But I first came
                to Korea to teach middle school students, and I'm still involved in
                middle school education, so I do feel particularly strongly when the
                Americans park their tanks on our kids and don't even pay a fine,
                simply because they have forced upon Korea a an unfair treaty of
                legal, and not simply linguistic, exclusivity. Here there are two
                students in a bloody pulp that you will never have a chance to teach.
                And out there are two killers we still do have a chance to punish.
                That's the distinction at hand.

                dk
              • Dennis Newson
                dk writes, inter a great deal of ingenuous alia: Actually, ESL/EFL is not a very deep distinction at all. I don t agree at all, and, more importantly, nor do
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 2, 2002
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                  dk writes, inter a great deal of ingenuous alia:


                  "Actually, ESL/EFL is not a very deep distinction at all."


                  I don't agree at all, and, more importantly, nor do a host of linguists. In the
                  British (limey? gringo? pommie?) tradition, English as a second language refers to
                  communities where English is used, alongside another language, as a second language (see
                  countries in English-speaking West Africa, for example) and English as a foreign language
                  refers to communities - all European countries, for example - where English is one of the
                  potentially endless list of foreign languages that can be studied.

                  The distinction ESL/EFL has crucial pedagogical implications related to the quite differing
                  roles English plays in such communities.

                  dk seems to be using ESL/EFL as a yank, i.e. as approximate synonyms.


                  Dennis
                  --
                  Dennis Newson (retired)
                  formerly at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany
                  List Manager CETEFL-L
                • Robert Haines
                  lifand67: The question you really need to ask is whether the distinction made in that sentence is a derogatory one or not. romiha1: Question: Is Yank a
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 2, 2002
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                    lifand67: The question you really need to ask is whether the distinction made in that sentence is a
                    derogatory one or not.

                    romiha1: Question: Is "Yank" a derogatory term in British English, or is it neutral like
                    "Brit" here in North America?

                    I think I did ask juat that in the question above.

                    romiha1: That is, is teaching ESL somehow less noble
                    than EFL? I think not, although I will admit that you lot are paid
                    like Coolies and we get paid like Yanks.

                    That depends on "we" and "you lot" are, ie CELTA trainers in London make what teachers here make.

                    I hear/read alot of anger about the recent tragedy in Korea (along with all the others in Korea. Japan, and the rest of the world). I recently read a banner that read: "United We Stand On the rest of the World". It's outrageous and upsetting, but it isn't pedagogy; it's politics.
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: lifang67
                    To: dogme@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Friday, August 02, 2002 7:52 PM
                    Subject: [dogme] Re: Yanks and Tanks


                    Rob:

                    Yes, subjectivity--or rather inter-subjectivity--is the key issue
                    here, as in much of dogme. Scot talked about how "derogatory" words
                    are appropriated by the people being derogated (c.f. "queer" theory,
                    a very early entry on this list. The word "nigger", or "bitch" means
                    one thing used by white racists or black sexists. It means something
                    very different when used by rappers or lesbians. The former use
                    derogatory language to exclude the word hearer. It is because of this
                    denial of intersubjectivity that the naked word "you" is considered
                    quite rude in many languages, including English. The latter use it
                    intersubjectively, to include speaker and hearer, (like the
                    word "we").

                    This exclusivity explains the strange "not us" use of words
                    like "Yank" (or "Cockney", or even "kid"), where the ingroup (non-
                    Americans, non-Londoners, teenagers) use it to refer to the outgroup
                    (Americans, Londoners, and infants). Now, I am, actually, an outgroup
                    member, having been born and raised in the United States. It would be
                    possible, then, for me to say that I used the word "Yank"
                    inclusively, self-deprecatingly, and of course those on this list who
                    know that I am still legally an American citizen would have caught
                    the joke.

                    But the joke was not really the point (and if it were I think you
                    would be right to object to my making such an in-joke on a global
                    list). I was actually using "Yank" exclusively, as an ingroup member,
                    because I am involved in EFL and not ESL. The question you really
                    need to ask is whether the distinction made in that sentence is a
                    derogatory one or not. That is, is teaching ESL somehow less noble
                    than EFL? I think not, although I will admit that you lot are paid
                    like Coolies and we get paid like Yanks.

                    Actually, ESL/EFL is not a very deep distinction at all--we do the
                    same kinds of things to the same kinds of people--often the same
                    identical people at different stages of their lives. But I first came
                    to Korea to teach middle school students, and I'm still involved in
                    middle school education, so I do feel particularly strongly when the
                    Americans park their tanks on our kids and don't even pay a fine,
                    simply because they have forced upon Korea a an unfair treaty of
                    legal, and not simply linguistic, exclusivity. Here there are two
                    students in a bloody pulp that you will never have a chance to teach.
                    And out there are two killers we still do have a chance to punish.
                    That's the distinction at hand.

                    dk


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                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Tom Topham
                    ... I object to the preposition as being an example of hidden anti-dogme thought rising to the surface. Someone must have tongue in cheek, not sure if it is
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 2, 2002
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                      ...>Actually, ESL/EFL is not a very deep distinction at all--we do the
                      >same kinds of things to the same kinds of people--...

                      I object to the preposition as being an example of hidden anti-dogme thought
                      rising to the surface.

                      Someone must have tongue in cheek, not sure if it is you or me.

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                    • Adrian Tennant
                      ... I looked up the word Yank in 3 of my dictionaries and none of them said it was derogatory. In fact, the meaning was clearly uniform - as in pull . The
                      Message 10 of 11 , Aug 3, 2002
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                        > So, in answer to your question, the word "Yank" is not locally
                        > derogatory when I say "what the Yanks call ESL".

                        I looked up the word 'Yank' in 3 of my dictionaries and none of them said it
                        was derogatory.

                        In fact, the meaning was clearly uniform - as in 'pull'.

                        The strange use of capitalisation got me, until I considered it in
                        imperative (and instructional) sentences. i.e. Yank down to open!

                        Dr Evil
                      • Dennis Newson
                        When I was at primary school in the 40s, Yank was certainly derogatory, as in: Old father Hubbard, When to the cupboard To get his poor dog a bone But when
                        Message 11 of 11 , Aug 3, 2002
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                          When I was at primary school in the 40s, "Yank" was certainly derogatory, as in:


                          Old father Hubbard,
                          When to the cupboard
                          To get his poor dog a bone
                          But when he got there
                          The cupboard was bare
                          And so was his wife, with a Yank.

                          A Yank, as people in the UK used to joke then:

                          'an America soldier - over-paid,
                          over-sexed and over here'.



                          Dennis
                          --
                          Dennis Newson (retired)
                          formerly at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany
                          List Manager CETEFL-L
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