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What Would Be In Your Best High School English Class?

I'm teaching high school-level English next year for students who need a high level of academic support and I want the class to be both highly engaging and content-rich. If you were a kid who LOATHED writing for school, struggled with boring English classes, or can remember what elements you truly enjoyed in your high school English class, what advice would you pass my way? [more inside]
posted by kinetic on Jul 17, 2014 - 46 answers

Why do some people write "1950ies", "1980ies", etc?

I would write "1950s" or "1980s", and this is universal among native English speakers, so far as I am aware. In international contexts, however, I sometimes observe that people whose English spelling is otherwise flawless will consistently write "1950ies" or "1980ies", which reads to me like it has an extra syllable. Where does this convention come from, and what linguistic background makes it sound like a reasonable way to contract these numbers? [more inside]
posted by Mars Saxman on Jun 19, 2014 - 11 answers

"Learn English" videos for Spanish speakers who aren't literate?

Can anyone recommend a beginner level English language tutorial series for Spanish speakers who cannot read or write in either language?
posted by jayCampbell on Jun 12, 2014 - 5 answers

Shortened or partial Idioms in common use.

You often hear people say things like "When in Rome" or "Great Minds" when people are generally meaning, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." or "Great minds think alike." Is there an actual literary term for these clipped or shortened idioms?
posted by sevcenko on May 22, 2014 - 5 answers

English to Latin translation

What is "The storm cannot be stopped; but it can be survived" in Latin?
posted by cake vandal on Apr 17, 2014 - 6 answers

Help me find some U.S. elementary school study aids from the mid '80s.

Tryin' to track down a portfolio of English reading/writing laminated bifold four page workbooks. [more inside]
posted by coolxcool=rad on Mar 20, 2014 - 6 answers

Need help translating a Japanese letter into English

Can anyone translate this Japanese letter or point me to a translation service? [more inside]
posted by fishmasta on Feb 2, 2014 - 3 answers

Who first "made it sing"?

What is the origin of "making it sing," as in to cause something to be at its best, be it an instrument, weapon, machine, or anything else? [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jan 27, 2014 - 14 answers

Tutor me softly...

I need advice to help me start tutoring. [more inside]
posted by melangell on Jan 18, 2014 - 7 answers

A sign of the times?

I just had someone tell me that it is correct to close a letter with “Signed, [Mr. Letter Writer].” It’s the use of the word “Signed” that I find strange and just wrong. I have never in my life seen this and am having a hard time believing it is acceptable. Can anyone enlighten me?
posted by Dolley on Dec 13, 2013 - 36 answers

English language movies featuring France or French

Looking for movie recommendations that feature French scenes, spoken French is good too. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Dec 2, 2013 - 25 answers

Vegan. Why is it a hard 'gee' when vegetarian is a soft 'gee'?

I couldn't answer this when my Polish friend asked me why the letter changed sound, does anyone else know?
posted by dash_slot- on Aug 12, 2013 - 3 answers

Need help with English names for a half Japanese baby girl.

We are trying to think of names for our impending baby girl. I am American and my husband is Japanese. We plan to give her an English first name, Japanese middle and last name. We have settled on a middle name, Miyuki (美幸). So her name thus far is _______ Miyuki xxxxshi. Criteria for English name: [1] must be easily writable in katakana (For example, Wi- isn't great, or Gl-, or x. All of these sounds can be written, but they come out complicated.) [2] must not sound silly in Japanese (this is subjective and related to [1].) [3] must not end in a long e sound, since middle and last names already do. [4] Prefer a classical name (i.e. something my Grandma would recognize as a name) but no need for it to be especially popular right now. We'll probably avoid the top five or ten most popular names. We are NOT looking for names that do double duty (which is what most of the threads I've found are about). So, not Naomi (always the first name that gets trotted out in these situations). We want a name from each culture that the grandparents on the opposite side can pronounce and that the kid can write when she gets to kindergarten. I'd especially appreciate input from fluent Japanese speakers here, and/or members of mixed families. Thanks!
posted by telepanda on Aug 8, 2013 - 51 answers

Words in non-English languages that look English but really aren't?

I'm fascinated by the efforts of Deutsche Bahn to get rid of the "Bahnglisch" that litters the service with expressions that look English but aren't the sort of expressions that any native speaker of English would actually use, and it occurred to me that this sort of thing is common in German outside of DB, and probably all over the world. [more inside]
posted by ethnomethodologist on Jul 14, 2013 - 38 answers

How to make people stop explaining simple English words to me?

I speak English with a foreign accent. Some people assume I don't speak Engish as well as them. And then speak to me like I'm a child. How can I tell them to stop? [more inside]
posted by mkdirusername on Jun 29, 2013 - 37 answers

Apostrophe Usage, Part 748...

In athletics, do events named "boys 100m" or "girls javelin" have an apostrophe? That is, should they rightly be "boys' 100m" and "girls' javelin"? It seems that the standard usage for grownup events is "men's" and "women's", but I'm unsure. Opinions?
posted by Jehan on Jun 11, 2013 - 9 answers

Did Handel really say this?

After Georg Friedrich Händel became George Frideric Handel in 1727, I have it stuck in my mind that he once said, to a Brit who called him a German, "No, Sir, I am more English than you, because I chose to become English, whereas you were assigned your nationality willy-nilly," or words to that effect. But no amount of googling has found a reliable quote or reference to this. Has anyone else heard this story, or did my mind make it up? Anyone have a reliable source? [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on May 26, 2013 - 7 answers

List of simple word roots

I am looking for a text file of a list of words (roughly the 5000-10000 most common English words) and their root word and root word language. My Google Fu only turns up single words or pages that I can type in a word to get to another page to get the etymology. Wikipedia has some stuff, but it is sorted by language root, which is not what I am looking for. I would like to have a long list of words in a text file so that I can manipulate it programatically. Comma separated or whatever, any format would be great. Here is one use case: Yoke - [list of words that have yoke in the etymological history] (Many, many many English words come from the root work for Yoke.) All answers appreciated!
posted by Monkey0nCrack on May 16, 2013 - 6 answers

Can you help translate this Italian phrase?

Can you translate this Italian phrase into English? "Nun so' fesso ma faccio o' fesso perche' facendo o' fesso te faccio fesso." [more inside]
posted by ataxia on Apr 28, 2013 - 9 answers

Why do letters have letter names? (B = "bee", H = "aitch"...)

I first came across this about 20 years ago in a Calvin & Hobbes strip where Hobbes taunts his friend: "Calvin and Susie, sitting in a tree. Kay-Eye-Ess-Ess-Eye-En-Gee!" I never understood why Hobbes was making "words" out of letters; I assumed it was something unique to comics (or tigers). Then today, a poem linked to in this FPP reminded me of that old comic strip and got me thinking: Why is there an entire parallel alphabet to spell out the letters of the alphabet? [more inside]
posted by andromache on Apr 14, 2013 - 29 answers

So?

Where is this mystical land where it is acceptable to answer statements with: "So?" [more inside]
posted by 256 on Apr 5, 2013 - 40 answers

Standard American pronunciation training

Hello, I'm a French student preparing for English interviews and in my last mock session my interviewer talked about my accent that could put me at a disadvantage. I can't afford and don't have the time to see a speech therapist so I'm looking for books with audio tracks that are aimed at mastering the standard American accent. Do you know or know somebody that had had great results with a particular book? Thank you!
posted by lite on Mar 27, 2013 - 19 answers

VERY BRIEF 1940's German/English Translation Help Requested

Hello, Hive. I'm working on a historical graphic novel and a portion of it involves four sentences in German. I've made an effort to hammer something out by testing Google Translate's gibberish against some German language textbooks and grammar sites. I'm sorta confident about them, but would love for any bilingual native German speakers to give them a once over. Particularly, if you have any insights into generational differences in the German language, as this piece is supposed to take place during WWII. Posting them after the jump. [more inside]
posted by ProfLinusPauling on Feb 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Dayta or Datta?

Help me find a dialect map for the pronunciation of the word "data". [more inside]
posted by janell on Jan 29, 2013 - 30 answers

... all the trouble of a B.A. in English literature

I'm considering taking online courses/doing a part time degree in English for interest reasons. Will this be worth it? [more inside]
posted by Paper rabies on Jan 3, 2013 - 10 answers

What is it like working in Asia?

What is it like working in Asia? [more inside]
posted by inaisa on Dec 31, 2012 - 18 answers

Would Chalky White really have sounded like that?

Does anyone have any resources to find historical forms of Ebonics? [more inside]
posted by patricking on Dec 15, 2012 - 11 answers

Oh the Humanities!

What qualifications do I need to teach humanities, beyond the normal education teachery qualifications? Victoria, Australia, to be specific. I am a Spanish/English methods teacher, but would love some more advice on applying for all those English/Humanities jobs out there. [more inside]
posted by titanium_geek on Oct 4, 2012 - 4 answers

How to find Hermann Hesse in English?

Hermann Hesse apparently published a book called Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte (Trees: Reflections and Poems) and I'm trying to find a version in English, because it sounds awesome. Look. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt on Sep 25, 2012 - 6 answers

Does Midsomer Murders portray English country life realistically?

I know that the real English countryside is not as violent as Midsomer County -- no place is -- but how realistic are the other aspects of country life portrayed in the show? (specific questions inside) [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk on Sep 14, 2012 - 9 answers

I want to understand these Spanish lyrics

Can someone who speaks Spanish tell me what this song means? [more inside]
posted by Eradicator! on Jul 25, 2012 - 4 answers

how to describe the "hw" sound

How could I describe in a non-technical way how certain English-speakers maintain a distinction between the "w" and "wh" sound? A certain amount of technical description could help. Its for a character in a story. For example: "The beginning of his 'what' still comes from deep within his throat." I don't know if that's technically true and it sounds awesomely terrible but something like that. [more inside]
posted by pynchonesque on Jul 13, 2012 - 19 answers

Translate that!

Are there any untranslateable American and British words? [more inside]
posted by curuinor on Jul 7, 2012 - 61 answers

Finding a full-time gig in Japan while over there, work visa expiring soon?

Looking for work in Japan - Have a work visa that will expire in early August. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on May 26, 2012 - 9 answers

Accents across the pond.

Have there been any American actors that have been cast as primary characters on British shows and use a British accent? [more inside]
posted by curious nu on May 6, 2012 - 30 answers

I can't believe I don't understand

What is this New Zealand flight attendant saying in this Air New Zealand safety video? [more inside]
posted by andrewesque on May 1, 2012 - 11 answers

How different is different?

English language friends: Why do we use the word “different” when it doesn’t appear to be necessary? [more inside]
posted by bryon on Apr 17, 2012 - 18 answers

Successful Project-Based Learning You've Seen?

Project based learning and interdisciplinary teaching! I'm a high school science teacher working with an enthusiastic English teacher and we're trying to find the best project ideas to use in summer school (and beyond if successful). [more inside]
posted by kinetic on Mar 30, 2012 - 8 answers

Know a good wordbook?

E.B. White and George Orwell both suggest that short, lively Saxon words are often better than long Latin ones. This rule has helped my own writing, but my thesaurus is still full of Greek and Latin. Is there a thesaurus that includes only Anglo-Saxon synonyms? Even better, is there one sortable by origin?
posted by ecmendenhall on Mar 3, 2012 - 2 answers

Help me remember this word?

What's the word I am trying to think of? [more inside]
posted by naskar on Feb 10, 2012 - 23 answers

Should I get an IT job or travel overseas?

I graduated from college a few months ago with an IT degree, but my heart is not in it. I also just got a certification to teach English overseas. Should I work in IT or travel overseas? [more inside]
posted by deeba on Feb 2, 2012 - 18 answers

Thesis Structuring - Help!

Will I get this done, even if it ends in madness? [more inside]
posted by New England Cultist on Jan 31, 2012 - 16 answers

What does the word "abstract" mean?

What does the word "abstract" mean? [more inside]
posted by internet_explorer on Jan 16, 2012 - 11 answers

So I actually CAN make money from home...

I'm looking for a fully online MA program in TESOL or a related field like Applied Linguistics, that is NOT meant for K-12 public school teaching, with the aim of professionalizing myself as an English tutor. I found the New School's program here, that would certainly cover all my bases, but I simply wouldn't be able to afford the cost. Can you help me find other options? [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jan 9, 2012 - 5 answers

I say tomato etc.

Where can I find a comprehensive list of words that are pronounced differently in the US and the UK? Wikipedia is a good start, but it's not complete. [more inside]
posted by cincinnatus c on Dec 21, 2011 - 9 answers

ipso facto, girlfriend! (vocab word help!)

is there a word for 'a word that fits its own definition'? for example, sesquipedalian is a big word that by definition means "prone to using big words." is there a formal term for this type of thing?
posted by carlypennylane on Nov 29, 2011 - 5 answers

ISO ESL Advice

Please point me to excellent ESL beginner resources for a really motivated Chinese pupil... [more inside]
posted by nj_subgenius on Nov 9, 2011 - 5 answers

"The" Ukrainian Needs Help with "a" grammar issue.

Can you help me explain how and when to use articles (a/an/the) to a non-native English speaker? [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot on Nov 7, 2011 - 9 answers

Looking for a good book on English grammar.

Looking for a good book on English grammar. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Aug 31, 2011 - 18 answers

So "Rock"=Wild & "Party"=Crazy, or...

Has an evaluation been made of the dichotomy between what is implied by the term "wild" in the line "You drive us wild" and what is implied by the term "crazy" in the immediately following line "We'll drive you crazy" in KISS's "Rock And Roll All Night?"
posted by herbplarfegan on Aug 23, 2011 - 16 answers

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