Monday, April 19, 2010

Englishizing (Englishising in British English)

Have you thought, lately, about how infinitely weird and awesome the English language is?

This isn't a sneaky jab against Ms. French is the Language of Culture Snobbypants; I'm sure (am I?) that, if I had a deeper understanding of it, French would prove itself equally rich. But in the meantime, I'm trying to plan a lesson for an adult student who throws up his hands in exasperation every time I use a phrasal verb including "up" or "down." "We need to do a lesson on this," he tells me.

So I hit the google (learning, in the process, the phrase "phrasal verbs" -- multi-part verbs, like "I looked up phrasal verbs in the dictionary.") and found an online dictionary where you can type in a preposition or verb and it gives you the list of phrasal verbs. Type in "up" and you get 320 results -- all weighing down a word that implies gravity-defying with a world of other meanings. Which I suppose is gravity-defying in its own right.

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