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Posts Tagged ‘London’

esl…and Brits, once again, showed themselves to be condescending xenophobic snobs.
I’ve encountered this imperial-patronizing-a-colonial attitude when came on a 1-week visit 8 years ago. And here they go again. Just listen to this:

“Based on participations [sic! Dude, how about your English grammar? -ETat]- so far, we’ve already got some decent statistics. Most native English adult speakers who have taken the test fall in the range 20,000–35,000 words. Click here for a full breakdown by age (opens in new tab/window).

And for foreign learners of English, we’ve found that the most common vocabulary size is from 2,500–9,000 words.”

Just look at the choices they offer to a question “Which option best describe your English learning?”

-I am taking an English class now

-I’ve taken English before but stopped

-All my school classes are/were in English

-I’ve learned without taking a course

(more…)

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Globalized Emptiness

Упал в почту email из LinkedIn-группы Design&Construction, я от них получаю новости в профессии. Мельком глянула – и глаза протёрла: сплю ли я, грежу ли?

Член группы, уважаемый человек с множеством солидных аббревиатур после имени и блестящим резюме (“worked with a New York City Top 5 Design firm (Perkins Eastman Architects PC) and ENR-Top 100 CM-for-Fee firm”) – постит линк на статью в – опять же, солидном – архитектурном журнале.
И там мелькают слова, которые не могут, никак не могут, не должны быть связаны:
Гейдар Алиев, Заха Хадид, Культурный Центр, “nimble two-layer space frame”, “supportive bridesmaid to double envelope”, “Nureyev moment”, “planned subway line”, Патрик Шумахер (ко-партнер под вывеской Захи) – и некий project architect Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu, “series of terraces interlaced with reflecting pools and waterfalls”…
И среди них – единственно понятные:
-Cost: Withheld
-“the client, DIA Holding, also served as the design/build contractor”

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J. Strange and Mr.Norrel

 

wolfhall25% read in a week. I do move through if with much difficulty. For some reason, can’t make sense of the premise and it bores me:  if it’s a satire, on what? if an honest-to-god Dickens “cover”, what for?

The style itself, which seem the be the main source of enjoyment for multiple reviewers, is too outdated, too good an imitation of long-winded methodically-descriptive  XIXc. novels.

Or, maybe, it’s just the moment. I am in love with H.Mantel’s Cromwell, can’t wait my library’ turn for the second book  (Bring Up the Bodies). I am too entrenched in 1530’s, with accompanying no-nonsense, concise, logical and consequential life- and writing- style to appreciate S. Clarke’s convoluted message? And in a different time and mood she’d delight me?

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Good morning, UK!

Congrats, Tories and their fellow travelers.

I am not one, but anyone who beats Libs and Labour gets a cheer from me. Yay!

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Saccharine Abbey

Duke (or is it Earl?)* Kuragin with hairdo of a gypsy violinist! Making eyes in a carriage in exotic Sankt-Petersburg! Ex grand-duchess, now a possible prostitute in Hon Kong! Count Rostov, pulling chair for a lady like a good waiter he is (very suitable for his new station in life, I’m sure)!

* “Prince”, – see comments

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Julian Fellowes, Past Imperfect

This author is my Discovery of the Year. Read few quotations below and you’ll see why (among others, because of his uncommon understanding of importance of and ability to describe architecture & interiors). But you should – most definitely – read the whole thing, even if at the end it strongly reminded me of the plot and sentiments of Eugene Onegin.

Update

Aargh! Now that explains it: Julian Kitchener-Fellowes is the scriptwriter for Gosford Park and “creator, executive producer and writer” for  Downton Abbey. Besides other titles.

*
I wonder sometimes why people can be so anxious to share their unsatisfactory domestic situation with strangers. It must be because it is often the only arena where they have the power to say what they think of the people concerned and there is some satisfaction in that.

(more…)

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FutureLearn, week 7

Hardwick Hall

Turning for a bit of dry British humor, in the writings of that famous wit Oscar Wilde. We are following professor Andy Smith, closely reading passages from The Canterville Ghost and walking stately rooms of Hardwick Hall, with its heavy draperies, faded tapestries, turned furniture and gothic-plastered ceilings.

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