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Old 18th July 2007, 22:17   #151
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Thanks to sam for starting this thread. Thanks for the (ongoing) education.
Here is my question.
What is the polite way to offer a drop to somebody on you car?
On a situation like this - You are driving out of your apartment. You see couple of visitors leaving the apartment gate, where one is holding her baby and a bag etc. You feel they are some relatives of your neighbor and want to offer them a drop till the nearest bus/auto stand on the way as you are driving alone towards city. What is the best way to offer help in this situation, so that none will feel embarrassed (especially if only ladies are there).
Also what is a best way to decline the offer too so that person offering help is not felt offended (if you are offered help like this).
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Old 19th July 2007, 00:20   #152
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Originally Posted by ajitkommini View Post
Is the "ae" sound (Aesop's fables, encyclopaedia) represented by a separate letter? I've seen it occasionally - like an a and an e but stuck together.
Yes, Absolutely. The phonetic symbol "Æ" Though chiefly old English, it can still be used in orthodox or formal, but is archaic English, mostly British spelling. Used on words like Anæmic, Æon (like æon flux, yumm..)

I don't think you need it in modern English.
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Old 19th July 2007, 00:33   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shyamhegde View Post
What is the polite way to offer a drop to somebody on you car?
On a situation like this - You are driving out of your apartment. You see couple of visitors leaving the apartment gate, where one is holding her baby and a bag etc. You feel they are some relatives of your neighbor and want to offer them a drop till the nearest bus/auto stand on the way as you are driving alone towards city. What is the best way to offer help in this situation, so that none will feel embarrassed (especially if only ladies are there).
Also what is a best way to decline the offer too so that person offering help is not felt offended (if you are offered help like this).
This is a tricky situation, especially in India. I don't think there is a clear black and white English answer to this question.

I find that the first way to build confidence is to offer an introduction and some detail.

"Hi, (big smile) my name is Shyam. I'm Mr. X's neighbour."

Never ask a question like were you visiting Mr. X? Why should a stranger answer your question?

"You look like you might need some help. Would you like me to drop you somewhere?"

The response could vary between a "No, thanks" and a quick turn in the other direction to a smile and "Oh no I don't want to trouble you"

Obviously the latter means a yes. You smile broader, open the door and say "Oh, it's no trouble, please allow me". Don't forget to say "What a cute child" as she gets in the car. Don't stare at her funnily and don't compliment the bags she's holding.
This to me is pretty polite.
No matter how politely you ask, a stranger offering a lady a lift is a tricky situation. But by introducing your self clearly first, you make your intentions clear.

A polite way to say no (If situations were reversed and you were a lady, holding a bag and a baby) would be to smile back and say "No, thank you very much, but I've made arrangements/ My car is parked close by, but thanks for asking."
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Old 19th July 2007, 00:53   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
This is a tricky situation, especially in India. I don't think there is a clear black and white English answer to this question.

I find that the first way to build confidence is to offer an introduction and some detail.

"Hi, (big smile) my name is Shyam. I'm Mr. X's neighbour."

Never ask a question like were you visiting Mr. X? Why should a stranger answer your question?

"You look like you might need some help. Would you like me to drop you somewhere?"

The response could vary between a "No, thanks" and a quick turn in the other direction to a smile and "Oh no I don't want to trouble you"

Obviously the latter means a yes. You smile broader, open the door and say "Oh, it's no trouble, please allow me". Don't forget to say "What a cute child" as she gets in the car. Don't stare at her funnily and don't compliment the bags she's holding.
This to me is pretty polite.
No matter how politely you ask, a stranger offering a lady a lift is a tricky situation. But by introducing your self clearly first, you make your intentions clear.

A polite way to say no (If situations were reversed and you were a lady, holding a bag and a baby) would be to smile back and say "No, thank you very much, but I've made arrangements/ My car is parked close by, but thanks for asking."
Complementing what sam said, I'd like to add that we change our approach depending on what we see, especially in the Indian context. Not all women would feel comfortable when a stranger offers a ride in his car even if you happen to be a friendly neighbour. It is best to offer a ride in the most gentlemanly way as outlined by Sam & if it is not taken, not to insist further at all. Likewise when the roles are reversed & if you do want that lift very badly, just hop on, but make it very clear to the driver/neighbour that you just want to be dropped at X place & not to be taken on a city cruise.
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Old 19th July 2007, 04:42   #155
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Unlike in some Indian languages, there are no special respectful forms in English, so --- it's not what you say, its the way that you say it that counts!
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Old 20th July 2007, 10:14   #156
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Default Using a verb as a noun

Many of our Team-BHPians use the verb form, "Steering", when what we mean is "steering-wheel", the noun.
...as in you don't have your hands on the "steering". You have them on the "steering-wheel". cf. the Steering Remote thread.

Here steering is an adjective qualifying the noun, the "wheel" itself.

Communication skill proficiencies of many of our young professionals is pathetic, with attention to grammar and spelling being increasingly thrown to the winds.
SMS short forms are even trickling into the so-called office emails and instant messenger dialogues.

Building a powerful fluency in the English language will be increasingly important if we want to become a truly global Nation.

Some Indian information technology exports firms are experimenting with using TOEFL as a filter in their recruitment process, alongside C++, Java, .NET and Oracle.

Shouldn't we be institutionalizing this, so our colleges of higher education produce more global-ready professionals with competitive communication skills? Viewpoints?
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Old 20th July 2007, 10:18   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post
Shouldn't we be institutionalizing this, so our colleges of higher education produce more global-ready professionals with competitive communication skills? Viewpoints?
Feeble attempts are made, by introducing Communication Skills as a subject during my engineering course. But you would know that it's not of much help, when the professor spells grammar as grammer.
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Old 20th July 2007, 13:13   #158
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Originally Posted by ported_head View Post
Feeble attempts are made, by introducing Communication Skills as a subject during my engineering course. But you would know that it's not of much help, when the professor spells grammar as grammer.
So True!

In fact the situation in our degree colleges is also somewhat similar. English is being taught as a bookish language, rather than a language that is to be used for speaking and writing. The emphasis is less on the true communicative side of English and more on conformance to archaic language and OTT grammar (brought on by the teacher being steeped in what he/she learnt when he/she was a student, more than what the current state of the language is).

As a result, students are usually confused about what to write and speak in the real world.

There are exceptions to this, where some teachers go out of their way to try and train students in English they can use, but they are quite rare.
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Old 20th July 2007, 14:44   #159
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Default Premier or Premiere??

Another common mistake in English is to get confused between these two words, with people even wondering about the spelling.

Premier: This word means first (for example in rank), most important or earliest.

Brand X is India's premier chain of stores.
Parvez Musharraf is the premier of Pakistan.

Premiere: First Performance

I saw the premiere of the new hindi movie Himmesh naak se gaata hai.

While it is not wrong to say "The play premiered in 2005", it is modern English, but not acceptable in English proper.
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Old 20th July 2007, 16:18   #160
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Another point of confusion - project. The word has two forms:
  1. Noun form - "I'm working on a top secret project at the moment"
  2. Verb form - "Project the image on a big screen and take a look"
There is a difference in pronunciation between the two. The first is pronounced PRAWject (emphasis on the first syllable) and the second is pronounced proJECT (emphasis on the second syllable).

Same with object, reject, subject and so on.

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Old 20th July 2007, 18:49   #161
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Pronounce the word according to the situation. There should be no confusion in that.

Quote:
Same with object, reject, subject and so on.
What is similar in reject & subject ?
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:40   #162
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ajitkommini --- prawject rather sounds as if it praw should rhyme with saw. In standard English the two words are pronounced identically!

To demonstrate my project i will project these slides


You are correct about the emphasis.

prawject may me USA?

Ram... Steering wheels; that's an interesting one that has got me thinking (a project, which I project may last a day or two? )

My instructor would have said to me, "Keep both hands on the wheel": He would not have said, "...on the steering".

But we say things like, "I never saw ice, but suddenly the steering went light."

Now I'm thinking that that is because we are referring to the whole steering system. Not sure though.

"...Nothing happened when I moved the wheel. The car was just not responding to the steering. There was nothing I could do; we collided with the hyphen head on!"

Let me have a go with that hyphen... It is a steering wheel; adjective steering, noun wheel. The car had one of those big, black steering wheels.

Here's a collection of hyphen; He had fitted a old-fashioned, genuine-leather, cover on his steering wheel.

At which point my brain begins to hurt! Lets have someone else's input on this one? Sam? I always seem to get stuck into this thread too late at night!
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Old 21st July 2007, 00:58   #163
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Pants, trousers and knickers

I couldn't resist a quick further post, having read elsewhere something about Sam being on TV in his (or worse!) underwear!

In English... pants is underwear; trousers is outerwear; Shorts is short trousers; knickers is female underwear.

Americans call trousers pants.

I'm stopping before I get in to the software and the hardware!
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Old 21st July 2007, 11:04   #164
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Just heard somebody say.... two different lines... what is the correct one...

"The Matter of fact is ......"

"The fact Of the Matter is......."

How do we differentiate between the two statements... if there is any? or does it means the same. I could'nt find what could continue the statement so just posted the start lines.... Any light towards this Post...
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Old 21st July 2007, 12:47   #165
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We don't say, "The Matter of fact is ......".

What you are thinking of is a figure of speech, As a matter of fact

It doesn't mean it is fact at all! It means it is what we think, and we are asserting it to be true.

"My car is the best available model."

"As a matter of fact, my car is better."

It could be used for something that is factually true, where somebody else is wrong...

"As a matter of fact, two and two equals four, not five".

We can use the words in this order...

"The fact of the matter is that two and two is equal to four".

...very similar, perhaps the second is more fitted to literal truth rather than opinion, or to the truth behind the truth; "The fact of the matter is that he would never have had that job if his father wasn't a minister".

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 21st July 2007 at 12:51.
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