How distant is too close?

2006-04-05 14:59

This question from Stone:"What does 'too close for comfort' mean in the following story (bracketed)? I think it means 'so dangerously close that it makes people feel uncomfortable'. Am I right?

Improve your English on the job

2006-04-03 14:31

This from Siemon:"I'm a sales man in an export company, my listening is so bad that i can't understand my customers, it's a big obstocal for me to do business.

Chinese English, warts and all

2006-03-31 14:55

What is Chinglish?Teacher Sun from Henan Province gives this definition:
"Chinglish is a language of communication developed in the classroom between Chinese (English-language) teachers and their students, a cant that no third parties understand."

British vs. American

2006-03-29 14:25

This question from Ingrid, a Chinese learner of English:
"In the following conversation - a passage taken from Look Ahead, an English-teaching programme by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) - 'film' and 'movie' seem to have been put into different genres (categories).

Hurricane, typhoon and all that jazz

2006-03-27 14:07

Lest any of you think I exhibit your writings just to show you up, I promised last week to display a revised version of my own work to illustrate the benefit of rewriting.

Keep writing, revising

2006-03-24 11:42

Insofar as the English language is used as the only tool of communication between you and your English-speaking customers, and insofar as your communicating skills are not on a par with those of your partners, either you are more likely to be given a rough deal to begin with, or you are likely to get the wrong end of the stick yourself, and pay for it. Ask any player to play a game without knowing all the rules, and he'll tell you so.

Stormy weather, and all that jazz

2006-03-22 16:02

While roaming the web in the small hours of Tuesday morning, I listened to Billie Holiday. She was crooning "Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky.

Answer to selected letters from last week

2006-03-20 14:34

Here are a few questions from readers during the past week. Following each question are my comments. Identities of readers are concealed to spare blushes of the bashful.

Entrepreneurship - minding your own business

2006-03-17 16:11

William Baumol, who holds positions at both Princeton and New York University, has been laboring for years to come to a better understanding of entrepreneurs...

Freedom vs. liberty

2006-03-15 16:34

Every once in a while, I get a question I cannot answer off the cuff.

But some questions are so good that I don't mind doing research for a worthy reply - not that I want to be held as a paragon of patience, just that I find the extra work edifying and therefore worth my while. If you have an interesting question to ask, send it in. I won't mind going the extra mile in your behalf. In fact if it's interesting enough, I'll be off to work right away, no question asked.

A major shift in thinking, perhaps

2006-03-13 16:55

This letter comes from Xuesi (in bracket are my comments)

Habeas Corpus, may the court help us

2006-03-13 13:56

As the discernable reader may recognize, "may", "help us" are there only to help it rhyme. I assure you we none of us will land in a habeas corpus situation from chattering about it here.



Raymond Zhou

周黎明,Raymond Zhou,中国日报资深专栏作家,用地道英语撰写社会、娱乐等题材的评论文章。
















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