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I also offer personally-tailored, individualized English conversation practice (including etiquette) and coaching in writing techniques. Finally, I edit texts such as magazines, business proposals, memorandums, emails so they are presented in English which does not embarrass you or your organization. For further details, please mail me at: language.etiquette@gmail.com

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08 June 2012

Thank you for your patience…

This blog has been on holiday, or rather I have been busy finalising a book-length text for publication and have had to leave it be for a while. The amazing thing is that the rate of page-views per day has hardly declined at all while no new entries have been made. Judging by the Google analysis, readers have been looking at all sorts of posts, some humorous, some linguistic, some informative. High on the list has been Jeremy Clarkson’s comments on the Germans, for some reason, and the various hash-ups by the Voice of Russia, for a more obvious reason.
     Anyway, I intend now to post regularly again, so I hope everyone will make a habit of checking to see the latest on the language front, and the war on waffle. The price of literacy is eternal vigilance.
     Just to get the ball rolling, I will recount a conversation I heard in a bar in central Moscow while I was working so hard on my book. Two ex-pats are having a beer together:
     “I’ll tell you how mean my wife is,” one said to the other. “She doesn’t even know the Russian word for ‘generous’.”
     “That’s impossible,” the other replied. “It must be a very common word. Any Russian would know it, surely?”
     “If it is, she doesn’t know it. I asked her the other day, and she couldn’t tell me—or so she said.”
     “Why didn’t you look it up in the dictionary?”
     “I’ve never bought one.”
     “Never bought a dictionary! Why on earth not?”
     “Seems a bit of a waste buying a dictionary when you’ve got a Russian wife.”

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