Archive for April, 2010

Absolutely beautiful: The title of Natalie Merchant‘s new album Leave Your Sleep is taken from a Mother Goose rhyme: “Girls and boys, come out to play, The moon doth shine as bright as day; Leave your supper, and leave your sleep, and come with your playfellows into the street.” In the booklet that introduces the […]

Grammar Guru: Needs to be done, or needs being done?

Posted by Anne on April 25th, 2010

You can say “This laptop needs repairs” and, very elegant: “This laptop needs repairing.” But which of these two is correct: “This laptop needs to be repaired.” “This laptop needs being repaired.” Yes, unfortunately I’ve worked my poor laptop so hard that it’s got several hardware problems now. One key sometimes doesn’t work (the 9), […]


Posted by Anne on April 19th, 2010

It’s spring. Deep breath. Smile. On Sunday we built up the catamaran, our Dart 18, the Seebock. It’s now sitting down by the beautiful Ammersee, ready to go. Looks good, but could use a new trampoline and some lines. The water was 7.5 degrees centigrade, brrrr, so we decided to go and have potato-leek soup […]

Grammar Guru: Referring to general knowledge

Posted by Anne on April 19th, 2010

How do you refer to general knowledge? “_____________ flights all over Europe are cancelled because of the volcano.” They say Something tells me One says Related news: Lufthansa is reportedly going to try to sue the German government for damages. John Cleese is alleged to have spent thousands to get from Oslo to Brussels… by […]

She & Him: You really got a hold on me

Posted by Anne on April 13th, 2010

What a pretty interpretation of the Beatles’ classic, by She & Him. I don’t like you But I love you Seems that I’m always Thinkin’ of you Oh, ho, ho, you treat me badly I love you madly You’ve really got a hold on me (You really got a hold on me) You really got […]

Grammar Guru: _______ verbs

Posted by Anne on April 11th, 2010

Ok, this guy’s knocked out some teeth here: Danny Granger, American professional basketball player for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, famously knocked out his two front teeth in a victorious game against the Boston Celtics on 1 November 2008. You can say both of these: He knocked out two teeth. He knocked two teeth out. But […]

Feed the grammar guru

Posted by Anne on April 10th, 2010

My favorite quote so far at IATEFL: “Do not teach things that are wrong.” That’s Dave Willis. And as he proves in this talk held before a room full of English teachers, it’s easier said than done. We often enough do teach total malarkey, namely as soon as we teach prescriptive grammar rules that don’t […]