Sunday, April 22, 2012

trades, language rules, permanent residency point system

Starting in July, those deemed by Canadian immigration authorities as low skilled workers under a Provincial Nominee Program are required to take and pass English reading, writing, speaking and listening tests.

Only then can they can obtain or renew their visa or become permanent residents of Canada.

The three-hour $255 test is required for seasonal farm workers, those in the construction trades, fast food, hospitality and many other low-paying jobs that Canadians won’t perform.

“I am from an English-speaking country and I still failed,” Gobay said. “I cannot become a permanent resident or citizen until I pass this test.”

Other trades requiring English-language tests includes: chefs, cooks, butchers, bakers, contractors, machinists, plumbers, pipefitters, electricians, carpenters, masonry, librarians, photographers and museum workers.


D - I personally think Harper's policy is quite short-sighted.
1) Canada is 'hot' for jobs right now, but is not always, and won't always be. We won't always be able to 'cherry-pick' the best foreign workers.
2) Allowing citizenship for short-term job trends ignores the fact that every few years or decades, entire vocations become in/out of demand or go obsolete/ get invented.

D - here is the Ontario government website for the PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) affected by this new policy.


If you are a foreign worker, you may be able to apply to Opportunities Ontario for nomination as a permanent resident, under the General Category. Opportunities Ontario has a target of 1,000 nominations in 2012. However, it is important to understand that Opportunities Ontario is employer-driven. This means that if you are seeking nomination, you can apply only if:

Your prospective employer has first applied for pre-screening of a position. Investors need to have their investment endorsed.
The position has been approved.
Your prospective employer sends you the employer’s approval letter, Joint Verification form signed by your prospective employer, and Pre-screen Position form. You can then visit the Forms and Guides page of this website to complete and download the nominee application form.


D - here is a detailed breakdown of Canada's "point system" to work here and become a permanent citizen.


Immigrants can apply under one of five categories for Canadian permanent residence:

1) Skilled Workers
2) Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)
3) Business/Investor Immigration
4) Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Immigration
5) Family Sponsorship

Apart from qualifying within the "points system", the applicants must also must meet two other criteria:

The applicants have eligible pre-arranged employment in Canada or Have at least 1 year work experience in a listed designated occupation; and
The applicants have sufficient funds to settle in Canada in accordance with the guideline.
These are not the only criteria used to decide the applicant’s suitability.

The minimum score required by the applicant is 67 out of a total of 100 points. The 6 selection factors are as follows:
(D - I rearranged the order of list by # of points, from high to low.)

1) Education (25 points)
2) Work experience (24 points)
3) Arranged employment (10 points)
4) Proficiency in English and/or French (21 points)
5) Age (10 points)
6) Adaptability (10 points)


1) Education (Maximum 25 points)

PhD, or Master's, AND at least 17 years of full-time study** (total) - 25 points
Two or more university degrees at the Bachelor's level AND at least 15 years of full-time study - 22 points
A two-year university degree at the Bachelor's level AND at least 14 years of full-time study - 20 points
A one-year university degree at the Bachelor's level AND at least 13 years of full-time study - 15 points
A three-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship AND at least 15 years of full-time study - 22 points
A two-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship AND at least 14 years of full-time study - 20 points
A one-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship AND at least 13 years of full-time study - 15 points
A one-year diploma, trade certificate or apprenticeship AND at least 12 years of full-time study - 12 points
ompletion of Secondary School/ High School - 5 points
Secondary school (high school) diploma or less - 0 points
* - years of study includes first grade through all post-secondary study. Full-time also includes full-time equivalent study.
(D - I would think part of high school is preferable to none at all. Be nice if the point system would give 1-4 points for education before complete high school. After all, one can complete a Canadian high school diploma via the GED program!)

2) Work Experience (Maximum 21 points)

You must have at least one year of full time experience in the last ten years in a management or professional or highly skilled occupation. These are listed as Skill Type O, Skill Type A or Skill Type B on the National Occupation Classification List. You will find further details in our skilled worker guide.
Once you have confirmed that you meet the above requirements, you can now estimate your points score. You must have a minimum of one year work experience for which you are granted 15 points. You can gain up to a maximum of 21 points for more than four years of work experience.

3) Work Experience (Maximum 21 points)

You must have at least one year of full time experience in the last ten years in a management or professional or highly skilled occupation. These are listed as Skill Type O, Skill Type A or Skill Type B on the National Occupation Classification List. You will find further details in our skilled worker guide.

Once you have confirmed that you meet the above requirements, you can now estimate your points score. You must have a minimum of one year work experience for which you are granted 15 points. You can gain up to a maximum of 21 points for more than four years of work experience.

(D - this one causes much frustration. You need a job to get experience, but you need experience to get a job... Catch-22!!!)

4) Language (21 points)

D - see my earlier blog recently about this. Basically, 14 for one language (English, or French), then another 7 for the other. Practically speaking, there is no everyday-life benefit to speaking French outside of Quebec unless you hope for a bilingual government job.

5) Age - maximum 10 points

Age Points Score
16 or under 0
17 2
18 4
19 6
20 8
21-49 10
50 8
51 6
52 4
53 2
54 and over 0
(D - we are looking for youthful workers to address our old Boomers retiring.)

Other requirements
You have never been convicted of any criminal offencesYou have been convicted of a criminal offence - No Yes not eligible
(D - maybe try a pardon in your home country?)

Have you or any of your immediate family had any serious health problems?
No Yes - not eligible
(D - public health care. We already have ageing Boomers with health problems.)

6) Adaptability Points
Spouse's or common-law partner's education 3-5 points
Minimum one year of full-time authorized work in Canada 5 points
Minimum two years of full-time authorized post-secondary study in Canada 5 points
Informal job offer in Canada 0
Points received under the Arranged Employment Factor 5 points
Family relationship in Canada 5 points


D - our federal Conservative government wants to 'fast-track' entrepreneurs now. Changes will be made to ensure money is actually invested here, instead of being sent out of country again.


What’s new?

Applicants must prepare a business plan to be vetted by industry groups and venture capitalists for viability. On arrival, entrepreneurs would receive mentorship from organizations that have experience working with startups on how to do business in Canada.

Kenney delivers a speech to ... the immigrant entrepreneur program it shelved last year with a new .... promising a minimum business investment of $200000 in a new or existing business.


D - this looks tantamount to accepting bribes from the rich in exchange for citizenship. Nonetheless, given the # of new rich in China (for example), this is a cash cow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

monkey can 'read' via image recognition

...according to a new study on baboons. New results show that monkeys identify specific combinations of letters in words and detect anomalies -- a capacity that certainly existed before speech.

It was long thought that this capacity stemmed from spoken language because children learn spelling based on the oral language skills that they have already acquired, for example putting "m" and "a" together to make the sound "ma"...

...the baboons learned to distinguish English words like "bank" from similar nonwords like "jank." More surprisingly still, after memorizing the spelling of several dozen words, the baboons gave right answers for words that they had never seen before. This suggests that they did not memorize the overall shape of the words, although they certainly would have the ability to do so. According to the researchers, the monkeys can detect and memorize regular patterns in the organization of words: they are able to learn frequent letter combinations in English words, and thus detect anomalies, i.e. letters not in their usual place.


And speaking of little monkeys reading:

Now research by Dr Tessa Webb in the School of Psychology at the University of Leicester sheds new light on the subject by taking into account the age at which words are learnt.
She said: “Children read differently from adults, but as they grow older, they develop the same reading patterns. When adults read words they learned when they were younger, they recognise them faster and more accurately than those they learned later in life.”

She found that children in their first few years at school read the words differently from adults. However, by age 10, they were mimicking the reading pattern of adults. This suggests that the different pattern of results found in children compared to adults may be due to the fact that word learning age was not considered.
This led her to conclude that word learning age is a key aspect of reading that should not be left out of research, lest the results are unsound.


D - so maybe teaching a toddler to read is not necessary, but by mid-primary school, this special 'window of opportunity' closes.
Maybe linked to onset of puberty and an end of childlike brain plasticity?

Monday, April 16, 2012

kids learn fractions with rhythm. on power of 2

Tapping out a beat may help children learn difficult fraction concepts, according to new findings due to be published in the journal Educational Studies in Mathematics. An innovative curriculum uses rhythm to teach fractions at a California school where students in a music-based program scored significantly higher on math tests than their peers who received regular instruction.

"Academic Music" is a hands-on curriculum that uses music notation, clapping, drumming and chanting to introduce third-grade students to fractions.

Students in the music-based program scored 50 percent higher on a fraction test, taken at the end of the study, compared to students in the regular math class.
Significant gains were made by students who struggle with academics. The researchers compared the test scores of lower-performing students in both groups and found that those who were taught the experimental music curriculum scored 40 percent higher on the final fractions test compared to their lower performing peers in the regular math class.


D - wow, those are amazing results!

I've mentioned in the past about how various computer-related concepts require a firm grasp of "2 to the power of XYZ" concepts.
Computer memory of 1Kb (kilobyte) is not 1000, it's 1,024.

D - I've also toyed with using musical timing notation to indicate how colloquial speech is deformed from pronunciation implied by formal spelling. The idea is that a human being (all of us) have roughly the same lung capacity. This is related to the amount of air exhaled during speech. Ultimately the need to take breathes periodically could become an issue.
Due to these consideration, I think the longer a passage, the more the sounds get truncated, deformed, or even completely removed.
I need to map it onto musical notation to see how it holds up.
For example, in one of Peters's studies, students were asked to rate undergraduates who received what looked like different test scores. Numerate people were more likely to see a person who got 74% correct and a person who got 26% incorrect as equivalent, while people who were less numerate thought people were doing better if their score was given in terms of a percent correct.

D - numeracy is a gift that keeps on giving. Numeracy makes a consumer resistant to misleading claims.

Couples who score well on a simple test of numeracy ability accumulate more wealth by middle age than couples who score poorly on such a test, according to a new study of married couples in the United States.

One of the results of the studies is the first quick test for establishing an individual's risk intelligence.
The "Berlin Numeracy Test" has been available at the website in German, English, Spanish and Dutch since early April 2012.
The test works twice as well as previous methods and only takes three minutes. Traditional tests, which tend to determine general cognitive capacities, like intelligence or attention control, provide little information about a person's risk competency.

pivotal punctuation. for lack of a nail.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost
For want of a shoe the horse was lost
For want of a horse the rider was lost
For want of a rider the battle was lost
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost
And all for the want of a horse shoe


JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is being sued by a trader who says he accepted a contract from the investment bank because a typographical error made him believe he would be paid 10 times what was actually offered.
Kai Herbert, a Switzerland-based currency trader, is suing JPMorgan for about 580,000 pounds ($920,000), his lawyers said at a trial in London this week. The original contract said Herbert’s annual pay would be 24 million rand ($3.1 million). JPMorgan blamed the mistake on a typographical error and said the figure should have been 2.4 million rand, according to court documents.

Guns N’ Commas

When the D.C. Circuit struck down the District’s gun-ban law under the Second Amendment, America’s usage mavens got busy.

According to Judge Laurence Silberman, because the Amendment’s second comma divides the Amendment in two, the first half is just throat-clearing verbiage. What remains—the second half—reflects the “right of the people,” which Silberman deems to be an individual right:1

Canada’s Million-Dollar Comma

In a recent Canadian contract dispute over stringing utility poles, the stringer—Aliant Inc.—wanted out of the deal after the price of pole stringing skyrocketed. Under the contract, the stringer first had to give a year’s notice—but could it give notice before the contract’s first term ended?

More than $2 million Canadian were at stake. And you guessed it, the case turned on a single comma.

According to Aliant, the following provision gave either party the right to terminate at any time as long as it first provided a year’s notice:

This agreement shall be effective from the date it is made and shall continue in force for a period of five (5) years from the date it is made, and thereafter for successive five (5) year terms, unless and until terminated by one year prior notice in writing by either party.

The Explosive Alabaman Comma

When Alabama reprinted its state code several years ago, an editor added a serial comma to the state’s definition of “gasoline.” This seemingly innocent gesture sparked yet another million-dollar dispute.

Consider the reprint, in which I’ve highlighted the new comma:

Definition of Gasoline. Gasoline, naphtha, and other liquid motor fuels or any device or substitute therefor commonly used in internal combustion engines . . .
A taxpayer pounced on the change: He would owe an extra $1 million in taxes if all naphtha were taxed rather than only the naphtha used in combustion engines. So he argued that the original comma-free version should apply. The dispute wound up at the Alabama Supreme Court, which reverted to the original version but read in the serial comma all the same.


D - That terrific book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" cites historical examples.

In written English, punctuation is vital to disambiguate the meaning of sentences. For example, "woman, without her man, is nothing" and "woman: without her, man is nothing" have greatly different meanings, as do "eats shoots and leaves" and "eats, shoots and leaves".[1] "King Charles walked and talked; half an hour after, his head was cut off" is less surprising than "King Charles walked and talked half an hour after his head was cut off".

(D - seriously- battles were lost due to bad punctuation in vital messages!)

Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can forever be happy—will you let me be yours?
Dear John:
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can forever be happy. Will you let me be?


D - surprisingly, foreign-born ESL students often have a superior grasp of punctuation. Native-born students are rarely formally taught punctuation these days.

D - my GF is a journalist. She wistfully lamented the lack of another punctuation symbol with less emphasis than a comma, but more than just a space between words.
I intend to reform punctuation also with HIOXian. Somehow, nobody ever thinks to do so while they are making a new world language, or even when just reforming English spelling.
I can overtly indicate WHICH function a particular punctuation symbol is performing, with the option to gloss over it. This system uses a vertically-split "half" HIOXian character. (Think 16 segment alphanumeric calculator display.) I expect to indicate paired symbols such as brackets with matching mirror-image opposite halves.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rx in drug presciption and Egyptian

FOR YEARS I SAW the symbol Rx and used it without knowing what it meant or symbolized. Finally, I stumbled upon the meaning of it and took note. The symbol Rx is derived from the major lines in the symbol of the Eye of Horus. Horus was an Egyptian god, the god of Nekhen, a village in Egypt, and god of the sky, of light, and of goodness.

As William Osler wrote in 1910, “In a cursive form it is found in mediaeval translations of the works of Ptolemy the astrologer, as the sign of the planet Jupiter. As such it was placed upon horoscopes and upon formula containing drugs made for administration to the body, so that the harmful properties of these drugs might be removed under the influence of the lucky planet.”
There is another theory of Rx’s origin. In that version, Rx is an abbreviation for the Latin word recipere, which means “take” or “take thus.” Long ago, this would not have been a direction to a patient but to a pharmacist, preceding the physician’s “recipe” for preparing a medication.
That may be, but the shape of the symbol is a strong argument in favor of the Eye of Horus as its origin.
If you look closely at the major lines of the eye of Horus, you can see the elements of the symbol Rx.

The sign has its beginnings five thousand years ago in Egypt. At that time, people prayed to Horus, the god of the Sun. It was said that when Horus was a child, he was attacked by Seth, the demon of evil. The evil Seth put out the eye of the young Horus. The mother of Horus called for help. Her cry was answered by Thoth, the god of learning and magic. Thoth, with his wisdom and special powers, healed the eye of Horus. And the child was able to see again. The ancient Egyptians used a drawing of the eye of Horus as a magic sign to protect themselves from disease, suffering and evil. They cut this sign in the stones they used for buildings. And it was painted on the papyrus rolls used for writing about medicine and doctors. For thousands of years, the eye of Horus remained as a sign of the god's help to the suffering and sick. Long after the fall of the ancient Egyptian civilization, doctors and alchemists in Europe continued the custom of showing a sign of the gods' help and protection. But over the years, the sign changed from the eye of Horus to the sign for Jupiter.

Canada to use IELTS English test for immigrants

Starting this July, certain people immigrating under the provincial nominee program will face language testing.

The tests will be mandatory for those applying for semi- and low-skilled jobs and will assess listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities...

Kenney said low- and medium-skilled workers applying under the Provincial Nominee Program will be subject to mandatory English or French language testing, and will be required to meet a minimum standard for speaking, reading, writing and listening in one of Canada’s two official languages.

As a result, immigrants coming to Canada under the program will arrive with much better language skills and will be selected for the impact they can have on Canada’s economy, he said in a news release.

“We have supported enormous growth in the number of provincial nominees in recent years because it makes sense for the provinces and territories to have the flexibility to meet regional needs.”

The cost of the tests will be paid by the applicant or their prospective employer.

The changes take effect July 1, and will not affect workers already approved before that point.

The new language requirements will impact tradespeople, those in manufacturing, sales and services, as well as certain clerical and assistant categories.

Applicants will be required to provide valid test scores from a designated testing agency.

Temporary foreign workers who arrive before July 1, 2012 and transition to the provincial nominee program within a year have a one-time exemption.

More than 38,000 workers and their families came to Canada last year through the program which gives the provinces and territories a greater say in immigration in a bid to fill gaps in their local labour markets.


D - as always, the inherent difficulty of English is a barrier to immigrants. A decent IAL (international auxiliary language) would bypass this issue.

D - what is the test? It's the IELTS.

The Federal skilled worker class is point based and confers permanent resident status to applicants who are able to demonstrate an ability to become economically established in Canada. Applicants are assessed under 6 factors and numerous sub factors of assessment providing for 100 points. The language factor accounts for up to 24 points of this total.

The IELTS language test evaluates applicants under a series of benchmarks. Benchmarks are measured on a scale of 1 to 9 corresponding to an applicant’s proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and understanding. Benchmark results are then “converted” into a language score for immigration purposes. A benchmark of 7.0 to 9.0 for any of the four skill areas will earn the applicant a total of 4 points for each skill area resulting in a total possible score of 16 points under the skilled worker language factor. This is called high proficiency.

A benchmark of 5.0 through 6.9 will result in 2 points per skill. A benchmark of 4.0 to 4.9, will result in 1 point for each skill area with a maximum of 2 points across the four skill areas at this low benchmark. A benchmark under 4.0 will not result in any points for the referenced skills.

Additional points above 16 towards the availability of 24 points under the language factor, are awarded under the applicant’s second language proficiency (French).

D - the site is right: this test is made for England and Australia, not Canada! I think this is a bias that favours former British colonies such as India over other countries such as China.
D - A skilled worker who wants to move to Canada should read British newspapers, and listen to British news in order to familiarize themselves with the 'feel' of British English. What Canada really needs is a unique Canadian version of the IELTS test.
(D - this site is a good source of sample questions!)§ionid=15&id=35&Itemid=64
(D - here are more sample test questions.)

D - some of the questions are not formed well. Talking about "300mm" instead of 30cm or "1 foot" is just clumsy.

D - I wrote the security guard test for Canada. The wording on questions was too complicated. When the test was done, 3 foreign-born non-Anglophone men were clearly frustrated by the test. I do not see how a complicated written English test is a useful measure of what a security guard actually does at work.

D - I have a slight auditory processing problem. It makes accents even more difficult for me. Reducing one's foreign accent makes conversational English more clear and easy for listeners.
D - just keep in mind that an adult's brain cannot 'hear' English sounds not used in their other language. You need to learn visually and tactilely to place you mouth in the correct position.

Of the many indignities international students endure, accent discrimination may be the most mortifying, in part because it is still widely accepted in our society. Like skin color or attire, accent is a characteristic we routinely use to identify someone as unfamiliar or foreign ... Moreover, employers who deny jobs to non-native speakers can protect themselves by arguing that a foreign accent impairs communication skills essential to the workplace.
(D - if the job involves much spoken communication, that may very well be true.)


D - I volunteered for an improv theatre skit through the YMCA. It was called "Coming To Canada" and involved frustrating scenarios that immigrants encounter in Canada.
I was dismayed to learn that we refuse to recognize many qualifications as valid for work here, even though it was part of why we allowed an immigrant in the first place!
Some certifications require a year of work in that field in Canada before we will recognize it. McGuinty's plan to help new immigrants get work experience here would have helped. After all, don't we want qualified workers working at what they are qualified for? Making somebody with an advanced degree engage in menial labour is not helpful to either the new immigrant or Canada.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

learn to speak "academic". write a formal essay.

D - first of all, I'd like to warn you against learning the following words unless you need to. Using a word that is too advanced for your audience is a good way confuse and offend them.

My room-mate is in love with the word "penultimate", which means second last.
It takes longer to say than the latter. Almost no normal human being alive knows it. (I do cuz the 3rd last stressed syllable is called the "antepenult" - there!)
He used it conversationally with a Japanese fellow who can barely speak English. And everybody else. DON'T do this.

Perhaps you should learn this academic word list if you deal with academics in the Ivory Tower. They are likely less able to realize an appropriate level of vocabulary to use off their university campus.
Or if you are a new university student with poor English skills, particulary if you are enrolled in the a department that will require formal essay writing.

Headwords Other words in the family. Definition*

abandon abandoned, abandoning, abandonment, abandons, e.g. abandon
abstract abstraction, abstractions, abstractly, abstracts, e.g. abstract
academy academia, academic, academically, academics, academies, e.g. academy
access accessed, accesses, accessibility, accessible, accessing, inaccessible access
accommodate accommodated, accommodates, accommodating, accommodation accommodate
accompany accompanied, accompanies, accompaniment, accompanying, unaccompanied
accumulate accumulated, accumulating, accumulation, accumulates accumulate
accurate accuracy, accurately, inaccuracy, inaccuracies, inaccurate accurate


(D - great list of very basic tips on how to write an essay.)

1. Do NOT plagiarize.
(D - no, go ahead. It's rampant on campus - about 1/3 of essays are. A UW prof I know of even had a student hand in a copied essay... by that prof!!! Wow.)
(D- note that you must carefully cite ALL references.)
2) Always have a friend check your paper before giving it to the teacher.
3) Always put a space between lines so the teacher or a friend can make corrections.
4) Avoid personal "I", "you", and "we".
5) Avoid asking questions. Readers want answers!
6) Do NOT use contractions "it'll", "he's", "they've" etc.
7) Do NOT begin a sentence with numerals.
8) Always write out numerals under 10.
9) The word "recently" usually requires present perfect tense.
10) Write "most people, instead of the incorrect "most of people"
11) Avoid beginning a sentence with "because", "and" or "or."
12) Avoid the grammar "came to (be, understand, etc.) Use present perfect tense.
13) Use non-sexist language.(D - see the link for details.)
14) Do NOT use dialog (conversation) in a formal essay!
15) Do NOT use the expressions and so on or etc, Instead use such as.
16) Note that cannot is one word.
17) Do NOT write "Students are increasing." Instead, write "The number of students is increasing."
18) Indent every paragraph 5 spaces. (D - use tab.)


D - maybe you could simply learn to avoid making various rookie mistakes to avoid the embarrassment that results. I correct major publications all the time on this stuff.


Common Homophones List
The following list of 70 groups of homophones contains only the most common homophones, using relatively well-known words. These are headwords only. No inflections (such as third person singular "s" or noun plurals) are included.

air heir
aisle isle
ante- anti-
eye I
bare bear bear
be bee
brake break ...


The Most Common Errors
1. Affect vs. effect
2. Than vs. then
3. There vs. their vs. they're
4. Your vs. You're
5. Singular subjects perceived as plural - Agreement in number of subject and verb
6. The articles of speech - a, an and the.

(D - the no-brainer way to avoid many common errors is not to use apostrophes. For example, type "they ARE" instead of "they'RE". You ought to do so in a formal essay regardless!)


D - there are handful of dead giveaways of what I call "breeding" - by that I mean a blue or white collar past.

Good or Well

Good is an adjective and well is an adverb. Many people, including many native speakers, incorrectly use the adjective form good, rather than the adverb well.


I did good on the test. INCORRECT! - Correct form: I did well on the test.


D - another very common "breeding" mistake involves Anglo-Saxon derived strong and weak verbs. The single most obvious mistake involves "seen" versus "saw".
Very simply, if you use "have" in front, then you use "seen" after. "Saw" is simply past tense, as in "did see".

P.S.: Do NOT use punctuation like I do! I KNOW the period in the above sentence ought to be inside the second quotation mark, but I just DON'T like how it looks!


A verb that does not follow the usual rules for verb forms. Also known as a strong verb.

Verbs in English are irregular if they don't have a conventional -ed form (like asked or ended). Contrast with Regular Verb.

Carefully examine the main tenses of the following verbs:

Post (present), posted (past), posted (past participle)
Flee, fled, fled
Feel, felt, felt

In the first set, the vowel sound remains unchanged. You will have also noticed that the past and past participle forms are made by the addition of –ed to the present.

In the second set, the vowel sound changes, and –d is added. A verb which forms its past tense by adding –ed, -d or –t to the present tense, either with or without a change in the vowel sound, is called a weak verb.

Now look at the following examples:

Give (present), gave, (past), given (past participle)
Sit (present), sat (past), sat (past participle)

In the sets of examples given above, the vowel sound changes in the past tense, but no ending (like t, d, or ed) is added to the present as in the case of weak verbs.

A verb which forms its past tense by a change in the main vowel of the present tense and without the addition of any ending is called a strong verb


"If I had known about the party, I would have gone."(NOT "would have"!)

"He doesn’t care about me anymore." (NOT "He don't"!)

When you are viewing the movement of something from the point of arrival, use “bring”:
* "When you come to the party, please bring a bottle of wine."
When you are viewing the movement of something from the point of departure, use “take”:
* "When we go to the party, let’s take a bottle of wine."
(D - Okay, I didn't know that.)

These nouns are countable.
* "Ten items or fewer."
These nouns are uncountable.
* "You should eat less meat."
(D - I blame math class and that darn "<" "less than" symbol!)

A semicolon, rather than a comma, should be used to link these two complete sentences:
* "We were supposed to go to the dance last night; however, it was cancelled because of lack of interest."
It should be noted that there ARE situations in which you can use a comma instead of a semi-colon:
* "The match at Wimbledon, however, continued despite the bad weather."

* "I never would have/would’ve thought that he’d behave like that."
NOT: "He should of come with me."

Since 'not' is a negative, you cannot use 'nobody' in this sentence:
* "I'm not speaking to anybody in this class."
(D - this is another key sign of "breeding" - I think of it like math. Imagine cancelling out fractions or reducing math to simpler math by cancelling out prime #s.)

* "He has taken the train." (NOT: "has took"!)

* "I should have gone to school yesterday." (NOT: "should have went"! OK, I screw this up too.)

It’s is the contraction of It is:
* "It’s going to be sunny tomorrow." (D - again, just avoid apostrophes when possible.)


D - England versus America.

(D - being Canadian sucks at times like this. I see a mixture of American and British "proper" forms, and just end up confused as hell!)

British English (BrE) is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom.
American English (AmE) is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States.
Written forms of British and American English as found in newspapers and textbooks vary little in their essential features, with only occasional noticeable differences in comparable media[1] (comparing American newspapers with British newspapers, for example). This kind of formal English, particularly written English, is often called "standard English".
(D - plenty more!)


D - this one is more useful for fiction writing, but is a gold mine!

Commas and Periods
Question Marks and Exclamation Marks
Dashes and Ellipses
More Than One Paragraph of Dialogue
Punctuate Dialogue: Final tips

I will return to this website when I have more rest. This is terrific! I wish to begin writing fiction soon. This website will save me so many mistakes that editors would need to correct!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

india call centre outsourcing. a "neutral accent"

Suhil’s forehead is creased, his brows pulled tight with anxiety. He straightens his shoulders, inhales deeply.

“Fee vaiwer,” he says.

Watching his mouth closely, Bikram Singh gently shakes his head. “Again.”

“Fee vaiwer,” Suhil repeats. “Fee vaiwer.”

Mr. Singh gives a tiny sigh at Suhil’s pronunciation of “fee waiver.”

“We’ll come back to this,” he says. The vee-double-you mash-up is one of the hardest English sounds for north Indians to get right, since there is no V in their native Hindi.
It’s consonant class at a large outsource operation in the new business city on the edge of the Indian capital. Mr. Singh faces a room full of clever young lawyers, who have landed well-paid (for here) and comfortable jobs providing legal services for a major U.S. financial services firm, with a head office in the Midwest. But if they are to advance in this industry, they must be able to make themselves understood: conquer the consonants, master the idioms and much more besides...

India’s information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is booming, continuing to reap the benefits of the need to cut costs in anemic economies in the West. The category includes everything from the traditional IT call centre that helps fix your printer to “knowledge process outsourcing” (KPO) for engineering services, to financial analysts; new sectors such as media, insurance and health management have shifted business processes to India in the past few years, lured by the vast, relatively low-waged, English-speaking talent pool...

In her current job, she aims to help her students develop a “global” accent, while other training companies try to teach a more specifically American sound. Mr. Singh teaches his students how to pronounce American-style using PowerPoints of tongues hitting palates; low-end training centres make their students watch hours and hours of episodes of Friends.


D - actually, a slightly modified Canadian style of English is considered to be this elusive "neutral accent".

Neutral accent is one which avoids mother/native tongue influences, regional dialects, slang terms, peculiar intonations, etc. What we fail to understand is that there is a common module, text book, exercises and lessons with which English and Grammar are taught to us. The exercises and lessons are universal and they could be taught universally. The argument that neutral accent per se does not exist is an observation that stems from the localization of oneself.

Neutral English: This is not to imply that neutral pronunciation has greater merit than any of the regional dialects. It is also a dialect, but one without any regionalisms. It is, however, the dialect that is used by trained speakers and performers for public usage. The way we speak English regionally is part of our personal identity. It is something that should be used and mentioned in our everyday speech. However, when we are speaking or performing in a public forum, neutral English should be used, so as to erase regional barriers and communicate effectively with the most people. - Kathryn LaBouff

A neutral accent is important, as you would be interacting with a global customer base. A heavy regional accent may hinder comprehension.

A neutral accent is safe; you can't offend anyone with it. ... What is popularly known in current parlance as 'neutral accent', a diction devoid of mother tongue influence is a primary requirement.

IBM teaches English skills in India: The focus of the software is on building English speaking skills in a neutral accent that will be universally understood, Verma said.


D - aside: CVN (my auxiliary world language project) could allow for either V or W to be used to avoid this. I was considering this already.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Coming Soon: movie "The Hobbit"

D - cut lil' rune generator.
D - I hear they're making the book into 2 movie sequels total.

By this time Ronald was already showing remarkable linguistic gifts. He had mastered the Latin and Greek which was the staple fare of an arts education at that time, and was becoming more than competent in a number of other languages, both modern and ancient, notably Gothic, and later Finnish. He was already busy making up his own languages, purely for fun. He had also made a number of close friends at King Edward's; in his later years at school they met regularly after hours as the "T. C. B. S." (Tea Club, Barrovian Society, named after their meeting place at the Barrow Stores) and they continued to correspond closely and exchange and criticise each other's literary work until 1916...

He went up to Exeter College, Oxford in 1911, where he stayed, immersing himself in the Classics, Old English, the Germanic languages (especially Gothic), Welsh and Finnish, until 1913, when he swiftly though not without difficulty picked up the threads of his relationship with Edith. He then obtained a disappointing second class degree in Honour Moderations, the "midway" stage of a 4-year Oxford "Greats" (i.e. Classics) course, although with an "alpha plus" in philology. As a result of this he changed his school from Classics to the more congenial English Language and Literature. One of the poems he discovered in the course of his Old English studies was the Crist of Cynewulf - he was amazed especially by the cryptic couplet:
Eálá Earendel engla beorhtast
Ofer middangeard monnum sended
- Hail Earendel brightest of angels, over Middle Earth sent to men. ("Middangeard" was a ancient expression for the everyday world between Heaven above and Hell below.)
This inspired some of his very early and inchoate attempts at realising a world of ancient beauty in his versifying...

Unlike so many of his contemporaries, Tolkien did not rush to join up immediately on the outbreak of war, but returned to Oxford, where he worked hard and finally achieved a first-class degree in June 1915. At this time he was also working on various poetic attempts, and on his invented languages, especially one that he came to call Qenya [sic], which was heavily influenced by Finnish - but he still felt the lack of a connecting thread to bring his vivid but disparate imaginings together...

During these last few months, all but one of his close friends of the "T. C. B. S." had been killed in action. Partly as an act of piety to their memory, but also stirred by reaction against his war experiences, he had already begun to put his stories into shape... This ordering of his imagination developed into the Book of Lost Tales (not published in his lifetime), in which most of the major stories of the Silmarillion appear in their first form: tales of the Elves and the "Gnomes", (i. e. Deep Elves, the later Noldor), with their languages Qenya and Goldogrin. Here are found the first recorded versions of the wars against Morgoth, the siege and fall of Gondolin and Nargothrond, and the tales of Túrin and of Beren and Lúthien.


Meanwhile Tolkien continued developing his mythology and languages. As mentioned above, he told his children stories, some of which he developed into those published posthumously as Mr. Bliss, Roverandom, etc. However, according to his own account, one day when he was engaged in the soul-destroying task of marking examination papers, he discovered that one candidate had left one page of an answer-book blank. On this page, moved by who knows what anarchic daemon, he wrote In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

In typical Tolkien fashion, he then decided he needed to find out what a Hobbit was, what sort of a hole it lived in, why it lived in a hole, etc. From this investigation grew a tale that he told to his younger children, and even passed round. In 1936 an incomplete typescript of it came into the hands of Susan Dagnall, an employee of the publishing firm of George Allen and Unwin (merged in 1990 with HarperCollins).

She asked Tolkien to finish it, and presented the complete story to Stanley Unwin, the then Chairman of the firm. He tried it out on his 10-year old son Rayner, who wrote an approving report, and it was published as The Hobbit in 1937. It immediately scored a success, and has not been out of children's recommended reading lists ever since. It was so successful that Stanley Unwin asked if he had any more similar material available for publication.

By this time Tolkien had begun to make his Legendarium into what he believed to be a more presentable state, and as he later noted, hints of it had already made their way into The Hobbit


D - voila! And we are all gladder for it!

chinese in Firefly's Serenity movie by Whedon

D - great site! I must watched that movie a dozen times. Love it!
LOL and watched the series 5x, including with commentary. Something I'd suggest to fans is to change the screen format to zoom in on faces. This changes your favorite show to a less theatrical-distant feel to a more intimate-upclose-Hollywood one. It's like watching your fave show for the first time all over again.

Serenity Movie

TEACHER: "BAI-tuo, AN-jing-eedyen!" [Bai4tuo1, an1jing4 yi1dian3!] ~ "We will enjoy your silence now!" [Please be quiet!]

MAL: "DONG-luh-MAH?" Ni cho lyen, yo may yo? [Dong3 le5 ma5? Ni3 chou2lian3, you3 mei2you3?] ~ "Are we clear here?" Do you have a worried face?

WASH: "Ai-yah. Tyen-ah..." [Ai1ya1. Tian1 a5 . . .] ~ "Merciless hell..." [Ah, oh God . . .]

ZOE: Da jee-ah tzwo sha! [Da4jia1 zuo4xia5!] ~ Everybody sit down!

MAL: "Nee TZAO ss-MA? Nee-YOW wuh-KAI CHANG?" [Ni3 zhao3si3 ma5? Ni3 yao4 wo3 kai1qiang1?] ~ "You wanna bullet? You wanna bullet right through your throat?" [Are you looking to die? You want me to shoot?]

[BEAUMONDE] MAN, partially cut: "PEOW-liang de shaojie, nee GOO wuo HUHnee SHANG-hao. Wuh HWAY wrongnee shungkai roo hua..." [Piao4liang5 de5 xiao3jie5, (ni3 gu4 wo3 he2 ni3 xiang1hao3. Wo3 hui4 rong2 ni3 sheng4kai1 ru2 hua1) . . .] ~ "Pretty lady, hire me for the night and I'll open you like a flower..." [Beautiful young lady, if you hire me to have an affair with you, I'll let you fully bloom like a flower]

SHAMED GENTLEMAN: Wuo hun {diou lyen}. Wuo may yo chr Fruity Oaty Bar. [Wo3 hen3 {diu1lian3}. Wo3 mei2you3 chi1 Fruity Oaty Bar.] ~ I am very ashamed. I didn't eat a Fruity Oaty Bar.

Thanks to Craig Kurumada for the translation suggestion.

SIMON, Russian not Chinese: "Eta Kooram Nah Smech!" [Eto kuram na smekh!] ~ That's ridiculous! [used as safeword]

JAYNE: "Go HWONG-TONG." [Gou4 huang1tang2.] ~ "Enough of this nonsense."

WASH, mostly inaudible: "Juhguh JEE HUA jun kuhPAH!" [Zhe4ge5 ji4hua4 zhen1 ke3pa4!] ~ "There's nothing about this plan that isn't horrific!" [This plan is truly horrible!]

RIVER: "RUNtse de SHANG-DEE, ching DAIwuhtzo" [Ren2ci2 de5 Shang4di4, qing3 dai4 wo3 zou3] ~ "Merciful God please take me away"

RIVER: "WUOshang mayer, maysheen, BYEN shr-to" [Wo3 xiang3 mei4 er3, mei4 xin1, bian4 shi2tou5] ~ "I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"

TEACHER, cut line: "Shuh-MUH?" [Shen2me5?] ~ "I'm sorry?"

MAL, cut line: "BEE-tzway. Wrong wuomun FAH-TSAI." [Bi4zui3. Rong2 wo3men5 fa1cai2.] ~ "Shut up and make us wealthy."

INARA, deleted scene on DVD: "Byen dahTAHmenduhBAY joGOluh." [Bian1da3 ta1men5 de5 bei4 jiu4 gou4 le5.] ~ "A switch to those girls' backsides is just good enough." [Whipping their [female] backs is just good enough.]

[BEAUMONDE] WOMAN, cut line: "Wuo DWAY-nee BOO-woon, boo-JEN..." [Wo3 dui4 ni3 bu4 wen2 bu4 jian4 . . .] ~ "I neither see nor hear you..."

[BEAUMONDE] MAN, cut line: "PEOW-liang de shaojie, Booleetah, GOOwo..." [Piao4liang5 de5 xiao3jie5, bu4li3 ta1, gu4 wo3 . . .] ~ "Pretty lady, forget him and hire me..."

WASH, cut line: "Wo TAI-TAI boo PEOW-liang!" [Wo3 tai4tai5 bu4 piao4liang5!] ~ "My wife is not pretty!"

INARA, cut line: "RUNtse de FWOtzoo, ching baoYO wuomun..." [Ren2ci2 de5 Fo2zu3, qing3 bao3you4 wo3men5 . . .] ~ "Oh merciful Buddha protect us..."


D - bonus - an unaired original show monologue. Glad they got rid of it - just waiting for that '80s A-team song to kick in at the end! <:
D - funny reference in Big Bang Theory.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dothraki language of Game of Thrones analyzed

D - dunno about you, but I am going nuts waiting for Season 2!

"Rizhaan anni, vezh fin asaja rhaesheseres, maan anha valloshak azh akka. — To my son, the stallion who will mount the world, I will also pledge a gift. "

The Dothraki language is the constructed language of the Dothraki, the indigenous inhabitants of the Dothraki Sea in the series A Song of Ice and Fire written by George R. R. Martin. It was created by David J. Peterson, a member of the Language Creation Society, for HBO's television series Game of Thrones. Dothraki was designed to fit George R. R. Martin's original conception of the language, based upon the few extant phrases and words in his original books.

Peterson drew inspiration from George R.R. Martin’s description of the language, as well as from such languages as Russian, Turkish, Estonian, Inuktitut and Swahili.[3]

[edit] Language constraintsThe Dothraki language was developed under two significant constraints. First, the language had to match the uses already put down in the books. Secondly, it had to be easily pronounceable or learnable by the actors. These two constraints influenced the grammar and phonology of the language: for instance, voiceless stops can be aspirated or unaspirated, as in English.

David Peterson has said that "I tend to think of the sound as a mix between Arabic (minus the distinctive pharyngeals) and Spanish, due to the dental consonants."

There are twenty-three consonant phonemes... Voiceless stops may be aspirated. This does not change word meaning. (D - allophones! )

Dothraki has a four vowel system ... u never occurs as a vowel. (D - unlikely AUI are the most common and basic of vowels in natural languages. )

Basic word order is SVO: subject comes first, then verb and lastly object. (D - like English. Lotsa declination a la Eastern European. )

( D - the lexicon looks like what feudal Klingons would speak! )

achra [at͡ʃɾa]
adj. smelly
achrakh [at͡ʃɾax]
ni. stink
achralat [at͡ʃɾalat]
v. to be smelly, to give off a smell

adakhat [adaxat]
v. to eat
past: adakh
adakhilat [adaxilat]
v. to feed

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Panini - the ancient Sanskrit sage behind Chomsky

Panini was one of the most inventive and original people who helped in the development of knowledge of Sanskrit grammar. He is considered to be the founder of literature and language. This famous Sanskrit grammarian gave a scientific analysis of Sanskrit phonetics and morphology. Being the language of Gods, Sanskrit was considered to be a complete and the perfect language. Panini analyzed the classical Sanskrit language, which was the language of all literary works, and more light was thrown on the phonology of this language.

Among Panini's works, the most famous and major one is called "Ashtadhyayi". It is a thesis that consists of eight chapters and each chapter is divided into quarter chapters. This treatise basically highlights the difference between the language of holy texts and the language used for communicating in normal lives. A basic set of rules and grammar was given to describe Sanskrit grammar. He went on step by step and explained the use of nouns, vowels and verbs and divided them into classes. He then went on to explain the construction of sentences and the use of compound nouns and tenses. It is very similar to the principles of Mathematics as the construction of this grammatical pattern function mathematically.


D - Panini is the key thinker behind all the great modern Western linguistics, including (even especially) Chomsky.

Modern linguistics

Pāṇini's work became known in 19th century Europe, where it influenced modern linguistics initially through Franz Bopp, who mainly looked at Pāṇini. Subsequently, a wider body of work influenced Sanskrit scholars such as Ferdinand de Saussure, Leonard Bloomfield, and Roman Jakobson. Frits Staal discussed the impact of Indian ideas on language in Europe. After outlining the various aspects of the contact, Staal notes that the idea of formal rules in language, proposed by de Ferdinand de Saussure in 1894 and developed by Noam Chomsky in 1957 has origins in the European exposure to the formal rules of Pāṇinian grammar. In particular, de Saussure, who lectured on Sanskrit for three decades, may have been influenced by Pāṇini and Bhartrihari; his idea of the unity of signifier-signified in the sign is somewhat similar to the notion of Sphoṭa. More importantly, the very idea that formal rules can be applied to areas outside of logic or mathematics, may itself have been catalyzed by Europe's contact with the work of Sanskrit grammarians.[19]


Know’im Chompski.
## ^ that’s almost as mean as Nim Chimpsky
Mathematician by background. Under the employ of MIT, which is partially funded by the US Army. Ironically, also an anarcho-libertarian.
Chomsky made grammaticality a focus (existed in Panini’s work, but wasn’t a focus)
##However, one of the biggest issues with his focus was that his grammaticality (or methods) fail when used with statistical methods due to the creative nature of languages.
Lancelot said you can work out grammaticality by whether it makes sense or not. Chomsky didn’t take this view.
Chomsky is responsible for the ‘does that sound ok to me?’ mechanism, forever relegating syntacticians to the traditional role of navel-gazing.


D - we all owe Panini, the Sanskrit grammatician, a great debt of gratitude!

the sound of Hindu holy sound Aum

In the Sanskrit tradition, this sound is called "Anahata Nada," the "Unstruck Sound." Literally, this means "the sound that is not made by two things striking together." The point of this particular distinction is that all ordinary audible sounds are made by at least two elements: bow and string...

Joseph Campbell likens this unstruck vibration to the humming of an electrical transformer, or the (to our ears) unheard hummings of atoms and molecules.

And the ancients say that the audible sound which most resembles this unstruck sound is the syllable OM. Tradition has it that this ancient mantra is composed of four elements: the first three are vocal sounds: A, U, and M. The fourth sound, unheard, is the silence which begins and ends the audible sound, the silence which surrounds it.

It is written AUM start in the back of the mouth – A – and then u – you fill the mouth and M closes at the mouth. And you pronounce it properly all vowel sounds are in that pronunciation. Constanants are regarded simply as interruptions of OM, and thus all words are fragments of OM, as all images are fragments of the form of forms. All things are just reflections and so OM is just a symbol. A symbolic sound that puts you in touch with that throbbing being that is the universe.

This is called the 4 element syllable:

A – the birth

U – the coming into being

M – the dissolution

the fourth element is the silence out of which it comes, and back into which it goes, and which underlies it.

Now my life is the A-U-M but there is a silence that underlies it, and that is what we would call the immortal.


D - hmm, looks like my scheme to teach English diphthongs to Spanish ESL students. I suspect the Spanish diphthongs glide through the territory of English-only vowels.

Spanish has six falling diphthongs and eight rising diphthongs. While many diphthongs are historically the result of a recategorization of vowel sequences (hiatus) as diphthongs, there is still lexical contrast between diphthongs and hiatus.[39] There are also some lexical items that vary amongst speakers and dialects between hiatus and diphthong: words like biólogo ('biologist')... (wiki)


D - just started watching a series of video lessons on linguistics.

D - he wrote a number of books on Black English and Creoles.
His lessons are highly accessible. He uses simple, everyday language to explain the subject. I already learned a few things, such as the names of funky IPA phonetic letters.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

end of Canada's penny. on obsolete coins. # systems

In Canada, we are finally phasing out the penny. I have always used coins of value 1,5, 10 and 25 cents of value. More recently, we introduced 1 and 2 dollar coins.
But this was not always the # basis for change.


Great Britain and the United Kingdom Main article: Shilling (British coin)
The common currency created in 1707 by Article 16 of the Articles of Union continued in use until decimalisation in 1971. Before decimalisation, there were 20 shillings per pound and 12 pence per shilling, and thus there were 240 pence in a pound. Three coins denominated in multiple shillings were also in circulation at this time. They were:

the florin, two shillings (2/-), which adopted the value of 10 new pence (10p) at decimalisation;
the half-crown, two shillings and sixpence (2/6) or one-eighth of a pound, which was abolished at decimalisation;
the crown (five shillings), the highest denominated non-bullion UK coin in circulation at decimalisation (in practice, crowns were commemorative coins not used in everyday transactions).
At decimalisation, the shilling coin was superseded by the new five-pence piece, which initially was of identical size and weight and had the same value, and inherited the shilling's slang name of a bob.


D - we moderns don't feel like 12x20=240 makes a logical basis for a currency system, but it was considered acceptable, once upon a time.
I just want to point out how easy it is to assume that our modern math and measurement system is the only one that can work.

For example, imagine a # system based on hexadecimal, with #s 1 to 8 A small and 'capital letter' version - or my hexadecimally based binary system - could use it.
But why hexadecimal?
...the primary use of hexadecimal notation is a human-friendly representation of binary-coded values in computing...
It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols 0–9 to represent values zero to nine, and A, B, C, D, E, F (or alternatively a–f) to represent values ten to fifteen.
One hexadecimal digit represents a nibble, which is half of an octet (8 bits).
Alfred B. Taylor used "senidenary" in his mid 19th century work on alternative number bases, although he rejected base 16 because of its "incommodious number of digits.
Hexadecimal is sometimes used in programmer jokes because some words can be formed using hexadecimal digits. Some of these words are "dead", "beef", "babe", and with appropriate substitutions "c0ffee". (Found in Java, C++ in references.)

(D - it, too found traditional use in a measurement system.)

Use in Chinese cultureThe traditional Chinese units of weight were base-16. For example, one jīn (斤) (approximately 256 grams) in the old system equals sixteen liǎng (兩) (16g).

And England.
avoirdupois weights 16 drams = 1 ounce
16 ounces = 1 pound
The avoirdupois pound is the pound in general use today. As its name implies, it was intended to be used for weighing heavy goods. This pound is of 7000 grains, and is split into 16 ounces (each, therefore of 437.5 grains). Each ounce is divided into 16 drams (which my calculator makes of 27.34375 grains each - much more fun than metric isn't it?).

D - makes you wonder if we would have used 14 then 8 base # systems if we had 1 less finger per hand...
D - also makes me wonder about any possible benefit of a 8 or 16 base system, given their compatibility with a power-of-2 approach. For computer memory, for example.

The kilobyte (symbol: kB) is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. Although the prefix kilo- means 1000, the term kilobyte and symbol kB or KB have historically been used to refer to either 1024 bytes or 1000 bytes, dependent upon context, in the fields of computer science and information technology.

D - a way to denote a 2 or 10 base system would be very useful.
For that matter, a simple way to substitute ANY # to indicate the prefix base would suffice.
In this system:
1) 1000 would be 10 to power 3
2) 1,024 would be (um, 2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256,512, 1024)2 to power 10.
D - I had considered short forms of prefix/ unit names for the purpose of rapid tactical communication. Kilo-metre, for example, could retain the essential KI-lo and MET-re parts to form ki-mets. Of course, we just use "clicks" to address this deficiency.

cost of illiteracy. Globish critique

(D - the G&M this weekend claimed that a single PERCENT of increased literacy is worth $34 BILLION to Canada.)

A new report released on Thursday shows the social and economic impact of literacy to Japan is $87.78 billion.

The report, from the World Literacy Foundation, shows that more than 800 million people across the world lack the basic reading and writing skills needed to accomplish simple tasks such as reading a medicine label or filling out a job application, costing the global economy more than $1.19 trillion a year.

“The Economic and Social Cost of Illiteracy” looks at the cost of illiteracy in emerging and developing countries, as well as the cost of functional illiteracy in the developed world. It shows more than one in five people across the globe can’t read or write, and more than 100 million children don’t go to school each day.

The report’s co-author Andrew Kay says Japan needs to do more to make serious in-roads to addressing the level of illiteracy in the country.

Often, the end result of low literacy levels is trapping people in a cycle of poverty, poor health, limited employment opportunities, reduced income potential and low productivity in businesses


D - I was watching a video on Globish. In the tradition of Ogden, the author claims only 1500 words can serve the needs of international business.
This controlled language (a subset of Standard English)

Globish is a subset of the English language formalized by Jean-Paul Nerriere.[1] It uses a subset of standard English grammar, and a list of 1500 English words. Nerriere claims it is "not a language" in and of itself,[2] but rather it is the common ground that non-native English speakers adopt in the context of international business. (Wiki)


- According to CIA's "World Factbook", native English speakers represent only 4.68% of the world population.
- Globish is criticized because the systemic principles for its elaboration are nowhere explained.

D - my critism is as follows. While it may render ESL as spoken easier for a native English speaker to understand (more regular, less mistakes), Globish will NOT render spoken Standard English any easier to understand in return.
In fact, the (false) expectation of regular rules and single ways to say things in English will lead them astray. A native English speaker will not be clearly understood when he responds to fairly understood Globish by an ESL speaker.
Globish also ignores certain integral and unremovable elements of English that will be difficult for foreign speakers. Reforms (or a revolt) of sufficient radicalness to address these concerns would render such a "Globish Plus" difficult to understand for a Standard English speaker. Examples include a broad selection of phonemes (about 40), as well as complex consonant clusters and the use of vowel diphthongs, as well as an elaborate syllable stress system.
Here we see the conundrum of attempting to reform an existing natural language that was NOT rationally designed from carefully selected core principles. The speakers of cultural and national Englishes find it either unacceptable to learn a "lite" more limited version of English to communicate with ESLers (English as Second Language), or find limiting their usage of possible ways to express ideas in English as difficult as simply learning a new IAL (aux-lang - auxiliary language) in the first place! A simple example of this would be as follows:
1) we posit that our special "English Lite" can only use the terms "more" or "less" to denote comparative terms.
2) E.g. we cannot use the terms "bigger", "smaller", "better" or "worse" now.
3) I.e. we must use the terms "more big" and "more good" instead.
How long before the Standard English speaker stops concentrating on HOW to say an idea, and defaults to Standard English as they fixate on WHAT they wish to say?
This is only 1 of a great many factors such a speaker of "lite" English would need to keep in mind.


D - this seems to be the most complete listing of it. I was hard pressed to find written examples of Globish.

The listing of my 1,500 basic "Globish" words (black-underlined) is quite similar to the existing Internet Globish listing (in bold letters). Some 195 words that have been added (++) (underlined), and 195 words that have been combined, removed or substituted by existing words are in bold (--). When the two listings are the same, the word is made bold and underlined (XX). When words are combined (e.g. with + in) or are forms of a basic stem (e.g., inform and "information"), we include both under one heading.

ACT -s, -ual, -ually, -ed, -ing Activity lack of {on, up, with}
of doing "Action"
-- [Actor] lack of Inactivity
++ Active Activity
-- [Activist]

D - note that activist if derived from "ACTIVe" and not just "ACT".
Contrast with a term I pick randomly, Marxist.
Contrast with made up terms such as countryist and whiteist.
What Sapir said still applies.
" Anyone who takes the trouble to examine these examples carefully will soon see that behind a superficial appearance of simplicity there is concealed a perfect hornet's nest of bizarre and arbitrary usages. "
D - explicitly acknowledging what complexity is actually required for overt clarity is better than hiding behind the mock simplicity of a nat-lang (natural languuage).

D - while pondering how simple English could be made, I came up with the following 2 examples for a "lite" version.
1) YOUR. Your XYZ. the XYZ of you. Ergo, replace "your" with "of you". Also, "of" is quite vague, and does not clearly denote possession.

1. (used to indicate distance or direction from, separation, deprivation, etc.): within a mile of the church; south of Omaha; to be robbed of one's money.
2. (used to indicate derivation, origin, or source): a man of good family; the plays of Shakespeare; a piece of cake.
3. (used to indicate cause, motive, occasion, or reason): to die of hunger.
4. (used to indicate material, component parts, substance, or contents): a dress of silk; an apartment of three rooms; a book of poems; a package of cheese.
5. (used to indicate apposition or identity): Is that idiot of a salesman calling again?

2) QUICKLY. With quickness. This suffers from the fact that quick - an adjective- is the simplest form, while in many English words, the adjective is not the more basic form.

D - in summary, an attempt to rationalize an existing natural language, in this case English, rapidly suffers from a lack of mutual intelligibility with native speakers if it gets more than just superficially reformed.