What’s so funny about this? I suppose this joke works even without the cartoon. After all, that’s how I originally read it. But you have to admit (I hope) that the toon significantly enhances the joke with the visual element of Dee being legless. We see a perfectly normal situation in a park somewhere. In the foreground we see a young woman apparently talking to someone whom we can’t see. The cartoon is like a photograph so the character near us is larger than the characters in the rear. In fact, the closer character’s legs do not appear, seemingly because of the way the image is framed. Our minds tell us that we just can’t see her legs. The two characters in the rear are talking about this young woman. The character “F” is asking the character “M” who the new girl is. The new girl must be a stranger and just newly arrived in this community. “M” already knows who she is, at least her name. He tells F that her name is “Dee”. We can see how the name is spelled, but if you only pronounce it, it sounds like the letter “D”. It can be an actual name of a person too. However, F seems to think that Dee is not her full name. Some people do use letters as nicknames, for example Mr. T. or the character “G” on the TV program “NCIS Los Angeles”. So F asks M what Dee is short for, and M tells her that Dee has no legs. This is because F’s question could also be interpreted as “Why is Dee short?”. And we as viewers realize that what we see of the young woman, Dee is all there is to see. And THAT’s what’s so funny, in a sick kind of way.

Podcast: https://audioboo.fm/boos/2483424-no-big-thing

Practice with Pronouns is a site that lets you practise subject, object, possessive, and reflexive forms of English third person pronouns. It comes with a few of the most common options, but you can also fill in whatever pronouns you like. Useful for both English learners and people wanting to practise using nonbinary pronouns.  

As if it couldn’t get any more delightful, it often uses quotes from Welcome to Night Vale in the practice sentences, which is definitely far more entertaining than See Spot Run. The feedback sentences are also very cute. 

(Hm, I’m pretty sure the second blank in that screenshot should have said “xyr”, in retrospect.)

English factoids: what is Germanic-only English like?

One of my favourite aspects about English is how it really is a combination of other language families, namely Germanic, Latin, French and, of course, smörgåsbord*-servings of others. This versatility makes English an extremely flexible, but also difficult, language to learn — especially if you don’t already speak a Germanic or Latin language. 


— Origins of English, form the English language article on Wikipedia

My favourite demonstration of the mixed nature of English is the article “Uncleftish Beholding”, where Poul Anderson wrote about the basics of atomic theory using only Germanic words. 

Since so many scientific and academic terms have Latin and Greek roots, the essay reads very differently… for instance, instead of “atomic theory”, the title is “uncleftish beholding”, where cleft is a Germanic word for “division”. 

Here’s an extract:

For most of its being, mankind did not know what things are made of, but could only guess. With the growth of worldken, we began to learn, and today we have a beholding of stuff and work that watching bears out, both in the workstead and in daily life.

Here are some of his replacements:

  • "Chemical elements" -> "firststuffs"
  • "Hydrogen" -> "waterstuff"
  • "Oxygen" -> "sourstuff**"
  • "Helium" -> "sunstuff"
  • "Molecule" -> “bulkbit”
  • "Compound" -> “binding”

*See what I did there?

**Germanic speakers will be familair with e.g. the terms “Sauerstoff” (German), “zuurstof” (Dutch) and “syre” (Danish), which all have connotations with sourness or sharpness. 

A: He said he loves potato flies in a show, actually he loves them. However, the show exaggerated the information and spread of rumors alone.  In the end the rumor was he can’t stop eating potato flies, the rumor was far from what he said, but he had to the rumor came true.

Pony: Fries, not flies. […] Do you know who that celebrity is?

A: No.

Pony: I will let you guess what he is famous for. It is not fries.

A: Is he a magician?

Pony: No. He is a war journalist. His name is Anderson Cooper, which sounds like two surnames stuck together. I have no idea why he’s wearing a french fry outfit.

A: McDonalds must be a sponsor.

Japanese Characters and English Retention

anonymous said: I know this is oddly specific, but: If a Japanese child were to move from Japan to America with an English-speaking (but ethnically Japanese) parent and live there from age 2 to 4, would it be at all possible for them to learn Japanese and English simultaneously, or are the languages too different?

Furthermore, if said child were to return to Japan at around 4 and remain there, and only spoke / used English as mandated by school (which I’ve read is mostly reading / writing anyway) how much of the language do you think they’d maintain at around 16-17? I love this blog already; it’s so honest and informative, and the mods are very helpful. Thank you very much in advance.

I had a Japanese classmate in law school who moved to the US with his baby girl, and from what I could tell she picked up both languages all right. They moved back to Japan when she was four, and I think they’re finding a way to keep her English fluent with trips back to the US every now and then.

Speaking in a more general sense, my cousin was born and raised in the US until age five, and went back to Taiwan at age eight or nine, and I think if it wasn’t for the education he got (he went to an international school after age 13), he would have forgotten his English already.

If your character isn’t going to extra English classes or having extra English tutoring, there probably won’t be a whole lot maintained at age 16-17 unless they’re motivated otherwise (trips to the US, etc.)

—mod Jess

Watch on www.sio.im

Impariamo i nomi di tutti e quattro i colori in inglese! Qui il mio canale inglese che nel futuro ha superato pewdiepie oh yeah.

anonymous said:

How do I write a Chinese character who only recently learned English without falling into just writing a bad stereotypical "Asian accent"? Do you have any sources that realistically show the issues that a Chinese ESL speaker would have when speaking English?

Chinese ESL Speakers and Realistic Speech

The ones I’ve seen with my relatives most of the time are with gender and verb tenses. (We speak Mandarin, so it could be different with speakers of other dialects. Does your character also speak Mandarin, or is it a different dialect like Cantonese or Hokkien?)

There’s only one third-person pronoun in Mandarin, and it’s gender neutral. (There’s a feminized written form, but according to my parents, it’s only been in use for the past fifty years). A lot of the time Chinese ESL speakers get genders confused when it comes to third-person pronouns—think “him” when they’re referring to a woman and vice versa.

There’s also no real past tense when it comes to Mandarin, so I’ve noticed that sometimes when speaking in English the tenses will be in present form.

(note: I’m ABC, so if any followers are Chinese ESL, please feel free to contribute!)

—mod Jess

A 30-year-old elementary school teacher was sentenced 2 years and 6 months in penitentiary and 40 hours of sexual violence treatment program for having sex with a 17-year-old high school student, recording it, and distributing the tape. He met the victim on a online dating site in August 2010. He is also suspected of making another sex tape, this time with a 30-year-old woman.

Oh, and the perpetrator is a foreigner. An American, to be exact, who came to Korea in May 2009 and taught English at an elementary school in Daejeon.


More English-teaching materials! This is for a police interview activity that follows on from the 'Describing Appearances' materials I posted the other day.

BUY IT at gumroad for the price of a cheap bento — OR, just for tumblr folk: click here and get it for half price. (I’ll leave that discount active for a week or so.)

AND, the first ten English teachers to reblog this and send me an ask can have everything currently in Patrick-sensei’s gumroad store for free!

By the way, thanks again to all the people who gave me advice on alcohol-based markers a while back. I ended up buying the big, complete set of Marvy Le Plume markers, which I used to colour the Garden sisters. They’re cheap and they suit my purposes, though I could see myself filling out the set with some extra colours from other brands in the future. But for what they are, they’re a pleasure to use.




What’s so funny about this? There are a couple of funny things about this picture. One is, of course, the statement about the clowns.  The other is the fact that it’s posted by an animal clinic. I’d expect to see the sign say something like, “free shampoo” when your pet gets vaccinated”, or “We’ll train your dog and keep him well -groomed”. Or something like that. So, what does this animal clinic have against clowns? Maybe the vet used to work in a circus and had a bad experience with them. Hard to believe though. Clowns are supposed to be sweet and lovable, even or especially the jugglers. Clowns are always smiling and clowning around and making other people laugh. We do have to remember however, that a clown’s smile is painted on. It’s hard to tell what they are really thinking. Nevertheless I find it hard to picture a mob of clowns attacking anyone except maybe to throw pies in their face. The joke is actually a pun on the expression “go for the jugular” which is the large vein that goes up and down your neck. When animals attack they instinctively will try to bite their victim there because it will cause a quick death. Only with the clowns it’s the juggler and not the jugular that’s being recommended. BTW, a juggler is the guy who tosses all those balls and bowling pins in the air. Maybe once the juggler is down the rest of the clowns will scamper away in panic. And THAT’s what’s so funny, I guess.

Listen to my audioboo  https://audioboo.fm/boos/2435161-animal-antics