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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Media: Re: Lehrer News Hour 8/27/02

Submitter: Suzette Haden Elgin

Submitter Email: ocls@madisoncounty.net
Media Body: August 28, 2002

I watched with dismay last night as a complete segment ran on PBS's
"Lehrer News Hour" on the topic of the current news-reporter register
for American English. Over and over again, examples of sentences
"without verbs" were presented and discussed, despite the fact tha
they had verbs galore. It was clear from the beginning that the
phenomenon for discussion was sentences without _copulas_, no
sentences without verbs, but everyone participating went on and on
about the way all the "verbs" were being left out.

If the level of scientific accuracy for this segment is typical for
the show -- something I would not have expected -- then viewers need
to be very dubious about segments on physics and astronomy and all the
rest.

Suzette Haden Elgin

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Issue Number: 13.2195
Date Posted: August 29, 2002

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