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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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Discussion Details

Title: IHT article and gerunding
Submitter: Chas Mac Donald
Description: I feel the author of the gerunding article has more blundered than
anything else. It is a bit much for anybody to make statements like 'no
native user of English ever...' when there are so many Englishes
nowadays that that is very difficult to know.

However, I am Scottish and my first language is English, so here's a
few pointers.

A pressing subject or matter is quite a usual term in Britain. Putting
pressure on someone is also a perfectly normal term.

This native English speaker went footing every year of his young life.
First footing that is. The person who is first into your house after the
bells on Hogmanay (new year) is known as a first foot - the first foot in
the door. Thus the activity is known as first footing.

Bunkering, in Stirling where I live, is a term used in one of the local
fuel stations which deals with road haulage lorries. It means getting
their fuel, and they also refer to themselves as a bunkering operation
for that reason.

Hoping that this informing will be clearing up the confusing
Date Posted: 20-Apr-2005
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Language Specialty: English
LL Issue: 16.1253
Posted: 20-Apr-2005

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