Tempo de leitura: 4 minutos
A thing or two
Hi, Newcomers! Hey…wait! I’m a newcomer to you, and not the other way around! I’ve just recently become a Tecla SAP fan, though I’ve known its creator long before his creation. Nonetheless, you’re newcomers to the body of knowledge that I impart to my students. I have loads of students and they are my fans. Know why? ‘Cause I’m theirs! And I can’t wait for all of you to become true English scholars. With some easier tips here and some more advanced tips there, we’ll soon reach the top of the ladder.
I sat down with Ulisses the other day and he said that if I aspire to become a regular contributor to his blog, I should introduce myself to you first, so here I am. I am NCristina (Cris) Martorana. My mysterious N comes from when I left Graded High School in SP and went to college in my cross-the-river state of NY (You’ve probably guessed that I’m from “Jersey,” as we Jerseyans would say – I said this to a Welshman the other day and, as he looked at me quizzically, stumped [= confused, clueless] by my obvious American accent, I was compelled [= I had to] to add NEW Jersey – I forgot that those from across the pond [as Americans refer to the British and vice-versa] came first!). Anyway, have you ever heard Donald Duck in English? Have you ever heard a thick New York accent? That’s how my first name Nancy came out (hopefully, one day, I can reproduce it online for a good chuckle [= a hearty laugh]), and I quickly dispossessed it, but, in respect to my Mother, who said she spent weeks on end [= endless weeks] thinking of the best name for me, I retained the N – it also makes for a great nom de plume.
I have given class almost all my life (37 years is almost a lifetime, right?) at Associação Alumni in São Paulo, helping graduate translators and interpreters who have gone off to do much bigger and better than their mentor (as it should be). I also give a grammar course at a former student’s work space. I love to teach! As I said earlier, I hope to tip you off to some easier points and, maybe, later, delve into other more advanced pointers on the English language.
Just look how interesting this is: white usually has the same connotation in most languages, both pale and lily white. Those who know a thing or two about English, know that blue denotes depressed and rosy denotes cheery, but did you know that green is the color of envy and not of hope?
And did you know that when you go travelling to the US and have to fill out the forms, if you put X’s, the customs people know you’re not natives, so you must put checks instead, the way we Americans do it. Oh, yes, I can teach you many a thing [= many things], and because I love teaching and also learning from you (it has to be both ways to be equally appreciated), it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Know a thing or two x teach a thing or two
BTW, remember when I said above, “Those who know a thing or two about English”? Changing the verb from know to teach spells disaster [= means disaster]! If you say, “I’m going to teach you a thing or two,” I’m actually threatening you! – like a bully who picked on my younger brother; when I get wind of [= hear about] his bullying, I’m going to retaliate, and teach that bully a thing or two, give him a piece of my mind – a synonymous expression, except that the former (teach somebody a thing or two) can be expressed bodily, whereas the latter (give somebody a piece of one’s mind) is usually just cussing someone out [= swearing at somebody]. (As you may have noticed, I love teaching slang.)
You noticed that former means the first and latter means the second, right? But remember that you can only use former and latter (notice the two T’s) when the total is two; otherwise, with three or more, it’s first-second-last.
Well, it’s been a pleasure. There’s more to come. Lots more! Stay tuned…
Speak up! We’re listening…
Tells us what you think about this new addition to the team of contributors. What have you learned from the text? Was there anything in particular that you find interesting or unusual? Feel free to write your answers either in English or in Portuguese. As always, feedback is highly appreciated at Tecla SAP. Thank you!