A thing or two from somebody who knows a thing or two

Tempo de leitura: 4 minutos

NCris Martorana

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.

a thing or two

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…

NCris

Cf. Apelidos de cidades americanas

Cf. Nomes de personagens da História em inglês (com tradução)

Cf. Rios, mares, lagos, montanhas e lugares em inglês (com tradução)

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!

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Marina Sieh Ho
Marina Sieh Ho
6 anos atrás

Hi Cris, congrats! I had fun reading your post and look forward to reading your next one!

Giuliano Guiari
Giuliano Guiari
6 anos atrás

Awesome! Chris is an amazing teacher, a true connoisseur of the English language who has the rare ability of sharing her specialist expertise in an easy-to-understand and fun way. Looking forward to the next one!

Milena Thomson
Milena Thomson
6 anos atrás

Very good tips Cris!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Love your classes!!! See you soon!!

paulacoutinho
paulacoutinho
6 anos atrás

Cris, it is fantastic to know that my dearest teacher is going to reach and teach millions of students! To teach is to touch a life forever. You have touched mine and I will always be grateful for all I learned from you. My first experience in the translation booth was with you by my side, with great support and wise words. Moments to cherish! Love, Paula

Gabriel Fábio Azevedo
Gabriel Fábio Azevedo
6 anos atrás

Good, I am not the only one… Just read the other comments, everybody loved this new “girl”. Great “acquisition” to the blog, Ulisses. Feel yourself very welcomed, N. Your text really got into us readers of the blog. 😉
Quick edit: I went on Google to search what “first-second-last” would mean. I though it was some new construction due to the “-” connecting all words, it seemed to me they were all a single word. I finally realized it is not, but then I thought somebody else might come to the same conclusion I had because of the hyphens. Maybe a slash would do a better job there, even suspension points might do the trick better (first/second/…/last). Just a suggestion. 🙂

Maria Alexandra Goulias Maldon
Maria Alexandra Goulias Maldon
6 anos atrás

Welcome NCris. Very interesting indeed! Looking forward to your next posts.

Marcilene Del Favero
Marcilene Del Favero
6 anos atrás

Very good article! After rereading a few times, the penny dropped!

Maria Jose Madureira
Maria Jose Madureira
6 anos atrás

Awesome!! Thanks a lot for sharing! =)

Matheus
Matheus
6 anos atrás

Welcome NCris. You rock. I’m really impressed. I had reread some passages to get the meaning.
I’m looking forward to learn more from you. 🙂

Evlyn
Evlyn
6 anos atrás

Great!! Love it!!

Joilson Lima
Joilson Lima
6 anos atrás

So many informations in just one text rs… your method looks amazing, thanks a lot NCris!

Elisama Rodrigues Lucena
Elisama Rodrigues Lucena
6 anos atrás

Hi NCris!!!!! You seem really cool!!! Hahahahah

I really wanna know more about English!!! So, welcome!!!!

xo

Elielson
Elielson
6 anos atrás

It´s great ! Nice to meet you lol 😀

BC
BC
6 anos atrás

Be welcome! Hopefully you’re gonna teach us much more from the tricky Yankee slangs! I just can’t wait!

Viviane Cabral Bengezen
6 anos atrás

Learning a lot while I’m reading this text. Welcome, NCris, and congratulations for the post. I’ll read it again. Many new structures…

Rosangela Sena
Rosangela Sena
6 anos atrás

I was wondering that It would be nice if we could create folders to organize all the articles that we need to read to improve or learn about English (to save some of them to study later), because sometimes I don’t have time to follow them all. =)

luciane camargo
luciane camargo
6 anos atrás

I loved da Cris is part of the blog now!!!! Love u Cris xoxo