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Old October 4th, 2006, 4:30 pm
confutatis  Male.gif confutatis is offline
Third Year
Join Date: 22nd August 2005
Location: Outer Slobovia
Posts: 329
Re: The Improve Your English Thread v3.0

Originally Posted by ominous View Post
In English, is there such an idiom "go to the house" meaning "killing someone"?
One of my colleague student said that she saw this in her dictionary.
I can't quite believe there is a such an idiom like this.
I've never heard that one. Here in the southern U.S., when someone says they are 'going to the house' or 'taking it to the house', they just mean they are finally going home.

Originally Posted by ominous View Post
Desperate Housewives

Is it a common culture in the U.S. or the Britain that neighbors visit the sticken family and express their condolences to them after the funeral with foods they prepared and being in black? or it is a custom only in the wealthy white-dominated villages.
This is a very common custom in the U.S., at least in the southern states. It has nothing to do with race. We do have some customs that seem to be peculiar to us, such as pulling over to the side of the road and stopping when a funeral procession is passing. When I was a child it was the custom to have friends and neighbors sit up all night with the body of the deceased until the funeral. I don't really know why that was, other than respect. It is seldom done now.

Originally Posted by mugglebeki View Post
Most of the posters here are English speakers, but I've noticed that the majority of the Non-English speakers (people from France, Spain, Germany, South America) have less spelling errors.
Yes, our schools seem to have forgotten to teach students to spell, at least in the U.S. I have three children that went through the public school system, and things have really changed since I was in school. For one thing, teachers in the early grades are reluctant to correct spelling (except on spelling tests) as they feel it hinders the creativity of the student. From my observation in the college classes I teach, it doesn't get any better in the later grades, either! My students are surprised that I note and count off for spelling errors in their tests. As for the rules of English, many of us never actually learn them until we have to take a foreign language! I faked my way through English all the way through high school and college. If, like me, a student reads a lot, he or she will know how a sentence should be constructed without really knowing why.

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