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Sunday, 09 March 2014


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Thought bubble (No Barak it is spelt r - E - s - p - e - c - t. I don't care what your teleprompter or some woman called Aritha said. {and people think I'm dim})

Bloody hell Duffers - I followed the link above to Hostages which I have never watched only to find that an Aussie bimbo, Toni Collette, plays the thoracic surgeon. Just as well the show is make believe as it would be difficult to imagine Ms Collette who plays the thoracic surgeon with anything sharp in her hand for other than nefarious purposes.

Yes, indeed, AussieD, she has the most peculiar face - sort of attractive but you suspect she might be a 'bunny boiler' at heart!

"it is necessary to parse the language": oh dear, Duffers, are you going to copy all the trendy American mistakes in English? You mean "construe", not "parse". Americans make the mistake because, presumably, none of 'em knows any Latin, and they think "parse" sounds posh. Whereas, to sound British ears, "parse" sounds perilously close to how we used to pronounce it as schoolboys: we didn't much emphasise the "p".

A few years back, I was listening to Absolute Radio whilst driving my car (as one does.) David Cameron was being interviewed live - I forget about what exactly - but the subject of Twitter came up. I recall that he was very lukewarm about the whole thing and he made the comment, "Too many tweets might make a twat." Everyone fell about laughing, myself included.

Predictably, the media made hay about the whole thing and the comment was the subject of a number of newspaper articles - in the broadsheets as well as the tabloids. At the time, it made me rather like him because it was a good play on words and it mirrored exactly my own feelings on the subject of Twitter.

Now David Cameron has his own Twitter account. I'm afraid I detect the hand of some spotty twenty-something SPAD in all this. "DAVE SWEETIE DARLING, ANYONE WHO IS ANYONE HAS A TWITTER ACCOUNT AND YOU SIMPLY MUST OPEN ONE FOR YOURSELF - MWAH MWAH!

It is probably cold comfort to him now to realise that his original instincts were absolutely correct. If I am right in thinking that SPADs were behind all this, then he should think long and hard in future when it comes to hiring any more of them and he should take their advice with a large pinch of salt. People from the real world with the experience and common-sense to go with it should take precedence over privileged Old Etonians every single time.

The absolute bottom line is that yet again, CAMERON HAS DONE SOMETHING REALLY DUMB. His complete and proven lack of judgment surely disqualifies him for the position he currently holds, Prime Minister of Great Britain.

DM, according to my OED.
Parse: Resolve (a sentence) into its component parts and describe their syntactic roles.
My context for using the word was
"it is only in totalitarian states that it is necessary to parse the language of 'The Dear Leader' carefully in order to survive."
Dammit, Sir, as an ex-Grammar School boy I stand by wot I rote!

Richard your last line says it all.

Indeed, parsing means observing that the first word of a sentence is, say, the definite article, the second an adjective, the third a noun, and so on. You, however meant (if you meant anything precise) something like "work out what the Dear Leader thinks". In other words, to construe, not to parse. 100 lines!

On your desk by 5.00pm, sir!

But parsing implies obtaining meaning. (They) (are flying) (planes). (They) (are)(flying planes). Two different meanings depending on how it is parsed.

Although you still owe us 100 lines because that's not a selfie. Someone else took the picture.

Dom, you're the sort of 'goody-two-shoes' who was always teacher's favourite and sat at the front of the class! I'll get you in the playground during the lunch break!

"But parsing implies obtaining meaning." No it doesn't: that's construing. Parsing means what DD said "Parse: Resolve (a sentence) into its component parts and describe their syntactic roles." You need to spot that a word is a noun (say), in the singular, that it's feminine, that it's in the accusative, and whatnot (according to the language being used). The fact that a noun is in the accusative means that it'll be the object of the sentence. This would encourage you to look for another noun that's in the nominative, which means you've found the subject of the sentence. And so on. Having got an accurate parsing, and also having separate knowledge of the meaning of each individual word, then you can work out the meaning of the sentence i.e. construe it. This fandango is why so many people came to loathe Latin at school. Unlike English, Latin is highly inflected, and word order gives you almost no help in working out what's going on in a sentence; hence the usefulness of the two-stage approach - first parse, then construe.

That'll be twenty guineas, please.

[Will] (you) [take] (a cheque)[?]

When they say: first woman to..., first black man to..., it simply means that a white man has been there before.

Well done, Ortega, you made it past the dreaded 'Spam Box' safely this time!

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