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#2036798 - 02/21/13 07:35 AM Way off topic, but...
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2036799 - 02/21/13 07:40 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8351
Loc: Georgia, USA
You are certainly a man well traveled, Del… and, well versed in the universal language of “Piano”. smile

All the best,

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2036808 - 02/21/13 07:59 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9112
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Not so OT, Del.

This is where art is made, my friend - in the diversity of culture and heritage come great ideas.
_________________________
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Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#2036830 - 02/21/13 09:07 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Rich Galassini]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Rich Galassini
Not so OT, Del.

This is where art is made, my friend - in the diversity of culture and heritage come great ideas.

It just struck me, this evening, how much I and the world have changed since I first sat at a bench replacing bridle straps on upright actions that weren't nearly as old then as they are now.

Back then we were then still skittish about a conflict recently ended over in Korea, a land many Americans would have been unable to pick out on a map; I had yet to be sent off to my own generation’s war and Nixon had not yet been to China. Japanese pianos were unheard of and even European pianos were rare (at least in my neck of the American woods).

Today it is easier for an American to get into China than it is to get back into the United States. Japanese pianos are common and well respected. European pianos are everywhere. And I found myself sitting at table with gentleman from four cultures quite different from my own, laughing together and sharing experiences along with good food and drink and the only thing we really had in common was the piano. And I found myself thinking, “What a wonderful world this can be….”

Perhaps I’m just getting old and reflective but the feeling that this was far better than fighting over petty differences was profound.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2036863 - 02/21/13 10:23 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7073
Loc: Rochester MN
Piano diplomacy is a wonderful evolution from Ping Pong diplomacy. The walls have been breached in Berlin and China. Music makes a better world.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2036872 - 02/21/13 10:36 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Del, in the unlikely event you are at a loss for words at your next dinner you could ask your Chinese and Japanese friends to write down names for pianos in their characters and then ask them to interpret their meaning. Something like 10,000 notes might be the opening gambit.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2036873 - 02/21/13 10:36 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3299
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
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keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#2036938 - 02/21/13 12:24 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3419
>the history, future, culture and business of the piano

And what were the results?
_________________________

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#2036957 - 02/21/13 01:07 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21175
Loc: Oakland
When relations thawed with China, among the first people to travel there were some of my math professors from Berkeley, where I was studying. Some of them already spoke Chinese, and math is universal, so that was part of the first cultural exchange.

The first humanities student from China came to Berkeley to study comparative literature a bit later. I visited one of my German professors, who also taught in comparative literature, and he said this student was living in terrible conditions, where her sponsor was keeping her more as a pet to show off to friends, rather than giving her the support she needed. About that time I had tuned a piano for one of the math professors who was getting ready to go to China, and wanted to learn Chinese. So I was able to hook the student and the professor up together, and that was her opportunity to get out of her situation and complete her studies. I never met her at that time, but when the math professor died, she came and spoke at the memorial, and we met then. She went on to marry a German astrophysicist, and was living in Bonn.

The world has become much more interconnected since then.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2036988 - 02/21/13 01:58 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4373
Loc: Jersey Shore
Too bad the Chinese government is mounting a huge cyber war against American firms. Read a recent article that says they have a 12 story office building dedicated just for this purpose. Hacking for state security is one thing, but hacking the private sector is way out there...especially by their government.

Funny, they hacked Apple the other day, and Apple get 80% of their stuff through China.

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#2037093 - 02/21/13 05:18 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

ddf


Edited by Del (02/21/13 05:19 PM)
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2037107 - 02/21/13 05:43 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Del
[quote=Keith D Kerman]Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.

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#2037149 - 02/21/13 06:40 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.

Perhaps so.

The punctuation marks in question are standard quotation marks -- at least they are on my computer. In my language this is a fairly common way of highlighting a word for any number of reasons.

In this case (and for reasons that will remain private) I did not want to be specific about one gentleman's country of origin and yet wanted to mention him as an indication of the broad cultural diversity of the group. I thought I had accomplished that.

But you seem to have taken offense where none was intended...I'm not sure if I should be apologizing for this or just ignoring it.

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2037316 - 02/22/13 02:50 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
HalfStep Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/25/11
Posts: 201
Loc: Boston, MA
The world is flat, suggests Friedman, and I agree. Interestingly, my daughter, (we're in The States) has studied Mandarin as part of an academic requirement since 5th grade.

Profound! Absolutely, Del!

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#2037339 - 02/22/13 04:25 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Dara Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/18/09
Posts: 1016
Loc: west coast island, canada
Originally Posted By: Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!


perhaps you're just having a wild dream
enjoy !

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#2037615 - 02/22/13 05:00 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.

Perhaps so.

The punctuation marks in question are standard quotation marks -- at least they are on my computer. In my language this is a fairly common way of highlighting a word for any number of reasons.

In this case (and for reasons that will remain private) I did not want to be specific about one gentleman's country of origin and yet wanted to mention him as an indication of the broad cultural diversity of the group. I thought I had accomplished that.

But you seem to have taken offense where none was intended...I'm not sure if I should be apologizing for this or just ignoring it.

ddf


For my part no offence whatever was taken, it was simply that the meaning of your punctuation was unclear.

Whilst I have no wish to appear tediously pedantic I would like to add that the punctuation marks in question are properly referred to as inverted commas not as quotation marks. The essential point about quotation marks is that they enclose a quotation; this is not the case here.



Edited by Jean Claude (02/22/13 05:08 PM)

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#2037629 - 02/22/13 05:20 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7073
Loc: Rochester MN
Jean Claude,

In American English, there is no inverted comma. It is referred to as a quotation mark and is a distinction from British English.

Often its inclusion is used to add emphasis or double entendre. Contempory punctuation also uses *example.*

Personally, I didn't understand Del's usage of quotations either. But, I didn't question it. Europe (without quotes) wouldn't reveal a specific nationality. An American could be from any one of 50 states. A Canadian could be from any province.

I doubt that speakers of American English would quibble with your usage of "whilst." We understand what you are saying but it is not in usage here.

Let us return to the topic of the camaraderie of pianos and the joy of music.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2037669 - 02/22/13 06:33 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Marty,

I am indebted to you for your insights into the differences between British and American usage although obliged to observe that Webster's does give 'whilst' (I admit however that it gives the caveat 'mostly British')

Perhaps as you say now would be a good moment to (if I may quote you) 'return to the topic of the camaraderie of pianos and the joy of music'

Jean-Claude.

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#2037688 - 02/22/13 07:11 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
As this topic is Way off topic, but ... of interest, I looked up inverted commas in the Economist Style guide for clarification.

It notes the Bible contains no quotation marks, with no consequent confusions.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2038817 - 02/25/13 03:58 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Withindale
As this topic is Way off topic, but ... of interest, I looked up inverted commas in the Economist Style guide for clarification.

It notes the Bible contains no quotation marks, with no consequent confusions.


O dear. Just when I was hoping to return to the camaraderie of pianos and the joy of music along comes Withindale (who I note is British) I have no wish to appear spinsterish about style or grammar but this really won't do. I have taken the liberty of putting the contribution into (British) English.

As this topic is way off topic but of interest, I looked up 'inverted commas' in the 'Economist Style Guide' for clarification.

It notes that the Bible contains no quotation marks, with no consequent confusions.

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#2038827 - 02/25/13 04:39 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Jean Claude (whom I note is French) has more correct English than many of the English.

To bring us back to pianos and music, at the weekend Howard Goodall presented a BBC TV programme on the revolution in music at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. He said Erik Satie, whom his teacher described as the laziest student of all time, started things off in France before Debussy and Ravel appeared on the scene.

'Way off topic, but ...'
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2038838 - 02/25/13 05:26 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5275
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf


What did you order and how was the food?
_________________________
website

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#2038875 - 02/25/13 07:01 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Dave Horne]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Originally Posted By: Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf


What did you order and how was the food?

I didn't order, my hosts did the honors. But in typical Korean fashion there was a variety; it usually starts with a half-dozen or so small dishes of appetizers. Being Korean, it goes without saying that there was plenty of kimchee. There was a variety of pa-jeon (vegetable pancakes). Partly in deference to me—my hosts know that I enjoy it—the main courses were various cuts of beef and pork sliced very thin and prepared at the table on 20 mm thick (give or take) glass platters heated over an open flame. It was excellent. The final course was a spicy vegetable soup (also prepared at the table) and served with rice.

The Australian gentlemen brought some excellent wine from their homeland which they shared with those of us having a taste for red wine. And of course there was plenty of Baijiu (Chinese “white liquor”)—which may explain a lot….

ddf
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#2038887 - 02/25/13 07:39 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Roy123 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/20/04
Posts: 1707
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: Del
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Originally Posted By: Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf


What did you order and how was the food?

I didn't order, my hosts did the honors. But in typical Korean fashion there was a variety; it usually starts with a half-dozen or so small dishes of appetizers. Being Korean, it goes without saying that there was plenty of kimchee. There was a variety of pa-jeon (vegetable pancakes). Partly in deference to me—my hosts know that I enjoy it—the main courses were various cuts of beef and pork sliced very thin and prepared at the table on 20 mm thick (give or take) glass platters heated over an open flame. It was excellent. The final course was a spicy vegetable soup (also prepared at the table) and served with rice.

The Australian gentlemen brought some excellent wine from their homeland which they shared with those of us having a taste for red wine. And of course there was plenty of Baijiu (Chinese “white liquor”)—which may explain a lot….

ddf


Hearing about the thinly sliced meat reminded me of eating shabu shabu in Tokyo. In the center of the table was a boiling pot of dashi (Japanese broth), into which the diners waved very thin slices of raw beef that cooked almost instantly. Then the broth, flavored by the beef, and fortified with vegetables, was served as soup to end the meal.

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#2039017 - 02/25/13 01:14 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Jean Claude (whom I note is French) has more correct English than many of the English.

To bring us back to pianos and music, at the weekend Howard Goodall presented a BBC TV programme on the revolution in music at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. He said Erik Satie, whom his teacher described as the laziest student of all time, started things off in France before Debussy and Ravel appeared on the scene.

'Way off topic, but ...'


Withindale, 'whom' in your first sentance, which I take to imply a slight rebuke to me, is quite wrong. Whom can only be used for the objective case; who for the subjective is invariable. You would not write 'Jean-Claude whom is French' would you? However I forgive you because of your charming observation about my English.

It must be agreeable to be able to see TV programmes about Satie, Ravel and Debussy. French television generally seems to take the view that music started with Johnny Hallyday.

I must say that these descriptions of Korean and Japanese food sound splendid. Do you think it would work with horse?

J-C.


Edited for appalling spelling mistake.




Edited by Jean Claude (02/25/13 01:25 PM)

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#2039052 - 02/25/13 02:15 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.
_________________________
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

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#2039100 - 02/25/13 03:15 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1705
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Alas, the BBC feed is not available in the States. UNLESS someone out there has some clever workaround...


Edited by ClsscLib (02/25/13 03:15 PM)
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2039114 - 02/25/13 03:40 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: ClsscLib]
AndyJ Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 218
Loc: Near Dayton, Ohio USA
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Alas, the BBC feed is not available in the States. UNLESS someone out there has some clever workaround...


You can use a proxy server as explained here. Notwithstanding what that page says, you should not even consider a free proxy server. It costs a lot of money to provide the bandwidth a bunch of video-streaming users require, and the free services have to pay for that bandwidth somehow. The way they pay for it is by intruding on your web viewing or by harvesting information you'd prefer not to share, like credit card numbers.

A couple of friends with a nephew on the US Modern Biathlon team used one of these services during the Olympics and were extremely pleased with it.

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#2039174 - 02/25/13 05:10 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Well done Withendale. You have correctly worked out that by changing the verb from the present to the infinitive you can alter the case structure of the clause, in the process allowing yourself to use 'whom' without error. No backsliding however! I should be very cross to find you writing 'Howard Goodall, whom I note is a composer' in future missives.

On a more general level, hasn't all this chat about 'proxy servers' taken things rather off topic?

J-C.

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#2039185 - 02/25/13 05:35 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
ClsscLib Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1705
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Well done Withendale. You have correctly worked out that by changing the verb from the present to the infinitive you can alter the case structure of the clause, in the process allowing yourself to use 'whom' without error. No backsliding however! I should be very cross to find you writing 'Howard Goodall, whom I note is a composer' in future missives.

On a more general level, hasn't all this chat about 'proxy servers' taken things rather off topic?

J-C.


Indeed. Let's get back to discussing English grammar.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2039196 - 02/25/13 05:58 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
BerndAB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 541
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Del
I didn't order, my hosts did the honors.


Del,

whenever you might be back in Korea - and have the chance to order, just try Gun Mandu (pronounced "goon mon doo"). They are fingerfood of quite spicy minced meat, fried and wrapped in a Dim Sum-like bakery. They are normally served with a spicy soy sauce with sesame.

Whenever I am in a good Korean restaurant, I could eat Gun Mandu alone even if the other dishes are also mostly GREAT.
smile

If anybody likes spicy East Asean types of cooking, also check out chinese Sechuan style.
_________________________
Pls excuse any bad english.

D 1877 satin black plain

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#2039201 - 02/25/13 06:16 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: ClsscLib]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: Withindale
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Well done Withendale. You have correctly worked out that by changing the verb from the present to the infinitive you can alter the case structure of the clause, in the process allowing yourself to use 'whom' without error. No backsliding however! I should be very cross to find you writing 'Howard Goodall, whom I note is a composer' in future missives.

On a more general level, hasn't all this chat about 'proxy servers' taken things rather off topic?

J-C.


Indeed. Let's get back to discussing English grammar.


On the other hand this site does provide great learning opportunities. Up until this evening I thought that a Proxy Server was a stand-in waiter. I may not yet be altogether clear what a PS is but at least I have some idea what it is not.

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#2039398 - 02/26/13 01:36 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: Del
[quote=Keith D Kerman]Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.


Most Europeans I know, when they speak of Europe almost always speak of "Europe". And, most all appreciate their privacy.


Edited by theJourney (02/26/13 01:36 AM)

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#2039412 - 02/26/13 02:38 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Mark R. Online   content
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Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1924
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
theJourney,

As Jean has already indicated: in terms of privacy or lack thereof, there is no difference between Europe and "Europe". There were also people from America at Del's table, and it wasn't necessary to adorn that continent's name with quotation marks / inverted commas. Why should Europe be different?

If I told you that I live in Africa, you wouldn't know any more about me than had I written "Africa".

But perhaps, like Jean, I am also being dense, and the inverted comma is indeed some great protector of anonymity...

Regards from "Africa".
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#2039433 - 02/26/13 05:38 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Mark R.]
theJourney Offline
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Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
theJourney,

As Jean has already indicated: in terms of privacy or lack thereof, there is no difference between Europe and "Europe". There were also people from America at Del's table, and it wasn't necessary to adorn that continent's name with quotation marks / inverted commas. Why should Europe be different?

If I told you that I live in Africa, you wouldn't know any more about me than had I written "Africa".

But perhaps, like Jean, I am also being dense, and the inverted comma is indeed some great protector of anonymity...

Regards from "Africa".


Just because Jean indicates something does not mean that that is the only valid answer or even correct.

Putting quotes around a word when writing, like using one's fingers in the air when talking, is often a device to imply the phrase "so-called" or to indicate irony or mocking or even to indicate the negation, among other things.

In the case of America, I imagine that there are few American citizens of individual states who do not consider themselves American. After all, it is one country. They are Floridians in the winter and New Yorkers in the summer but always Americans, for example.

In contrast, many citizens of individual countries on the European continent do not consider themselves to be European, but rather Italian, Romanian, Polish, Dutch, etc. They are from "Europe". In fact, a good many citizens of countries on the European continent feel a closer bond to America than to Bulgaria, for example. By referring to " Europe " one can emphasize one's distancing from the often nebulous European project. Africa generally refers to the African continent.

The privacy matter can be considered as distinct from the quotes. If a piano manufacturer were from a country such as France or Italy or Holland until recently that essentially only has one major manufacturer, then referring to " Europe " rather than the actual country they are from would provide them with respect and privacy since posting on a public bulletin board without their permission might be considered a breach of trust by those from cultures where privacy exists and is respected. He could also have said " the European continent " (quotes indicating the text that could have been inserted, not the literal inclusion of the punctuation.)

As to Africa, I am aware of no continent spanning project that is equivalent to the political organization of the Federal government of the United States of America that might encourage all Africans see themselves as citizens of one country called Africa nor to the far-reaching project of the European Union trying to unite different cultures and countries into one common market that might encourage citizens to distance themselves from such a project and refer to themselves being from " Africa".

If you were sincere when writing " Regards from ' Africa '" I would assume, given your stated location, that you might be indicating that you are setting yourself apart supporting the traditional Boer narrative that South Africa is a special, God given place, set apart for its new immigrants, not to be confused with all the rest of the basket case countries on the continent.

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#2039452 - 02/26/13 07:32 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: theJourney]
Jean Claude Offline
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Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: Del
[quote=Keith D Kerman]Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.


Most Europeans I know, when they speak of Europe almost always speak of "Europe". And, most all appreciate their privacy.


I'm fascinated. How does one speak of "Europe" and how does it differ from speaking of Europe? A slight apologetic cough perhaps? A full-blown sneering drawl? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate inverted commas? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate quotation marks?

I am deeply concerned that you may be mixing with the wrong set.

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#2039458 - 02/26/13 07:52 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: theJourney]
Mark R. Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1924
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: theJourney
The privacy matter can be considered as distinct from the quotes.


That's exactly what Jean Claude and I've been trying to say...

By the way, when I last looked, America was not a country, but a continent consisting of North and South America, encompassing several countries.
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#2039467 - 02/26/13 08:11 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Scott Hamlin Offline
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Registered: 08/11/12
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All this "conversation" about punctuation
is "fascinating".
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#2039469 - 02/26/13 08:14 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Mark R.]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted By: Mark R.
By the way, when I last looked, America was not a country, but a continent consisting of North and South America, encompassing several countries.

Oh boy - this opens the door to the discussion of how many continents there are. One can make arguments for five, six, or seven.
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#2039472 - 02/26/13 08:25 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Scott Hamlin Offline
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Posts: 544
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: Mark R.
By the way, when I last looked, America was not a country, but a continent consisting of North and South America, encompassing several countries.

Oh boy - this opens the door to the discussion of how many continents there are. One can make arguments for five, six, or seven.


Anyone want to debate the existence of Pangea? help
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#2039473 - 02/26/13 08:28 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Mark R.]
theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark R.
By the way, when I last looked, America was not a country, but a continent consisting of North and South America, encompassing several countries.


Yes. However, if you ask a typical American (in the sense of United States citizen) if a Colombian or a Brazilian or an Innuit is an American, the likely answer you will get is: no. Or, perhaps after some prodding, you might get them to admit that they might be considered "Americans".

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#2039475 - 02/26/13 08:30 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
theJourney Offline
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Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
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Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: Del
[quote=Keith D Kerman]Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.


Most Europeans I know, when they speak of Europe almost always speak of "Europe". And, most all appreciate their privacy.


I'm fascinated. How does one speak of "Europe" and how does it differ from speaking of Europe? A slight apologetic cough perhaps? A full-blown sneering drawl? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate inverted commas? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate quotation marks?


One speaks of Europe when one discusses the need for all countries to execute to the agreed level of financial discipline.

One speaks of "Europe" when France yet again argues that it should be an exception and not have to be held to previous, current or future promises, agreements and pledges.

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#2039492 - 02/26/13 09:20 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: theJourney]
Jean Claude Offline
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Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: Del
[quote=Keith D Kerman]Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.


Most Europeans I know, when they speak of Europe almost always speak of "Europe". And, most all appreciate their privacy.


I'm fascinated. How does one speak of "Europe" and how does it differ from speaking of Europe? A slight apologetic cough perhaps? A full-blown sneering drawl? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate inverted commas? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate quotation marks?


One speaks of Europe when one discusses the need for all countries to execute to the agreed level of financial discipline.

One speaks of "Europe" when France yet again argues that it should be an exception and not have to be held to previous, current or future promises, agreements and pledges.


I find your comment offensively racist.

J-C.

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#2039504 - 02/26/13 09:49 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
turandot Offline
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7114
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Del


In this case (and for reasons that will remain private) I did not want to be specific about one gentleman's country of origin and yet wanted to mention him as an indication of the broad cultural diversity of the group. I thought I had accomplished that.
ddf



Well, it clearly backfired. grin

Actually, framing Europe with any kind of punctuation adornment made Europe stand out. If you wanted to downplay, you should have failed to capitalize it or used a smaller font size than you used in the rest of the text. grin

When I read the post, I assumed that you wanted Europe to stand out. Since punctuation is for the most part an attempt to approximate the nuances of spoken language, my take was that while it was not surprising that the others in the party might freely and amicably associate in a public place, a prominent Euro in the piano biz might not want to be caught by camera or even by written word selling out brand pedigree, national pride, or even family honor in exchange for cost savings on parts and labor. grin

Despite any misunderstanding of that small point, I enjoyed your post, your thoughts, and your hope (which I share) that a shrinking world may eventually become a more enlightened world.
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#2039515 - 02/26/13 10:04 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
Originally Posted By: Del
[quote=Keith D Kerman]Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.


Most Europeans I know, when they speak of Europe almost always speak of "Europe". And, most all appreciate their privacy.


I'm fascinated. How does one speak of "Europe" and how does it differ from speaking of Europe? A slight apologetic cough perhaps? A full-blown sneering drawl? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate inverted commas? Does one wriggle ones fingers in the air to indicate quotation marks?


One speaks of Europe when one discusses the need for all countries to execute to the agreed level of financial discipline.

One speaks of "Europe" when France yet again argues that it should be an exception and not have to be held to previous, current or future promises, agreements and pledges.


I find your comment offensively racist.

J-C.


It is just an illustration of how real Europeans think based on historical facts of the past behavior of actual EU member states and why this leads to them to discuss "Europe."

Perhaps you should take yourself less seriously and then look up the definition for racist.

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#2039526 - 02/26/13 10:20 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 544
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude


I find your comment offensively racist.

J-C.


Well we've gone this far off track....

There is nothing racist about that statement.
The French are not a "race" anymore than Americans
are a race.

Even if he said something like "French people
smell bad", it would not be considered racist.
Prejudice or stereotyping, yes, but not racist.
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#2039530 - 02/26/13 10:23 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Roy Rodgers Offline
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Del, I was hoping while I was in the Seattle, WA area last week I might get to drive down and get to meet you. But things on my end just didn't work out, and since you were out I suppose it worked out well.

Maybe next time.
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#2039535 - 02/26/13 10:28 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
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Smell bad? From my year in France, what comes to mind is the aroma wafting from the pâtisseries. Delightful!

Hasn't this gone on long enough?
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#2039538 - 02/26/13 10:38 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Jean Claude Offline
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Posts: 352
Loc: France
'the Journey'

I have the feeling that you are dressing up your own rather odd opinions as those of 'real Europeans' If this is not the case perhaps you could enlighten me as to what you mean by the phrase and perhaps explain how I might distinguish a real European from any other kind (presumably false, fake or artificial Europeans)

It would also be interesting to learn how many of the 750,000,000 (approx) Europeans are real and how you have gone about canvassing them for their views.


J-C.



Edited by Jean Claude (02/26/13 10:57 AM)

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#2039547 - 02/26/13 11:01 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Scott Hamlin Offline
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Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 544
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Smell bad? From my year in France, what comes to mind is the aroma wafting from the pâtisseries. Delightful!

Hasn't this gone on long enough?


I didn't imply the French smell bad,
I was using a oft used old stereotype
to make a point.

And yes, it had gone on long enough. help
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#2039555 - 02/26/13 11:11 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Plinky - I completely understood what you were saying. I just pushed it over the top with an attempt of humor.

I agree with you about racism vs. stereotyping.
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#2039585 - 02/26/13 12:04 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Scott Hamlin Offline
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No worries! cool
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#2039660 - 02/26/13 02:14 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Plowboy Offline
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No wonder Orwell was depressed about the future!
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#2039673 - 02/26/13 02:42 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
basically Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/24/12
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By: Del

Perhaps I’m just getting old and reflective but the feeling that this was far better than fighting over petty differences was profound.

ddf


Now we have the internet for that.

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#2039674 - 02/26/13 02:42 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Norbert Offline
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Quote:
It would also be interesting to learn how many of the 750,000,000 (approx) Europeans are real and how you have gone about canvassing them for their views.


I would be particularly interested what our Russian friends would have to say to that.

They're the often forgotten, biggest part of "Europe"....
[by far..]

http://geography.about.com/od/europemaps/a/europe-countries-area.htm

Norbert wink


Edited by Norbert (02/26/13 02:47 PM)
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#2039756 - 02/26/13 05:20 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Jean Claude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 352
Loc: France
This thread, which seemed quite fun at first, has got rather out of hand and for my own part I shall make no further contributions to it.

I should like to apologize to Del for hijacking his OT and to Withindale for teasing him about grammar and I would particularly like to thank Marty for his efforts to calm things down.

It is 23.15h in France and because I am now mildly paranoid about being smelly I propose to take a bath before going to bed.

Good night to one and all.

J-C.

Edited for punctuation (!)


Edited by Jean Claude (02/26/13 05:30 PM)

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#2039773 - 02/26/13 05:39 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Roy Rodgers]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Roy Rodgers
Del, I was hoping while I was in the Seattle, WA area last week I might get to drive down and get to meet you. But things on my end just didn't work out, and since you were out I suppose it worked out well.

Maybe next time.

I'd be happy for you to stop by for a visit. (Right now, though, that would involve a 14-hour plane ride, each way). Then I could say I'd been visited by an "American."

ddf
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#2039804 - 02/26/13 06:54 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
Del Offline
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Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
This thread, which seemed quite fun at first, has got rather out of hand and for my own part I shall make no further contributions to it.

I should like to apologize to Del for hijacking his OT and to Withindale for teasing him about grammar and I would particularly like to thank Marty for his efforts to calm things down.

It is 23.15h in France and because I am now mildly paranoid about being smelly I propose to take a bath before going to bed.

Good night to one and all.

J-C.

Edited for punctuation (!)

No apology needed. I have found the whole discussion quite interesting.

We not only live in interesting times but we live in a rapidly shrinking world. Cultures are brought together and mixing and meshing (or not) in altogether new ways. We can run from this or we can join in. I prefer to join in. As do, I think, most who participate on a forum such as this. I find the differing cultural ideas and approaches to things I have taken for granted from my youth to be quite stimulating.

My thanks to all who have participated. I've learned some stuff....

ddf
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#2039818 - 02/26/13 07:25 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
AJB Offline
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Loc: Surrey, England
You have all misunderstood Europe. From a British point of view (in fact I prefer English) one prefers Continental Europe (with or without quotation marks) to distinguish the big bit from the offshore segment.

Whilst it is allegedly a fact that the United Kingdom is part of "Europe" the reality is that there are "continentals" and there are British.

As it happens I am married to a continental, so I have a foot either side of the water.

Everyone surely knows that Europe, when surrounded by quotation marks, includes the EEC undesirables. Hence it is clear from Del's post that his secret dining companion hails from neither the UK nor the likes of France and Germany. Thus we are dealing with a nouveau "European" I fancy.
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#2039851 - 02/26/13 08:46 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]
Scott Hamlin Offline
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Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 544
Originally Posted By: Jean Claude
This thread, which seemed quite fun at first, has got rather out of hand and for my own part I shall make no further contributions to it.


LOL - you just did! grin
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#2039860 - 02/26/13 09:00 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Minnesota Marty Offline

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Registered: 05/15/12
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Loc: Rochester MN
Oh-Oh

We're back to grammar. Actually, J-C hasn't made further contributions. But he will!

He edited for punctuation, but alas, he missed a half stop insertion.
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#2039871 - 02/26/13 09:15 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Scott Hamlin Offline
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Registered: 08/11/12
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OK - I have decided to end it here a be a model member.

(or is is modell????) DANG IT! f
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#2039897 - 02/26/13 10:17 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: AJB]
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5155
Loc: Olympia, Washington
Originally Posted By: AJB
You have all misunderstood Europe. From a British point of view (in fact I prefer English) one prefers Continental Europe (with or without quotation marks) to distinguish the big bit from the offshore segment.

Whilst it is allegedly a fact that the United Kingdom is part of "Europe" the reality is that there are "continentals" and there are British.

As it happens I am married to a continental, so I have a foot either side of the water.

Everyone surely knows that Europe, when surrounded by quotation marks, includes the EEC undesirables. Hence it is clear from Del's post that his secret dining companion hails from neither the UK nor the likes of France and Germany. Thus we are dealing with a nouveau "European" I fancy.

I had no idea I was being so subtle. Personally, I think it was the Baijiu....

ddf
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#2040074 - 02/27/13 10:21 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: AJB]
AndyJ Offline
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Registered: 09/29/12
Posts: 218
Loc: Near Dayton, Ohio USA
Originally Posted By: AJB
Whilst it is allegedly a fact that the United Kingdom is part of "Europe" the reality is that there are "continentals" and there are British.

Quite so. I remember noting with some bemusement that London travel agencies prominently displayed prices for package trips to Europe.

Andy

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#2040786 - 02/28/13 01:43 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Withindale Offline
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Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1907
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
We're back to grammar. Actually, J-C hasn't made further contributions. But he will!

We will see!

While I was on the road this week, listening to Finzi, I was thinking that English is a very forgiving language but grammar, syntax and punctuation still pose all sorts of traps for the unwary as Del and I have found to our cost.

I was hauled up before the beak (a "British English" term for a judge) for giving hold, an Old English transitive verb, an object which someone else (French, I note) wanted to use as the subject of another verb.

Some American businessmen class Europe as a geography and often lump it in with a wider geography called EMEA as a convenient acronym for marketing purposes. Perhaps an EMEAN would have covered Del's tracks better than those quotation marks.

Did you know that last week the German President proposed English become the official language of the European Union? It then transpired that it is the only language Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, and Francois Hollande, the French President, have in common.

Way off topic, again, but ...
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#2040837 - 02/28/13 03:06 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]
Plowboy Offline
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If we can just get the British to start speaking English, that would be a start!
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#2041036 - 02/28/13 09:24 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Withindale
[quote=Minnesota Marty]...
Some American businessmen class Europe as a geography and often lump it in with a wider geography called EMEA as a convenient acronym for marketing purposes. Perhaps an EMEAN would have covered Del's tracks better than those quotation marks.

Did you know that last week the German President proposed English become the official language of the European Union? It then transpired that it is the only language Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, and Francois Hollande, the French President, have in common.

Way off topic, again, but ...



Let's have a big compromise where everybody gets something and are happy:

[{(*"'Europe'"*)}]
capital: Berlin
official language: English
official beverage: French wine
official food: Italian pizza
official cartoon: Tintin (as a compensation for loosing the capital)
etc...
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#2041202 - 03/01/13 06:59 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]
Jean-Pierre Offline
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Registered: 02/28/13
Posts: 1
Loc: France
I write on behalf of my brother Jean-Claude who is, for two reasons, unable to make a posting on his own account. Firstly, in his last post he announced that he would make no further pronouncements in this thread and like all Frenchmen his word once given is irrevocable. Secondly I'm afraid that the thread has very much weakend his already rather feeble grasp on reality. His twin obsessions - English grammar and personal hygene - led him to take a bath on Wednesday evening and he remained in the bathroom until yesterday night. We could hear him shuffling about looking for additional cleaning materials and muttering 'I stink therefore I am' which was upsetting for the household and bad for the morale of the servants. Things came to a head yesterday night when he appeared in the salon looking for a subjunctive case in which he thought that some carbolic soap might be found.

Unfortunately it has been necessary to move Jean-Claude into an institution where we hope that he will be able to receive the care that he needs.

Happily I do not share my brother's obsession with grammar and do not intend to make any observations on that subject. My purpose in writing is to comment on part of Withindale's most recent contribution, which reads:

'Did you know that last week the German President proposed English become the official language of the European Union? It then transpired that it is the only language Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, and Francois Hollande, the French President, have in common.'


Chancellor Merkel is a dynamic, popular and successful leader of her nation so I imagine that the ability to speak Englsh is in fact the only thing that she has in common with M. Hollande.

J-P


Edited by Jean-Pierre (03/01/13 07:11 AM)

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#2041215 - 03/01/13 07:30 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean-Pierre]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Jean-Pierre
I write on behalf of my brother Jean-Claude who is, for two reasons, unable to make a posting on his own account. Firstly, in his last post he announced that he would make no further pronouncements in this thread and like all Frenchmen his word once given is irrevocable. Secondly I'm afraid that the thread has very much weakend his already rather feeble grasp on reality. His twin obsessions - English grammar and personal hygene - led him to take a bath on Wednesday evening and he remained in the bathroom until yesterday night. We could hear him shuffling about looking for additional cleaning materials and muttering 'I stink therefore I am' which was upsetting for the household and bad for the morale of the servants. Things came to a head yesterday night when he appeared in the salon looking for a subjunctive case in which he thought that some carbolic soap might be found.

Unfortunately it has been necessary to move Jean-Claude into an institution where we hope that he will be able to receive the care that he needs.

Happily I do not share my brother's obsession with grammar and do not intend to make any observations on that subject. My purpose in writing is to comment on part of Withindale's most recent contribution, which reads:

'Did you know that last week the German President proposed English become the official language of the European Union? It then transpired that it is the only language Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, and Francois Hollande, the French President, have in common.'


Chancellor Merkel is a dynamic, popular and successful leader of her nation so I imagine that the ability to speak Englsh is in fact the only thing that she has in common with M. Hollande.

J-P


Ha ha! thumb

Give our regards to your other hand!

As George W. Bush would say: "Don't mis-underestimate monsieur Hollande." It takes balls to swim against the current (even with the degree of -- according to you, un-French -- back-paddling on display). Sometimes the leaders we need are different to the ones we think we want.

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