Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Show 273 Wednesday 31 January

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

A common mistake I see in Japan is goodbye written as two words or with a hyphen. This is wrong. But it’s an understandable mistake because goodbye is made up of two words joined together.

There are many words made up of two words joined together. They are called compound nouns.
Compound nouns come in three different styles.

The closed form is when the words are joined together for example: keyboard or notebook.The hyphenated form, such as sky-scraper.
And the open form, such as post office or mineral water.
Why are there three forms? I don’t know.

This is from

“Just exactly how and why these three forms exist is not exactly clear, but it seems likely that the process will begin with two words, become hyphenated after a time, and then eventually end up (as) just one word. It is curious that even good dictionaries sometimes disagree (with) how compound nouns should be spelt!”

So it really isn’t surprising that students have trouble with these words. Native speakers, like me, also have trouble. I often have to stop to think – hmm hyphen, no hyphen, space?

There are no strict rules to remember – although Wikipedia does have some rules about compounds. For example about hyphenated compound adjectives:

"A compound adjective is hyphenated if the hyphen helps the reader differentiate a compound adjective from two adjacent adjectives that each independently modify the noun."

I think you should just make some lists. And start by memorizing the ones that you use most often.

For today start by remembering these:

Goodbye is one word.
No one is two words, no hyphen.
A lot is two words.

And please remember this.

A 4-year-old girl won the prize. Hyphens, no s.
The girl who won the prize is 4 years old. No hypens, s.


Kia ora, in Stick News today, Kevin Federline is now starring in a TV advertisement for insurance. Some people in the fast food industry say the ads are insulting.

Kevin Federline is described in Wikipedia as a dancer, model, actor, rapper and wrestler. He’s famous for marrying Britney Spears.
The marriage didn’t go so well. Neither did the start of his rap career. He’s now starring in an ad which pokes fun at himself. In the ad Kevin plays a fast food worker dreaming of becoming a rapper. But some people don’t think the ad is funny.
A spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association said the ad gave the impression that working in a fast food restaurant is “demeaning and unpleasant”.
She said it was “an insult to the 12.8 million restaurant workers in America”.

And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 31st of January.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

Today I saw three men on the post office roof. It looks like they were clearing snow. But they might have been looking for a dead body.

conversations with sarah
#165 Do you know what goodbye means?

Step 1: Repeat Dave’s lines.
Step 2: Read Dave’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah Do you know what goodbye means?

Dave Ah, yeah, of course I do.

Sarah Ah yeah, no, I mean ... do you know what it originally meant?

Dave I have no idea.

Sarah It says here that it’s a contraction of “God be with you!”

Dave What does contraction mean?

Sarah Contract means to make smaller.

Dave Why does goodbye have two os? God has only one.

Sarah Mmm good question. I don’t know.