Blog de Cristina

a new language means a new vision of life

Archive for September, 2008

Hydrangea = Hortensia

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General
 Hydrangea ,pronounced /hai’dreindz(i)∂/ ,is the Latin name for the beautiful Hortensia. Their flower can be blue, white, pink, purple, the exact colour depending on the Ph of the soil. Asturias is full of them and so is my garden .Here is a very nice idea  to make good use of the Hortensias.
This is an article published by N. Bower which I have borrowed without his/her permission . I hope he/she doesn’t mind.
Gather, beg, borrow or steal several Hydrangea heads, from different bushes to get a variety of color. Do not pick them if they are bright blue, they will shrivel up and not look good in the wreath. The heads are easier to use if they are not dry, but slightly dry will work.
Go to a craft store, and buy a 12” straw wreath form and a box of “H” pins (refer to picture).  Put a wire loop around the straw wreath form for hanging later on. Start by pinning the heads with the H pins on the inside of the wreath form, then the top and finally the outside. They should be quite close together. They will dry, keeping most of their color.
Hang your masterpiece in a protected area out of the sun and it will reward you all winter long.

Texting

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under The English Language
What is Texting?
Texting is, according to dictionaries, the process of sending and receiving written messages using the mobile phone. But it is more than that , it has become a written language  not only used when sending SMS messages but also when writing e-mails or in the popular chat rooms. So it is increasingly becoming necessary to know some of the basics of this particular language.
 Acronyms such as CUL8R or PCM, standing for “see you later” or “please call me” as so popular now that it would seem you don’t know proper English unless you are able to understand them.
But it is not only being used in the conversational style of the Internet but these shortcuts are also being used in every possible piece of writing, especially by teenagers. I am aware that a lot of teachers are beginning to get seriously worried when they see assignments full of these shortened words and are warning their students that they will be taking points off if they use them. They are worried students won’t be able to draw the line between formal and informal conversational writing.
            Have a look at this post- it and try to work out what it says.
 In a way, it is quite funny. It is like solving an equation.
Here you have a list of the most popular acronyms Read the rest of this entry »

Shame on the Faroe Islands

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General
This is clearly not my day . I have got up on the wrong side of the bed. Just this morning and it is only 11.27 I have had two very unpleasant experiences. First, I argued with my youngest son about school homework and then just now I have opened my e-mail and my kind sister has decided that a nice dish for breakfast would be slaughtered dolphins knowing as she knows that I am extremely sensitive to any kind of violence , more when applied to innocents. So that has made my day.
And really I have the impression that I am going to puke after having seen the images of dolphins being killed just for fun. Sorry, I am about to do the same to you  but I feel you need to know.
But a bit of history nicked from different sources on the Internet.
Every year around 2,000 whales are driven ashore and cruelly slaughtered in the Faroe Islands, mid-way between the Shetland Islands and Iceland. For centuries the Faroe Islanders have hunted pilot whales, driving entire schools into killing bays, where they are speared or gaffed from boats, dragged ashore and butchered with knives. 
The Faroese celebrate the butchery of their victims in an carnival atmosphere of entertainment. Indoctrinated from an early age, children are often given a day off school to watch the fun. They run down to the bay and clamber over the carcasses of slaughtered whales.
There is no worst beast than human kind!
 
 

Thirty Seconds to Mars

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Music

You may want to read the lyrics.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndro…

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under The English Language
….bwllllantysiliogogogoch 
I was 14 ,and staying in England, the first time I heard this word.We were a group of teenagers attending classes from 9.00 to 13.00 and we really needed some funny breaks in-between the sometimes tedious lessons.
So I remember the teacher challenged us to try to give her the longest word we could think of, and I offered the popular ” supercalifragilisticoespialidoso”. Well, I was pretty sure nobody could beat me there but then she said  she had an even longer one.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch .   
Phew!!!
She was at pains to write it and… to pronounce it.
But what is this long  name? What does it stand for?
It is the name of a village on the island of Anglesey  in North Wales ; in fact, it’s  one of the most-photographed  places in North Wales and it has been officially recognised as one of the longest words in the world, but it cannot be considered an authentic Welsh toponym as it was made up in the 1860s  to give the railway station the longest name of any railway station in the UK  to  mainly attract visitors . And this early publicity stunt has worked as thousands of visitors visit this place every year.
By the way, this toponym has a meaning: “The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio’s of the red cave”. 
Want to have a go at  pronouncing it?
Now, there is some homework , what do you call the people  living in this tiny picturesque village?

Podcards

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under Resources
Surfing the Net I have found this interesting website I hope you find useful. Apart from the obvious fact that it ‘ll help you improve listening ,it also contains information about a particular town or city from different countries around the world or biographies of famous people or events that make these places famous.
The PodCards are divided into  two levels : Low level PodCards are aimed at students up to and including Pre-Intermediate level and   High level PodCards that contain more advanced structures and vocabulary and are for Intermediate students and above.
There is also a worksheet with every postcard. Here you will also find the tapescript.  Guess what you are not supposed to do…. exactly … do not read the tapescript  before listening.

… a pescatarian!!!

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General
Yes, exactly. This is what I am .
You surely remember that some time ago I wrote something about the different kinds of vegetarians , namely, vegan , ovo-vegetarian , lacto-ovo… and I remember that I didn’t know what to call myself, although it was crystal clear to me that I was not a vegetarian.
Well,  I am a pescatarian . New word , by the way. So new, that some British people don’t even know what it means, at least , yet.
It was my teacher in London who taught me this new word. I was so happy with my new acquisition that I jumped at the first opportunity to use it. So, there I was, at a cafe asking for a sandwich.
“What is in there?” I asked the waiter, pointing suspiciously at a sandwich.
“Chicken” he said .
“And this other one?”
“Ham”
Every single time he told me the contents of the sandwich I said “no, no..”
I imagine he was getting quite tired of me when he asked :
“What the hell are you…  a vegetarian?
“No, I am a pescatarian.” I happily admitted.
“What on earth is this? “he snapped at me
And, there was a girl behind me, probably as angry at me as the waiter who explained to the man behind the counter  that a pescatarian is someone  who abstains  from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish.
So this is it… you already know what a pescatarian is.
Now , this is homework  …. What is a flexitarian??

The BBC

Posted by CRISTINA CABAL DIAZ under General, Resources
But , of course, you cannot be in London and not to go to the BBC. And so I went and had a great time. I even saw a quiz being recorded although to tell you the truth I don’t have a clue about the name of this quiz. I also volunteered to do the weather forecast as the pic shows and I became the newsreader for 
a while(I’ll show you the photo some other time) . Nice experience , by the way!!
The BBC is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world and you have to pay if you want to see its programmes. The annual cost of a colour TV licence (set by the Government) is currently £139.50 and with that you get  good programmes without commercials.
The BBC uses the income from the licence fee to provide services including 8 national TV channels plus regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive website, bbc.co.uk which I highly recommend
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/multimedia/
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