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What's the most important thing you learnt at school

Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
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How to speak in front of a group,
How to write clear prose that other people actually want to read,
How to manage a project,
How to handle big changes, with grace,
How to run a small business.
Speed reading with comprehension,
and How to sell.


Would any of these be more important than learning how to apostrophe ?

e.g in speech would it be OK (and poetical and preferable) to say the lemon's rind but not in writing as this would cause people to cringe because people wear different hats when they read.

Note lack of learning at point 2 with this last sentence.
[ January 01, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

Le Cafe Mouse - Helen's musings on the web - Java Skills and Thrills
"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Ellen Zhao
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Posts: 581
for me, the most important thing learnt from school so far are:

1. how to learn
2. how to communicate with people

for apostrophe, I think sometimes it's much more important and interesting than actual written words. Forgot who said it:
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter
Nick George
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how to spell "learned"


I've heard it takes forever to grow a woman from the ground
Helen Thomas
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A learned person paid attention and learnt something at school ?
What have you learned so far in your career/school ?
I am assuming school for most people here is in the past and over..
Jim Yingst
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What is the difference between 'learnt' and 'learned'?


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Nick George
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He learnt it?

That just sounds ugly.
Helen Thomas
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Has he learnt it ?
Hope he has learnt his lesson.

Doesn't sound ugly to me at all.
John Smith
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I'd also question the clause "how to apostrophe" -- there is no entry in the dictionary indicating that it can be used as a verb. And it sounds ugly, too.
Helen Thomas
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There are a number of verbs of this type (burn, dream, kneel, lean, leap, spell, spill, spoiletc.).


Apart from spelled, spilled, spoiled IMO we do not frequently use
burned, dreamed, kneeled, leaned and leaped.
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by John Smith:
I'd also question the clause "how to apostrophe" -- there is no entry in the dictionary indicating that it can be used as a verb. And it sounds ugly, too.


To me the apostrophe has anthropomorphic qualities.

The Hindu says everything is God. The Muslim says everything is God�s.
The difference is an apostrophe. With Christianity there is great difficulty in placing the apostrophe and the apostrophe becomes clear only after death.
[ January 01, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
John Smith
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To me the apostrophe has anthropomorphic qualities.

I don't see how this gives you an excuse for your sloppiness with the English language. I would have no complaints if you personalised the apostrophe (such as in "I am in love with the apostrophe", or even "The Apostrophe is greater than Jesus"), but the case of "how to apostrophe" is pure lack of literacy.
Mapraputa Is
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JS: but the case of "how to apostrophe" is pure lack of literacy.

There's nothing wrong with "how to apostrophe" -- it's just creative use of the language. Why do you need to be a misanthrope?


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
John Smith
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Map, what I have is the love of the language, not the hatred of the people.
Helen Thomas
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@John Smith
I think you've put the apostrophe in one tiny bucket and left it at that. Not your fault, probably learnt from Microsoft Office Assistant with smart quotes switched off and which doesn't even distnguish between the curly apostrophe �, and the normal apostrophe '.

Try the combination of some vodka and thinking hard about the apostrophe.

@school-children who might read this. Listen to JS and don't apostrophe.
Helen Thomas
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Examples that lead to confusion about the apostrophe :-

Children's books, but

Dogs' wagging tails at dogs' bones from the Joneses' butcheries...
[ January 01, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Jim Yingst
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[NG]: That just sounds ugly.

[HST]: Doesn't sound ugly to me at all.


Seems like one sounds British and the other sounds American. Which makes Nick's and Helen's views rather unsurprising.
John Dunn
slicker
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Most important lesson: Don't take your friend's, older brother's ~pen~ and give you and your friend tattos, that look like that cool broken square design you saw in the older brother's history text book. (i.e. this)


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
Nick George
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:


Seems like one sounds British and the other sounds American. Which makes Nick's and Helen's views rather unsurprising.


But I'm right, right?
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by Nick George:


But I'm right, right?


No.

How do you pronounce 'learned'? I bet it's as we pronounce 'learnt'.
burned as burnt
blessed as blest

The correct way to say "A learned man" is by pronouncing the "ned" as in the name Ned.
[ January 01, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Gerald Davis
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Posts: 872
1.I never learned that people there are visual learners and audio learners.

2.I never learned anything about asperger, only that I could not do nowt because I could not spell and had bad memory.

5.I never learned that loneliness is worse then hunger, cold and pain(tooth ach not included) and what I learn is school goes a long way to prevent this from happening.

3.I learned not to love money, and not be a scrooge. But being a scrooge would have helped me to manage money better then the way I done in past. Plus the love of money makes me sympefize with those who have none. I have never bought friends a round of drinks or bought a friend a present without thinking �this money would be better spend helping the poor�

4.I learned that money can�t buy you love but they didn�t tell me that it goes a long way in helping you find love.

6. I learned honesty is the best policy but they didn�t tell me that just because something is best doesn�t mean you must use it all times. Python is best programming language but it doesn�t mean you should use it for every project.

7. I didn�t learn genius is the ability to reduce the complication to the simple. I can write write/ refactor code so even a simple minded fool like me can understand it.

8. Conflict, whether it be social, economical or environmental is a natural part of nature. God will never stop lions from fighting each others so he will never stop humans either.
Helen Thomas
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"Lawks-a-mussy,Gerald!"

Punctuation facts:
The apostrophe dates from the 16th century
the first semicolon appeared in 1494
the invention of the question mark was in the time of Charlemagne
George Orwell shunned the semicolon
punctuation directs you how to read in the way musical notation directs a musician how to play
Greek dramatists gave the world the comma, colon, and period; that the second comma in that string is known as an Oxford comma;
society's overuse of the apostrophe may indicate its imminent demise.

there's something terribly ungrammatical in "15 items or less."
from "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by someone called Truss
Happily, the author takes pains to distinguish British versus American usage in her discussions.
[ January 01, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Jim Yingst
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[Helen]:

the invention of the question mark was in the time of Charlemagne
George Orwell shunned the semicolon


Who? (Excuse me - I msant, of whom?)

punctuation directs you how to read in the way musical notation directs a musician how to play

Sounds overstated, to me. Musical notation includes everything in the written form of music. Punctuation is a relatively small subset of the written form of language, which excludes such huge areas as the alphabet, spelling, and at least 95% of any given English dictionary.

Greek dramatists gave the world the comma, colon, and period;

I would argue that all people had colons, and slightly less than half had periods, long before the Greeks.

that the second comma in that string is known as an Oxford comma;

Cool. I did not know that.

society's overuse of the apostrophe may indicate its imminent demise.

A sentence fragment I have to admire for its correct punctuation (to the extent that a loosely-connected sentence fragment can have correct punctuation) even as I question its meaning. I assume you don't refer to the imminent demise of society itself, correct? I'm guessing that the idea here is that overuse results in gradual loss of meaning, which results in eventual uselessness of the apostrophe, which later results in disuse of the apostrophe. Hurm, hardly seems "imminent". Though I suppose it's easier to fight now than it may be later.

there's something terribly ungrammatical in "15 items or less."
from "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by someone called Truss
Happily,


Amazon (and its British subsidiary) list the author as "Lynne Truss". As do the book covers for both UK and US editions.

the author takes pains to distinguish British versus American usage in her discussions.

Good to know.
[ January 01, 2005: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
Helen Thomas
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Why do we get just one bear on the cover and you get two?

Greek dramatists gave the world the comma, colon, and period;

I would argue that all people had colons, and slightly less than half had periods, long before the Greeks.

Regarding the imminence of the demise of society or the apostrophe, I fear the overuse and incorrect use of apostrophes will lead to a Babel-like world.
[ January 01, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Jim Yingst
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I do thank the Greeks for the comma, however.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Posts: 10065
the story of "Lord" Timothy Dexter, who among his many eccentricities (you can read about them here and, in a more censorious 19th-century version, here), published a booklet called A Pickle for the Knowing Ones full of the wisdom he wished to impart from his haphazard but financially successful life:

Not only did the content of his booklet cause readers to shake their heads, so did the format. As the quotes above show, Lord Timothy's spelling was atrocious, and he had no use for punctuation. After the first printing sold out, he amended the second edition. He inserted a page of punctuation marks at the end with the note: "Nowing ones complane of my book the fust edition had no stops I put in a Nuf here and thay may peper and solt it as they plese"
http://www.languagehat.com/archives/000809.php
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
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Posts: 3476

I learnt :
1. How to cheat !
2. How to make planes by papers !!
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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    2
I've learned a lot of important things, but few of them in school.

I think the most important thing I actually learned in school was arithmetic.
Nick George
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:

learned


point for Nick
Jim Yingst
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[Helen]: How do you pronounce 'learned'? I bet it's as we pronounce 'learnt'.
burned as burnt
blessed as blest


Well I don't know exactly how you pronounce those, but for us in the US they're usually one syllable each, except when used as an adjective (in the case of learned and blessed). The final sound is a 'd' rather than 't' though.

The correct way to say "A learned man" is by pronouncing the "ned" as in the name Ned.

Yes, since learned is used as an adjective here. Such usage is rare nowadays in the US, but we do use it occasionally. I've never heard the adjective "learned" pronounced as one syllable, except by the ignorant, or in jest:
Pepe [exchange student]: "Papa, you are so learn-ed!"
Homer: "It's pronounced 'learnd', boy- 'learnd'!"

(This joke worked much better in audio form - the point it that Homer doesn't know what he's talking about, but his mistake is understandable given that Americans use the same spelling for two different pronounciations, and the adjective form is fairly uncommon.)

[NG]: point for Nick

Hardly. You've just observed that a fellow American uses "learned" the same way you and I do. Which is remarkably irrelevant to a Brit like Helen. I don't suppose you looked at the post before Warren's? :roll:
Nick George
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
"learned"


that's two!
Helen Thomas
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Gerald, a Breakfast Tea drinking Briton, is profuse with his learneds.
Jeroen Wenting
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the most important thing a wise man (or woman) learns at school or at any time is that there's a lot (s)he doesn't yet know.


42
Nick George
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
Gerald, a Breakfast Tea drinking Briton, is profuse with his learneds.


I haven't heard him say one.
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
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Posts: 8791
In school I learned to play the saxophone well enough to entertain myself endlessly and enough music theory to enjoy listening and composing a wide variety of styles. I learned the beginnings of logic in the Philosophy Department. While in school (but not actually in school) I learned from my father that much of what is taught is designed to be testable rather than to leave you with anything useful, many impressive statistics can be derived from completely bogus numbers and that tests measure the quality of the test, the quality of the teaching and just maybe the quality of the learning.

I'm careful about apostrophes, hate apostrophes when people pluralize TLA's (sic) and, if I have time, I can usually go back and remove almost all the commas from my writing.


A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by John Smith:
Map, what I have is the love of the language, not the hatred of the people.


If we are going to be picky , I'd prefer no "the" in this sentence.
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
Most important things I learnt at school:

About Society
=================
1) Most people in the world seem stupid.
2) Most people in the world *are* stupid.
3) Some people are very smart (even some of those who seem stupid).
4) I'm not entirely sure which of the above groups I belong to.
5) None of the above matters - AT ALL.

About Self-preservation
==================
1) Talking your way out of it is always easier than fighting
2) When a potential assailant is bigger, stronger and less able to respond to reason than you - RUN AWAY!!!

About Motivation
==================
1) Dont try so hard - its never turns out to be as crucial as it seems.
2) NEVER do too much work - There are better things to spend time on!
6) Dont worry - things always work out o.k. ....

Academically
==================
1)hmmm.... no sorry I'm all out of ideas!!
Helen Thomas
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Posts: 1759
There's such a hoo-haa about punctuation and the misuse of language but who now remembers the Oxford don who, on being told by a visitor that he would like to contact her, famously replied :
"I am delighted that you have arrived in Oxford. The verb "to contact" has not."

Susan Greenfield, scientist:

"At last, at the turn of the century, IT has finally matured into adjectives such as 'cheap' and 'easy to use' with the tsunami of applications and knock-on implications it has for our lives."

She could have put it simply - IT is now so cheap and easy to use it has a big effect on our lives.

The emphasis on correct use of English words is a fear to change but once the change has happened , no one really cares.
Politicians will continue to use big words in wrongly constructed sentences to confuse us.
[ January 07, 2005: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
Bacon
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1. Education is biased.

2. History is written by the victor.

3. A squared plus B squared equals... well 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
frank davis
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The moment of truth arrived quite frequently during my schooling in the form of final exams, mid-term exams, and random quizes. The most significant thing I learned was that I could not depend on my fellow man when I needed help the most. Not that they wouldn't try to offer help, but despite their boasting, they were usually at least as ignorant as I. From this I learned self-reliance, the mother of all virtues, and that which Lord Buddha advocated most highly.
David O'Meara
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Posts: 13459

How to punctuate the following:
Where Frank had had had Tom had had had had had had had been the correct answer


Actually not such an important lesson, now that I come to reflect.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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