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Tony Grist

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Plasterers [Oct. 11th, 2006|09:59 am]
Tony Grist
We had the plasterers in yesterday. The main man was saying how a lot of people are getting into the trade because they think it's easy money- and it isn't. I believe him. These guys worked really hard. And watching them skim across the wet surface with their trowels made me think of butterflies and kissing and ballroom dancing and weedy stuff like that. It's not just something any fool could do; it's a craft.

They made the house so damp that the extractor fan in the bathroom ran all night. At least, I guess that's the explanation. The other explanation is that the extractor fan is busted and we'll need to have the electrician in to fix it.

[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2006-10-11 09:46 am (UTC)
'Twas on a Wednesday morning the electrician came...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-10-11 09:56 am (UTC)
Flanders and Swan!

I'd forgotten that one. But now it all comes flooding back...
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[User Picture]From: baritonejeff
2006-10-11 12:29 pm (UTC)

it's a craft.

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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2006-10-11 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thing is, the good ones MAKE it look easy (plasterers, plumbers, electricians...). There's a great DIY show on here (new season starts tomorrow) and the guys that do the work always make it look as though any fool could do it.

Then you try it yourself.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-10-12 09:54 am (UTC)
We've been lucky with tradesmen. The trick is to find one good one and he'll put you in touch with others.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-10-11 03:23 pm (UTC)
Will you have painters in next, or will you be painting yourself?

Also, I have a question about language in Britain:

Ruth Rendell, in more than one book, has written about someone moving into a new house and how the dishes (for example) were "still unwrapped."

Shouldn't it be "still wrapped?" Meaning that the wrappings (presumably paper) are still on the dishes?

Is this an editing error, or is this a different way of interpreting the words?

I noticed it first in one of her books, and then I saw this, in The Tree of Hands:

"The house was not yet set to rights. Boxes and crates of still unwrapped ornaments, kitchen utensils, china and glass and the unending hundreds of books were ranked along the hallway."

Aren't the ornaments still wrapped?


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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-10-11 04:51 pm (UTC)
They're wrapped, and their owners haven't got round to unwrapping them yet- so they're still unwrapped.

This is fairly standard British English useage, I think.

How fascinating these minor differences are. I incline to the view that you guys speak and write a slightly more rational version of the language.

Yes, now that the walls are plastered, Karl will move back in and finish the job.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-10-11 05:46 pm (UTC)
Oh. Thanks, but you haven't eased my frustration.

They're wrapped, and their owners haven't got round to unwrapping them yet- so they're still unwrapped.

The way we would say it: "They're wrapped, and their owners haven't [got round] to unwrapping them yet, so they're yet to be unwrapped.

How odd it sounds otherwise!

(I am now thinking about my new grandson, who has just come here from South Korea. My daughter-in-law reports that he now seems to respond to his new English name of Michael (although she still also calls him by his Korean names and nicknames). His little brain in ten months has only heard the very different language of Korean, and suddenly he is being immersed into American English!

Tara says he likes to "hum and sing." I wonder if his brain is responding to the unfamiliar music of an entirely new language?

Fascinating that we can communicate at all, really. It's all made up, isn't it?

Consider the word "tweezers." After thinking about that one word for awhile, it becomes odd and meaningless! (Even if one knows the root. Because at some point even the root is meaningless. Some tribal leader, or some mother or father, simply pointed and said, "Tweezers" or somesuch.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-10-12 10:16 am (UTC)
Language is mystifying. How did it get so complicated?

Another thing is all human languages seem to have the same kind of structure- nouns, verbs etc- so translating from one to another is never too great a stretch. How did that happen? Why aren't there languages out there without nouns, or without verbs?

There's an episode of STNG that tires to imagine a differently structured alien language and how communication with its users might still be possible. I forget what it's called, but you will know...
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-10-12 11:26 am (UTC)
Oh, yes: Darmok, in which the aliens communicated only through metaphor, using stories.

"Darmok on the ocean, his arms wide."

That clever Captain Picard figured it all out by the end of the hour.

Remember how he told the story of Gilgamesh by the campfire?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-10-12 01:07 pm (UTC)
It's my second favourite STNG story- after the one where Picard gets to live a whole life on a doomed planet and learns to play the flute.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-10-12 01:15 pm (UTC)
Did you know that the young man in the flute story was Patrick Stewart's real son? (If you remember, he was the musician.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-10-12 02:57 pm (UTC)
Yes- I did know that- but had forgotten.

That story reduces me to tears- every time.
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