Is this forum grammar or debate?

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bandini

Senior Member
inglés gabacho
I'm from Mars and having trouble understanding the following sentence? "Jack and Jill went up the hill"

1) We need more context.
2) Where was this hill?
3) I don't think a prepositional phrase is appropriate in this sentence. Instead of "went up" I would just say "ascend'.
4) When you say "Jack and Jill" were they a couple or just random people?
5) What kind of a hill was it?
6) What do you think it means? Rules say you must make a attempt first.
7) Is this from a book? Please cite your source.
8) What is your question, exactly?
9) I agree with post #3 because in the mountain climbing world, they use "ascend" and "descend" and by extrapolation, a hill could be defined as a small mountain.
10) In that case, what was their angle of attack? Were they using rappelling gear?
11) This sentence is too ambiguous. We need to know more.
12) I think the preterite sounds to final and judgmental. In my opinion, the past continuous would sound better in this example. "Jack and Jill were going up the hill."

I love everyone here but am I the only one who, sometimes, finds this amusing?
 
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  • TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    What do you find amusing? The forum rules that require users to provide context, source(s) and attempt at translation? Your post is funny and all, but many things you say (2, 4, 5, 10, ...) are simply exaggerated for comic effect.
     

    bandini

    Senior Member
    inglés gabacho
    Sorry my wit is lost on so many but I'm tickled to be in the minority opinion and a safe distance away from group think. Besides, I suppose to loosely quote the great Haruki Murakami, if you have to explain, you've already failed and no amount of reason will suffice.
     
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    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    It’s the amusing part that throws me off. :p I think what you describe is exasperating, especially for newbies.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Well, I think it's hilarious. :D

    Obviously it's wildly exaggerated for comic effect, but it does, sadly, epitomise the way some things get overdone, on occasion way more than is really necessary. I reckon we should all pause every now and then to take a brief look at ourselves and ask ourselves how the Martians (or, dare I say it, even people from our own planet) see us. ;)
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    I'm from Mars and having trouble understanding the following sentence? "Jack and Jill went up the hill"

    1) We need more context.
    2) Where was this hill?
    3) I don't think a prepositional phrase is appropriate in this sentence. Instead of "went up" I would just say "ascend'.
    4) When you say "Jack and Jill" were they a couple or just random people?
    5) What kind of a hill was it?
    6) What do you think it means? Rules say you must make a attempt first.
    7) Is this from a book? Please cite your source.
    8) What is your question, exactly?
    9) I agree with post #3 because in the mountain climbing world, they use "ascend" and "descend" and by extrapolation, a hill could be defined as a small mountain.
    10) In that case, what was their angle of attack? Were they using rappelling gear?
    11) This sentence is too ambiguous. We need to know more.
    12) I think the preterite sounds to final and judgmental. In my opinion, the past continuous would sound better in this example. "Jack and Jill were going up the hill."

    I love everyone here but am I the only one who, sometimes, finds this amusing?
    Yes, I see what you mean.
    All of the rules that you are referring to with these examples do make sense. At least st certain times, in certain contexts, in certain situations.
    You DO need context, but if it is not something terribly complicated a cpmplete phrase is more often than not sufficient.

    But still I often read, "can you give sime more context", where I shake my head and think it is totally clear and that somebody should press the reset button and get his brain out of sleep mode.
    And then there are those who write extremely complex replies, trigger equally complex comments on their replies - and at the end nobody really answered the original question.
    That IS quite sad, sometimes.

    But there is a good reason for always asking them to give it a try themselves: Otherwise there would be numerous persons who would post some 10-20 phrases over the day, have others translate them, and thus lure others to translate a complete document, that they get paid for themselves. As a language pro it really annoys me when people try that.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I've been caught out time and again by seemingly simple and innocent questions. When faced by "What does Jack and Jill went up the hill mean? ", my first thought would be "What's the catch?" :D
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    Yeah I don't get it, no context needed, it just means that Jack and Jill visited West Orange, New Jersey.

    Oh, wait, wait, or did they go to Beleir-Edisson, Baltimore, Maryland?

    Or perhaps they just went up any hill?

    Yeah, I know, I'm also exaggerating, for fun. But see, me, a foreigner, it took me just one minute and the help of google to find 3 different real meanings for this sentence.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I thought it might be "the Hill", metonym for the seat of the US government in Washington DC. "Jack" could be JFK, but I don't know who Jill was. So... some kind of political scandal back in the 1960s?
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Wait a second, is up the hill an adverb phrase? Are we sure Jack and Jill are two people and not a glam rock band?
     

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    but I don't know who Jill was.
    Jill Biden, perhaps. If you don't know who she is, you will soon learn...

    Back to the discussion, as far as I know there is no requirement in our Forum's rules that a member make their own try--some early learners really have no idea and that's why they are asking their question.
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    as far as I know there is no requirement in our Forum's rules that a member make their own try
    Really? That's very explicitly a rule in Italian-English; I wasn't aware that it might vary between forums (on the assumption that there's nothing about it in the general rules).

    Edit: I suppose it's a kind of practical extension of Rule 5: "These forums [...] do not provide free translations."
     
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    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Really? That's very explicitly a rule in Italian-English; I wasn't aware that it might vary between forums (on the assumption that there's nothing about it in the general rules).

    Edit: I suppose it's a kind of practical extension of Rule 5: "These forums [...] do not provide free translations."
    It's a common misconception in English Only.

    People see Rule 5:
    "Help with schoolwork will be given only if you post your own translation/interpretation first."
    and seem to assume that means every other question requires the OP to try and answer it themselves first. :eek:

    We do expect it with multiple-choice questions and things which are clearly and obviously homework exercises, although even then all they sometimes give is just a blind guess. But if what they're asking about is something like a choice of tenses in something they've seen or written, there's absolutely no point in it.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    Really? That's very explicitly a rule in Italian-English; I wasn't aware that it might vary between forums (on the assumption that there's nothing about it in the general rules).

    Edit: I suppose it's a kind of practical extension of Rule 5: "These forums [...] do not provide free translations."
    Probably. At least zhat makes sense, and still a lott of people try to have their paid translstions done, bit by bit, for free.

    I once suggested that there should also be a forum for language professionals of any kind, where also more business like themes could be discussed, but I just got a rather blunt answer from the management.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Probably. At least zhat makes sense, and still a lott of people try to have their paid translstions done, bit by bit, for free.
    There was a poster on English Only who asked around five questions per week about the same book for over a year. The questions were not in order as if one were reading the book. I imagine that he now has a doctorate in English Literature based on a thesis that we wrote. :)
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    There was a poster on English Only who asked around five questions per week about the same book for over a year. The questions were not in order as if one were reading the book. I imagine that he now has a doctorate in English Literature based on a thesis that we wrote. :)
    Did you report that poster?
    Any time you believe that a forero is behaving unfairly, please report them/their threads and the mods will look into it.
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    From what I read, I’m not sure that he was breaking a rule. Did I miss something? Five questions a week isn't flooding, and he may have always provided his "own translation/interpretation first".
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    From what I read, I’m not sure that he was breaking a rule. Did I miss something? Five questions a week isn't flooding, and he may have always provided his "own translation/interpretation first".
    But to me, that is the issue. I regularly criticize this site for having too many arcane rules, and yet people like that user, even if they're not actually breaking a rule, are pretty clearly "gaming the system."
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Dunno. I ask for help for my own benefit, not sheer benevolence. I’m not sure it matters so long as people can make use of the questions as a resource afterwards.
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    Five questions a week isn't flooding, and he may have always provided his "own translation/interpretation first".
    No it isn't.
    In a very busy forum even 5 threads a day might not be considered flooding, as long as they are not all on the first page.
    There might be, however, a potential issue: asking too many questions about the same text that is not, say, a famous novel someone is reading out of personal enjoyment, but a paid translation/an academic assignment and the like.
    Even though the proofreading of a single, short sentence is fine, the EN-IT forum rules don't allow the proofreading of a long text even if it is broken down into countless one-sentence threads, as that would clearly be an unfair attempt to get round the rules.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    From what I read, I’m not sure that he was breaking a rule. Did I miss something? Five questions a week isn't flooding, and he may have always provided his "own translation/interpretation first".
    As long as people reply, it is probably OK. If you would send me a text as PM and ask if I would translate it for free it would probably also be OK. Not that I WOULD do it for free.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    But to me, that is the issue. I regularly criticize this site for having too many arcane rules, and yet people like that user, even if they're not actually breaking a rule, are pretty clearly "gaming the system."
    Well the last thing we want is yet another "arcane" rule which is ultimately going to be unenforceable. :)

    Realistically, the posting of five questions a week, based on the same book, of a type that would help anyone to write a dissertation or thesis is going to severely limit the number of members able or willing to answer them.

    Also, I see that as a very different issue from that of posting requests for help with a translation, deliberately split into instalments so as to surreptitiously get the whole thing done.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I love everyone here but am I the only one who, sometimes, finds this amusing?
    Wait until you have been around long enough to witness several major shifts in policy. Adjusting to that sort of thing can be a genuine laugh riot.:cool: These shifts are understandable, though, as people burn out and new ones step in to take on a fairly tedious and thankless task.
     
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