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The "Learning English" Thread
http://www.animetric.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=433
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Author:  42317 [ December 24th, 2010, 12:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The "Learning English" Thread

Perception!

I watch movies.
I look at pictures.
I see the whale!

Hm... let's drop the whale... :sweat:
I can look at whales as well as I can watch whales, I guess.
But:
Can I look at movies?
Can I watch pictures?
Or does that sound just weird?

Author:  Mmsven [ December 24th, 2010, 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The "Learning English" Thread

42317 wrote:
I can look at whales as well as I can watch whales, I guess.
But:
Can I look at movies?
Can I watch pictures?
Or does that sound just weird?

When you are watching something, you are waiting for something to happen. You can only watch something that changes. You can't watch a picture but you can watch a burning picture.

The English language does suck though.

Author:  42317 [ December 24th, 2010, 9:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The "Learning English" Thread

Mmsven wrote:
When you are watching something, you are waiting for something to happen. You can only watch something that changes. You can't watch a picture but you can watch a burning picture.

Hm... and the other way round, if I say "I look at movies" or "a movie" I'm giving the impression that I was checking the DVD department of the supermarket, or inspecting cover art - I guess?

Author:  Mmsven [ December 28th, 2010, 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The "Learning English" Thread

42317 wrote:
Hm... and the other way round, if I say "I look at movies" or "a movie" I'm giving the impression that I was checking the DVD department of the supermarket, or inspecting cover art - I guess?

When I say "I'm looking at this movie" I'm implying that I am researching it on the net. Since the line doesn't make definitive sense, you can make of it what you want.

Author:  42317 [ December 31st, 2010, 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The "Learning English" Thread

Thanks a lot.

About something else:

According to Webster's online dictionary "awe" is defined as (quote)

1. An overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration
2. A profound emotion inspired by a deity
3. Dread; great fear mingled with respect
4. The emotion inspired by something dreadful and sublime; an undefined sense of the dreadful and the sublime; reverential fear, or solemn wonder; profound reverence.

The most common synonyms of "awesome" are
awful, dreadful, terrible, fearful, and horrid,
which kinda perplexes me because I remember the adjective in mostly positive collocations, as in "that was an awesome movie", synonymous to "great".

The definition of "awful" is not much different from awesome, the top rated synonyms being almost entirely the same as in the case above, although I remember the term in mostly negative statements, as in "the meat smelled awful", meaning "bad".

What I find striking is that a term as negative as "awesome", according to the dictionary, also has outright negative antonyms, like
insignificant, lame, ordinary, trivial, unexciting, awful, dull, everyday, customary.
Shouldn't antonyms of negatively connotated terms usually be positive, at least in a way?
Vice versa, if you look up these antonyms wouldn't you expect terms with way more positive definitions than the one given for "awesome"?

Consider "awful", the antonyms of which include
excellent, great, marvelous, splendid, magnificent, outstanding, and so on. That's what I expected.
The only thing irritating me is that a word like "ghastly" appears both in the synonyms and the antonyms of "awful" - which seems to suggest that "ghastly" is its own opposite, a paradox.

Author:  Mmsven [ January 9th, 2011, 10:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The "Learning English" Thread

Maybe awesome meant overwhelming fear at some point in the past, but not anymore. The #1 definition of awe is the correct definition of what anyone is implying in this generation.

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