학술논문, 교정, 번역, 워크숍 등에 대한 문의사항이나 궁금하신 점이 있으시면
언제라도 글을 남겨주세요.
Which is NOT a suitable definition for the expression "strike out"?
a) Refuse to work
b) Mark for elimination
c) Fail at an effort
d) Venture, go forth
a) Refuse to work is not correct. When workers protest their employment conditions or pay by collectively refusing to work, we use the expressions "strike" or "go on strike," but not "strike out."
Chicago teachers went on strike until the school district agreed to a 2% pay raise.
Selection b) mark for elimination is a suitable definition in the field of editing. "Strike out" in editing means to draw a line through words that should be removed from a piece of writing.
Please strike out the prepositional phrase from this sentence.
"Strike out" can also mean c) fail at an effort. In baseball, "strike out" means the batter has failed on 3 attempts to hit a pitched ball. The related idiom means a person failed to achieve a goal.
Joon tried several times to get a date with Soo, but he struck out.
Definition d) venture out refers to when someone is about to start a new endeavor. To emphasize that someone is going from dependence to independence, such as an adult child moving away from home, we typically use the more complete expression "strike out on one's own."
American pioneers struck out for Oregon in the 1800’s.
After graduation, Park struck out on his own to work in Australia.
Join us next time for more language tips on Compecs Connection!
Which one of these means clumsy?
a) I’m all ears.
b) I’m all thumbs.
c) I can’t put my finger on it.
The answer is b) I’m all thumbs. This expression means clumsy or uncoordinated, especially with regards to the hands. It’s as if a person had thumbs in place of fingers.
Soo is always dropping things. She’s all thumbs.
a) I’m all ears means ‘I’m listening.’ This expression is not used to initiate a conversation. Rather, it is most commonly used as a response to someone’s request that we listen to them.
Mark: Would you pay attention? I have something important to say.
Tim: I’m all ears.
c) I can’t put my finger on it expresses a feeling of imprecision when the speaker cannot explain something that has changed or cannot pinpoint a difference.
Sam: What’s different about Kelly? I can’t put my finger on it.
Parker: She got new glasses.
Sam: Oh yes, that’s it!
See you next time at Compecs Connection!
What’s wrong with this sentence?
He’s never done a honest day’s work in his life.
The choice between using the article “a” as opposed to “an” is based on pronunciation, not spelling, of the word which directly follows the article. We use the article “a” in front of words with initial vowel sounds, and “an” before words with initial consonant sounds.
An ice cream cone
A nice clean room
The tricky thing is, in American English, the letter “h” in initial position is occasionally silent. When the “h” is pronounced as a consonant, it would be preceded by the article “a,” but when not pronounced, it would be preceded by the article “an.” In the word “honest” in the sample sentence, the “h” is not pronounced.
An honest person
A human being
A history lesson
Note that with abbreviations in which we pronounce the name of individual letters, if the letter name begins with a vowel sound, even if it is the name of a consonant, the article would be “an”.
An M&M (M sounds like “Em”)
We hope this has helped clear up some confusion. See you next time at Compecs Connection!
Where would you most likely hear this expression and what does it mean?
“Can I steal your chair?”
a) In jail
b) On a school bus
c) At a restaurant
d) At a furniture store
The correct answer is c) at a restaurant.
When there are not enough chairs at a table to seat everyone in a group, this light-hearted expression is commonly used to ask permission to borrow a chair from a stranger at another table. The word “steal” is an exaggeration: No one intends to steal the chair. It is understood that the borrower wants to move the chair to another table and use it for a prolonged period.
A: Excuse me, can I steal your chair?
B: Sure. Take it. I’m here alone.
A: Why thank you!
A: Excuse me, can I steal your chair?
B: Sorry, I need it. Some friends will be joining me in a few minutes.
A: Oh, okay. I’ll ask someone else.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Compecs Connection!
Which expression does not fit the context?
Sonny is an amazing soccer player. He is ___________.
b. up to his eyeballs
c. head and shoulders above the rest
d. far and away the best
b) up to his eyeballs would not be appropriate in this context. “Up to one’s eyeballs” means that someone has too much of something undesirable.
He’s up to his eyeballs in work.
I’m up to my eyeballs in bills.
a) The image of a goat has become trendy in texts and chats. It represents the acronym GOAT, which stands for “Greatest Of All Time”. People use the acronym or the image to indicate their strong approval of a person or thing, an appropriate way to refer to the soccer hero, Son Heung-min.
Bong Joon-ho - GOAT.
c) “head and shoulders above the rest” indicates that someone is far superior to others at something.
SunMi scored 800 points on the test, head and shoulders above all the other students.
d) “far and away the best” is an expression with the same meaning as “head and shoulders above the rest.” It indicates that someone or something is not just the best, but is much better than others. “Far and away the best” is somewhat colloquial; the more standard modifier is “by far”.
In my opinion, Sue Hart is by far the best club president we have ever had.
Note that we can use these “far” modifiers to strengthen the claim on other superlatives.
A 1962 Ferrari GTO is by far the most expensive car ever sold at auction, selling for $48,000,000.
NBC’s Meet the Press is far and away the longest running TV show. It has been on television for more than 70 years.
We hope this week is far and away the best one of the year. See you next time at Compecs Connection.
CONSTITUTE (make up, form, be)
Constitute is another word that is similar in nature to compose. Constitute is used to say that several people or things make up something else. In one sense, it can mean equivalent to. With constitute, we must include a complete list of things that together make a whole; we cannot list just one part of a whole with this term. Note that like compose, the parts are listed first, followed by the whole.
Seven days constitute a week.
Seven days equal one week.
One day does not constitute a week.
Three teaspoons constitute a tablespoon.
CONTAIN (to hold or have inside; to include)
We commonly use "contain” to list the contents of a vessel, container, or document, or to list one or more ingredients or components of a mixture. With “contain”, the “whole” (document or container) is listed first, followed by the part(s). Like the word “include,” we may use contain to express just one part, many parts, or all parts of the whole. It is common to use contain with only one part when we want to emphasize that component.
Many fermented foods, such as yogurt and soy sauce, contain alcohol. (Alcohol is only one component of fermented foods and is singled out for emphasis.)
The Declaration of Independence contains the signature of John Hancock. (This sentence emphasizes one of the component parts, the signature of John Hancock.)
The Declaration of Independence contains the signatures of 56 patriots. (Here we understand that 56 is the total number of signatures, but besides the signatures, there are other components to the Declaration of Independence.)
CONSIST OF (to be made up of, or composed of)
Consist of follows the same pattern of usage as comprise or composed of in that the whole is listed first, followed by its parts. It is perhaps most commonly used when referring to people and things. Notice that the “be” verb is not used with “consist of” as the expression is not used in passive form.
(o) The adult human skeleton consists of more than 200 bones.
(o) The adult human skeleton comprises more than 200 bones.
(o) The adult human skeleton is composed of more than 200 bones. (passive)
(x) More than 200 bones are consisted of the adult human skeleton.
(x) The adult human skeleton is consisted of more than 200 bones.
(o) The U.S. Supreme Court consists of 1 Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices.
INCLUDE (be part of the whole, meaning there may be other parts)
While “comprise” is used to describe the whole, “include” is used to list the parts. When there are many parts, we may use include to express just one part, many parts, or all parts of the whole. It is perhaps best to think of “include” to mean containing at least the listed part(s), and perhaps more.
(o) The lunch special includes a drink. (The drink is a part of the meal, but there are other things included.)
(o) The lunch special includes an entrée, 2 sides, and a drink. (This is probably the entirety of what is included.)
(x) The $1 drink special includes a drink. (When the whole is composed of only a single entity, we do not use “include”.)
(o) The conference registration fee includes a conference bag, the printed Program Book, and buffet lunches. (This is the minimum that will be included for the fee. Other things, such as coffee or snacks, may or may not be provided as well.)
The parts COMPOSE the whole.
The whole COMPRISES the parts.
Compose means to make something by putting things together. We use compose when we want to list the parts of a whole. With compose, we start with the list of components and end with the name of the whole. It may be helpful to think of a composer who starts with musical notes and creates a whole symphony.
- Two forwards, two guards, and a center compose a basketball team.
- Three rooms compose the ground floor; the upstairs is reached via the outside.
Note that it is extremely common to use compose in the passive – be composed of. In this case, the ordering is reversed, and we start with the name of the whole and end with the list of the parts.
- A basketball team is composed of two forwards, two guards, and a center.
- The ground floor is composed of three rooms: the kitchen, the living room, and the bathroom.
Comprise is a formal word that means “to be made up of”. Like compose, we use comprise to list the smaller parts of a whole. When using this word, we start with the whole concept and then list all of its component parts.
- A typical essay comprises an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- The conference comprises a three-day program with a key-note speaker, presentations, posters, and exhibitions.
Although it is increasingly common for “comprise” to be used in the passive (be comprised of), many grammarians reject this use. In formal writing, it is best not to convert “comprise” to the passive voice.
(o) A baseball team is composed of nine players.
(x) A baseball team is comprised of nine players.
(o) Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland compose the UK.
(o) The UK is composed of Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
(o) The UK comprises Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
What does "have something done" mean?
“Have something done” is a structure in English in which the subject of “have done” is not the agent (or “doer”) of the action. This is in contrast to usual active sentences in which the subject does the action.
a) The manager checked the figures.
b) The manager had the figures checked.
In a), the manager did the work of checking the figures. In b), the manager outsourced the work to someone else, perhaps an accountant.
In general, “have something done” not only removes agency, it implies that someone else was paid to do work. For example, “We had our picture taken” implies that a photographer was hired, not that someone did the work for free.
Here are some common examples:
The students had pizza delivered to the dormitory.
I have my clothes dry-cleaned at Sunshine Cleaners.
One final note is that in casual speech, we can substitute “get” for “have” with no change of meaning. However, “get” is less formal than “have,” so it is better to use the verb “have” when employing this expression in writing.
Where do you get your nails done?
Where do you have your nails done?
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Compecs Connection. See you next time!
When baking a cake, what do you call the uncooked combination of ingredients?
b. Cake Mix
The correct answer is a) batter.
In the United States, most residents have a full-sized oven in their home for preparing meals and desserts. It is therefore not unusual for Americans to bake their own cakes, pies, cookies, and bread products, rather than purchasing them at a bakery. Older Americans often cook “from scratch,” which means to use raw ingredients to prepare food. Others speed up the process by beginning with a mix, which is a box of correctly proportioned dry ingredients (such as flour, sugar, and leavening agents) to which wet ingredients (eggs, oil, water) are added before baking.
Some Koreans mistakenly call the prepared but uncooked material for all baked goods “dough.” In actuality, Americans use more specific terms for various baked and unbaked mixtures, as follows:
UNBAKED - BAKED, UNDECORATED
Batter - Cake, Cupcakes
Cookie dough - Cookies
Dough - Bread, Biscuits
Pie crust and filling - Pie, Tarts
Another interesting note is that the word “cake” is used for all baked cake batter, whether or not the cake has been frosted or decorated. Also, one serving of cake, bread, or pie is called a “slice” or a “piece.”
Would you like a piece of cake?
I’d like a slice of apple pie and a cup of coffee, please.
At Compecs Connection, we hope your day is sweet!