Wednesday, November 19, 2008


> 由于现在一些“适合中国人的英英词典”面世,
> 我本人也使用了多年,觉得是比英汉词典查
> 得更多单词,但是在记忆词汇的释义时不知
> 道该记 中文释义还是英文释义?如果记英文
> 释义,觉得效率似乎不高,如果记中文释义

Question: When you as a Chinese student learn a new English word, should you memorize its English or Chinese definition? The English definition suffers from low efficiency and the Chinese definition obstructs thinking in English.

Answer: How about memorizing its English synonym? Let's say the word is "cranky". You remember its meaning as "unhappy". Since "unhappy" is a very easy word, using that for its meaning won't be harder than using the Chinese translation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Off-topic: Barack Obama is not an ordinary black man

While economy is definitely the top issue, Asian Americans have one other item in the top priority list, i.e., personal safety, or crime rate. On average, one Asian immigrant gets killed per year in homocide in the greater Houston area, mostly by a black man, occasionally by a Hispanic. (The number may be higher because I only care about high profile cases and mostly only cases involving Chinese immigrants.) And there's frequent robbery, once per week maybe. This is one of the reasons Asians hesitate about Obama.

Let me use the term "black" here instead of "African Americans" but I have no intention to be politically incorrect. The reason for this choice of word is that American black people have very different traits compared to the African Americans proper, those that grew up in Africa and immigrated to the US, or to a less extent those whose parents, but not grandparents which is too far away, grew up in Africa. I want to bring to my Asian friends' attention that Obama is nearly a true African American. I won't say much here about the difference but I think you can guess what it is.

As I alluded to in my earlier off-topic posting, assuming no ill intention, an intelligent man does good deed, and tremendously good deed if given high power, just as a dumb man does dumb things, and tremendously stupid things if given high power. Although McCain could bring some prosperity, or rather less economic disaster, to Houston, than Obama, the wide area properity or less economic damage would be better achieved by a man with more brain cells. Lastly, an America with weaker emphasis on war mongering will win more friends in the world, and if done right, less hatred from Americans' enemy and terrorists. (I bet most people don't know the three reasons Bin Laden quoted why he hated the US. It's in a long PBS article in late 2001.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Omission of "to" after "is"

> All you can do is remove yourself from her mailing list
> remove 这事做什么词性 充当什么成分

You can omit "to" only if it follows "all [or what] ... to do", e.g.,

All you can do is wait.
All there is to do is wait.
What needs to be done is ask for more money.