avrelia: (Default)
I have a question for my friends’ list and the passers-by.

How did you feel when you first discovered (was taught about) the existence of gerund?

Today we studied verbal phrases, gerunds, participles, and infinitives in my grammar class. Two thirds of the class are people for whom English is the native language. Only I and two Chinese girls were rather nonchalant about the whole gerund thing. Confusion, puzzlement, and some kind of torpor ruled the others. But I remember the first time I found out about gerunds: I was fifteen, and I was indignant about their existence. They didn’t fit into my view of the languages, and I had enough trouble to reconcile with tenses to be bothered by gerund.

Eventually I got used to them, and now I like gerunds very much.

What about you?
avrelia: (Default)
Cantabank – second-rate singer of ballads
Dammarel – an effeminate man who spends all his time entertaining or courting women, and who is disinclined to the company of his own sex
Demivierge –a woman who is sexually promiscuous but retains her virginity
Dongon – a person who is smart but appears stupid
Dunderwhelp – a detestable numbskull
avrelia: (Ratio by dtissagirl)
Studying English is fun. Sometimes. Again I found a bunch of words to show off.

Behold:

Alothen – to grow disgusting
Amplexus – a mating embrace of a toad or frog
Anaxiphilia – the act of falling in love with the wrong person
Baratress – a female quarreller
Bdelloid – resembling a leech
Cacozelot – an evil zealot
Callomaniac – a person under the delusion that he or she is beautiful
Circumstantiality – an inability to separate important from unimportant details when telling a story
Cockalorum – a self-important little man

Some more may be later. ::goes to memorize new words::
avrelia: (Default)
I have found a new word "vilipend". Now, I know that my English vocabulary isn't perfect and comprehensive (and Russian, too, I guess), but I rarely now encounter words that I have never ever seen before. Usually there is a feeling of slight familiarity – like I've seen the word in the text, but haven't bothered to look it in a dictionary, or forgot its meaning already.
Now, this word – I am pretty sure I have never seen it. And I read a lot. Moreover, my husband also has never seen it – he reads a lot, too, in a different area. It wouldn't puzzled me as much were it a special term, but it means "to value lightly; to depreciate; to slight; to despise" - nothing extraordinary, in my opinion.
I looked in GOOGLE, I got 438 hits. Not much for a word. So, what kind of word is it? Does anybody anyhow use it? Or it just resides in depths of dictionaries, jumping on unsuspected reader once in decade?

Continuing the literary theme: I tried to answer [livejournal.com profile] monanotlisa's meme about piece of fiction that stayed with me. Sadly, I cannot say that I remember any piece of fiction in English, beside random BtVS quotes. I remember images, feelings, my thoughts and impressions, but not actual words. My head full of Russian poems though.

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