Sunday, September 23, 2007

Casual Grammar

I know there are a lot of different views out there on the topic of learning grammar - it's a personal choice in the end and my approach is what I would describe as casual. I don't mean casual as in casual dress - I don't dress down before studying (actually it would be difficult to dress any further down than I normally do). I mean casual more in the sense of, em, casual sex. If I happen to find myself with an opportunity to indulge in some grammar, no strings attached, then I'm likely to proceed.

Sometimes these opportunities will arise accidentally, and in fact temptations are on the increase. Over at chinesepod, there's a new grammar link on each lesson that shows bite-sized (guilt-free) theory behind some of the practice. Nice.

And sitting on the stack of books I keep beside my bed, there's a Chinese grammar book with small chapters that investigate various structures of the language. When I'm feeling, well, curious, then it's within easy reach for carefree, commitment-free perusal.

I guess I'm saying that if you're not looking for a learning relationship that will last for ever, the occasional fling with a dative construct or brief liason with the 'le' particle, will leave you unblemished - and perhaps even satisfied.

(PS: As you can see, if you have any weak analogies lying around that need killing stone dead, I'm yer man.)


Anonymous said...

check BBC News, VOA News, IHT News for updates.
Myanmar military regime is arranging trip for Mr. Gambari to Myit-Kyi-Nar City of Kachin State which is in northern Myanmar. That news is coincided with the news received yesterday, the regime backed USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Association) is forcing people to join faked protesting to trick UN Special envoy Mr. Gambari. People around the country believe that the regime will try their best to trick Mr. Gambari to ease international pressure.
Today, there were troops in the downtown Yangon. They search every bag and if someone got caught with camera in it, they would arrest him. They arrested anyone that they suspect - even the locksmith from Annaw-ya-htar Road was arrested. Received this news when the Internet connection was back for a while.
We would like to urge people around the world to request UN that UN special envoy Mr. Ibrahim Gambari to meet with the real people (NOT with the people arranged by the Junta) through hotline and email. Otherwise Mr. Gambari will only see skyful lies of Myanmar Junta.
Mr. Gambari MUST GO TO Yangon. People are dying and protesting at Yangon. Naypyidaw is a ghost town where only government officials and generals reside. Please… if someone from UN reading this message, contact Mr. Gambri NOW and insist that he must see Yangon. Help us!! Help Myanmar (Burma).

Brendan Lawlor said...

I'm going to leave that comment stand. I think it's indicitive of the desperate plight of the Burmese that they are reduced to methods like this to get the message out.

I do believe the Chinese government have a special responsibility here and I don't think anyone is impressed with their rather mild statements that seem to draw an equivalence between unarmed peaceful protesters and armed and indoctrinated soldiery.

But then again, what eles can be expected of them - this situation is surely too reminiscent of eighty-nine for them to condemn outright.

Amnesty International for one has not been calling for a boycott of the Olympics and I agree with this stance. Backing the PRC into a corner is not going anywhere. I just hope the back-channel from Beijing to Rangoon is being less diplomatic than China's public pronoucements.

And India, another important trading partner, cannot be let off the hook either.