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Anglické jazykové okienko

Pridané: 15.02.2010
Autor: Michael L. SIMKO, generálny manažér pre Výskum a vývoj USSE
Kategória: 04/2010

Andy's Wordshop

This week's question comes from someone who heard an American colleague (no names, no pack drill) utter the expression "Jiminy Cricket", and wants to know what it means. The first thing is that it has nothing to do with the original English bat and ball game. A lot of people know it as the name of the personification of Pinocchio's conscience in Walt Disney's classic 1940 cartoon film (cricket meaning "svrček"). In fact, though, it's a way for polite people to swear (zahrešiť, zakliať) without taking the name of Jesus Christ in vain. There are many expressions of this kind in English as a result of puritan Protestant indignation: "cor" or "gor" instead of "God"; "jeez" or "jeepers" instead of "Jesus"; "cripes" or "crikey" instead of "Christ"; "bloody" instead of "by Our Lady" (Mary).

Tricky Words in this week's OVI

There are special tricks in English grammar for expressing remarkable numbers or amounts of things, or remarkable lengths of time. I say "remarkable" (značné) rather than "large" or "long", because the specific number, amount or length is less important than the speaker's (writer's) intention to impress the listeners (readers), the aim of getting the reaction "fíha". So instead of saying that 25 000 kilometers of pipes HAVE been produced, you can say that that length HAS been produced, or that the amount (weight) of 3.7 million tons HAS been produced, i.e. you express the figure as one remarkable length or amount.
Remarkable lengths of time are expressed in Slovak with the present tense (pracujem tu už / bývame tu už 20 rokov, čakám tu už 20 minút), and in English with the present perfect with -ED: I have worked here / we have lived here for 20 years, I've waited here for 20 minutes. The Slovak idea is "tak dlho a ešte stále"; the English idea is "dosiahlo to už značnú dobu".



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