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Re: NATLANG: English Homework - Keeping alive languages of minorities?

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Monday, March 7, 2005, 19:48
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carsten Becker" <naranoieati@...>

> > > I hope you don't mind when I post this directly to the > > > list? > > > > I guess I thought that since I sent it to you privately > > that it would be understood in netiquette land that you > > deal with it privately, and not publish it to the list > > without my permission. > > Oh. So I'm sorry and apologize.
Oh don't worry about it, Carsten! Just something to think about for the future. When I get a letter from someone privately, and I think they meant to send it to the list, I write and ask them: "did you mean this to go to the list? I think there are some issues here that other listmembers might be interested in." And then they can say, oh, it's just for you, or sure, or remain silent... :)
> > But what's done is done; I don't > > think what I said was disgraceful but it was more aimed > > at guiding you rhetorically than at discussing the issues > > that the list is now discussing. Next time, Carsten, > > please ask before you post. > > I will do so. And wanting to help, i.e. constructive > critisism, is never disgraceful!
Indeed not... it just strayed, a bit, from the thread that you created, and as a teacher myself, I didn't want to seem as though I'm giving you help that your real teacher would disapprove of! I hope you did well on your essay. Good luck with it! Remember the "thesis statement," she said pedantically. ;-)
> > > Heh, thank you. At least *one* glimpse of light ... can > > > you acutally say that in English? "Wenigstens *ein* > > > Lichtblick?" > > > We say "a ray of hope," or "light at the end of the > > tunnel." :) > > I *hate* idioms ... :-P
I do too, and there are so many of them in German! Meanwhile, Carsten put at the head of his letter:
> On Sunday 06 March 2005 23:39 +0100, Sally Caves wrote: > > > > Hey Sally! <-- My non-English bias creeps in here again > > > ;-)
This needs some explaining! In a private exchange Carsten and I have been having, I asked him if there was a precedent in German email, or even in European email, to put some kind of salute at the beginning of the letter. I've noticed that Carsten and other German speakers, or speakers of Germanic languages, have "hey!" or "hej," or "hi!" or "hallo!" or something like that, addressed to the list, whereas I rarely do that. I just start right on in, as I did above, or answer a remark between the lines, allowing the list robot to provide "From Carsten Becker:" Sometimes, I've said "vyko," or if I'm addressing a friend, I say "Hi, Carol," but often not. In my formal letters to "important people" in Germany that I don't know personally and am requesting a favor of, I've been taught that even on email you must use the salute "Sehr geehrte(r) Herr/Frau Dr. X." They always respond in kind. So is the "hey!" a German custom or a general European one? I suppose in English, were I to ask a colleague for information about a program, I'd write, "Dear Prof. X." But here in the States, I've had colleagues who don't know me either start right on in, or address me by my first name. I suppose that I detect a difference between a public post which is informational, a public post addressed to an individual, and a private post; but I'm impressed at the friendliness of these public addresses. So hey back at ya, Carsten! Sally