Problems with English? Questions? Vocabulary, grammar... Post here :)
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Did you notice that oxforddictionaries.com split English into "US English" and "World English"? The word hubris comes to mind but thefreedictionary.com's definition is more accurate than oxforddictionaries.com's!
From the Oxford: "(the ether) informal air regarded as a medium for radio".
From Ethernet: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly and Associates, 2000) (excerpted here, my bolding): "Metcalfe's first experimental network was called the Alto Aloha Network. In 1973 Metcalfe changed the name to "Ethernet," to make it clear that the system could support any computer--not just Altos--and to point out that his new network mechanisms had evolved well beyond the Aloha system. He chose to base the name on the word "ether" as a way of describing an essential feature of the system: the physical medium (i.e., a cable) carries bits to all stations, much the same way that the old "luminiferous ether" was once thought to propagate electromagnetic waves through space. Thus, Ethernet was born.”
Well, even the highly qualified professors in India won't have the level of English you have, it is quite evident from your English writing standard that you are "old" and not from India!
Some Indians have superb English, far better than even well educated English people. Sri Aurobindo was one; his deep understanding of not only English culture but its antecedent Roman and Greek cultures and languages gave him a huge knowledge of meaning and nuance. Some academic papers by Indians are similarly excellent examples of clarity, precision and conciseness.
Excellence in language is dependent on clarity of thought and an interest in the language. Hence is not so much my age (although I do confess to being older than 13 and will take "old" as the compliment it can be in India) as my interest in the language which has lead to what I know. The FreeDictionary is at the top of my Firefox bookmarks and consulted whenever I am not clear about the exact meaning of a word or am looking for a word with a slightly different meaning. While reading about words I also look at their etymology and evolution because knowing where they came from and how a living language has modified them gives insight and somehow makes it all easier to remember.
EDIT: having just seen an interview with Amartya Sen, he's another example of an Indian with superb English.
"That" has so many possible uses. Here the usage is pronoun, 1, b on the linked page. It is not wrong but not necessary and, insofar as it adds a word without adding any useful meaning, it is undesirable.
It seems you have studied literature in detail, ever thought of joining JNU as an English Professor
I have bookmarked the freedictionary too now! and that that link was helpful.
I don't want to look fool/dumb when talking to English people here, so I am keen on improving myself.
and the question should have been: When to avoid using that?
Originally Posted by catkin
(although I do confess to being older than 13 and will take "old" as the compliment it can be in India)
That's my fault that I called you "old", you may be a girl and calling a girl "old" is not a compliment! Though Charles doesn't seem like a girl's name but the way you are dodging the age query it seems ... Okay I won't bug you anymore on this now.
Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 12-08-2010 at 01:18 AM.