Monthly Archives: February 2010


Hello Everyone,

Isn’t it interesting when one makes fun of the stereotypes from one’s own culture?

This is Peter Chao, and although he is Chinese, he actually does not have such a strong accent as embellished in his videos.  He lives in Vancouver, BC and in this video he seems to be annoyed at a common scene found in most dim sum or other Chinese restaurants around the world.  Personally, I too get very annoyed by people who eat with their mouth open and talk while eating, so this video rings true for me.  By the way, I lived in China for 2 years teaching English before. I love the culture.
Enjoy the video!

I Believe in the Power of You and I…or Me?

Can’t fool you and me: Grammarian says lyrics to ‘I Believe’ anthem flawed

By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press Feb 23, 9:00 am EST

WHISTLER, B.C. – It has become as emblematic and familiar to TV viewers of the 2010 Winter Games as Alexandre Bilodeau, underperforming Canadian medal hopefuls and venue weather woes.
But that musical phenomenon known as “I Believe,” the official anthem of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, may in fact provide the true legacy of the Games: another generation of Canadian kids who don’t know me from you, nor their “I” from a hole in their head.

If you haven’t heard it by now, you haven’t been watching the Olympics on the Canadian broadcast consortium, led by CTV.
“I believe in the power of you and I,” 16-year-old Nikki Yanofsky sings repeatedly, a refrain that’s been employed as the soundtrack to just about every conceivable sporting situation in these Games.

The song has been No. 1 on iTunes Canada’s playlist for 13 straight days and has spawned an unanticipated merchandising bonanza for the broadcasters.
Yanofsky’s vocals are flawless, but not the lyrics.

“For some reason, polite Canadians do not seem to think that ‘me’ is acceptable,” says Joanne Buckley, a professor at the Centre for Student Development at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and one of the country’s pre-eminent grammarians.
“Of course, we grammarians know that the words should be ‘believe in the power of you and me’ since ‘of’ is a preposition and takes an object.”

Buckly did, however, cut the song’s lyricists a little slack.
“Then again, T. S. Eliot set the precedent for this usage in ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ when he wrote in the first line, ‘Let us go then, you and I,'” the professor said in an email.
“He was wrong too, or perhaps just demonstrating the politeness of Prufrock. I suppose the theme song could be worse: it could say ‘I believe in the power of you and myself.'”

Buckley confesses to being “the kind of person who talks back to the TV when I hear errors in grammar” and said she finds the flawed “I Believe” refrain “a bit annoying.” She’d like to think she’s not entirely alone.
But a spokesman for the broadcast consortium claims not to have heard a single such complaint, notwithstanding that the song has been sent to some 5,000 Canadian schools where, presumably, English grammar is still taught.

The song was distributed to schools through the group Free the Children in an effort to get Canadian kids “more engaged in the Games,” said Dan Cimoroni, vice-president of business development for the Olympic broadcast consortium.
Any teacher complaints about the grammar?

“No, I haven’t heard any of that,” Cimoroni said, noting there has been some feedback from schools and it’s all been positive.
In fact, apart from the pure musical appeal of Yanofsky and “I Believe,” the song has spurred a bonus line of T-shirts, scarves, hoodies and the like.

“Originally we didn’t have a licence to sell clothing,” said Cimoroni.
But after the public saw some “I Believe” promotional items for the song, “it just literally became overwhelming the number of people asking for it,” he said.
The consortium quickly struck a deal with VANOC, the Games’ organizing committee, and the merchandise has since been selling like crazy.
At least the “you and I” lyric isn’t emblazoned across the stuff.

In one of those curious coincidences that only a grammarian could love, the flawed line was delivered live as part of the Games’ opening ceremonies on an evening when U.S. network NBC debuted an abbreviated remake of “We Are The World,” a 1980s vintage African-famine fundraiser recorded again in the wake of the Haiti earthquake.
The chorus in that song ends with: “It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.”

The U.S.-written song also got it wrong. It should be you and I, although that’s a rather formal construction and defies conversational convention.
But patriotic Canadians can at least take some small solace that they weren’t beaten by the Americans in both hockey and grammar.

To read this article online and to read comments posted, please view this link:

Here is a good rule to remember which you should use, I or Me, posted by one reader:

“Grammarians are as much at fault as anyone else for lapses in grammar because they give their reasons for criticizing bad grammar in grammatical terms which demonstrates nothing but their arrogance and are willfully (woefully?) unhelpful to those attempting to learn correct usage. The simplest, every-day way to explain to people – especially children – the difference between ‘you and me’ and ‘you and I’ is to tell them to remove ‘you’ from the sentence. Understanding then why ‘I’ is correct in some places, and ‘me’ in others becomes obvious. So ‘You and I are going” obviously becomes “I am going” not “Me am going” and “Is he saying that to you and I” obviously becomes ‘Is he saying that to me” not ‘Is he saying that to I’. I was taught this method by an English teacher who knew not only how to speak and write properly, but how to convey her knowledge to children. We could do with a few more like that in our schools today.” – Meg G.

Help with Watching & Talking HOCKEY!

As you watch the 2010 Winter Olympics, there is not a sport more exciting to Canadians than Hockey. Watch the games and learn more with this vocabulary. Ask a Canadian or American to explain the ones you do not know. Enjoy!

The Referees or “Refs”
The Linesman/men
The Players
The Forwards
The Defense
The Goaltender
The Goalie
The Netminder
The Fans
The Coach
The G.M.
(General Manager)
The Announcer
The Enforcer
The Captain (C)
The Assistant (A)

A Slap/Wrist shot
A Face-off
A Period
A Tie-game
Overtime/Sudden Death
The Net
The Puck
The Stick
An Assist
The Boards/Glass
The Rink
A Scrap
Power Play
A Shoot-out

Shoots (the puck)
Blocks(the shot)
Ices (the puck)
Kill a Penalty

Unsportsmanlike Conduct
2-minute Minor
4-minute Major
(Double Minor)
5-minute Major
10-Minute Misconduct
Game Suspension

He/She leads in points/goals/assists/penalty minutes
He/She picks it up
It’s cleared down the ice
He/She plays the puck (around the net)
He/She ices the puck
He/She wins the draw
He’s/She’s knocked down/out
S/He shoots, S/he scores!
Oh what a save!
S/He Flashes the leather!
What’s the score?
Just wide of the post
It hit the crossbar
Dropped the gloves
Fires a rocket
Ran (him/her) into the boards
It’s the go-ahead goal
They blew a 3-0 lead

Slang & Expressions from Snowboarding

There are over 370 terms, slang, idioms and expressions from the world of Snowboarding here, , including references to tricks, snow conditions, boarders, fans, and other people in the sport.  Too many to post but just click on the link and have fun learning how to talk like and understand a snowboarder.  Enjoy the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics!

Olympics Vocabulary – Curling Glossary

In honor of our fabulous 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, I am posting some sports-related vocabulary and expressions, so that you may enjoy the games more and have a better chance of understanding the plays of the sports.  Enjoy!

Curling Glossary (from )

BACK LINE The line behind the house. Once crossed a stone is out of play
BITER A stone barely touching the 12-foot ring
BLANK END An end in which neither team has a stone in the house
BONSPIEL A curling tournament
BURNT STONE A stone touched while in motion
BUTTON The smallest ring in the house. It is two feet in diameter, also called the “potlid”
DELIVERY The process of throwing a stone
CENTRE LINE The line that runs down the middle of the sheet from hack to hack
DRAW A stone that comes to rest within the house
ECF European Curling Federation
EIGHT ENDER An end where all eight stones of one team are better than the opposition’s closest
END When sixteen stones have come to rest. Similar to an inning in baseball
EXTRA END The deciding end played when the score is level after all scheduled ends have been played
FREEZE A stone coming to rest touching another stone
FREE GUARD ZONE The area between the hog line and the tee line excluding the house
FREE GUARD ZONE RULE The rule that states that an opponent’s stone in the Free Guard Zone cannot be removed from play until after the first four stones have been played
GUARD A shot that comes to rest in front of another stone for protection
HACK The pieces of rubber you push off from at either end of the sheet
HAMMER The last shot of the end
HOGGED A shot that comes to rest short or on the hog line and is removed from play
HOG LINE The line 10,06 meter (33 feet) from the hack
HOUSE The target area 12 feet in diameter
HURRY! To sweep immediately and hard
IN-TURN A stone that rotates clockwise for a right-handed player
LEAD Player of a team who plays the first two stones for his team in an end
OUT-TURN A stone that rotates counter clock-wise for a right-handed player
PEBBLE The frozen bumps on the ice that the stones ride on
PEEL A hard takeout designed to remove guards
PORT A space between two lying stones, large enough for another one to pass through
RAISE Promotion; to move a lying stone further
RCCC The Royal Caledonian Curling Club (Scotland) – the mother club of curling
RINK The building where curling takes place or
A curling team or
The sheet of ice on which a curling game is played
ROCK The alternative (North American) term for a stone
SECOND Player who plays his two stones second for his team
SHEET The total playing area for one game
SHOT A played stone or
The word used to indicate a point won at the end of an end (shot rock)
SKIP The captain of the team, usually (but not necessarily) plays last two stones of a team in an end
SPINNER A stone thrown with excessive spin
STEAL Scoring a point without last stone advantage
TAKE-OUT A stone thrown hard enough to remove another stone from play. Also called a “HIT”
TEE The cross in the centre of the house
TEE LINE The line that intersects the house at the centreline
THE “TOSS” The toss of the coin to determine last rock in the first end
THIRD Player who plays his two stones third; often Vice-Skip of the team
WCF World Curling Federation
WCT World Curling Tour
WCT-E World Curling Tour – Europe
WEIGHT The momentum applied to a stone for distance

Carrying Baggage? Let it go.

We talk about people having baggage, meaning that they have unresolved anger or other negative feelings for something that now affects their current situation. Baggage is simply unhealthy. Have a read:


You got out of a bad relationship because it was bad, but you are still resentful and angry (you let the devil leave his bags)

You got out of financial debt, but you still can’t control the desire to spend on frivolous things (you let the devil leave his bags)

You got out of a bad habit or addiction, but you still long to try it just one more time (you let the devil leave his bags)

You said, I forgive you, but you can’t seem to forget and have peace with that person (you let the devil leave his bags)

You told your unequally yoked mate that it was over, but you still continue to call (you let the devil leave his bags)

You got out of that horribly oppressive job, but you are still trying to sabotage the company after you’ve left (you let the devil leave his bags)

You cut off the affair with that married man/woman, but you still lust after him/her (you let the devil leave his bags)

You broke off your relationship with that hurtful, abusive person, but you are suspicious and distrusting of every new person you meet (you let the devil leave his bags)

You decided to let go of the past hurts from growing up in an unstable environment, yet you believe you are unworthy of love from others and you refuse to get attached to anyone (you let the devil leave his bags)

When you put the devil out, please make sure he takes his bags!


In The Remainder of 2010, Let the devil Take his bags with him!
Be Blessed, Healthy and Happy!

(Unknown author)

Do You Have “A News” or “Some News”?

I hear this mistake all the time, so I thought I should put it down here.
In English we say “news” not “a news”. It is uncountable.
Vanesa:  “I have some (good/bad/strange) news to tell you/share with you/for you!”
Rob:  “Really?  What’s the (good/bad/strange) news?”
Vanesa:  “I’m pregnant!!!”
Rob:  (Faints…)

So please do not say “I have a news” or “a good news” – okay?  Just say “news” or “some news”.
More example sentences:

“Hey, did you see the guy on the news today that won the lottery?  he looks so happy!”
“I heard on the news today (meaning TV or radio) that Toyota is recalling a lot of cars.”
“My co-worker shared with me the secret news that our company is down-sizing again.  I wonder if I’ll survive the chopping block?”  (That means stay working and not get fired)