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A tough choice

Ianuarie 16, 2012

În cursul de engleză pe care-l predau am dat peste un text-exercițiu care mi s-a părut demn de a rămâne pentru poterioritate. Care variante sunt corecte? Merită să vă riscați. E mai ușor după o primă lectură de conturare a ansamblului.

„Apparently, there was this guy working for a financial services company in the City. Anyway, it (a) was being / had been a really tough year, so he (b) decided / was deciding to take a nice long holiday. He (c) just cleared / was just clearing his desk, when he (d) suddenly remembered / had suddenly remembered what (e) was happening / had happened the last time he (f) was / was being off work. He (g) was coming / had come back to an inbox containing hundreds of e-mails. So this time he (h) came up / had come up with a bright idea to prevent it happening again.

What he (i) did / was doing was this: he (j) set / had set his computer to automatically send a message to anyone e-mailing him, telling them that he (k) was / had been in the Caribbean for two weeks and not to e-mail him again till he (l) got / was getting back. Then, just as he (m) was leaving / had left the office, he (n) thought / was thinking he would e-mail his best friend and tell him all about his plans.

Unfortunately, his best friend, who (o) was going / had gone on holiday the day before, (p) was setting up / had set up his computer in exactly the same way. So the two PCs (q) proceeded / were proceeding to e-mail each other every few seconds for the whole fortnight, while these two guys (r) were enjoying / had enjoyed themselves on holiday, totally unaware. I (s) heard / had heard that so many messages (t) were finally building up / had finally built up on the company’s server, that it (u) crashed / was crashing, costing the firm millions! True story. Austin in accounts told me.”

Anunțuri

29 comentarii

  1. I was giving it a try, when I realized that Sam shouldn’t be admitted in this trial! He’s too good! But be merciless with us tough pupils. So:

    Apparently, there was this guy working for a financial services company in the City. Anyway, it (a) had been a really tough year, so he (b) decided to take a nice long holiday. He (c) was just clearing his desk, when he (d) suddenly remembered what (e) had happened the last time he (f) was off work. He (g) had come back to an inbox containing hundreds of e-mails. So this time he (h) came up with a bright idea to prevent it happening again.
    What he (i) did was this: he (j) set his computer to automatically send a message to anyone e-mailing him, telling them that he (k) was in the Caribbean for two weeks and not to e-mail him again till he (l) got back. Then, just as he (m) was leaving the office, he (n) thought he would e-mail his best friend and tell him all about his plans.
    Unfortunately, his best friend, who (o) had gone on holiday the day before, (p) had set up his computer in exactly the same way. So the two PCs (q) were proceeding to e-mail each other every few seconds for the whole fortnight, while these two guys (r) were enjoying themselves on holiday, totally unaware. I (s) heard that so many messages (t) had finally built up on the company’s server, that it (u) crashed, costing the firm millions! True story. Austin in accounts told me.


    • Sam should surely be admitted provided that he makes at least one mistake (with or without intention)!

      Well, I’m glad to have such students, congratulations, well done job, you have only one mistake. Would you like to spot it yourself?


      • Sorry, impossible to figure it out (this is my favourite idiom these days)!


    • Da, nu există „I was being giving it a try”, poate „I was being given a chance to try”. Dar cu „have had” şi „had had” nu ai?


      • Da’ speram să nu observi!
        Aham, e corectă varianta lu poate.

        Fac rost de hevuri, since you like them!


  2. I figured it’s your favourite, especially these days! You have figured out 20 instances, the problem letter is (q). So the two PCs proceeded to e-mail (the proceeding stage didn’t take long, only the e-mailing one).
    You have a + for your participation in the activity, this is a habit in my class!


    • Now that’s subtil like the snake! What if the tiny pieces were proceeding very briefly and repeatedly every few seconds? We can look at this procedure as one, or sliced into many proceedings every few seconds. Is this timpossible? OK, I rest my case, A+ be it, I can live with it! But we should fight our teachers if we have a solid case, shouldn’t we? This case is a matter of how rapidly we set off our proceedings, once we start them.


      • KJV, Genesis 3:1
        Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

        It was not subtile nor subtle, but subtil…


      • Oh, I see, it’s neither your version, nor mine, it’s KJV you wanted. So be it, then.


  3. Hahahahha! Now, that’s a programmer’s perspective, I got it!
    But that’s why it’s a tough choice!
    Or it’s a case of how we cannot stop our proceedings, once we start them like the two guys. Has it ever happened to you to have such a funny outcome of some action?


  4. Sorry for being late. You are too kind, I am far from being proficient. English still sounds foreign to me 🙂

    pro·ceed/prəˈsēd/
    Verb:
    Begin or continue a course of action: „proceed with the investigation”.
    Move forward, esp. after reaching a certain point: „the ship proceeded to Milwaukee”.

    Provided the computers have reached a certain point they could have re-proceed as many time as necessary.

    HabarnamSam


  5. Is this becoming a damsel in distress situation? Let’s hope not, as both of us gentlemen are far away from the dungeon.
    Regarding funny consequences of candid high tech usage, I experienced quite a few, but never with financial damage. The Murphy Law applying here is generally „Make something idiot-proof, and they will build a better idiot.”.


    • Allow me to digress on the damsel in distress: I would like to further stress that the best way to address the exchange on this word-press is the let it to dis-stress

      [you may add to the process]


      • Oh, noble Sam, I thee confess
        That I salute commendable prowess
        In Our Lady of This Blog success
        To heal unfathomable wounds of stress
        And still with subtlety address
        The core
        Of ‘ur pathetic myoritic lives
        Hideousness


      • Milady, obigaţi-mă rogu-vă cu o apostrofare finală adusă vieţilor englezeşti de mai sus. Your humble servant, Agnus de Lowlife.


      • Milord, Agnus of the Highlands of Romania,
        with all the power I possess
        I beg thee to bless
        with thy undisputable finesse
        our lives for this progress
        no one bothers to express!


      • I solemnly pledge allegiance to your Ladyship, and place the rest of my miserable virtual life at the bottom of your posts. Who am I to comment on these pages? Nevermind, Agnus, brace yourself! Hmmm… must I infer that „our lives hideousness” is better than „our lives’ hideousness”? Your diaphanous reckoning failed to grant me the apostrophical correction… But life goes on!


      • I myself couldn’t tell which is best, milord, Duke of the virtual world! There is a list of non-living things we can use the ‘s or ‘ genitive with, but „life” doesn’t seem to be included there; only if it is a fixed expression. Still, I’m not dismissing the ‘ option, taking into account that not all grammar possibilities are put on paper and I’ve seen it used both ways.


      • How strange the sound of it: life doesn’t seem to be included (anywhere!). As if life or Life is not the one including all things.


      • This genitive list thing is most amazing! Never heard of it. Thanks!


      • Yes, there is a list. It’s about geographical reference, institutional reference, superlatives („America’s tallest man”), churches, time references (a week’s time), reference to means of transport and some fixed expression (money’s worth etc.)…
        Concerning abstract reference, it is recommended to use the „of construnction” and not the ‘s or ‘ genitive.
        But in poetry, who can have any grammar rules?


  6. Saaam, welcome, do I see a shadow of doubt over the „proceeding” thing? 🙂 Don’t tell me habarnam.


    • Oh, no my dear!
      I was only teasing ya.
      „proceeding” can only be used as a noun if I am not mistaken.

      Btw, Agnusstick has done a very good job; if I were you I would have given him a prize instead of a praise 🙂


      • Maybe you were thinking about the plural form, proceedings. But they have it as a verb as well.

        I agree, Ugnoo deserves that, but I haven’t made up my mind yet, I need help!! 🙂


      • I am probably mistaken. I know that the plural („proceedings”) is more often used than the singular, both as nouns. The plural is the darling of the legal eagles when compiling reports or whatever they call them.
        The infinitive form of the verb is „to proceed”; my observation has been in regard to its use in the past perfect continuous or present perfect continuous form which I still do not see feasible.

        I had to consult the dictionaries so I owe you kudos for my spending some time in an useful activity 🙂


  7. Hahah, ok, I trust my two gentlemen then!
    Regarding the Murphy Law, one begins wondering whether it is worth making anything idiot-proof anymore. Better than seeing the superlative of idiot situations in the future, isn’t it?


  8. A, I see, you were refering to the continuous aspects. Well, Macmillan dictionary provides some examples with the verb in -ing form:
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/proceed

    The Oxford one doesn’t:
    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/proceed?q=proceed

    But neither mentions anything about this explicitly. If you find something, I am interested.

    Ja, ja, danke. 🙂


    • Way to learn!
      You were right. Who’s da T-chaR?
      I am relying mostly on what I hear and read here and there rather than doing a proper research. The continuous form for this particular verb is not used very often in the everyday conversations so this must be the reason for my assuming that it does not exist. I put it in the same box with the likes of „to be born” which does not accept the continuous option.

      I was right to dankeschon you 🙂


    • I find it very useful to see the natural way in which the language is used! With or without research. It’s more valuable than the grammar you could find in any book.



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