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Recommended Reading: English for the Natives


Un libro per insegnare agli inglesi la propria lingua, o meglio, la propria grammatica. Un madrelingua inglese a scuola non impara quello che viene insegnato a uno studente straniero. Harry Ritchie ha deciso di porre rimedio a questa ignoranza: anche i madrelingua devono conoscere le regole grammaticali! LANGUAGE LEVEL B2 (UPPER INTERMEDIATE). By Mark Worden

Harry Ritchie (Scottish accent)

Hi, my name is Harry Ritchie, and I’m the author of English for the Natives. It’s my sort of grammar book for English speakers. The thing about English speakers is that we know nothing about own language, we don’t speak any other languages, we know nothing about language itself, we are complete ignoramuses. And one of the weird aspects of it is that people who learn English as adults, EFL learners... you will know all the rules and regulations and conventions of English grammar, whereas English-speaking people know nothing about it, they know absolutely nothing. What they think they know is all codswallop. Traditional grammar guides and manuals for us, the people who speak English... are just rubbish. The only people who get the real stuff are foreigners, the billion or so people who are trying to learn English as a foreign language. So I’m basically nicking all the ideas from your course books and telling them back to English speakers.

(Harry Ritchie was talking to Mark Worden)

To read the main article (Speak Up, July 2014), click here


SPEAK UP EXPLAINS

Codswallop. Stupidaggini. Codswallop è un ottimo esempio di slang britannico. L’origine è un mistero ma probabilmente non c’entra con il pesce cod (merluzzo). Secondo una teoria un certo Mr. Codd creò una bibita gasata, ma di scarsa qualità.
 
I’m basically nicking. Sto praticamente rubando. To nick è un altro buon esempio di slang britannico. Significa rubare ma in altri contesti questo verbo può significare arrestare, mentre in the nick è un termine per “in carcere”.