Politics

What do you think?

From Twitter:

Toshi: _ of politics?
Tom: You should pay attention to it.
Toshi: We think it’s a waste of time.
Tom: That’s why it wastes more than your time.
Toshi: What do ya mean?
Tom: You don’t care, so it wastes your money, taxes, health and time.

Do you like
What do you think
Think

Answer And Explanation
A. The answer is what do you think; but some people (even one of my favorite living philosophers… not mentioning names… [his initials are Sam Harris] …) say “how do you think?,” but this means something different, such as what is the mechanism of your thought process; that is totally different and inappropriate for this situation (and others) wherein we want to know what thoughts someone has on a subject in the contents of their ideas–not how they arrive at them (chemically or procedural-ly).

B. “Think of politics?” kind of works in casual, abbreviated, dialectic speech, but these questions that I make here and on Twitter are about proper, Standard English.

C. “Do you like of politics?” makes no sense.

Epictetus 1

From Twitter:

“You are not you’re body and hair style,
but your capacity for choosing well.
If your choices are beautiful,
so too will you be.

#Epictetus
(Italics, mine)

The Greek philosopher meant:
a. Mind is better than body.
b. Fashion is choice.
c. Our choices make us.
d. We are mind, not body.

Answer And Explanation
I think the answer is C. I mean–that is the best answer, in my view–because yes d.sounds correct, but I think it isn’t; we are notmind or body; we are both (many philosophers, scientists, and physiologists, these days, think it is true that mind and body are not separate; they are one thing).

Choice a. also could be mistaken for the answer; surely, religion teaches people that “the soul” (really a spiritual word for the mind) is the thing that matters. This is what leads people to think that they are (a spirit or a mind) “riding around in their heads”, as philosopher and neuroscientist Sam Harris says. This also seems wrong. “You,” or your mind, is no more separate from your body than your cornea is separate from your eye.

Choice b. is probably correct, but anyone who thinks that the great and honored philosopher #Epectitus was merely talking about fashion (in this statement) must be missing the point.

Save The World

From Twitter:
A. Do ya know who saved the world before ya were born?
B. Several people. JFK made a missile-for-missile deal to the USSR, saving us in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
A. No, it was Khrushchev’s idea.
B. Hmm. So, who?
A. A Russian, named _.

Vladimir Pusin
Stanislav Petrov
Yuri Gagarin

Answer: Stanislav Petrovic and Explanation: Stanislav Petrovic was Soviet Air Force officer in charge of monitoring incoming missiles. In 1983 he decided to ignore his instruments telling him that the USA had launched a missile strike against the Soviet Union…. Had he done his job according to protocol, we would have had a full scale nuclear war that would have ended–or could have ended the world or much of it. For more about nuclear weapons, go to http://samharris.org for a very good recent podcast with a nuclear weapons expert.

Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space (traveling in a rocket).
Vladimir Pusin is a made-up name.


Inconsistency

From Twitter:

① A. What’s culture _ to you?
B. The list is long.
A. Say 1 thing.
B. Inconsistency.
A. But we’re-
② B. We have different _.
A. But–
B. You asked.
A. Explain.
B. Changing contracts on a whim.
A. Bosses can–
③ B. People take _ because of the contract.
A. Hmm.

jobs
values
worst
shock


Answers And Explanation
① shock (as in culture shock) 
② values (Values are principles, sometimes synonymous with morals, ethics)
③ jobs (People accept job offers because of the benefits and conditions)

Cars And Climate

From Twitter:
A: __ ? I saw a movie on #GlobalWarming; scientists say we shouldn’t idle our engines. Each car matters. __ ?
B: Oh, come on! How much damage can one car do?
A: Many folks do it; the carbon adds up.
B: Pft.
A: Be responsible!

① say
② did you know that
③ you know what
④ listen

Answers And Explanation
You know what? You know what? (Answer Choice 3) means, “Do you want to know something,” and what follows after this expression is the new information; in this case: I saw a movie on Global Warming.
Each car matters.

Did you know that? (Answer Choice 2) means “did you know that fact that I just told you about?”

Friends at A Smokey Izakaya

From Twitter

Clerk: I __ go. I __ get up early; I’m __ to meet my boss early–and, I __ stop drinking, eating so much pork.

Clerk’s Foreign Friend (a vegetarian wearing a gas mask who sipped one beer all night): Cool.

① must
② have to
③ supposed to
④ should

Answers And Explanation:
I have to go. (Answer 2) Have to shows obligation.
I should get up early; (Answer 4) Should shows obligations we want to resist
I’m supposed to meet my boss early (Answer 3) Supposed to precedes obligations others are expecting.
–and, I must stop drinking, eating so much pork. (Answer 1) Must introduces intentions or obligations with moral- or beneficial- imperatives.

Mind Your Own Business

From Twitter

Police Officer: What are you doing in Japan?
American: Mind your own business.*
PO: Ya know my job?
A: Crossing guard?
PO: Nope. Try again.
A: Meter Maid?
PO: No!
A: Tax man!
PO: Wrong.
A: Security guard?
PO (Looks at sky): “…”

*Means:
a. Go to work
b. Care for your concerns

Answer And Explanation:
The answer is b., Care for your concerns. We say this ( “Mind your own business”) when it seems someone is looking into and minding (watching over/involving him or herself in) our affairs unsolicited (unwanted, not asked for). For better and more thorough explanations than this, come to class at Shinjuku English Institute. Social media cannot replace a good teacher in the flesh!

You’re not? No, I’m not.

From Twitter:

From Twitter
Look:
A: You’re not going?
B: No; I’m not. I have to wash my hair.

C: Is it Thursday?
D: No, it’s Friday.

E: Are you hungry?
F: No.
E: Really? You’re not?
F: No. I’m not.

Try:
G: Are you happy, now?
H: No.
G: You’re not happy?
H: __, I’m not; the food is terrible.

*Yes
*No

Answer and Explanation:
The answer is ‘No,’ because we do not confirm a negative (for example, I don’t, it isn’t, we won’t, it doesn’t) with a positive (like affirmative, yes, uh huh).

Fashion?

From Twitter:
A. (1.)_ your style?
B. Style? Look!
A. That?
B. Do ya (2.) _ western men? If we’re not rappers, gangsters or
A. Wha?
B. Gay (sorry; nothing’s wrong with (3.) _)–we don’t _ up–or for our girlfriends.
A. Why?
B. It’s silly, a waste, girly–not (4.) _.

*confident
*dress
*LGBT
*confidence
*get
*That’s (Added after the tweet was posted–in a comment)
*What’s
(Added after the tweet was posted–in a comment)

Answers And Explanation:
1. What’s
2. get (meaning understand)
3. LGBT (meaning Lesbian, Gary, Bi-sexual, Transgender)
4. confident (Here, confidence would work, but confident is better, because we are using adjectives in the other cases in the sentence–describing the dressers.)

Note: No one should get the idea from this post that the male speaker (B.) is anti-gay or homophobic; although there is a trend in the West and on social media for the neo-liberal-left to criticize, vilify, misrepresent and “cancel” people who make nuanced comments, essays, posts on social media or jokes about or related to vulnerable or sensitive groups (such as religions, cults, age groups, ethnicities, sexual persuasions and nationalities), the truth is that this onslaught on free speech has nothing to do with fairness and is a kind of repression of opinions more than a protection of groups. This trend is a huge cultural, social and political phenomenon detested and resisted by many courageous scientists, philosophers, politicians, pundits and people of all walks of life and is recognized as political correctness, which opponents of it say is ruining communication, language, freedom, institutions and person’s lives. Some even feel it is because of this disingenuous and repressive behavior that a backlash to it played a significant part in achieving the election of Donald Trump. So, think twice before blaming someone before you understand what he or she means.


To Clean House

From Twitter:

We (1.)__ all furniture, counters, walls and surfaces (2.)__ dust and (3.)__. We (4.)__ and (5.)__ floors and (6.)__ carpets and rugs and (7.)__ (8.)__ tiles in (9.)_kitchen and bathrooms, and we (10.)__ wood decks and the patio outside.

Pick:
*sweep
*the
*to
*germs
*at
*mop
*vacuum
*scrub
*shampoo

Answers And Explanation
1. wipe (Wiping is what we do with a rag, tissue, pad or paper towel to clean.)
2. for (Used before the object and meaning, in this case, ‘for the removal of…’)
3. germs (bacteria and pathogens from people, food and animals)
4. vacuum (A vacuum cleaner is the device, but vacuuming is the thing we do with a vacuum.)
5. mop (A mop is the tool, but mopping is the action we perform with a mop.)
6. shampoo (Yes, we shampoo rugs and carpets; it means wash with soap)
7. scrub (Vigorous rubbing with a pad or brush or rag with water and soap)
8. the (used before all known, special and/or mentioned countable nouns)
9. the (See number 8.)
10. sweep (This is what we do with a broom or dust brush.)