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Amparo Bertram

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05:59 pm: One more hour of sewing
When I left off working on my yukata sleeve last time, it looked like this diagram: right sides together, with the yellow line machine-stitched and the purple dotted line hand-stitched (the ends of the threads left dangling).

The next step is to form the curve of the sleeve. Place a cardboard cutout that matches the arc of the curve just slightly inside the yellow line and fold the material over it, pinning it in place at either end of the curve. Pull the ends of the hand-stitched threads to gather the corner. Iron the gathered material and then lightly backstitch the gathers in place. Remove the cardboard cutout.

After that, it's time to hem the wrist opening. Fold the edge of the fabric over twice to make a narrow hem and sew it with stitches roughly 1cm (~3/8") apart.

I was pretty slow at hemming the wrist opening, so I only managed to finish one sleeve by the end of the hour.

In other news, today was my last day of classes for the year. I still have to go in to work tomorrow, but there aren't any classes, just cleaning and an assembly.

<random linguistic musing>
One of the teachers who went on the Australia trip asked me whether "asthma" had "the" in front of it when explaining one's medical condition. I didn't think much of it at the time, but this morning I pondered it further. We have a number of conditions that use "the" in front of them, such as "I have the measles" and "I have the flu," yet we have a number that don't use "the" in front of them, such as "I have chicken pox" and "I have pneumonia." I tried to figure out whether there was any kind of pattern, such as severity of the disease, but nothing came to me. How is a non-native speaker to know whether to use "the" or not?

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[User Picture]
From:amilyn
Date:December 21st, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC)
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I would have thought that it went with the the count and non-count noun thing, but both "chicken pox" and "asthma" blow that out of the water.

I can't find a pattern either, but I suspect that we'll do best finding a pattern in the ones (far fewer) that DO use "the".

Hmm.

Then there are the ones that are, "I have a heart condition" or "I have a bad back" ...some even use the indefinite article. English is whacked.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:December 21st, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC)
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English really is a freak language.

It seems, though, like they could safely leave "the" off in most cases -- "I have measles/flu" is correct, while "I have the asthma" sounds funny. (The "a" examples all seems to have to do with modifying an ordinary noun, like "condition" or "back".)
[User Picture]
From:amilyn
Date:December 21st, 2004 03:34 pm (UTC)
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What's the line about other languages borrowing words from other languages but English chasing them down dark alleys, knocking them over, and rifling through their pockets?

English is a Frankenstein in every way. It's an unholy mish-mosh of different languages, grammars, tradition, vocabulary, and roots.

I love it, but I'm SO lucky to have had it as my FIRST language!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 21st, 2004 08:55 pm (UTC)
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I love it, but I'm SO lucky to have had it as my FIRST language!

I couldn't agree more. I think that so often. Prepositions are a nightmare, and if that doesn't get you, the spelling will. (I had a student the other day who, when writing about her boyfriend, had typed "I will kiss his rip" before a friend pointed out she needed to use l instead of r.)
[User Picture]
From:photonrecycler
Date:December 22nd, 2004 07:17 am (UTC)
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It's largely random, and dialect dependent. I suspect that the "the" is fixed primarily with older terms, from when there were relatively few diseases with commonly known and recognized names. In my idiolect, the article only occurs with a small number of conditions (flu, mumps, measles, plague, heebiejeebies), and it's always optional. Older speakers in my native dialect region use it much more regularly, even with cancer, sugar diabetes ("the sugar"). I've even heard it once or twice with AIDS. "They say he's got the AIDS."
Most European languages have similar peculiarities about the definite article usage, like German's infamous habit of using it with the names of some countries and not with others.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:December 22nd, 2004 10:11 pm (UTC)
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That's really fascinating. I was wondering personally how odd it seems (now that I think about it) that it sounds okay to me to say "I have the flu" but not "I have the influenza," even though they're the same thing.
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