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Subject:Random English Stuff
Time:03:42 pm
I imagine everyone becomes incredibly bored at work at some point, and then needs to exert him(or her)self to find some source of entertainment. Luckily, for me, this is readily found in some of the English textbooks I use.

One textbook has a section called "useful expressions" in each chapter. What they mean by  "expression" in this case, is useful grammar that students can use. So, they might list "My name is Ken," as a useful expression, because students can say "My name is (insert name here)." But to me, an "expression" is something more akin to "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Thus, it amused me when I saw the sentence "There's a fishing program on channel 8," listed as a useful expression. It makes me want to make up an elaborate explanation as to what it means and teach it to some unsuspecting students.

"You see, a fishing program means something boring, and most US televisions made before the 80s didn't have a channel 8, due to superstitions. So saying there's a fishing program on channel 8 means it's impossible to see something boring. In other words, this saying means you're really interested in what's being said. So you should use this expression whenever someone tells you some interesting news." That's the best explanation I could invent, anyway.

Another textbook, one of our most popular, begins each chapter with a sample sentence from the dialogue, followed by an explanation of what the chapter is about. For example: "Hello, my name is Miki. : Making Introductions." And then there's a picture, also based on the dialogue. So, my favorite illustration comes from a chapter entitled, "She's really bored by it. : Describing feelings." Please take a moment to imagine what kind of picture would accompany a topic like this.

In case you can't tell, or don't believe your eyes, that's a samurai and a cowboy fighting aliens. I couldn't make this up if I tried.
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