Falling foul of ‘moron’
Fadzilah Amin addresses readers’ queries on grammar and language use.
COULD you please tell me if “moron” is is a foul word? I have heard it being used on teenage shows on TV and if it is a foul word, why isn’t it censored? My child used the word once in school and her friends kept insisting it was a foul word and reported it to the school teacher. –Aconcernedparent The word “moron” is often used as an insulting word, like the word “stupid” or “idiot”. But these words are neither swear words nor obscenities, and so I wouldn’t call “moron” a foul word. Although I wouldn’t encourage children to use it, censoring it would be too drastic in my opinion.
The word “moron” was originally adopted from the Greek in 1910 by the American Association for the Study of the Feeble-minded, and given the meaning of “an adult person having a mental age of between eight and twelve.” (Oxford English Dictionary) So, it was a purely descriptive term that has acquired an insulting meaning over the years. I’VE always wonder how to write my name when submitting a thesis. Some people got it wrong and so their names are listed wrongly now. For people with western names, it is easy as their family names are at the end. For example, John Michael Richards would be written as Richards, J. M. My full name is Natalia Grace Pang May Hong. How do I cite my name? – NataliaPang
If your name were to appear in a bibliog- raphy containing your book, it would usually appear with your family name first, followed by initials of your given (i.e. personal names). I have been told that a Chinese given name, although consisting of two words, usually means one thing, e.g. “beautiful jade”. If that is correct, you might want to hyphenate the initials of “May Hong” to M-Y. So your name would appear as:
Pang, N.G. M-H or Pang, M-H. N.G. depending on whether you want to use your Western names or your Chinese name first.
If you want to write your name in full and not want Western readers to think that your family name is “Hong”, you might want to write it as:
Natalia Grace May-Hong Pang or May-Hong Natalia Grace Pang
A Westerner would then correctly conclude that “Pang” is your family name (or surname). HOW do we pronounce “New Delhi” correctly? I believe it should be pronounced as “Delly” or “Dilly” but definitely not “Del-Hee,” as most of the local newscasters pronounce it. – Nasir I asked some Indian friends, and they all agree with you that the “h” in “Delhi” should not be pronounced. WHAT’S the meaning of “I’ll get you good.”?
I’ve also heard “I’ll get you hot” in song lyrics. What do they mean? – Ahmad In American speech, “good” is often used as an adverb to mean “well”. In the song “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” (=I’m Going to Get You Good) as sung by Shania Twain, however, the word “good” is given a stronger meaning. “I’ll getcha (get you) good” means “I’ll get you to be well and truly mine.” Some of the lines in the song support this interpretation:
“Don’t wantcha for the weekend, don’t wantcha for a night
I’m only interested if I can have you for life, yeah ...
You can bet your bottom dollar, in time you’re gonna be mine Just like I should – I’ll getcha good” In contrast, “I’ll get you hot” seems to have a more limited meaning, e.g. in the song “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga. Here it means “I’ll get you to want me physically.” I won’t be more explicit than this, since we probably have some very young readers. I’ve also looked at lyrics of other songs with this expression, and it means the same thing in all of them. IN the following sentences, what is the correct word order? a. Do you know where is the toilet? b. Do you know where the toilet is? c. Do you know what is physical education?
d. Do you know what physical education is? – Nicholas The correct way to ask a question beginning with “Do you know ...” (or “Can you tell me...”) can be found in Sentences b) “Do you know where the toilet is?” and d) “Do you know what physical education is?”
In such questions, the verb in the second clause (“is” in both cases) comes after the subject of this clause (“the toilet” in b. and “physical education” in d.), as it would in a statement. If “do you know” is removed and the questions become “Wh”questions, the verb comes before the subject: Where is the toilet? What is physical education?