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Blog criado por Bruno Coriolano de Almeida Costa, professor de Língua Inglesa desde 2002. Esse espaço surgiu em 2007 com o objetivo de unir alguns estudiosos e professores desse idioma. Abordamos, de forma rápida e simples, vários aspectos da Língua Inglesa e suas culturas. Agradeço a sua visita.

"Se tivesse perguntado ao cliente o que ele queria, ele teria dito: 'Um cavalo mais rápido!"

quarta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2015

Sex Pills



Listening (here)

Sex Pills

— "Doc, you've gotta help me! My wife just isn't interested in sex anymore. Haven't you got a pill or something I can give her?" "Look, I can't prescribe..."
— "Doc, we've been friends for years. Have you ever seen me this upset? I am desperate! I can't think; I can't concentrate; my life is going utterly to hell! You've got to help me."
— The doctor opens his desk drawer and removes a small bottle of pills. "Ordinarily, I wouldn't do this. These are experimental; the tests so far indicate that they're VERY powerful. Don't give her more than ONE, understand? Just ONE."
— "I don't know, doc, she's awfully cold..."
— "One. No more. In her coffee. Okay?"
— "Um... Okay."
— The guy expresses gratitude and leaves for home, where his wife has dinner waiting. When dinner is finished, she goes to the kitchen to bring dessert. The man hastily pulls the pills from his pocket and drops one into his wife's coffee. He reflects for a moment, hesitates, then drops in a second pill. And then he begins to worry. The doctor did say they were powerful. Then inspiration strikes he drops one pill into his own coffee. His wife returns with the shortcake and they enjoy their dessert and coffee. Sure enough, a few minutes after they finish, his wife shudders a little, sighs deeply and heavily, and a strange look comes over her. In a near whisper and a tone of voice he has never heard her use before, she says, "I...need... a man..."
— His eyes glitter and his hands tremble as he replies, "Me... Too..."

Vocabulary Help

  • awfully - terrivelmente
  • dessert - sobremesa
  • worry - preocupar
  • drop - colocar
  • shudder - tremer
  • sigh - suspirar
  • deeply - profundamente
  • whisper - suspiro
  • glitter - brilhar

PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
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domingo, 23 de agosto de 2015

Sherlock Holmes




listening (here)


Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the world famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, was not above telling tales about himself in which he was the laughing stock. Here is one of those stories.
As he tells it, he was waiting at a taxi stand outside the railway station in Paris.
When a taxi pulled up, he put his suitcase in it and got in himself. As he was about to tell the taxi driver where he wanted to go, the driver asked him:
"Where can I take you, Mr. Doyle?" Doyle was flabbergasted. He asked the driver whether he knew him by sight.
The driver said: "No Sir, I have never seen you before." The puzzled Doyle asked him what made him think that he was Conan Doyle.
The driver replied: "This morning's paper had a story about you being on vacation in Marseilles. This is the taxi stand where people who return from Marseilles always come to. Your skin colour tells me you have been on vacation. The ink spot on your right index finger suggests to me that you are a writer. Your clothing is very English, and not French. Adding up all those pieces of information, I deduce that you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." Doyle said:
"This is truly amazing. You are a real life counter part to my fictional creation, Sherlock Holmes."
"There is one other thing," the driver said.
"What is that?"
"Your name is on the front of your suitcase."

Vocabulary Help

  • tales - histórias
  • laughing stock - objeto de gozação, riso
  • railway station - estação ferroviária
  • flabbergasted - surpreso
  • puzzled - surpreso, espantado
  • skin - pele
  • ink spot - marca de tinta
  • clothing - vestuário
  • amazing - surpreendente

PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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sábado, 22 de agosto de 2015

Comment vous appelez-vous?



Samedi le 22 (vingt-deux) Aôut

Bonjour. Comment vous appelez-vous? Je m'appelle Bruno, et vous? Enchanté. J'habite à Florianopólis.

  
Je ne parle pas français! il y a là quelq'un qui parle le français?

If you are a regular visitor to this site, you have probably seen my posts about my Spanish language lessons (read here). It’s been many years ago since I last published something of that kind here.

Well, from now on, I will be posting – every Sunday – my experience with another language – French.

My objective? Learn more by sharing my impression about how it is to be a language learner again.

That’s all I want to say today. Stay tuned!

Au Revoir
PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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domingo, 9 de agosto de 2015

MIT claims to have found a “language universal” that ties all languages together


A language universal would bring evidence to Chomsky's controversial theories.

Language takes an astonishing variety of forms across the world—to such a huge extent that a long-standing debate rages around the question of whether all languages have even a single property in common. Well, there’s a new candidate for the elusive title of “language universal” according to a paper in this week’s issue of PNAS. All languages, the authors say, self-organise in such a way that related concepts stay as close together as possible within a sentence, making it easier to piece together the overall meaning.

Language universals are a big deal because they shed light on heavy questions about human cognition. The most famous proponent of the idea of language universals is Noam Chomsky, who suggested a “universal grammar” that underlies all languages. Finding a property that occurs in every single language would suggest that some element of language is genetically predetermined and perhaps that there is specific brain architecture dedicated to language.

However, other researchers argue that there are vanishingly few candidates for a true language universal. They say that there is enormous diversity at every possible level of linguistic structure from the sentence right down to the individual sounds we make with our mouths (that’s without including sign languages).

There are widespread tendencies across languages, they concede, but they argue that these patterns are just a signal that languages find common solutions to common problems. Without finding a true universal, it’s difficult to make the case that language is a specific cognitive package rather than a more general result of the remarkable capabilities of the human brain.

Self-organising systems

A lot has been written about a tendency in languages to place words with a close syntactic relationship as closely together as possible. Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson at MIT were interested in whether all languages might use this as a technique to make sentences easier to understand.

The idea is that when sentences bundle related concepts in proximity, it puts less of a strain on working memory. For example, adjectives (like “old”) belong with the nouns that they modify (like “lady”), so it’s easier to understand the whole concept of “old lady” if the words appear close together in a sentence.

You can see this effect by deciding which of these two sentences is easier to understand: “John threw out the old trash sitting in the kitchen,” or “John threw the old trash sitting in the kitchen out.” To many English speakers, the second sentence will sound strange—we’re inclined to keep the words “threw” and “out” as close together as we can. This process of limiting distance between related words is called dependency length minimisation, or DLM.

Do languages develop grammars that force speakers to neatly package concepts together, making sentences easier to follow? Or, when we look at a variety of languages, do we find that not all of them follow the same pattern?
The researchers wanted to look at language as it’s actually used rather than make up sentences themselves, so they gathered databases of language examples from 37 different languages. Each sentence in the database was given a score based on the degree of DLM it showed: those sentences where conceptually related words were far apart in the sentence had high scores, and those where related words sat snugly together had low scores.
Then, the researchers compared these scores to a baseline. They took the words in each sentence and scrambled them so that related words had random distances between them. If DLM wasn’t playing a role in developing grammars, they argued, we should be seeing random patterns like these in language: related words should be able to have any amount of distance between them. If DLM is important, then the scores of real sentences should be significantly lower than the random sentences.
They found what they expected: “All languages have average dependency lengths shorter than the random baseline,” they write. This was especially true for longer sentences, which makes sense—there isn’t as much difference between “John threw out the trash,” and “John threw the trash out” as there is between the longer examples given above.
They also found that some languages display DLM more than others. Those languages that don’t rely just on word order to communicate the relationships between words tended to have higher scores. Languages like German and Japanese have markings on nouns that convey the role each noun plays within the sentence, allowing them to have freer word order than English. The researchers suggest that the markings in these languages contribute to memory and understanding, making DLM slightly less important. However, even these languages had scores lower than the random baseline.
The family tree
This research adds an important piece of the puzzle to the overall picture, says Jennifer Culbertson, who researches evolutionary linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. It’s “an important source of evidence for a long-standing hypothesis about how word order is determined across the world’s languages,” she told Ars Technica.
Although the paper only looked at 37 languages, it’s actually incredibly difficult to build these databases of language in use, which makes it a reasonably impressive sample, she said. There is a problem here, though: many of the languages studied are related to one another, representing only a few of the huge number of language families, so we’d expect them to behave in similar ways. More research is going to be needed to control for language relatedness.
This paper joins a lot of previous work on the topic, so it’s not the lone evidence of DLM—it’s corroborating, and adding to, a fair bit of past research. It’s “a lot of good converging evidence,” she said.
“There are many proposed universal properties of language, but basically all of them are controversial,” she explained. But it’s plausible, she added, that DLM—or something like it—could be a promising candidate for a universal cognitive mechanism that affects how languages are structured.
For a debate as sticky as the one about language universals, there could be multiple ways of interpreting this evidence. Proponents of Chomsky's school might argue that it's evidence for a dedicated language module, but those who favour a different interpretation could suggest that working memory affects all brain functions, not just language.


PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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sábado, 8 de agosto de 2015

Sad Stories



Do you want to listen to this story? (Here - podcast)
Bill, Jim and Scott were at a convention together and were sharing a large suite on the top of a 75-story skyscraper.

After a long day of meetings, they were shocked to hear that the elevators in their hotel were broken and they would have to climb 75 flights of stairs to get to their room.

Bill said to Jim and Scott, "Let's break the monotony of this unpleasant task by concentrating on something interesting. I'll tell jokes for 25 flights, Jim can sing songs for the next 25 flights and Scott can tell sad stories for the rest of the way."

At the 26th floor, Bill stopped telling jokes & Jim began to sing. At the 51st floor, Jim stopped singing and Scott began to tell sad stories.

"I will tell my saddest story first," he said. "I left the room key in the car!!!

Vocabulary Help


sad - triste
sharing - dividindo
skyscraper - arranha-céu
meetings - reuniões, encontros
climb - subir a pé
flights of stairs - escadas
task - tarefa
 Enviado por: Rubens Queiroz de Almeida
PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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The Entire History of You





Today (Saturday) I was at the gym working out as I usually do on Saturday mornings. It would have been a quite normal day if I haven’t noticed one thing in particular – two ladies taking pictures of themselves in front of the mirror. I have absolutely no problem with pictures; this is actually the norm today, right? However, I do not feel comfortable when someone is taking pictures of me when I am not in the mood for it.

Let me explain it better:

Well, as I was there too and they were taking photos of themselves I realized that I was probably there (in the picture) today. In doing so, they took an unauthorized picture of me and I believe this is not cool.

This happening got me thinking about how people behave nowadays. They simply go there, take their camera from their pockets (or elsewhere) and CLICK, they take a picture and move on as that attitude was completely normal. This episode specifically reminded me of Google glass and frightened me a lot. I started to believe that people will walk on the streets – wearing their tools and taking pictures and/or recording every single moment of their (and others’) lives.



I would like to know whether more people feel bothered by a situation like that or not. Therefore, I would like to hear it from you:

If you are interacting with someone who is wearing a recorder (or a google glass) that is recording everything – including you –, how do you think you would feel about it?

Unlike someone carrying a smartphone, you would not know whether someone wearing Google Glass, for instance, is video recording you or not. How would you behave differently?

There is an interesting episode of “the Black Mirror” – English TV Series – called "The Entire History of You" that deals exactly with situations of this kind. I highly recommend it:




PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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sexta-feira, 7 de agosto de 2015

Animated map shows how religion spread around the world



Far from trying to convince you of anything, I would like to share this incredible video with you folks. It is a rather simple (and short) one. I hope you guys like it!

Both the text and the video come from Business Insider (See it here)



Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are five of the biggest religions in the world. Over the last few thousand years, these religious groups have shaped the course of history and had a profound influence on the trajectory of the human race. Through countless conflicts, conquests, missions abroad, and simple word of mouth, these religions spread around the globe and forever molded the huge geographic regions in their paths.

Cheers,
Bruno Coriolano


PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites are, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement. Please, I strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact me!
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