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Sunday, June 26, 2016

EwR Commentary - Raymond's Personal List of Sayings From A to Z


To begin with, let's recall the four reasons that were stated earlier as to why sayings are important for second language learners to learn.  A recap (recapitulation) of these reasons includes the following.  Sayings (1) help explain something using very few words, (2) tell truths about human nature, and identify facts and common knowledge about the world that we live in, (3) connect and bring people closer together, and make human communication more interesting, and (4) tell you how people think in a particular culture.

Now let's take into account, another angle on the importance of sayings.  Sayings also help us to express our own life experiences, but from a very personal point of view since each person's life is unique.  No two people have the exact same experiences.  Besides, each individual's perspective on things is different.  For example, if two students from the same university talk about their graduation experience on the same day, each of them will have their own story to tell in order to describe what the experience was like.  No two stories are ever alike.

Even though life experiences are unique to each of us, there are similarities among our experiences.  An example of this is when someone tells you something that happened to them, and you remember a similar experience that you had.  Your experiences are not exactly the same, but they might resemble one another.  Therefore, sayings are also important to share with others because it might help others express how they feel about similar experiences that they have had.  Sayings help us to express our life experiences using fewer words than in an explanation.
So, without any further hesitation, I would like to share some of my own personal sayings with you. These are sayings that I have taken the time to write down on paper. It took many years for these words to formulate in my mind. For six decades, life has been teaching me many things, and these sayings are my way of expressing the lessons in life that I have learned. I hope that you appreciate this list of my own personal sayings. Since they are personal, you may, or may not agree with some of them. That's because every individual has their own world in which they experience things differently. Here is an example of mine.


A large glass of water will help you think clearer.
A smile never hurts anyone.
Absence makes you want to be even closer to someone that you love.
All talk and no action doesn’t convince me of anything.
Avoid negative people.  They destroy dreams.
Be assertive, but not passive nor aggressive.
Be careful thinking that money will solve your problems. 
Choices are difficult to make, but once you make them you can finally breathe again.
Deep thinking is not bad for your health.
Do what inspires you, and life will reward you.
Don't procrastinate, just do it!
Eating lots of fruit every day will make you a happier person. Try it, and you’ll see what I mean.
Every day that passes, I get to know myself a little better.
Everything in life is a choice.
Failure is on the road to success.
Getting older means having more time for you. 
How can you expect to understand others, if you don’t understand yourself?
How you hear a language, affects how you speak it; but how you speak a language, also affects how others hear and understand you.
I choose to make choices.
I haven’t figured myself out, so why am I going to take time figuring others out?
I like being with me.
I like to spend time with others, including myself.
I really feel happy when I’m really happy.
If you can’t think straight, then take a 15-minute brain break.
If you expect something from someone, then you might disillusion yourself.
If you have to ask, then maybe it’s not worth it.
If you want to capture people's attention, then don't speak.
If you want relief, then find a solution, not a remedy.
If you want something bad enough, then you have to work in order to make it happen.

If you want to succeed, then you have to put your best foot forward.

If you want to say something crystal clear, then find a saying for that.
If your feelings are hurt, then it means that you really care.
If you’re happy in bed, and happy when you leave the bathroom, then you are one of the happiest people alive.
If you’re thinking about doing something, don’t think too long because the opportunity may not come back again.
It pays to think first before you open your mouth.
It’s a good thing that my thoughts can’t talk out loud.
It’s better to keep on walking than trying to run.
It’s easier to live in the here and now.
It’s easy to talk, but it requires some discipline to listen.
It’s good to pat yourself on the back once in a while for a job well done. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.
It’s not what you say that counts, it’s what you do.
It’s okay to treat myself to something good once in a while.
Jump in the water and swim, even when the water is cold.
Keeping my own opinions to myself, is more difficult than listening to the opinions of others.
Life is difficult.
Life is worth living.
Listen for information and advice, but make your own decision.
Live today as if there were no tomorrow.
Make it happen, don't just think about it.
Make your bed every day in the morning, and your day will go better.

My loved ones that are no longer with me, are on a different guest list then I am.
Nobody said that life was easy.
No one can make you do whatever you don't want to do.

Nothing is forever.
Once you make a choice, you have to live with it.
One plus one is not always equal to two.

Pleasure is not guaranteed every day of the year.
Quiet time for yourself is a luxury.
Responsibility breeds success.
Saying “thank you” is nice to hear.
Saying “yes” is free, but saying “no” costs me a little bit.
Silence is my friend, not my enemy.
Silence gives you power.
Stop trying to analyze both why you exist and what your purpose in life is. All you have to do is look in a mirror.
The older I get, the more I understand.
There are two things certain in life – death and taxes.
Thinking alone won’t change anything.
Today is here right now.
Tomorrow may, or may not come.
Too much talk just wastes time.
Trying to be a better person every day, requires a lot of effort.
Unctuous talk should never be taken seriously.
Valiant people never ask to be noticed.
Wait at least 24 hours before making an important decision.
What has past, has past.
What I think I want today, would probably disappear if I would only wait for tomorrow.
Words only have power if you give it to them. Try letting them go in one ear, and out the other.
Writing your ideas down on paper is more effective than just thinking about them.
Xerosis, an abnormal dryness of the skin or eyeball, is inevitable as we get older.
Yesterday is gone and won’t come back.
Zest is the spice of life.  Savor it whenever you can!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

EwR Comment - Raymond Would Like to Hear From You


I would like to hear from my readers once in a while.  Therefore, I would like to ask all of you for a big favor.  If you like an entry in this blog, it would be nice to know that.  It helps me understand if my readers are satisfied with the information that I put in this blog.  Your feedback is very important to me in order to help second language learners of English.  My objective is to share information with you that is relevant to your second language learning experience.  Furthermore, I want you to enjoy your learning experiences.  In other words, I want you to be happy.

In order to "like" an entry in this blog, it is very simple.  Look at the photo above which illustrates the ending to an example entry in this blog.  Just above my Profile Description, you will see a box that you can check in order to say "I like this entry."  Click inside this box, and that's it!

Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.  I appreciate your serious consideration in order to demonstrate that you are liking what you see in this blog.  Meanwhile, look for the next Countdown Clock in order to learn when the next new entry is coming to this blog.

Happy reading, and enjoy your learning experiences here in this blog.  I enjoy having you all here.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

EwR Speaking - Sayings are Important for Second Language Learners to Use


Sayings (also known as proverbs or maxims) are expressions that are familiar to most people in a given culture, and are often repeated during conversations.  They express a general truth or identify a particular rule of conduct that is common in society.

Native people use sayings all the time during their conversations with others.  They are usually not easy for second language learners to learn; and, in particular, they are difficult to learn how and when to use them. The question here is whether or not second language learners really should learn them.  The answer is "yes".

Sayings are important for second language learners to learn how to use for the following four reasons. Sayings (1) help explain something using very few words, (2) tell truths about human nature, and identify facts and common knowledge about the world that we live in, (3) connect and bring people closer together, and make human communication more interesting, and (4) tell you how people think in a particular culture Let’s examine these four reasons more in depth.

In order to explain the reasons why sayings are so important to learn how to use, consider the following famous saying about how to predict the weather. It’s a very well known fact that the weather is a common everyday topic for most people. This famous saying rhymes, and goes like this. “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”  Now you will discover the first reason why sayings are so important for non-native speakers of English to learn. 

First of all, it is true that proverbs (or sayings) can help us explain something in very few words. Here’s an example of why this is true. Have you ever been talking to someone who just doesn’t seem to be able to explain their point clearly about something. Imagine that someone tells you the following story in order to convince you that they have a system that will help you predict what the upcoming weather is going to be like. Here is what they say to you.

“I have my own system that really works in order to predict the weather for the same day, or even the next day. Let me tell you about it. If you look out the window at night, just before it gets dark, sometimes you see red and pink colors in the sky when you look out at the horizon. That means that tomorrow is going to be a nice sunny day.

On the other hand, if you look at the horizon early in the morning, just before the sun comes out, you might see a similar reddish pink sky. That means quite the opposite; in fact, it means that later that afternoon on the same day, it will be cloudy and it possibly might even rain. This is how I determine if I need an umbrella, or not, before I leave my house. Try doing this sometime. You’ll find out that this system really works.”

Wow, what a long-winded explanation! After listening to this explanation, you have to think about it, and maybe even ask this person to explain it to you again so that you understand how their weather prediction system really works.  But, what if we use the famous saying above in order to describe how to predict the weather.  It's quick and easy to understand and use.  It clearly communicates all of the description above, but in more concise words.  In fact, instead of using 155 words in the aforementioned description, the famous saying says it in only 14 words.  After you understand this saying, you can use it with others in order to explain to them how they can also predict the weather with it.

Secondly, this famous saying has been used by people, and in particular by sailors, for more than two thousand years in order to forecast the weather.  It has been used for so many years because it accurately identifies what happens just before or after bad weather conditionsIt has become common knowledge based on meterological facts.  The reddish color in the morning or evening sky is caused by clouds connected to storms in the area.   

For example, the reddish visible light in the morning is a reflection of sunlight that comes from clear skies over the horizon to the east.  The light from the clear skies reflects on the bottom of the rain clouds that are coming from the west.  What you see is a red-colored sky in the morning that warns you that clouds are coming your way.  On the contrary, if the reddish visible light is seen in the evening, then the sunlight coming from the west is unobstructed, since there are no clouds coming in from the west.  Hence, westerly winds will bring clear skies for the next day.

Third of all, sayings are fun to use, and they make conversation more interesting.  People feel more connected during a conversation when they use sayings, and that creates an ambiance of intimacy between the speakers.  Sayings are like secret coded messages which you use with someone else when you feel comfortable with them.  If the person that you are talking to doesn't understand your saying, then you explain it to them, so that they feel part of your secret.  From now on, when you speak with that person and use the same saying again, you both have a way of communicating together that is special and unique.  This obviously makes human communication much more interesting.

For example, I use the famous saying above about weather prediction with a lot of people.  It's interesting how they react by smiling or laughing.  Our communication together is much more intimate and interesting.  They begin to use this saying with me in future conversations that we have together.  Using sayings is a good way to build more interesting communication with others.

And finally, the fourth reason why sayings are so important for second language learners to use is based on the following fact.  People within a given culture use sayings a lot.  You can detect how people think in a particular culture by listening to the sayings that they use.  They use certain sayings in order to convey messages that are important to them.

Let's take a look at a personal example of my own.  My father was a merchant marine.  When I was a child, he explained the above-mentioned saying to me about how to predict the weather.  I have been sharing it with others for more than 40 years now, since it accurately predicts the upcoming weather patterns.  This saying is also part of the American culture in the United States.  It tells you something about how they think and communicate weather conditions with each other, especially among sailors traveling at sea.

In summary, it is important for second language learners of English to consider using sayings.  Discover some of the most important ones, and learn how to use them.  They obviously will help you learn how to speak more concisely.  Furthermore, you will learn some common truths about our world.  Your communication will be more stimulating for others, and will help bring you closer to your listeners.  And even more, you will learn something about the culture of the native people who you talk with.

So remember, “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.”  Share this famous saying with others.  Learn other famous sayings too.  Find out how your communication skills will improve and how you will enjoy your conversations in a different way.

Now you can challenge yourself to learn more famous sayings, so that you can also use them in your conversations with others.  Take a look at this webpage in order to learn more of the most famous sayings that are used in the English language.  Don't forget that sayings are also referred to as proverbs or maxims.

I would like to leave you with the following famous Chinese proverb in order to motivate you with your own English language learning.

"To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world." – Chinese proverb.

In Chinese:  学一门语言,就是多一个观察世界的窗户  (xué yì mén yǔyán, jiù shì duō yí ge guānchá shìjiè de chuānghu.)