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Being two hours from Venice by train was one of the area's many attractions.

Two hours is a long time. I'm not sure whether you're saying you were glad to be so far away or so near. I'm thinking of all the places you could get to, especially by plane in 2 hours.

Shouldn't one consider the time needed to get from one's front door to St Mark's Square, rather than the flight time? For many of us in the UK or continental Europe, a two-hour train journey may be a true door-to-door (or door-to-piazza) two-and-a half hours.
I recently flew to Berlin from Heathrow, a flight time of about 75 minutes, but I had to leave my Wiltshire home at 0730 to arrive by 1430. While in Berlin I visited Dresden: less than ten minutes' after-breakfast walk to the main-line station from a quiet hotel in a smart street, two hours on the precisely punctual train, less than ten minutes' walk to the centre of Dresden. This gave me a very enjoyable and full day with friends before getting back to my Berlin base at about 2100.
Perhaps in your part of Australia you aren't required to check in at the airline desk 90 minutes or even a full two hours before your flight is due to leave, and perhaps an airport isn't so far from where you happen to live, and perhaps you can use convenient public transport or park your car easily and quickly close to the terminal . . .
Alan Jones
Alan Jones
Areff typed thus:
I learned this when I lived over there in my ... public still thinks that Americans are like us. They're not.

You are correct sir. But Americans aren't even like themselves. To me, Midwesterners, Southerners, Westerners, Californians, etc. are all rather ... guess is that these sharp distinctions are lost on Europeans (indeed, they're probably lost on the Coops of this country).

You are right in return, sir. I've been all around your vast nation (38 states, I think), and I can discern significant cultural differences. But that's probably too much detail for a first time visitor like the Cat.
My Japanese hosts commented that we were different from their usual western visitors. Not surprising, as these are mostly Californians.

David
==
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Mike Mooney typed thus:
Rubbish. So long as you know the rules, roundabouts are brilliant. They h=ave to be designed right, though - sometimes ... now been reversed to follow the British practice, but plenty of French drivers still seem to follow the old metho=d!

Getting used to French roundabouts was the hardest thing to train my=20 brain for continental motoring, especially when towing a caravan and=20
40 feet long with a bend in the middle. Years of intuitive use of UK=20roundabouts were useless - I had to learn an entirely new process for=20 getting around and off the roundabout.
Most French roundabouts still have signs saying "Vous n'avez pas la=20 priorit=E9" as you approach. Priorit=E9 =E0 droite is still the default=20 over there - there is a road sign, unknown in the UK, which cancels=20 the default and replaces it with "you now have the right of way until=20 you see the crossed out version of this sign".
=20
David
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
So it's a class warfare thing? The customer is not just somebody with money to spend; he is the cause of all your misery.

Dead right. A standing joke here is the professor or consultant who says "This place would be nice to work in if it wasn't for the students / patients".

Very little to do with class, I think. When I was a nurse, we used to say the same thing. "This hospital would be great without all the patients cluttering it up."

Hooray for the differently sane.
Which brings us onto the charming practice of "keying" fancy cars. Is this known in Merica? ...

(snip rest.mc.) Yes and it doesn't always involve "fancy" cars. With some people, it's a "get even" stroke "you parked in my spot, see how you like this." Or "I'll teach you to talk to *my* boyfriend"

Ah, now there's* one that used to confuse me as a kid: "I'll teach you to..." (...do something that they *don't* want you to do). Where the hell did *that come from?
The other one that baffled me was "Waste not, want not". As a small child I didn't understand that it meant: "If you don't waste stuff, you never be in need". I thought it meant: "Don't waste anything, and don't want anything". So when I said "I don't want my spinach" and my mother trotted out that phrase, I couldn't see what I was doing wrong.
Mike M
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Maria Conlon filted:
I have never keyed or been keyed. That is not ... of the lot and walk a hundred yards or so.

I was forgetting those kinds of "space-hogger" situations. I wouldn't key someone's car for that, but I sure would like ... windshield.(1) (1) I also probably wouldn't object too strenuously to someone letting the air out of at least one tire.

I haven't done this sort of thing in a number of years, but the last time I was sufficiently provoked, I removed the blades from the offender's windshield wipers...the advantage of this, especially in Phoenix, is that it may be six months or more before any actual damage results..r
I see you posted elsewhere that you didn't think companies were hurt by their names becoming generic. For me, that is the point the identity that they worked to create, investing time and money, becomes lost, not only in the public consciousness, but legally.

Once the identity is legally lost, I can't see that it matters. In fact, they then have something to gain if in a non-self-service shop I ask for "band-aids" when I might have accepted another brand: the shop will presumably take me literally, and serve me with not "band-aids" but Band-aids.
I don't know exactly what you think it means to hurt a company ("do they not bleed?), but I say this hurts.

Well, when they do bleed, they have a habit of making you and me pay for the tranfusion. There are people out there bleeding a lot more profusely.
Mike.
I see you posted elsewhere that you didn't think companies ... becomes lost, not only in the public consciousness, but legally.

Once the identity is legally lost, I can't see that it matters.

Well, that's a whopping big if. Sure, after* the "Cellophane" people (for example) lost the exclusive trademark to the name "cellophane," nobody was hurt any more. I was talking about the period in which people *were* hurt, namely the ones in the organization that was still trying to protect their identity. *Before the brand name was legally lost, and at the moment of losing it.
In fact, they then have something to gain

Well, no, they aren't in a position to gain anything. They lose the brand name, that's the whole point. They may have to close their doors, they may have to close that line, they may be able to reorganize and manufacture it under a different name, but something changes. When the name is legally lost.
if in a non-self-service shop I ask for "band-aids" when I might have accepted another brand: the shop will presumably take me literally, and serve me with not "band-aids" but Band-aids.

First, Band-aids is not a case where the trademark was legally lost. So that doesn't follow from the earlier point.
Second, this is precisely the fallacy I was complaining about. You think the Band-Aids Company (or Johnson & Johnson or whatever they're really called) is thrilled to bits because any similar product is called, by customers, "bandaids." Oh, look, don't they benefit from the confusion? Maybe, in the short run, but they stand to lose much more from legal loss of the trademark than they gained from such terminology confusion.

As I've said before, it helps to remember "de jure" and "de facto" (as in racial segregation). There's losing a trademark legally because it is held to have become a generic term, and there's merely feeling as if a (still valid) trademark has become generic, in the eyes of the public. They are two different states, with the first being stricter and more drastic than the second.
I don't know exactly what you think it means to hurt a company ("do they not bleed?), but I say this hurts.

Well, when they do bleed, they have a habit of making you and me pay for the tranfusion.

Or going out of business. Do you believe that companies go out of business sometimes?
There are people out there bleeding a lot more profusely.

Like people whose employers have gone out of business?

Donna Richoux
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Maria Conlon filted:

I was forgetting those kinds of "space-hogger" situations. I wouldn't ... someone letting the air out of at least one tire.

I haven't done this sort of thing in a number of years, but the last time I was sufficiently provoked, ... advantage of this, especially in Phoenix, is that it may be six months or more before any actual damage results..r

Try sticking a postage stamp on the windscreen right in the driver's line of vision.
Mike

M.J.Powell
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