User Comments - SF_Rachel
Posted on: Interviews: Obama or Romney?November 08, 2012, 05:16 AM
I'm jealous! My polling place too was entirely staffed by bilingual volunteers (my neighborhood has a lot of Taiwanese immigrants) and the nice lady who escorted me to deposit my ballot in the lockbox was a Chinese speaker, but given my very pink German face I only got an English sticker. That would have been a cool souvenir.
Posted on: Interviews: Obama or Romney?November 06, 2012, 09:05 AM
Spoken like someone who doesn't actually ever give up! 加油！
It helps if you start by not expecting it to be at all logical. Once you make peace with that reality, it does seem to become clearer.
American voters indicate a specific candidate on their ballots in the General Election (the election held today). Most people today who vote will cast their ballot specifically for Obama or Romney, and a few people will vote for candidates nominated by outsider political parties. However, those votes in the General Election don't technically count (at least, not directly). The President is selected early in December in a meeting called "The Electoral College" by the Electors chosen by the states, and the number of electors each state sends varies based mostly on the size of the state's population.
The December meeting itself is generally a quiet affair since it's typically a formality, with all the information a matter of record and with unexpected results highly unusual. The Electors for each state simply promise to cast their Electoral College votes for the General Election candidate with the majority (or plurality) for that state. Because the Electoral College is so reliable in following these promises, Americans are pretty confident in saying that the President is "chosen" during the General Election in November, though the office technically isn't legally filled at that time.
Voters don't directly pick or vote for the Electors. Our ballots in the General Election do not indicate anything about them: just the candidates themselves. I believe Electors are typically appointees of the various political parties in each state: it's like an honorary appointment or duty. Most people don't even know who the Electors are, though it's a matter of record for anyone who chooses to look it up.
You can view a great video explaining it pretty well here, if you can access YouTube. http://youtu.be/OUS9mM8Xbbw . The whole 4.42 minutes is fun and interesting, and includes information about Americans voting from abroad (and from space), but the meat of your question is addressed around the 3.00 mark.
Posted on: Children's Train TicketNovember 02, 2012, 01:57 AM
Feels like it's just "One of Those Things" to me. Like in English, chin and jaw have very distinct different meanings, but there are some fixed expressions using chin (e.g. wag one's chin or chin music, up to one's chin) that arguably could have gone the other way and just didn't (or did, I'm just jawin' here).
Posted on: The Many Ways to 'But' InOctober 16, 2012, 12:35 AM
When I think about how to use 不过 I always think of how I was once advised to try to stop using the word "but" (in English) and replace it with "and" in order to seem less argumentative.
1. In my experience, very helpful mental hook to understand how to use 不过 better. It helps you sound less argumentative, more concilatory when delivering unwelcome news or contradicting someone. When I first added 不过 to my vocab list way back when, I wrote a notation next to it on my flashcard for it "Hint: Mary's advice!"
2. AND in most cases saying "and" when you mean "but" in English makes you sound half-literate. Whatever, Mary!
3. Wait a minute Mary why would you think I need to "seem less argumentative" you sound like gin-addled hobo how has this factored into your decision to be an interfering tool? Whoops, now who sucks, huh?
Good memories! :-)
Posted on: Sales: Understanding a Customer's NeedsOctober 03, 2012, 11:21 PM
Posted on: A Classic Grand Slam MatchupSeptember 18, 2012, 12:43 AM
(Probably pretty uninteresting if you're neither American nor left-handed, unless you follow tennis pretty darned enthusiastically. Sorry 'bout that.)
Posted on: Sending a Large FileSeptember 17, 2012, 09:20 PM
I love these computer use lessons! Even for someone who doesn't routinely have issues sharing files, there's a lot of useful everyday office work stuff here.
This construction passed without comment from the hosts, but it seems like a particularly useful phrase to just memorize:
When I'm collaborating with people in real time, "hold on a sec, let me see if I'm able to ..." is a phrase I probably use all the time.