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The Best of the Blog

Giugno 2014
The Speak Up blog answers any questions you may have either about the English language or our articles. Write to us (preferably in English) at: http://blog.speakuponline.it. The most interesting questions will be published on this page. A word of warning, though: our blog is not a translation or homework service!

More vs. Most
In “A symbol of New York” (January 2014), Lester Holt says: “One of the more popular places is a place called Eataly…” Shouldn’t that be “One of the most popular?”

No. “More popular” is actually better in this case. It’s more a question of tone: by saying “more popular” he is expressing a moderate opinion, whereas “most popular” would sound like a statement of fact that would need to be supported with statistics.

Sorry, Frank!
In “The Best of the Blog” (March 2014) you stated that the phrase from Sinatra’s song “My Way” ”I ate it up and spit it out” should have been “I ate it up and spat it out” since the simple past of spit is spat. This sentence is absolutely correct. In American English the past of spit is spit. “The Voice” is right.

Correct. On this occasion we also stated (jokingly) that Frank Sinatra wasn’t famous for his good grammar. In retrospect we were technically wrong, at least in this case, and we apologise. In actual fact we’re relieved that Sinatra died in 1998. According to Kitty Kelley’s biography, His Way, he reacted violently to any form of criticism and he had powerful friends in the Chicago mob, so he would probably have had us killed!

Thinking of you
What is the difference between “Thinking of you” and “Thinking about you?”  

There is very little difference. “Thinking about you” could suggest that the attention is more detailed: for example, “I really miss you and I think about you all the time,” while “thinking of you” could suggest that your name came up in conversation: “My boss said he was looking for a new marketing manager and I thought of you.”

What goes around comes around
How do you translate the expression “I nodi vengono al pettine”?

There are at least two equivalents: “All chickens come home to roost” and “What goes around comes around.”

Father’s Day
Is there the Father’s Day in England? If so, when is it and what do people do?

Of course, there is! It’s on the third Sunday in June. Most people just give their dad a card.

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