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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #91  
Old 8th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

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Originally Posted by Naughty Nigel View Post
I often wonder about the wisdom of holding sporting events at times and in places where there is a very good likelihood that conditions will be extremely punishing for competitors.

Whether it be playing cricket in temperatures of 50 °C, running an Olympic marathon in the Greek midsummer, (as opposed to the Bleak Mid Winter), or playing a football world cup in Qatar during high summer, I can only think the timings must be for the benefit of the governing bodies (working in their air conditioned offices) rather than for the athletes themselves.
Having it in Oz in high summer. was to give us sun baked Aussies the edge over the.chilled out Poms.

Seriously though I agree, it's absurd and dangerous to all players and spectators alike to be exposed to the weather extremes that we are now seeing across the globe. Next year it may be your turn to watch Aussies being carted off the field with hypothermia.

Anyway let's hope your eleven will manage to even the score, or at least turn on a jolly good show attempting to do so!
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  #92  
Old 9th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

Returning delicately to the (probably now neutral) subject of Canada, Kate and I had a great holiday last October in Quebec Province.

We flew in and out of Montreal, a buzzing, cosmopolitan, mildly-edgy, multicultural, friendly, young, sporty, arty-and-yet-beer-swilling city that I’ve now been to 3 times over a decade and have consistently loved.

While in the province we did a narrow loop north, and then back south of the St Lawrence, visiting some great small towns, but also spending 4 days in Quebec City.

QC is something else: very white, very touristy, very old (the people, that is, not only the Belle Époque fine architecture) and the whole place felt like it was populated by those trying to be more French than the French back home (ie allergic to multiculturalism - several times when we were chatting to older locals they spontaneously brought up how “French culture was going downhill in the Old Country”). Frankly, the place felt culturally necrotic.

We’d had 10 days in Paris in September, and had no problem communicating in school French with the locals, and they almost always politely switched to English when they realised where we were from - no sign whatsoever of the ‘rude French waiter’ trope. In Quebec City, in contrast, people come at you with full-speed heavily-accented French, and then made little attempt to accommodate anyone of any language who had trouble following them.

Interesting parallels abound, including the economic catastrophe that struck the province, with a mass pullout of international businesses, when they moved towards separatism with referenda in 1980 and 1995 (especially the latter).
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  #93  
Old 9th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

Your last sentence probably being a terrible warning for the UK.

What time of year was your trip, what was the weather like and what was the altitude you travelled to.

I visited Montreal in 1976 soI guess it has changed a bit. It was a worthwhile visit.
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  #94  
Old 9th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

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Your last sentence probably being a terrible warning for the UK.

What time of year was your trip, what was the weather like and what was the altitude you travelled to.

I visited Montreal in 1976 soI guess it has changed a bit. It was a worthwhile visit.
Well, who knows: welcome to the complete unknown. Maybe in 10 - 15 years time all will be fine and dandy, just so long as the NHS/Social Care/State Pension etc etc have miraculously survived in the interim and someone can be found to pick our farm produce, work in hotels & catering etc etc. Anyway, let's not go there again...

It was October, which should have been after the best 'peak colour' in the trees, but with climate change the tree colour is happening later, and we saw some simply fantastic colours in parks north and south of the St Lawrence (although it was beginning to get a bit past-it in the La Mauricie park, which was as far north as we went).

We had very little rain, although it was breezy and chilly at times. Lots of bright and almost-cloudless days, actually. Not surprisingly it rained a bit more at the end of the trip.

In order we stayed in: Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Baie St Paul, Magog and back to Montreal. Given more time I'd have loved to spend a few days further east still on the south side of the St Lawrence, on the Atlantic coast - the scenery and hiking look fantastic out there, and few tourists. We don't like skipping frequently between lots of places which you therefore never see properly, so that wasn't on this time.
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  #95  
Old 10th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

Well, having been rather poorly these last few days, I'm back, and will try to make a small point.

I met a number of Canadian/US dual passport holders in Detroit; to a man, they got a US passport because they felt, as Canadians, they weren't welcome. i was quite surprised, I had thought Americans more inclusive. But they were the butt of "Canadian jokes" by the American staff, and definitely didn't go a bundle on that! People always like to have someone to make jokes about; I guess that's human nature. What really shook me was discovering that the Irish had "Irish jokes" about, I think it was the inhabitants of Limerick or Killarney.

So far as speaking French is concerned, I found it was easy to make myself understood with Belgian French speakers; but had extreme difficulty with native French. And, unlike the Belgians, the French made no attempt help me. You can only speak as you find, can you not?
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Old 10th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

I guess it’s part of being human to generalise from frankly fairly small and superficial details we all notice within our own experience and we all generalise. It’s often not healthy, and risks discrimination and unreasonable prejudice: if we recognise it in ourselves it helps avoid most of the negativity, but it does have a very dark side.

Travel is good, and proper travel (not just cocooned in multinational hotels or cruise ships). My personal generalisation as a result is that 80% of every race/nationality/subculture etc on earth are just fine - they’ll help you out if you’re stuck and won’t harm you and will probably return your wallet (maybe some might do it after removing a tenner or two...). 10% of all people in all such groups are simply wonderful - they’ll drive 50 miles to return your wallet and will refuse any payment for doing it.

You just need to watch out for the final 10%, but you’re as likely to meet them at home as you are in any other country of the world (but they do gather in tourist traps, and they are more likely to prosper in some regimes where they’ve come to positions of power and influence: they are also just as common among the homeless and benefits recipients as politicians and corporate CEOs).

Just my 3p worth.
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  #97  
Old 10th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

We seem to get so little news of any description concerning Canada, that on other forums I've been known to state when the country is mentioned - "Canada? Do people still live there then?" Of course I've followed it with a smiley and stated the reason why I've said it.

Jim
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  #98  
Old 10th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
I guess it’s part of being human to generalise from frankly fairly small and superficial details we all notice within our own experience and we all generalise. It’s often not healthy, and risks discrimination and unreasonable prejudice: if we recognise it in ourselves it helps avoid most of the negativity, but it does have a very dark side.

Travel is good, and proper travel (not just cocooned in multinational hotels or cruise ships). My personal generalisation as a result is that 80% of every race/nationality/subculture etc on earth are just fine - they’ll help you out if you’re stuck and won’t harm you and will probably return your wallet (maybe some might do it after removing a tenner or two...). 10% of all people in all such groups are simply wonderful - they’ll drive 50 miles to return your wallet and will refuse any payment for doing it.

You just need to watch out for the final 10%, but you’re as likely to meet them at home as you are in any other country of the world (but they do gather in tourist traps, and they are more likely to prosper in some regimes where they’ve come to positions of power and influence: they are also just as common among the homeless and benefits recipients as politicians and corporate CEOs).

Just my 3p worth.
That was only 2 1/2 pence, Mark! Being serious, by and large, yes. As I said earlier, some people you like, some you don't, but the vast majority you react to in a neutral way. I knew some Americans whom I much liked, and two or three whom I detested, for individually different reasons. (A very pleasant Swede at work threatened to flatten one of them - he rode and goaded the Swede until he snapped.) Most just interacted with me much as my colleagues at work did, for the most part. If we are honest, the overwhelming majority of people in the world have the same hopes, fears, aspirations, and just want to get on with their lives unaffected by war and other abominations.

Over the years, I've worked with all sorts of foreigners: French, Belgians, Dutch, Luxembourgers, Americans, Canadians, Germans, Italians, Indians, Israelis, Koreans, Pakistanis, South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders, Russians, Swedes, Danes, Swiss, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, even a Mexican or two. You soon learn to work together, generally.

I was a bit surprised, though, at Nathan's explosion (for want of a better way to put it) I guess he was having a go at me for asking about ball parks - in fact, I thought him very rude about it. Well, it was a genuine question, really: I know what it means, but what I don't understand is why that connotation. What is "approximate" about a ball park? Most euphemisms have a logic, but that doesn't seem to have any.
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Old 10th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

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...Well, it was a genuine question, really: I know what it [ball park] means, but what I don't understand is why that connotation. What is "approximate" about a ball park? Most euphemisms have a logic, but that doesn't seem to have any.
I believe its because of the size of these huge (generalisation) recreational areas. You can throw a ball in a ball park and no matter how hard you throw it it is still "somewhere" in the ball park, i.e. in the right area.
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  #100  
Old 10th January 2018
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Re: What sort of word is that?"

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I believe its because of the size of these huge (generalisation) recreational areas. You can throw a ball in a ball park and no matter how hard you throw it it is still "somewhere" in the ball park, i.e. in the right area.
That makes some sense, thx. I vaguely remember a euphemism many years ago, something like "wherever the ball lands, we'll go for it." Strange how language develops!
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