Tag Archives: english


I had not really appreciated the significance of appreciation until recently when someone learning English as a second language wrote “I would appreciate you if you correct my English.” Yes, everyone knows that this is perfectly understandable, but the person really wanted strict advice and commented that there is almost no method to verify the correctness of a sentence. For me, learning Japanese is extremely difficult, but I cannot imagine how much harder English must be with all of it’s exceptions – not to mention all of the conversational usage which breaks what rules there are. This got me to thinking about “to appreciate.” Let the rambling begin …

It seems the issue with ‘appreciate’ is that it might seem crass if you say “I would appreciate you if you do XYZ” as it sounds a bit rudely like a bargain. Imagine if you say “I would love you if you buy me this” or “I would be your friend if you do my homework.” This sort of thing is only said jokingly (or extremely seriously to an intimate partner (eg. “I would love you if you stopped dating my brother and sister when we get engaged”)).

If you do want to ask someone to do something for you, rather than saying you would appreciate them if they do it, you would say ‘I would appreciate it if you (would/could) correct my English.’ This way it sounds like you would like the person to do something, but you will value the person regardless of whether they do it or not. Similarly, people frequently say something like ‘I’d love it if we went to Disneyland’ – but never “I’d love you if we went to Disneyland.” 🙂

If you do not make appreciation (or love, friendship, etc.) of a person dependent on some action then you could say “I appreciate you.” So, if the other person has already done something for you or has already agreed to do it for you, then you could say “I (really) appreciate you doing this for me,” “I really appreciate you correcting my English,” “I appreciate you being there for me,” etc.

As a side note, I heard my father simply say “I ‘preciate ya.” Yes, he’s Southern (U.S.). I asked him about this, saying that in California we always say “I appreciate it.” He responded that “That’s the whole difference between California and The South. – Here we care about the person, not the thing.”

Anyway, I hope this is helpfully correct and makes some sort of sense. If not … I’d appreciate hearing from you.

PS: This is marginally related to the differences between North/South alluded to above and seems as good a place as any to input a nifty quote I heard about D.C.. “Washington D.C is a city of Northern hospitality and Southern efficiency.” I’ll put an attribution here if I remember who summed up things so pithily.

Gung Hei Fat Choi

So … It’s now new years day. The year of the pig. Supposedly the year of yesterday, my year, the year of the dog was to have been good to me. Major changes did happen such as the move from Singapore to Japan. Good? Hm. Japan is a difficult place to understand. This is true for most people, but I must point out that I actually speak to regular Japanese all day every day for my job … you would think that this would make it easier, but it just adds to the enigma. There IS NO typical Japanese just as there is no typical anyone else. Some have prescient thoughts on the nature of reality while some insist that the answer to “how are you?” is “hamburger … corn” while giggling hysterically.

Spanner Crack-down

The other day, I noticed that spam was being addressed in a new law in Singapore whereby ads must be clearly identified. Little did I know that there is an even greater threat to the island city-state: the rampant use of wrenches. It’s good that the Inquirer keeps us informed: Singapore cracks down on spanners. Yes, I know that the publications of journalistic excellence don’t generally start their articles with “The government of a tinpot country known as …” Still, I was mildly amused. Really, it doesn’t take much nowadays.

Now that I’ve been warned, I can get back to watching Heroes. I am embarrassed that I didn’t notice it, but Wil Wheaton certainly did: the licence plate on the car driven by Hiro Nakamura’s father (George Takei) bears the designation “NCC1701.” Yippeee.

I managed to pick up a Nintendo DS Lite (jet black) and have been playing “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney” on the train. It’s kinda interesting, but unfortunately is the kind of thing where you have to take the right steps in the right order to follow the script to advance. That can be irritating.

Had sukiyaki for the first time recently and it was a bit of quite all right. It was at Mo Mo Paridise in Shibuya. The service was surprisingly shoddy for Tokyo, but I guess that shows an axiom of managing an all-you-can-eat dining establishment worldwide: If you’re slow enough they’ll give up. It wasn’t bad at all at first, it just developed into a beautifully choreographed controlled spiral of increasing lethargy. Well, for a sukiyaki/shabu-shabu place it’s inexpensive and decent quality.

I had a great surprise of some lurvely purple tulips yesterday … Gazing upon them now. Ah.