The FJ I Weekly
I he Weekly Newsletter o
the English Language Institute
Volume 110, Issue 7
October 23, 2009
Have a quiet weekend!
Folks, this weekend, we don't have
any weekend activities scheduled.
Believe it or not, we are coming fast
upon the halfway point in the
semester! Next week, many of your
teachers will be holding Midterm
Exams, so we want to give you a
chance to study a bit more this
weekend, just in case!
r Holidays and RTS Bus
Service-- Students, remember
there is no campus service:
November 11 (Wednesday,
November 26 and 27
December 21-January 2, 2009-10
These changes can be accessed
on the RTS website www.go-
You can also sign up on the RTS
website to have alerts sent to your
email for any route changes,
additions or cancellations.
we will be
the UF vs.
UGA football game. Details about
the activity will be on the Activities
Board and in next week's Weekly.
The following are ELI Birthdays for
the week of October 23-29:
October 25: Luiz Pires
October 27: Jesmine Diaz
None this week!
Q: What is the most important holiday in
A: Well, that's a tough question,
mainly because there are so many
holidays that hold special meanings to
so many people. It would be fair to
say, though, that our biggest family
holiday, the one that has the most
people celebrating it and going to visit
their families and their friends, is
Thanksgiving. It's a big feast day that
isn't specially linked to any one
religion or set of beliefs. It really
shows in the travel industry-the
week of Thanksgiving is always our
busiest travel period of the year.
Q: Why can't we talk aboutpoitcs and
region in apubbic setting? I think it
prevents forming sound pubic opinion.
A: We can. There's a big difference,
though, between apubic setting and a
social setting. This is a very diverse
country with a huge number of
religious and political beliefs-some
very passionate. Culturally, we have
an understanding that in social
settings, especially more formal ones
in which the people don't know each
other well, that we don't tend to talk
about things that might provoke loud
disagreement and hurt feelings. This
is not to say, however, that we never
talk about these things at all. When
people have less social distance and
they know each other well, there may
be some pretty spirited political
discussion. And, in settings where
there is a clear understanding that it's
appropriate, such as at church,
mosque, temple, or similar venues,
there can be a great deal of discussion
For folks like ELI students, who are
trying to feel their way through the
culture from a fresh perspective, there
is also the social convention of asking
if it's okay. That is, saying something
like, "Do you mind if I ask you about
your opinion of..." When you do
this, however, it is considered very
rude to a) express strong
disagreement with whatever the
person answers, and b) to become
visibly hurt or upset if they choose
not to discuss it at all.
Q: What can I say to my teammates at the
end of a game to encourage them for the next
A: It depends on whether or not you
won, really. If you did, then
something like, "Good game! Let's
keep it up!" would be appropriate. If
you didn't, then I would say
something like, "We'll get 'em next
Q: How doyou know when to use 'what' or
'that'. For example: I don't know what to
do, or I don't know that to do. In my
language, we use the same wordfor 'what'
A: Oh, good one! In this case, it's a
question of whether you are talking
about "the thing" (what) or "the fact"
(that). In the example that you gave,
you don't know the thing to do-you
can't really "do" a fact. So, you
should use "i"h ir" to express it. On
the other hand, if you say, "I didn't
know that you were such a good
dancer," you are saying that this is a
fact which is new to you. So, you use
"that" to express it.
Q: What's the .
' between slang and
A: Probably formality and degree of
permanence more than anything else.
Slang tends to refer to expressions
and constructions that are either fairly
new to the language or that are used
only in the most informal of language.
You can make more friends in two
months by becoming interested in
other people than you can in two
years by trying to get other people
interested in you.
U I English Language Institute
S UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA
English Language Institute
PO Box 117051
315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051, USA
Phone: (352) 392-2070
Fax: (352) 392-3744