Somewhere between the unrelenting barrage of Halloween and Christmas merchandise and promotions that’s in our faces from October to January every year lies American Thanksgiving.
Though the holiday hasn’t been monetized the same way Halloween and Christmas have (save for the food industry), and even though there’s no real iconic movies for it, and even though it has a dark and sad origin, Thanksgiving is widely celebrated and has many symbols and traditions unique in and unto itself.
The Macy’s Parade
Many cities across America host Thanksgiving Day parades, but the most famous is in New York City. Sponsored by the Macy’s Department store, the parade features marching bands, celebrity singers, and balloons shaped like popular cartoon characters.
Of course, what Thanksgiving is most associated with is a whole lot of food. Although every family has its own unique traditions, on dining tables across the country you’ll most commonly find turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, squash, and pumpkin or apple pie. Americans eat more on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, and sometimes families will go to two or three different gatherings from Thursday through Sunday.
What to watch after Thanksgiving lunch or dinner when you are sprawled out on the floor trying to digest all the food you just ate? Football of course. American football has been played on Thanksgiving Day since the sport’s inception nearly 150 years ago. Many high schools and colleges play their signature, season-finale rivalry games on Thanksgiving weekend and on that Thursday the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions have hosted ‘Thanksgiving Classic’ games since the 1970s.
While I like all cute animals equally, cats hold a special place in my heart. I wouldn’t go so far as calling myself a crazy cat lady, more like a cat enthusiast. I love them despite their reputation of being mean-spirited (at times), independent, and scared of cucumbers. Maybe I love them in spite of all their so-called flaws. Regardless, despite my lack of cats, my appreciation for cats also extends to their owners. Cat owners are da real MVPs. With the discovery of “animal labyrinth” videos, my appreciation for crazy cat people has increased twofold. Warning: adorable cats ahead:
Yay! Red-collar kitten won! WASN’T THAT CUTE?! My favorite part was the reverse playback so I could see just how wiggly the kitten was. What about you? Are you more of a dog person or are cats your number one animal?
A: 毎日学校に遅くまで残ったり、様々な記事や証拠（自分たちの論をサポートする）を英語で読んだりと、たくさんしんどいこともあったけれど、euthanasia (安楽死) への理解が深められたし、何よりも英語で論文（大学教授が書いた）を読んだりして英語のボキャブラリーやreadingの力がついたので良かったです。
A: 題材はSense of beauty and culture。
前回は、likeという単語に2つの意味があることを利用した、Fruit flies like a banana. というジョークを紹介しました。
この言い回しの元となった、Time flies like an arrow.（光陰矢のごとし）という文も、実は意味の取り方次第で他の解釈ができるんです。
なぜかというと、like だけではなく、time, flyにもそれぞれ「時間」、「飛ぶ」という元々の意味とは別の使い方があるからなんですね。
Even though my height is barely above-average for an American male, that is apparently too tall for Japan, as I manage to hit my head almost every day on something.
While in the moment I am often inspired to unleash profanity, the many hits I have taken have also inspired me to write haikus about being tall.
Some wake with coffee or tea
I just hit my head
One good thing about
being tall, Is that in large crowds
Never lose my friends
On train, alter-ego
comes to life as I dodge rings
I am the hunchback
I’m not sure about Japanese YouTubers, but American YouTubers sure have a lot of drama. Amazingly, under a glamorous or HD facade, it turns out most YouTubers are also human beings. You know what they say; to err is human, no one is perfect, bless this hot mess, yadda, yadda, yadda. Long story short, we all have a phase in our life when we’ve done or said something we’re not proud of. However, if you grew up on YouTube, there’s a chance that whatever cringe-y or uneducated moment was captured on video. Famous YouTubers are just that–YouTubers, as in, their primary source of income is their YouTube channel. If you’re making a living making videos, you should at least have a personality or quirk that viewers love. Now say some video or other evidence were to come out that shows you weren’t the sweet or family-friendly YouTuber your viewers thought you were. Proof like that could ruin your follower count (aka your revenue source) which in turn would wreck possible sponsorships.
Once a famous YouTuber is publicly shamed or shunned it seems like they go into “PR/PC freak-out mode”. Maybe their follower count is steadily dropping (and followers/views = money) and they need to remedy the situation. The first thing they usually do is issue an apology tweet and if that’s not enough to staunch the flow of upset unsubscribing, an apology video will be shortly underway. Depending on their level of fame (or infamy) their apology video will usually be the most watched video for several days before everyone moves on with their lives or some other YouTube drama breaks out. If they are deemed apologetic enough, they may make it out with their follower count still relatively intact. Of course, these apology videos are then dissected by other YouTubers either to see if their apology was genuine enough or to ride on the coat tails of a more famous YouTuber for views and clicks of their own.
Here we have PewDiePie, a famous Swedish Youtuber who has issued his own apology video, break down and rate other apology videos for our enjoyment:
At least in the American education system, every high school student gets drilled into their head a number of English “rules” that we later learn are completely false: don’t begin a sentence with “And” or “But”; paragraphs must be at least three sentences long; never split infinitives, and many others.
Perhaps the most famous and well-known of these misconceptions is that a sentence cannot end in a preposition (e.g., “Where is my coat at?” should instead be “Where is my coat?”).
Grammarians have been pushing back against this myth for literal centuries, arguing that these stranded prepositions are perfectly fine in modern English. For example:
What did you put that there for? is much more natural than For what [reason] did you put that there?
The same goes for The match was rained off. versus Rained off was the match.
So who’s to blame for this confusion?
According to Wikipedia, the guilt falls on the pen of Englishman John Dryden. A poet and playwright, Dryden argued in a 1672 essay that since Latin (seen as a more elegant language) sentences cannot end in prepositions, neither should English ones.
Even with so much opposition and most modern grammar resources (from Fowler’s Modern English Usage to the internet’s Grammar Girl) dispelling and denouncing the myth, for some reason it lives on and is still taught in classrooms today.
Thanks to the internet, there are seemingly endless ways to learn and practice English. Today, I’d like to focus on webcomics. Webcomics are very aptly named in the sense that they are exactly what they sound like; comic strips hosted on a website. Unlike newspaper or magazine comics, webcomics can be started by nearly anyone with an internet connection and basic drawing skills. The beauty of using webcomics to learn English is that nearly every webcomic deals with a different aspect of Western life. Some webcomics can be political or contain social commentary, such as Questionable Content and Scenes From A Multiverse. Some can be fun and educational (funducational?) like Hark! A Vagrant and xkcd. And some can be downright weird and hilarious like Wondermark, Dr. McNinja, and BOASAS. Whatever your story preference is you can find a webcomic that fits the bill. Learn different English expressions and metaphors, as well as clever Western humor, all in three to five frames! Enjoy!