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#2036798 - 02/21/13 07:35 AM Way off topic, but...  
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...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
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#2036799 - 02/21/13 07:40 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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You are certainly a man well traveled, Del… and, well versed in the universal language of “Piano”. smile

All the best,

Rick


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#2036808 - 02/21/13 07:59 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Not so OT, Del.

This is where art is made, my friend - in the diversity of culture and heritage come great ideas.


Rich Galassini
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#2036830 - 02/21/13 09:07 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Rich Galassini]  
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Not so OT, Del.

This is where art is made, my friend - in the diversity of culture and heritage come great ideas.

It just struck me, this evening, how much I and the world have changed since I first sat at a bench replacing bridle straps on upright actions that weren't nearly as old then as they are now.

Back then we were then still skittish about a conflict recently ended over in Korea, a land many Americans would have been unable to pick out on a map; I had yet to be sent off to my own generation’s war and Nixon had not yet been to China. Japanese pianos were unheard of and even European pianos were rare (at least in my neck of the American woods).

Today it is easier for an American to get into China than it is to get back into the United States. Japanese pianos are common and well respected. European pianos are everywhere. And I found myself sitting at table with gentleman from four cultures quite different from my own, laughing together and sharing experiences along with good food and drink and the only thing we really had in common was the piano. And I found myself thinking, “What a wonderful world this can be….”

Perhaps I’m just getting old and reflective but the feeling that this was far better than fighting over petty differences was profound.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
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#2036863 - 02/21/13 10:23 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Piano diplomacy is a wonderful evolution from Ping Pong diplomacy. The walls have been breached in Berlin and China. Music makes a better world.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2036872 - 02/21/13 10:36 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Del, in the unlikely event you are at a loss for words at your next dinner you could ask your Chinese and Japanese friends to write down names for pianos in their characters and then ask them to interpret their meaning. Something like 10,000 notes might be the opening gambit.


Ian Russell
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#2036873 - 02/21/13 10:36 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?


Keith D Kerman
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#2036938 - 02/21/13 12:24 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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>the history, future, culture and business of the piano

And what were the results?


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#2036957 - 02/21/13 01:07 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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When relations thawed with China, among the first people to travel there were some of my math professors from Berkeley, where I was studying. Some of them already spoke Chinese, and math is universal, so that was part of the first cultural exchange.

The first humanities student from China came to Berkeley to study comparative literature a bit later. I visited one of my German professors, who also taught in comparative literature, and he said this student was living in terrible conditions, where her sponsor was keeping her more as a pet to show off to friends, rather than giving her the support she needed. About that time I had tuned a piano for one of the math professors who was getting ready to go to China, and wanted to learn Chinese. So I was able to hook the student and the professor up together, and that was her opportunity to get out of her situation and complete her studies. I never met her at that time, but when the math professor died, she came and spoke at the memorial, and we met then. She went on to marry a German astrophysicist, and was living in Bonn.

The world has become much more interconnected since then.


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#2036988 - 02/21/13 01:58 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Too bad the Chinese government is mounting a huge cyber war against American firms. Read a recent article that says they have a 12 story office building dedicated just for this purpose. Hacking for state security is one thing, but hacking the private sector is way out there...especially by their government.

Funny, they hacked Apple the other day, and Apple get 80% of their stuff through China.

#2037093 - 02/21/13 05:18 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Keith D Kerman]  
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

ddf

Last edited by Del; 02/21/13 05:19 PM.

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#2037107 - 02/21/13 05:43 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del
[quote=Keith D Kerman]Why do you have Europe in quotation marks?

To protect the anonymity of the individual. Europe covered it without being specific. (He may not care but I hadn't asked....)

Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.

#2037149 - 02/21/13 06:40 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]  
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Originally Posted by Jean Claude
Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.

Perhaps so.

The punctuation marks in question are standard quotation marks -- at least they are on my computer. In my language this is a fairly common way of highlighting a word for any number of reasons.

In this case (and for reasons that will remain private) I did not want to be specific about one gentleman's country of origin and yet wanted to mention him as an indication of the broad cultural diversity of the group. I thought I had accomplished that.

But you seem to have taken offense where none was intended...I'm not sure if I should be apologizing for this or just ignoring it.

ddf


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#2037316 - 02/22/13 02:50 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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The world is flat, suggests Friedman, and I agree. Interestingly, my daughter, (we're in The States) has studied Mandarin as part of an academic requirement since 5th grade.

Profound! Absolutely, Del!

#2037339 - 02/22/13 04:25 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!


perhaps you're just having a wild dream
enjoy !

#2037615 - 02/22/13 05:00 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by Jean Claude
Perhaps I am being dense but I fail to see why the anonymity of the person concerned is any more protected by the use of inverted commas.

Perhaps so.

The punctuation marks in question are standard quotation marks -- at least they are on my computer. In my language this is a fairly common way of highlighting a word for any number of reasons.

In this case (and for reasons that will remain private) I did not want to be specific about one gentleman's country of origin and yet wanted to mention him as an indication of the broad cultural diversity of the group. I thought I had accomplished that.

But you seem to have taken offense where none was intended...I'm not sure if I should be apologizing for this or just ignoring it.

ddf


For my part no offence whatever was taken, it was simply that the meaning of your punctuation was unclear.

Whilst I have no wish to appear tediously pedantic I would like to add that the punctuation marks in question are properly referred to as inverted commas not as quotation marks. The essential point about quotation marks is that they enclose a quotation; this is not the case here.


Last edited by Jean Claude; 02/22/13 05:08 PM.
#2037629 - 02/22/13 05:20 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Jean Claude,

In American English, there is no inverted comma. It is referred to as a quotation mark and is a distinction from British English.

Often its inclusion is used to add emphasis or double entendre. Contempory punctuation also uses *example.*

Personally, I didn't understand Del's usage of quotations either. But, I didn't question it. Europe (without quotes) wouldn't reveal a specific nationality. An American could be from any one of 50 states. A Canadian could be from any province.

I doubt that speakers of American English would quibble with your usage of "whilst." We understand what you are saying but it is not in usage here.

Let us return to the topic of the camaraderie of pianos and the joy of music.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2037669 - 02/22/13 06:33 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Marty,

I am indebted to you for your insights into the differences between British and American usage although obliged to observe that Webster's does give 'whilst' (I admit however that it gives the caveat 'mostly British')

Perhaps as you say now would be a good moment to (if I may quote you) 'return to the topic of the camaraderie of pianos and the joy of music'

Jean-Claude.




#2037688 - 02/22/13 07:11 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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As this topic is Way off topic, but ... of interest, I looked up inverted commas in the Economist Style guide for clarification.

It notes the Bible contains no quotation marks, with no consequent confusions.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
#2038817 - 02/25/13 03:58 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]  
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Originally Posted by Withindale
As this topic is Way off topic, but ... of interest, I looked up inverted commas in the Economist Style guide for clarification.

It notes the Bible contains no quotation marks, with no consequent confusions.


O dear. Just when I was hoping to return to the camaraderie of pianos and the joy of music along comes Withindale (who I note is British) I have no wish to appear spinsterish about style or grammar but this really won't do. I have taken the liberty of putting the contribution into (British) English.

As this topic is way off topic but of interest, I looked up 'inverted commas' in the 'Economist Style Guide' for clarification.

It notes that the Bible contains no quotation marks, with no consequent confusions.

#2038827 - 02/25/13 04:39 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Jean Claude (whom I note is French) has more correct English than many of the English.

To bring us back to pianos and music, at the weekend Howard Goodall presented a BBC TV programme on the revolution in music at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. He said Erik Satie, whom his teacher described as the laziest student of all time, started things off in France before Debussy and Ravel appeared on the scene.

'Way off topic, but ...'


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
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#2038838 - 02/25/13 05:26 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf


What did you order and how was the food?




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#2038875 - 02/25/13 07:01 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Dave Horne]  
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf


What did you order and how was the food?

I didn't order, my hosts did the honors. But in typical Korean fashion there was a variety; it usually starts with a half-dozen or so small dishes of appetizers. Being Korean, it goes without saying that there was plenty of kimchee. There was a variety of pa-jeon (vegetable pancakes). Partly in deference to me—my hosts know that I enjoy it—the main courses were various cuts of beef and pork sliced very thin and prepared at the table on 20 mm thick (give or take) glass platters heated over an open flame. It was excellent. The final course was a spicy vegetable soup (also prepared at the table) and served with rice.

The Australian gentlemen brought some excellent wine from their homeland which they shared with those of us having a taste for red wine. And of course there was plenty of Baijiu (Chinese “white liquor”)—which may explain a lot….

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
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#2038887 - 02/25/13 07:39 AM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by Del
...If, fifty years ago, someone had told me that tonight I would find myself in a Korean restaurant in a large Chinese city along with people from China, Korea, Australia, America and "Europe" discussing—with the aid of two translators—the history, future, culture and business of the piano I'd have said they were completely wacko!

We truly do live in interesting times.

ddf


What did you order and how was the food?

I didn't order, my hosts did the honors. But in typical Korean fashion there was a variety; it usually starts with a half-dozen or so small dishes of appetizers. Being Korean, it goes without saying that there was plenty of kimchee. There was a variety of pa-jeon (vegetable pancakes). Partly in deference to me—my hosts know that I enjoy it—the main courses were various cuts of beef and pork sliced very thin and prepared at the table on 20 mm thick (give or take) glass platters heated over an open flame. It was excellent. The final course was a spicy vegetable soup (also prepared at the table) and served with rice.

The Australian gentlemen brought some excellent wine from their homeland which they shared with those of us having a taste for red wine. And of course there was plenty of Baijiu (Chinese “white liquor”)—which may explain a lot….

ddf


Hearing about the thinly sliced meat reminded me of eating shabu shabu in Tokyo. In the center of the table was a boiling pot of dashi (Japanese broth), into which the diners waved very thin slices of raw beef that cooked almost instantly. Then the broth, flavored by the beef, and fortified with vegetables, was served as soup to end the meal.

#2039017 - 02/25/13 01:14 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]  
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Jean Claude (whom I note is French) has more correct English than many of the English.

To bring us back to pianos and music, at the weekend Howard Goodall presented a BBC TV programme on the revolution in music at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. He said Erik Satie, whom his teacher described as the laziest student of all time, started things off in France before Debussy and Ravel appeared on the scene.

'Way off topic, but ...'


Withindale, 'whom' in your first sentance, which I take to imply a slight rebuke to me, is quite wrong. Whom can only be used for the objective case; who for the subjective is invariable. You would not write 'Jean-Claude whom is French' would you? However I forgive you because of your charming observation about my English.

It must be agreeable to be able to see TV programmes about Satie, Ravel and Debussy. French television generally seems to take the view that music started with Johnny Hallyday.

I must say that these descriptions of Korean and Japanese food sound splendid. Do you think it would work with horse?

J-C.


Edited for appalling spelling mistake.



Last edited by Jean Claude; 02/25/13 01:25 PM.
#2039052 - 02/25/13 02:15 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]  
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Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
#2039100 - 02/25/13 03:15 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]  
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Alas, the BBC feed is not available in the States. UNLESS someone out there has some clever workaround...

Last edited by ClsscLib; 02/25/13 03:15 PM.

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#2039114 - 02/25/13 03:40 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: ClsscLib]  
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Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Alas, the BBC feed is not available in the States. UNLESS someone out there has some clever workaround...


You can use a proxy server as explained here. Notwithstanding what that page says, you should not even consider a free proxy server. It costs a lot of money to provide the bandwidth a bunch of video-streaming users require, and the free services have to pay for that bandwidth somehow. The way they pay for it is by intruding on your web viewing or by harvesting information you'd prefer not to share, like credit card numbers.

A couple of friends with a nephew on the US Modern Biathlon team used one of these services during the Olympics and were extremely pleased with it.

#2039174 - 02/25/13 05:10 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Withindale]  
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Originally Posted by Withindale
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Well done Withendale. You have correctly worked out that by changing the verb from the present to the infinitive you can alter the case structure of the clause, in the process allowing yourself to use 'whom' without error. No backsliding however! I should be very cross to find you writing 'Howard Goodall, whom I note is a composer' in future missives.

On a more general level, hasn't all this chat about 'proxy servers' taken things rather off topic?

J-C.

#2039185 - 02/25/13 05:35 PM Re: Way off topic, but... [Re: Jean Claude]  
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Originally Posted by Jean Claude
Originally Posted by Withindale
Howard Goodall, whom I note to be a composer, showed us how Debussy used the pentatonic scale and Rimsky Korsakov the octatonic.

You can find his Story of Music here for a week or two.

Korean cabbage, with or without horse, is an amazing dish.


Well done Withendale. You have correctly worked out that by changing the verb from the present to the infinitive you can alter the case structure of the clause, in the process allowing yourself to use 'whom' without error. No backsliding however! I should be very cross to find you writing 'Howard Goodall, whom I note is a composer' in future missives.

On a more general level, hasn't all this chat about 'proxy servers' taken things rather off topic?

J-C.


Indeed. Let's get back to discussing English grammar.


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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
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