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A friend of mine sent me a link to a video on You Tube the other day. It shows the aftermath of an incident involving two very small children and a bag of flour. (You can probably guess the rest!)

To be honest, the whole thing looks a bit staged to me. I don’t think the reaction of most mothers to a scene like this would be to walk around videoing it and saying, “Oh my gosh”! Even if it is staged, though, it’s still quite funny.

As I watched this video, I remembered some of the things I got up to when I was a child. When I was very young, I used to have blond hair, and apparently, one of my favourite tricks was to rub chocolate biscuits in my hands until the chocolate melted, and then rub it all into my hair to make it darker. I’m sure I got up to lots of other mischief as well, but I’ll have to ask my mum for more details.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope you will all share your stories of children’s mischief this week. I know that not everyone who reads this blog is a mother, but I’m presuming that everyone was once a child themselves, and most people have brothers, sisters, and cousins, so feel free to share any kind of tale of mischief involving children.

Look forward to hearing your stories.

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58 Comments

  1. YU on Monday March 18th, 2013 at 01:50 PM

    Hi David,

    First sentence should be “A friend of MINE sent me…”?



  2. David Barker on Monday March 18th, 2013 at 01:54 PM

    Thanks.



  3. YU on Monday March 18th, 2013 at 03:02 PM

    Naughty Children

    A friend of mine sent me a link to a video on You Tube the other day. It shows the aftermath of an incident involving two very small children and a bag of flour. (You can probably guess the rest!)
    先日友達がYou Tubeのビデオのリンクを送ってくれました。2人の小さな子供とひとつの小麦粉の袋が起こした、ある事件の直後の様子が見られます。(そう聞けばどんなことが起こったかは多分想像がつくでしょう!)

    To be honest, the whole thing looks a bit staged to me. I don’t think the reaction of most mothers to a scene like this would be to walk around videoing it and saying, “Oh my gosh”! Even if it is staged, though, it’s still quite funny.
    正直言って私には全てちょっと計画的に仕組まれているように見えます。普通のお母さんたちがこのような状況に陥った場合、このビデオのように歩き回ってビデオカメラで撮影して「あらまあ大変だわ!」というような(悠長な)リアクションしかしないなんて考えられません。まあでも、ちょっと「やらせ」があったにしても面白いことは面白いんですが。

    As I watched this video, I remembered some of the things I got up to when I was a child. When I was very young, I used to have blond hair, and apparently, one of my favourite tricks was to rub chocolate biscuits in my hands until the chocolate melted, and then rub it all into my hair to make it darker. I’m sure I got up to lots of other mischief as well, but I’ll have to ask my mum for more details.
    このビデオを見て自分が子供の頃にやったいくつかのいたずらを思い出しました。小さかった頃、私の髪の毛はブロンドで、(その頃の)私の一番好きないたずらのひとつが、チョコレートビスケットのチョコレートを手の中で溶けるまでモミモミしてからそれを自分の髪の毛にすり付けて(髪を)黒っぽくしてしまう、というものだったらしいです。他にもいっぱいいたずらをしていたに違いないのですが、詳しいことは母に聞いてみないとわかりません。

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy the video, and I hope you will all share your stories of children’s mischief this week. I know that not everyone who reads this blog is a mother, but I’m presuming that everyone was once a child themselves, and most people have brothers, sisters, and cousins, so feel free to share any kind of tale of mischief involving children.
    とにかく、みなさんがビデオを楽しんで、今週は子供のいたずらに関して話をしてくれたらうれしいのですが。このブログのリーダー全員が母親でないことは分かっていますが、皆さん誰でも子供時代はあったはずですし、ほとんどの皆さんには兄弟姉妹、いとこもいることでしょう。ですから子供にまつわるどんないたずらの話でもいいので遠慮せずに話してください。

    Look forward to hearing your stories.
    皆さんの話を聞くのを楽しみにしています。



  4. Mika on Monday March 18th, 2013 at 03:32 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Oh, how cute they are!
    But, I’m sorry it took hours for her to clean everywhere.

    In my case, I was a quiet child but had a wonderful experience. The story is long, so may I write here?
    On April 1st just before entering the 5th grade in elementary school, while I was enjoying myself with my elder sister and two brothers in my garden, suddenly a great idea struck me. I wanted to play a trick on my youngest uncle. In those years, he lived with his wife in a nearby house, about ten minutes on foot, and they used to work at the same company and came back to their house for lunch every day. I thought that they wouldn’t be at home at that time. Also luckily, my parents and grandmother were out. Now was my chance!
    I suggested to my sister and my two brothers to give “sodas” to our uncle. My mother used to buy two cases of soda every summer and therefore we had plenty of empty soda bottles. We readied two empty soda bottles and a wooden box which was exactly the right size for them, but there weren’t any bottle tops.
    We went to the nearest shop to get bottle tops. An elderly woman in the shop asked us suspiciously, “What are you doing with these tops?” We replied, “We just need them. That’s all.” We got a few extra tops because I worried whether some of the used bottle tops might not fit the two bottles. It was already 11 a.m., we rushed back home because we had to make a package as soon as possible.
    My sister tried to put the two empty bottles into the wooden box. However, I wanted to make them as real as possible, we filled those bottles with running water to almost the same volume as real soda. I inverted the two bottles to make sure the water wouldn’t escape from them. Next, we put the two bottles of imitation soda into the wooden box, and padded some sawdust between them. Luckily, my mother used to keep miscellaneous items in a closet and found some beautiful sawdust in a gift box. We put the top on the box tightly.
    Then came the finishing touches. We wrapped the box with used light brown paper which was not suspicious and still respectable looking. We decided that the sender was to be our eldest uncle who lived in Ehime. My sister wrote their names and addresses on the box. Furthermore, we peeled three used stamps from two opened envelopes which had been addressed to our father, taking care so that the stamps would not tear, and we stuck them on the upper left side of the paper.
    My sister carried the package under her arm and we ran on a path between the rice fields to our uncle’s house. In front of his house, we talked in whispers about where we should put the package. However, there wasn’t any good place other than in front of the front door. That moment greatly excited me, “Well! Finally we are done!” We ran on the same path again back to our house. We were very lucky because our parents and grandmother had not come back yet.
    I couldn’t settle down because I kept thinking, “Did my uncle already open the box or not? Did he think the sodas were real? I hope everything works out well.” After a while, my mother and grandmother came back from the terraced fields. Soon my father came back from his company for lunch. As always I said to them, “Welcome home”, but I didn’t say anything more.
    About 10 minutes later, at last my uncle called and asked for my father, “I have sodas from my elder brother in Ehime, but there’s something strange. According to the old woman’s story next door, your children came to my house before noon and they did something.”
    My father walked into the garden where I was still playing and asked me, “Did you bring some sodas to your uncle?” I replied, pretending to be calm, “Yeah.” My father and uncle exchanged a few words, and my father asked me again, “He asked you if he can drink the sodas or not.” It was an amazing and wonderful question for me. It was at that moment we knew our mischief had been successful. I became extremely glad and replied, “No, he can’t drink them because they are just water!” My father looked at me, grinning.
    Nobody got angry at us including my father even though he was very strict with us. Everybody was surprised at our fantastic trick. It was the best memory of mischief and a very pleasant April Fool’s Day!



  5. YU on Monday March 18th, 2013 at 05:40 PM

    Hi Mika and everyone,

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I felt as if I was reading a novel!

    Unlike the young children in the video, you were already 10 or 11, and you knew everything what you were doing. No adults got angry at you because it was an admirable, perfect trick!

    My son is 4. He sometimes plays a trick like the children in the video, not that large-scale, though! For example, he unrolls a plastic wrap, コロコロ, toilet paper, etc… I’m not sure if I can call them “いたずら” because I don’t think he does them to upset me, but he just wants to know what would happen if he unrolled a plastic wrap.
    Anyway, I think it will still take time for him to start thinking up a great trick to impress adults.

    Hi David,

    > To be honest, the whole thing looks a bit staged to me.

    I agree.
    You can vacuum up “flour”, but if they had done the same with “ketchup”, for example, I’m sure their mother would have been furious with them!



  6. Kattie on Monday March 18th, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    > Let me think about it a bit more. (Kattie, if you are reading this, I would love to know which sounds more natural to you.)

    A) We have to give up on our plan to go camping.
    B) We have to give up our plan of going camping.
    C) We have to give up our plan to go camping.

    Sorry I’m only responding to this now. I think A) sounds the most natural, I also asked a friend what he thought and he said A) too.



  7. Fumie on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 06:10 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    The kids in the video are so cute.
    As a mother of 3 sons, I have been encountering a lot of mischief by my children. Well, they seem mischief for us but they might be quest for fun for them. You may notice that I use “present perfect progressive”. My sons are already, 18, 14, and 10 still they play tricks sometimes.
    Young children have natural instincs of pulling something or poke something/their fingers when they see holes or when they see containers they try to get in. They really like pulling all the tissues from the box. For them, ordinary goods like keys, switches, phones are more appealing than their toys.
    Here are some incidents that happened to me. Once my eldest son put an eraser in my cup and I didn’t notice and drank barley tea. Of course, I noticed the eraser and spitted the tea. When I was changing Futon sheets, they got inside sheets. My sons have been destroying lots of electrical appliances, furniture. We had to buy electric fan every year because they sat on the neck of fan and broke it. 扇風機の首のところに座るから首がポキッと折れた。When they were little, often something were gone. We looked through the house and we found them from the toy box or unexpected places like fridge. The most memorable mischief of my son was he pulled all of my favorite cassette tapes. I was so shocked and snapped at him. He seemed upset and hid in the bathroom and ate a deodorant (jelly type one). When he got out, I sensed he smelled funny and knew the cause so I took him to the hospital right away. He had to have a gastric lavage 胃の洗浄 which is very painful. I remember thinking I felt so sorry for him and I shouldn’t had scolded him. He was to young (2 or 3 years old) and just curious and didn’t know what he had done was wrong.

    Hi YU,

    >I’m going to do three 委員 this year.
    自治会子供会支部員, 隣組班長, 息子の英会話教室のクラスリーダー. I’m wondering if I really could manage to do that many 役員 work at once!! hahaha…(汗)
    That seems tough! BTW, I’m not familiar with those names:自治会子供会支部員、隣組班長. I guess it differ in each district. You have a young children. In my ares, people who have young children are exempt from becoming 役員。

    Thank you always the translation of David’s entry. I didn’t know the meaning of “staged” was 仕組まれた。

    Hi Mika,

    Thank you for sharing an interesting story. You totally fooled adults. Your family who condoned their children’s mischief were nice!「 子供のいたずらに寛容なご家族で素敵ですね。」と言いたかった。



  8. Biwa on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the fun video, David. The funniest thing to me was the way the mother reacted! If it were me, I would just scream “Gya~~~~~~~~~~~!!”, or maybe, I would just join the two and forget about the cleaning until my husband gets home.

    Anyway, as many of you, my sons have surprised me and also astonished me in so many ways. My younger son is already 15, but still frightens me! About a year ago, he jumped on the easy-made roof(2nd floor) at school, and of course he fell off on the ground altogether with the roof and was carried to the hospital by an anbulance. Luckily, he just ended up strongly hitting his tailbone, though. I can’t remeber how many phone-calls I’ve got from school saying “You’re son got hurt. Please come immediately.”

    When they were really small, they liked to rip all the newspapers and magazines in the house(they love the ripping sound, and I joined them finally!), stuffed the slot of the video deck with small packets of “furikake小袋入りのふりかけ” (of course we had to get another deck!), pulled out all the pans and bowls out of the shelf under the sink and hid themselves, scribbled on the sofa with markers(筆ペン)…endless!

    However, as YU said, they just want to know what would happen if they did it. I’m not always that tolerant, though!
    I remeber when my sons were 8 or 10, they suddenly started making jars filled with vinegar and put a raw egg in each jar. Do you know this experiment? After a week or so, the egg shells start melting, and the egg(white and yolk) covered with a thin film remains. At the same time, it intumesces(膨張する) like a round ball and it’s quite strong, and feels like a jelly-ball. You can even play with it. It sure was an interesting experiment for me, too, but our house really stank for a while!

    My comment is getting too long. I’ll just stop writing here. LOL!



  9. Biwa on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Sorry, “anbulance” ⇒ ”ambulance”, “You’re son got hurt.”⇒ “Your son got hurt.”



  10. YU on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 03:12 PM

    Hi Fumie,

    > They really like pulling all the tissues from the box.

    My son likes to pull out all “wet” tissue papers and make them only “dry” tissues… That’s very dissapointing!

    > My sons have been destroying lots of electrical appliances, furniture.

    My husband and I call my son “destroyer”. He broke a number of stuff to this day, both cheap and expensive ones, so parents must work hard!

    > In my ares, people who have young children are exempt from becoming 役員。

    So I’d been wondering why I have to do the work exactly now, before my son enters kindergarten, too. But today, one of the 自治会支部員 came to my house to tell me that I didn’t need to do the work before my son starts elementary school. I was very relieved to hear that, I still have to do 隣組班長, though…

    Hi Kattie,

    Thank you for your response.
    That means, (A) sounds most natural to British people.
    As you know, Japanese students learn American English at school, and maybe that is why my company(school) offered the model answer=(C).
    Anyway, I’ll ask our English club’s teacher(He is American) which one sounds most natural to him, I suspect he would answer (B) or (C).



  11. David Barker on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 03:20 PM

    Hi YU,

    I asked my American editor the same question as Kattie, and she said that although B) and C) are both possible, A) sounds the most natural.



  12. YU on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 03:47 PM

    Hi David,

    Oh, really?
    That means, it’s not a matter of British English or American English!



  13. Kattie on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I thought the video was definitely staged, the flour was too evenly distributed and I found her reaction fake, I don’t know how many times she said ‘Oh my gosh’ – it was irrritating.

    Emily and Rosie used to play with the children on our lane, there were 9 of them between 3 and 5, so they were always making a a huge amount of mess (eg flour bombs etc) and the instances are too numerous to recall. However I do remember one time when we were staying at my dad’s house and they flooded the bathroom. We only realised what had happened when water starting pouring through the kitchen ceiling. They were supposed to have been fast asleep in bed!

    Another time when Rosie was off school because she was sick, Emily said she wanted to have the day off too but we told her she had to go. A little bit later that morning I got a phone call from the headteacher to say that Emily wasn’t very well and could someone come and collect her as soon as possible. I asked him whether he was sure that she was ill but he replied, in a very stern voice ‘I have been a teacher for many, many years and I certainly know a sick child when I see one’. When I arrived at the school Emily was doing a fantastic impersonation of a really sick child but as soon as we got to the car, she was back to her normal self and laughing at her success!

    I know I was also very naughty as a child so I can’t really talk (do you know this expression?). I went to boarding school from the age of 8, so we had loads of time to get up to no good and as we got older the plans became increasingly sophisticated. One time 3 of us hatched a plan to make our own elderberry wine and after several weeks we had managed to make a large amount of the stuff – it was absolutely disgusting and very alchoholic but we made ourselves drink it and pretended we enjoyed it!

    I always used to love dares and it was always exciting thinking of new ideas. I remember a friend and I decided to sneak out of our rooms at night and see if we could climb the school roofs. To begin with, we started with the easy roofs but after a couple of weeks we were doing all the roofs and timing ourselves to see how quick we could be. It was quite stupid and dangerous but it was a big thrill. About 2 or 3 years before that I had had a serious accident when I was climbing a tree, I was halfway down it when a branch broke and I fell 25 foot. I had concussion and was in bed for a few days but I didn’t learn my lesson because I obviously still enjoying a challenging climb even after that!



  14. Kattie on Tuesday March 19th, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    I just realised I misspelt alcohol and I also omitted ‘was’ in the final sentence, it should read ‘because I was obviously still…’. I’m sorry I wrote this quickly!



  15. Fumie on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 01:41 AM

    Hi YU,

    >My husband and I call my son “destroyer”.
    I used to call my son “demolitionman”.
    >But today, one of the 自治会支部員 came to my house to tell me that I didn’t need to do the work before my son starts elementary school.
    That’s better.

    Hi Biwa,

    The experiment of vinegar and egg seems interesting!

    Hi Kattie,

    You used to be a tomboy. So do I. I sliped when I was climbing a tree and fell off and I cut one of my leg. I still have a long scar.
    >I know I was also very naughty as a child so I can’t really talk (do you know this expression?).
    No, I don’t. Could you please tell me what this sentence means? Or somebody please help me?

    Nighty night!



  16. amo on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 02:12 AM

    Hi Fumie,

    About the question, I am not sure but “you should not criticize somebody because you are the same” so in Japanese ??????? or something like that??

    Good night,

    amo



  17. Kattie on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 02:41 AM

    Hi Fumie and Amo,

    > I am not sure but “you should not criticize somebody because you are the same

    Yes, that’s right

    > I still have a long scar.
    That sounds like a nasty fall

    Hi Mika,
    I really enjoyed reading your story, I liked the way you told it.



  18. Fumie on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 06:07 AM

    Hi amo and kattie,

    Thank you for helping me understand the sentence.



  19. Anne on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 07:24 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thanks for sharing the video. As you mentioned, it looks like the staged one, and yet the baby in the video was adorable. However, as YU pointed out, the situation would be totally different if it was “ketchup” not “flour.” I have no idea about how can the mum be tolerant with when she sees her kid sprinkling the ketchup!
    Anyway, he must have soaked up new experience and have been happy with it.

    As a kid, one day when I was six or seven years old, and my mother was out, my friends and I put lots of detergent(maybe a box)in the bathtub and whipped. Bathtub was filled with foam and bubbles. We were really in good mood and were excited. When my mother came back home, we were all drenched to the skin! I don’t remember whether she go angry or not, but anyway we had to rise the foam down the drain and to clean it up.

    I have two sons, and when they were kids, they did lots of naughty things same as other member’s children.
    Looking back those days, I think I was rather tolerant with their behaviors unless it was dangerous. I’m not such a type that each room should always be tidy and perfectly clean.
    When they were calm and silent, it was a kind of dangerous sign.
    One of the things I remember is that one day my elder son (He was around one or two.)picked up my lipstick from the dressor and put it on all over his lips, cheeks and hands. I could not imagine that he was interested in my makeup, so I was so surprised to see my son’s face, but the problem was it was Dior lipstick!;mind you, it was thirty years ago, and I could not afford to buy brand name cosmetics those days. It was a souvenir from my parents, and I was so disappointed to see the mushed tiny lump. I thought to my self, “Why Dior!”

    When they were in elementary school, they seemed to have done lots of adventurous things outside the house. If I would have seen all of their behavior, it would have been impossible for me to stay calm. I was lucky for them not to get injury seriously. Anyway, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and have a scar on my lower lip, so I can’t really talk about their behaviors.(This expression is new to me,too. Did I get the meaning across?)

    I really enjoyed reading members stories.
    Mika, your story is like a novel, and I like it:)

    Spring season at school or 町内会(a neighborhood association?) is just around the corner. Fumie and YU, you would be busier, especially YU, is there any possibility to add another joy(役員)at the kindergarten? (Sorry, it’s joking…)

    Anne



  20. Biwa on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 08:51 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    I really enjoyed reading your stories. It was also very interesting to know how to express things that happen in everyday life. For example, I didn’t know you can say these things in such simple words:

    1) come/go to school and collect your child
    2) we had loads of time to get up to no good
    3) I used to love dares
    4) do all the roofs and time ourselves

    Also, your climbing story reminded me that my friends and I used to climb over the fences and sneak into each others dorms when we were in university. To us, stupid dorm rules were just for breaking. I must have been a greater person if I had used all that energy for studying!

    Hi Fumie,

    >The experiment of vinegar and egg seems interesting!

    Yes, but you have to bear with the countless jars all over the house. They also did things like dyeing noodles with the juice of violet cabbages. For some chemical reaction, the yellow noodles turn into blue. (I forgot the details.)
    I think small children have huge inquiring minds, even if it’s something from a book they have borrowed from the library. It’s a real pity (and also funny) that they gradually lose those minds because their schoolwork gets busier.

    Hi Anne,

    >When they were calm and silent, it was a kind of dangerous sign.

    (LOL!)I know exactly what you mean here. I always put the detergents or other dangerous things on the upper shelves.

    I really enjoyed your Dior story, too. I’m not sure how to say “~の時に限って”, so I wonder if I can say this. My sons used to dirty or stain their clothes every day, but particularly when they were wearing their best.



  21. YU on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve just remembered a story that my mother told me long time ago.

    I have an elder brother. He is two years older than me. Although we were born from the same parents, we don’t really look alike – my brother has a “soy sause face”(typical Japanese face), and I have a “Worcester sauce face”(looks like Western one).

    One day, when we were still small, my brother said to me, “Your eyelashes are too long, you look strange. I’ll cut them for you.”
    “Yes, please. Thank you!”, I answered.
    And then he cut them shorter with scissors.

    After a short time, my mother noticed that there was something wrong with my eyes, and she asked me what happened. So I told her that my brother cut my eyelashes for me with a smile.

    You can probably guess what happened next. My brother got a sharp scolding from my mother!

    Hi Fumie and amo,

    > I am not sure but “you should not criticize somebody because you are the same” so in Japanese ??????? or something like that??

    Maybe “他人(ひと)のこと言えた義理じゃないけど” or “私が言えた義理じゃないけど” in Japanese!?

    Hi Anne,

    > I thought to my self, “Why Dior!”

    Indeed(!!), but I think your son had known what is worthwhile already since his childhood!(「違いの分かる男」ネスカフェゴールドブレンド♪)

    > especially YU, is there any possibility to add another joy(役員)at the kindergarten? (Sorry, it’s joking…)

    There was an initial PTA meeting to elect 役員 last month. Luckily, I barely escaped being chosen, but I will almost certainly be selected next year because only 5 or 6 mothers including me have only one child in my son’s class. Those who have more than two young children are automatically exempted from 役員決め. I know they are busier than me, but I feel a bit unhappy with the rule because I have only one child not from choice.



  22. Mika on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Hi David and everyone,

    Thank for reading my story.
    I enjoyed reading the other members’ stories, too. Thank you!

    Hi Biwa,
    >I really enjoyed your Dior story, too. I’m not sure how to say “~の時に限って”, so I wonder if I can say this. My sons used to dirty or stain their clothes every day, but particularly when they were wearing their best.

    I hope these examples can help your question.
    よりによって
    of all days
    of all others (他に適当な選択肢があるだろうに)
    of all places (他にもいろいろ場所があるだろうに)
    of all things

    よりによってその日に
    on that day of all others

    よりによって今日という日に
    today of all days



  23. YU on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    I enjoyed reading your stories, thank you!
    I can hardly imagine you used to be that tomboyish! As we talked here before, your sentences always sound feminine to me. Or is this just my imagination?! hahaha…

    1) the instances are too numerous to recall
    2) I can’t really talk

    They were both new to me.
    Especially, I find 1) very useful.
    If I had wanted to write the same myself, I would have begun the sentence with “I can’t count ~” or something like that.

    As for 2), I wonder if this is a short version of the expression Anne used(= I can’t really talk about their behaviors)…??



  24. Fumie on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 05:52 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    >They also did things like dyeing noodles with the juice of violet cabbages.
    I’ve also heard about that but I don’t know how to make it, either.
    >It’s a real pity (and also funny) that they gradually lose those minds because their schoolwork gets busier.
    I think so, too. There are some adults who still keep having those curiosity.

    Hi YU,

    >Maybe “他人(ひと)のこと言えた義理じゃないけど” or “私が言えた義理じゃないけど” in Japanese!?
    Thank you for the translation. I always admire you with your Japanses translation. No wonder you used to be a Japanese language teacher! YUの日本語訳にはいつもうまいなぁ~と感心します。You could be a translater which require not only good command of English but also that of Japanese.



  25. amo on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 06:39 PM

    HI Fumie,

    I am sorry. I did’t check after posted my comment this early morning so I haven’t noticed that the Japanese words was garbled.

    My comment was supposed to be like this:

    >About the question, I am not sure but “you should not criticize somebody because you are the same” so in Japanese 人の事言えないけど。。。 or something like that??

    Hi David,

    >the problem that was causing the site to be unavailable a lot of the time should have been solved. Please let me know if you have any problems.

    I am afraid but the site is still something wrong, as I mentioned before, the other member’s name still remained when I checked the blog last night.
    Also, as I said above, the Japanese words was garbled.

    amo



  26. Mika on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 06:58 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I should say that I enjoyed reading everyone’s story, too.
    Instead
    > I enjoyed reading the other members’ stories, too.

    By the way, I remember a story about my children when they were kindergarten pupils.
    Everybody knows that every child has a vivid imagination and also they carry their plans into action. Naturally my children, especially my daughter, Yuki, and youngest son, Shouta, like mischief like me.
    One day in autumn when Yuki and Shouta were kindergartners, as soon as I returned from going out, I started to prepare dinner. I opened the refrigerator and noticed that something was not right. There were only two eggs left even though I had bought ten eggs just the day before.
    Where did the eggs go? Instinctively I thought that my children might have the game “egg toss”, so I looked for the missing eggs in my garden and around the kitchen door but couldn’t find any sign of them. I asked my children about the missing eggs. They pretended not to know, “We don’t know anything.”
    However, the truth was that Yuki and Shouta wanted to try hatching an egg. They sat on an egg that was placed on the top of Shouta’s room heater which was placed on the floor on the second floor when I was out. They took turns warming up the egg. However, when they lost their balance and inadvertently smashed the egg. The other times, Yuki and Shouta got tired and just sat on it. Yet, they never gave up; furthermore they kept going back downstairs for more eggs and repeated that action many times. They might have given up hatching an egg when only two eggs were left in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, all their efforts ended in failure. Should I admire their perseverance?
    As the weeks went by, the season changed to winter and I totally forgot about the missing eggs. One night I turned on the heater as it became cold, and I smelled something burning on the second floor. I wondered what the strange burning smell was. I went up to see if everything was okay, and Shouta immediately smelled trouble and ran away from his room.
    Sensing trouble I entered his room. What a smell! A few minutes later, I found the origin of the bad smell in his room. It came from the eggs left there from many weeks ago. I got off the front cover of his room heater and picked up some eggshells from the heater and several burnt eggs. Yuck!
    I shouted, “Shouta! Come back!” He hid with his elder sister. Of course, I made Shouta and Yuki clean the heater and they obeyed my order without saying a single word. As I was watching them, I thought they take after me because they like mischief.



  27. Kattie on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Hi Biwa,
    > stupid dorm rules were just for breaking
    I agree!
    Also I am interested in the vinegar and egg experiment I would like to try that myself sometime – if I can stand the smell!

    Hi Yu,
    > “soy sause face” and “Worcester sauce face”. Are these well known expressions? Talking about eyelashes, the other day I read that Elizabeth Taylor had a double set of eyelashes which was one of the reasons why she was so beautiful, did you know that?

    1) the instances are too numerous to recall
    2) I can’t really talk

    The second expresson is colloquial and we just use it as it is. If I was writing formally I wouldn’t use it and also I wouldn’t write ‘so we had loads of time to get up to no good’ but I think it’s okay in this context

    Hi Fumie and Yu
    >You used to be a tomboy.
    I wasn’t unusual, I never really thought about it. We had a lot of time on our hands, friends all around us, lots of space, very few actual games and no money or shops so this is the result!

    Hi Mika, Anne, Yu, Biwa and Fumie,
    Your stories are very sweet and funny and it helps me imagine what everyday life is like in Japan.

    Hi everyone,
    I have been reading the comments about the PTA but I don’t really understand the system, how does it work, do parents have to be part of the PTA and what does it involve?

    I have a lovely Japanese girl staying with us at the moment and she helped us choose a good rice cooker so we have been having beautiful Japanese sticky rice. The other day we had rice and natto for breakfast….I’m turning Japanese (I really think so!) David, you will ‘get’ that reference!



  28. amo on Wednesday March 20th, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for sharing your stories. I enjoyed reading them.
    As for the video, I don’t think that I’ve done such a stupid thing because I didn’t like to get dirty when I was a child. Also, I can’t remember any good stories to share 🙁

    Hi YU,

    > Let me think about it a bit more. (Kattie, if you are reading this, I would love to know which sounds more natural to you.)
    A) We have to give up on our plan to go camping.
    
B) We have to give up our plan of going camping.

    C) We have to give up our plan to go camping.

    I asked my sister who lives in the US and she said that C) is most natural and A) is correct, but B) is not natural. She asked her husband and her son and their answer were, Husband C), her son A).

    Good night and sweet dreams,
    amo



  29. YU on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Hi Kattie,

    > “soy sause face” and “Worcester sauce face”. Are these well known expressions?

    I think they were the vogue words of the 80′-90’s in Japan. At the time, boys with simple, light features were preferred to those with occidental ones among Japanese girls.
    We call the former one “soy sauce face” because soy sauce is one of the symbolic Japanese food and has light taste. In contrast, the latter one is called “(Worceter) sauce face” because Worceter sauce is a very foreign thing to Japanese people and tastes a bit heavy.
    I don’t know who started using the words first, but I think s/he compared humans’ faces to typical food of Japan and Western countries just for fun.

    > Talking about eyelashes, the other day I read that Elizabeth Taylor had a double set of eyelashes which was one of the reasons why she was so beautiful, did you know that?

    No, I didn’t know that. I just feel keeping being beautiful needs a lot of trouble!
    I’ve worn false eyelashes only once in my life – when I had my photos taken at a photo studio in Shanghai to make a photo album of my own about 10 years ago. I wore some Chinese dresses and a Chinese pro make-up artist of the studio did my make-up. When I see the album, I can’t keep from laughing at myself in the photos because they all look like a panda bear monster!!

    > I have been reading the comments about the PTA but I don’t really understand the system, how does it work, do parents have to be part of the PTA and what does it involve?

    As you know, I’m still an inexperienced mother, so I’m sure that Anne, Biwa, Fumie and other members would explain about the system much better, but in short, mothers have to do some volunteer work when their children are in school, and some of them are chosen for parents’ leaders in each class. No one wants to be a parents’ leader because it eats up their spare time.
    As you know, in Japan schools start in April, so this time every year is the season to choose parents’ leaders. That’s why mothers are all terribly afraid that they might be chosen for parents’ leaders this time of the year!

    Hi Fumie,

    Thank you for your compliments, but my Japanese isn’t as good as you think!

    Hi amo,

    > I asked my sister who lives in the US and she said that C) is most natural and A) is correct, but B) is not natural. She asked her husband and her son and their answer were, Husband C), her son A).

    Thank you for your investigation!?
    Hummmmm, answers differ person to person….
    That’s interesting!



  30. Biwa on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 09:08 AM

    Hi Mika,

    Thank you always for your help. I’m not really sure how to use the expression, but would this make sense?
    “My sons used to dirty their clothes almost every day, but especially when they were wearing their bests of all others.”

    By the way, I really admire your way of describing things. As many of the members say, it’s like a novel! I wonder what your going to write in your third book.

    Hi YU,

    I’m glad your brother didn’t cut your eyelids!
    By the way, long eyelashes is one of the most desired items(?) for most Japanese women(including me!). Lucky you! Some of my beauty-chasing friends use a cometic called “Revitalash” which is something like a hair-grower for eyelashes. However, it costs about 8000yen! Chasing beauty requires not only trouble but also money, indeed.

    Hi Kattie,

    For the PTA system, I think it depends on each school, but mostly there are several sections/committees like “PTA headquarter”, “P.R.”, “culture”. At my sons’ school, each section needs about 25 mothers/fathers out of 1000 students, so that means 75 out of almost 2000 parents.

    For example, if you join the “P.R.” section, they have to publish 3 full-colored brochures a year, so the members have to take pictures at every school event, decide the lay-out, have meetings with the publisher, and that will certainly eat up your spare time. That’s why most parents wouldn’t like to do anything, and they make various excuses like “I’m too busy with my work.”, “I have to take care of my old parents.” or anything else.

    Actually, there are some very cooperative parents, but if they lack volunteers, they have to forcibly choose some out, and that is why people hate this season.
    I personally think the work load is too much for just a volunteer, and also, it’s quite unfair that most of the lucky parents don’t do anything at all. Of course, it has good sides, you get to know lots of other parents and teachers. I wonder what the system is like in the UK.



  31. Biwa on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 09:13 AM

    Sorry, Mika, “what your going to write” should be “what you’re going to write”!



  32. Mika on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 09:57 AM

    Hi everyone,
    Good morning.

    Hi Biwa,
    Thank you for reading my story. I try to write my stories if readers could easily visualize the same scenery as if walking with me.

    By the way, about your question “よりによって”
    I’m not sure but you should use “Today of all days!” よりによって今日という日に!

    For example
    One day my husband called me but we had been quarreling for almost a week. As I replied in an irritated voice, “Yes?” I could hardly believe his request. He said, “Well, now I’m calling you from the principal’s office. Uh, A High School is looking for a science teacher. And you have a teaching license for science, right?” I thought to myself this can’t be happening! How can you make such a request? Today of all days! And then I answered back overly politely, “You know I do?!”
    (Maybe you know this story)



  33. Mika on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    >“My sons used to dirty their clothes almost every day, but especially when they were wearing their bests of all others.”

    I just mentioned “Today of all days” is better,
    but how about this.
    >….their bests of all days.

    I’m sorry now I have a guset.
    I hope someone will help us, thank you!



  34. YU on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 01:12 PM

    Hi Mika and Biwa,

    As for “よりによって~な時に”, I ususally use the expression of “exactly when….”.
    So, “My sons used to get their clothes dirty almost every day, but(or and?) exactly when they were wearing their best ones.”

    However, I’m not sure if this is correct because it’s actually just my own idea!
    (ただ我流で今までそういう表現をよく使ってきたのできっと間違っていると思います)

    Please have a look at the site below.

    There’s an example sentence like ;

    Just when I’m wearing white, I spill coffee[something](on my dress).
    白いものを着ている時に限ってコーヒーをこぼしてしまう。

    So I think “just when….” might be the right expression. What do you think?

    http://www.alc.co.jp/eng/kaiwa/shitsumon/to 110912.html

    > long eyelashes is one of the most desired items(?) for most Japanese women(including me!).

    I know, but I’m not beautiful at all, there are many other problems in my face!! hahaha…
    However, as you mentioned, I think I’ve saved a lot of money (and maybe time, too!)thanks to my eyelashes and eyes. I’ve never bought any mascara or eyeliner in my life because I think those items just make my face funnier!



  35. YU on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 01:17 PM

    Hi Biwa and Mika,

    Sorry, the link I posted doesn’t work.
    Please try this one.
    I hope it works this time.

    http://www.alc.co.jp/eng/kaiwa/shitsumon/110912.html



  36. Anne on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 02:28 PM

    Hi Mika,Biwa,Yu and everyone,

    Your discussion about “よりによって”is interesting.
    Mika and Yu, thanks for letting us know the phrases and the link.
    I guess you often come across “よりによって”situation and cases.
    In my case, I meant to say,”よりによって、何でディオールの口紅なの? 他のじゃなくて!”, so I would say, “Why the Dior!? Why did you have to pick the Dior lipstick out of all the others!” I guess the phrase “of all…” implies irritation just like written on the site YU shared us.

    Hi Kattie and everyone,
    Yu and Biwa have already explained the system of PTA, and I guess most of the parents are not enthusiastic with being involved as one of the PTA staff members.
    Actually, I did three times when my sons were in school(elementary school and junior high school), but I was just one of the members, so it wasn’t that tough.

    According to Wiki, there is also PTA system in the UK.
    Kattie, I’m wondering if you have ever heard of this kind of system or volunteering?

    Other than three times volunteer work in school, when my younger son was in kindergarten, I was in charge of the committee as the president. As Biwa mentioned, everyone makes some excuse why she/he can’t do. The only reason why I had to accept that role was I failed to find a good reason to refuse!
    I got involved in all the events with other staff members(執行部役員)including a bazaar(it was a big event!), and had to make speech several times from time to time.
    We sometimes said jokingly,”We feel like working at the kindergarten,ddn’t we?”

    I’m not sure about recent situation,though.

    Anne



  37. YU on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 02:51 PM

    Hi Anne,

    > In my case, I meant to say,”よりによって、何でディオールの口紅なの? 他のじゃなくて!”, so I would say, “Why the Dior!? Why did you have to pick the Dior lipstick out of all the others!”

    Sorry, I’ve completely igonored why this discussion has been started in the first place.
    As you say, I think “Why my Dior? Why not other cheap ones (from my lipstick collection)…!!” covers all what you wanted to say.



  38. Biwa on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 03:13 PM

    Hi YU and Mika,

    Thanks! I guess your suggestions are all okay, depending on your preference.
    I also noticed that my sentence is weird from the beginning because “almost every day” is not compatible with “just when”.

    I think it should be like this:

    “My sons often dirtied their clothes, and exactly/just/especially/particularly when they were wearing their bests.”

    たしかに、接続詞がandなのかbutなのか、悩みます。でも、「しょっちゅう汚していたのよ、しかも一張羅を着ていたときに限って汚すのよねー。」から考えると、andが正しい気がして来ました。

    >….their bests of all days.

    For this sentence, I think “bests” is indicating “clothes”, so “of all days” doesn’t match. Maybe it’s perfect in a sentence like this.
    “Why do they have to dirty their clothes today (of all days) when we are dressed up and about to go out?”



  39. Biwa on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 03:21 PM

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks, I think your explanation is perfect.
    (Sorry, I didn’t notice your comment was published before mine.)



  40. Mika on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 03:45 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thank you for helping me.
    I know 英語質問箱 which offers valuable lessons. I’m embarrassed to say this, but I forget everything very quickly. So I have to review it.
    Thanks.



  41. Anne on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 04:21 PM

    Hi YU,
    Oh, please don’t say sorry. I think there are a lot of ways to express each sentence , but its nuance could sometimes be different.
    As for Biwa’s sentence, using “exactly when” is good.

    Hi Biwa,
    >、「しょっちゅう汚していたのよ、しかも一張羅を着ていたときに限って汚すのよねー。」から考えると、andが正しい気がして来ました。—I think so,too:)



  42. YU on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 05:57 PM

    Hi Kattie,

    > The other day we had rice and natto for breakfast….I’m turning Japanese (I really think so!) David, you will ‘get’ that reference!

    May I ask you what the last sentence mean?
    Does it mean, “You(David) should try rice and natto, too. I’m sure you’ll love it.”??



  43. DELYTH BARKER on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 07:35 PM

    Hi everybody,

    This is David’s mum. As I think he has already told you, when David was little, he used to like chocolate biscuits. While he was eating them, he got chocolate all over his hands, and then he rubbed his hands through his hair. What a mess! When we went to visit my mother she always had some treats on the table. David was very fair, and he always said to his brother “half each.”

    My mother used to take him to the building site opposite where she lived to see the diggers working with a bucket. He called them “up and down tractors.” He asked if he could have one, so she bought him a toy one – he was delighted. When he was five, he learnt to ride a bicycle, but he used the toes of his shoes as brakes!!! He had to have new shoes. He was also a bit naughty with other children. If any child that he was playing with annoyed him, he would pull their hair, but that was only between the ages of one and two.
    David’s brother Peter used to bite people if he did not get his own way, but he grew out of that.

    I will try to remember any other tricks my children got up to!!!



  44. David Barker on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 09:07 PM

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry, I have had a very busy couple of days, but I have been reading all the comments. Here are some answers to your questions. (There were so many that I have gone through them in the order they were posted.)

    Hi Biwa,

    “My sons used to dirty or stain their clothes every day, but particularly when they were wearing their best.”

    This sentence is fine.

    Hi YU,

    “2) I can’t really talk”

    This means “I am not in a position to say anything because I am/was just as bad.” We also say to people, “You can’t talk!” or “You are a fine one to talk.”

    Hi Amo,

    “I am afraid but the site is still something wrong, as I mentioned before, the other member’s name still remained when I checked the blog last night.”

    Thanks for letting me know. The tech guy has been working on this today. We should have it solved soon. Just to check, though, have you been unable to access the blog at any point in the last few days? That is the problem I was talking about – the error message that people used to get from time to time.

    Hi YU,

    Re Kattie’s comment:
    “I’m turning Japanese (I really think so!) David, you will ‘get’ that reference!”

    “Get” can also mean “understand.” We often use it to talk about jokes. (Do you get it? / I don’t get it.) Kattie meant that she thought I would understand why she wrote “(I really think so!),” and I do. In the 1980s, there was a popular song called “Turning Japanese,” and “I really think so” was a line from that song.

    Hi Amo,

    > I asked my sister who lives in the US and she said that C) is most natural and A) is correct, but B) is not natural. She asked her husband and her son and their answer were, Husband C), her son A).

    If you ask native speakers who are not teachers, I’m afraid you will always get a range of answers. The problem is that none of these sentences is particularly natural. The only reason this example is in YU’s book is because the writer is trying to translate 諦める. In English, we would probably choose different ways of expressing the same thing.

    Hi Mika,

    I just mentioned “Today of all days” is better,
    but how about this.
    >….their bests of all days.

    “Today of all days” is fine, but “their bests of all days” is wrong.

    Hi YU

    I ususally use the expression of “exactly when….”.

    I think I corrected this in one of your comments last week. The correct expression is “precisely when.”

    Hi Anne,

    In my case, I meant to say,”よりによって、何でディオールの口紅なの? 他のじゃなくて!”, so I would say, “Why the Dior!? Why did you have to pick the Dior lipstick out of all the others!” I guess the phrase “of all…” implies irritation just like written on the site YU shared us.

    I would say, “Of all the lipsticks on my dresser, why did you have to pick that one!” with an emphasis on “that.”

    Hi Biwa,

    “My sons often dirtied their clothes, and exactly/just/especially/particularly when they were wearing their bests.”

    “Especially” and “particularly” are correct. The other two are a bit strange. “Best” cannot be plural, so you would have to say “their best clothes.”



  45. Mika on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 09:29 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for nice feedback even though you are very busy.

    Hi DELYTH BARKER,

    I’m very glad to hear about your sons’ stories.
    David is a wonderful teacher, so you must be proud of him.

    Thank you very much!



  46. YU on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback when you are busy!

    >“Get” can also mean “understand.”

    I know it.

    > Kattie meant that she thought I would understand why she wrote “(I really think so!),” and I do. In the 1980s, there was a popular song called “Turning Japanese,” and “I really think so” was a line from that song.

    I see. Thank you for your explanation.
    No wonder why I didn’t get what she meant!

    > I think I corrected this in one of your comments last week. The correct expression is “precisely when.”

    You mean this one?

    >as they coudln’t see the huge tunami exactly because of the seawalls!
    >I think “precisely because” would be more natural here.

    I never thought that this correction had something to do with this time one.

    >“My sons often dirtied their clothes, and exactly/just/especially/particularly when they were wearing their bests.”
    “Especially” and “particularly” are correct. The other two are a bit strange.

    I’m very surprised to hear that.
    I thought “exactly when” must be wrong because it was just my own idea as I explained, but I never expected that “just when” was wrong too because the site I referred to(and posted) was running by a famous English grammar book author(Mayumi Ishihara). In the site she answers to the questions about English expression from readers, and she explains “just when” is the right expression. Please have a look at the site I posted when you have time.



  47. YU on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Hi David,

    Sorry, I forgot to mention this.

    2) I can’t really talk”

    > This means “I am not in a position to say anything because I am/was just as bad

    So I translated it as you mentioned above into Japanese in my comment (Maybe “他人(ひと)のこと言えた義理じゃないけど” or “私が言えた義理じゃないけど” in Japanese!?), but actually what I wanted to know was if you could use the expression with some other words like Anne asked ;

    > I can’t really talk about their behaviors.(This expression is new to me,too. Did I get the meaning across?)



  48. David on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Hi YU

    I know Mayumi quite well, although I haven’t seen her for a long time. I’ll check the site tomorrow.



  49. Biwa on Thursday March 21st, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    >”My sons often dirtied their clothes, and exactly/just/especially/particularly when they were wearing their bests.”
    >”Especially” and “particularly” are correct. The other two are a bit strange.

    I think I understand what you say. For this context, the Japanese would be “息子たちはいつも服を汚していたけれど、「特に」よそ行きを着せた時に限って汚していた。”

    So if I use “precisely” or “just”, my sentence should be like “My sons used to dirty their clothes precisely/just when they were wearing their best.” = “息子たちはよそ行きを着せた(ちょうどその)時に限って汚していた。”

    However, I don’t really get the difference between “precisely” and “exactly”. I’ll look up the dictionaries once more tomorrow.

    Hi YU,

    As I wrote above, I don’t think Ms.Ishihara’s explanation was wrong. The problem was that I had to choose which sentence to use the phrase more carefully.



  50. Kattie on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 01:55 AM

    Hi Yu

    > I wore some Chinese dresses and a Chinese pro make-up artist of the studio did my make-up. When I see the album, I can’t keep from laughing at myself in the photos because they all look like a panda bear monster!!

    That made me laugh – I know exactly what you mean. I tried false eyelashes once and they looked awful on me too

    Hi Yu and Biwa,

    >For the PTA system, I think it depends on each school, but mostly there are several sections/committees like “PTA headquarter”, “P.R.”, “culture”. At my sons’ school, each section needs about 25 mothers/fathers out of 1000 students, so that means 75 out of almost 2000 parents.

    Thanks for your explanations – it certainly sounds a lot more involved than it is in the UK. I think people on the PTA here just do a little bit of fundraising and go to some meetings about the future of the school and how it is run. I seem to remember that we would get a letter every so often asking if we would like to put our names forward for it and, if more than one person wanted to do it, there would be a vote. I think the voting turnout is generally pretty low because, particularly in a large school, you usually don’t even know who the parents are!

    Hello Delyth,

    Good to hear from you!



  51. Anne on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 05:44 AM

    Hello Delyth,

    It’s nice to hear from you again!
    Thank you for sharing lovely stories of David and Peter. I can easily imagine how David used his toes of his shoes!

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your feedback when you are busy.
    >I would say, “Of all the lipsticks on my dresser, why did you have to pick that one!” with an emphasis on “that.”—I got it.

    *corrections:
    >I don’t remember whether she go angry or not, but anyway we had to rise the foam down the drain and to clean it up.—-I don’t remember whether she got angry or not, but anyway we had to rinse the foam down the drain and to clean it up.

    >We feel like working at the kindergarten,ddn’t we?” —-We feel like working at the kindergarten,don’t we?”

    Anne



  52. YU on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 07:11 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > So if I use “precisely” or “just”, my sentence should be like “My sons used to dirty their clothes precisely/just when they were wearing their best.” = “息子たちはよそ行きを着せた(ちょうどその)時に限って汚していた。”

    I’m afraid I don’t really think the problem is if you should ommit “but/and” because David didn’t correct the point in your sentence below, but I guess he just said “exactly/just when” sound a bit unnatural.

    -“My sons often dirtied their clothes, and exactly/just/especially/particularly when they were wearing their bests.”
    -“Especially” and “particularly” are correct. The other two are a bit strange.

    > However, I don’t really get the difference between “precisely” and “exactly”.

    Me, neither, but as for “precisely because”, I found an example sentnece in my dictionary.

    It is precisely because I love this country that I attack the government.
    私が政府を批判するのはまさに国を愛すればこそなのです。

    *私がseawallsの文で言いたかったのは「”まさに”その防潮堤のせいで肝心の津波が見えず多くの人が命を落とした」ということだったので”precisely because”が「まさに」ドンピシャですね。

    To tell the truth, I have a feeling that I’ve heard some native speakers saying “exactly when”. I’d been using “exactly when” for a long time until yesterday, but no one had corrected me, so I didn’t know it actually sounded unnatural to native speakers.



  53. Biwa on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 08:16 AM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks for your reply.
    However, I still think that the four words(precisely/just/especially/particularly) can be sorted into two groups. The first two(precisely/just) have meanings as “correctly at that time”, and the last two(especially/particularly) as “much more than other times”. So if you want to use the first two, your sentence should not have any “comparing” meanings, I guess.

    For example, Ms. Ishihara’s sentence was :
    >Just when I’m in white, of all colors, I spill something on my clothes.

    In this sentence, as she is not saying that she spills something on other colors(clothes) too, “just” is okay.

    >*私がseawallsの文で言いたかったのは「”まさに”その防潮堤のせいで肝心の津波が見えず多くの人が命を落とした」ということだったので”precisely because”が「まさに」ドンピシャですね。

    I still don’t get it…both “precisely” and “exactly” are used when you completely agree with someone.
    However, I see only “precisely because” in my English-English dictionary. There must be some rules in the usages. Maybe “exactly” has a “same or different” nuance, and “precisely” has a “more detailed” nuance.



  54. YU on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 09:07 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    > The first two(precisely/just) have meanings as “correctly at that time”, and the last two(especially/particularly) as “much more than other times”.

    Huummm…maybe…
    This is just my opinion, but I don’t think “precisely/just when….” have the meaning of “correctly at that time”. I think these also mean “much more than other times”(まさにそういう時に限って). So I don’t really think there are some differences between the two groups.

    “precisely/just when”のprecisely/justも「’まさに’そういう時に限って」という意味を表すために使われている気がしますが。

    > I still don’t get it…both “precisely” and “exactly” are used when you completely agree with someone.

    私もまだよくわかりません。ただ、防潮堤の文は”precisely BECAUSE”の方が自然だ、とDavidに指摘され、実際辞書にもそのような例文を発見したので、なるほど、と思ったと言いたかっただけです。自然か不自然か、という問題になるとノンネイティブの私たちがいくらどうこう議論してもあまり意味はないので私は素直にDavidの指摘を受け入れます。”just WHEN”が不自然、という件に関してはノンネイティブとは言え石原先生が言っていることだったのでちょっとビックリした、という話です。

    では遅刻しそうなのでさらば、です!



  55. Mika on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Hi YU and Biwa,

    I checked the difference between exactly and precisely.

    Allankの英会話ワンポイントレッスン
    http://allankenglish.blogspot.com

    What is the difference between exactly and precisely?
    Answer;
    Basically they mean the same thing, but the two words would probably be used in different instances. Exactly makes more sense if you are talking about a measurement, or a time. Precisely makes more sense if you are talking about two or more things and you want to distinguish one from the other or others.
    For example:
    “I want you to come here at exactly ten o’clock.”
    “I want a three-piece suit that precisely matches the occasion.”

    According to Dictionary.com, the two words are defined as follows.
    The definition for “exactly” is:
    1. in an exact manner; precisely; accurately.
    2. in every respect; just: He will do exactly what he wants.
    3. quite so; that’s right.

    The definition for “precisely” is:
    1. definitely or strictly stated, defined, or fixed: precise directions.
    2. being exactly that and neither more nor less: a precise temperature; a precise amount.
    3. being just that and no other: the precise dress she had wanted.
    4. definite or exact in statement, as a person.
    5. carefully distinct: precise articulation.

    I am aware that each definition actually contains the other word in it, so, yes, it is very difficult to explain the difference. “Exactly” means to do something in an “exact” manner, which means paying attention to accuracy and correctness. “Precisely” means doing something in a “precise” manner, which is more related to being distinct, or separate from something else. But they are often used interchangeably, and the difference between them is often neglected.

    While I was reading above explanations I thought that even native English speakers might make a mistake the same as non-native speakers, because it’s tough.
    I hope these explanations can help you understand their differences more clearly.



  56. Mika on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    訂正させてください。
    >I hope these explanations can help you understand their differences more clearly.
    I hope these explanations can help you to understand their differences more clearly.

    Hi everyone,
    Please be careful about the cold in the cherry-blossom season and have a nice weekend.



  57. Biwa on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Hi YU,

    >So I don’t really think there are some differences between the two groups.

    Sorry, I don’t know how to explain it more accurately. Can anyone help us?

    >自然か不自然か、という問題になるとノンネイティブの私たちがいくらどうこう議論してもあまり意味はないので私は素直にDavidの指摘を受け入れます。

    So do I! Exactly!(By the way, I think I can also use “Precisely!” here.) However, if there are any, I’d just like to know the reason why “precisely because” sounds more natural because it would be more helpful when I use it myself.

    Hi Mika,

    Thank you for the explanation. Especially, the following part was very helpful.

    >Exactly makes more sense if you are talking about a measurement, or a time. Precisely makes more sense if you are talking about two or more things and you want to distinguish one from the other or others.

    So it’s more natural to say “precisely because” because you want to distinguish the reason you are talking about from others.
    Maybe “precisely” has a more similar meaning to “especially/particularly”….hummmm…I’m getting confused again!



  58. Biwa on Friday March 22nd, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    Hello Delyth,

    Thank you for joining us. I didn’t want to sound like I was ignoring you, but it seems like I’m preoccupied with some grammatical problems!
    I can easily imagine David sharing the treats with his brothers saying “half each” by the way he gives us feedback on this blog. I’d love to hear other stories!