Make a Vintage Name for Your Brand

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When deciding on a name for your firm or event, there are some useful pointers that would definitely be tacky. Tacky can be understood in two ways, depending on your target audience. According to some English speakers in the United States, tacky means “sticky” – just like superglue. However to some English speakers, “tacky” can be perceived in a bad light – describing something as being too flashy due to bad taste. In the business sense, there is one language that appears to stand out – French. This is not surprising as many property developers or business proprietors in Asia employ French when naming new apartments, restaurants, boutiques, retail products and even events! Examples include Laneige, Etude House, Shiseido’s Maquillage cosmetic series, Saveur and Poulet.

Connoisseur-A Blend of English and other language

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However, there are also business enterprises which adopt a blend of English and another foreign language. For instance, this phenomenon is reflected in The Connoisseur Concerto and Spayuri. This trend of using pseudo-French or pseudo-Japanese names for businesses aims to exploit the sophistication of French and Japanese cultural stereotypes. In short, property developers in Asia mentioned that using a foreign language adds value to their development, reflecting elegance and prestige of the dwellings. Other Asian businesses seem to utilize this value adding feature as part of their branding efforts. This is especially ubiquitous in the beauty industry.

Etude House- Skincare Brand with a French Name

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“Etude” (Etude House) which is a French word – étude, also refers to a musical composition. The meaning that Etude House aims to convey is their aim to beautify young women through their alluring products, similar to the beautiful composition by famous composer Frédéric Chopin. Another cosmetic product, Laneige – refers to snow in French, aims to beautify women through their sophisticated products that are carefully produced from “water science”, enabling them to achieve a radiant skin that glows.

Spayuri- Another Ingenious blend of English and Japanese

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Another ingenious blend of English and Japanese can be observed in another branding effort by Spayuri. Notice how spa and yuri appears as a coinage here. Spayuri conveys the underlying message of health and wellness, as well as an embodiment of beauty and sensuality from the Japanese female name Yuri and the kanji (Characters that represent Chinese loanwords in Japanese) meaning lily.

These businesses have successfully marketed themselves in the intense globalized competition. One important tip shared by marketing gurus lies in naming your business affectively.

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 www.deal.com.sg

sgglitterforgoodgirls.blogspot.sg

 lovelypackage.com

Enter the Past Tense in Turkish

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On the other extreme end lies Turkish. There are a few past tense structures in Turkish, however, we are going to highlight two crucial past tense structures which mind-boggles many learners of Turkish. These past tense structures are as follow:

-di’li geçmiş zaman “Regular Past Tense” -di
-miş’li geçmiş zaman “Story Past Tense” -miş

Under the regular past tense structure, the affix –di can latch onto verbs, nouns (or pronouns) and adjectives. In the following utterance, the affix is attached to the verb. For example, when referring to an action that occurred in the past:

1)      Gel-di

come-PAST

“He came.”

The examples below feature the combination of a pronoun and an adjective with –di respectively:

2)      Şöhret        değil-di-n-iz

celebrity    NEG-PAST-n-2SG.FORM

“You were not a celebrity.”

3)      İyi-y-di-m

good-y-PAST-1SG

“I was good.”

Kindly take note that there are buffer letters (n, y) in Turkish. It is essential to have buffer letters in Turkish to prevent phonological clash. The usage of buffer letters depends on the phonological environment of the word. For example, to avoid a sound clash when there are two adjacent vowels, a butter letter is inserted. Of course, there are also many other situations which make buffer letters a must.

Let us proceed on to the next past tense structure, which is otherwise known as story past tense. The story past tense structure is used when the speaker has heard something from someone else, thus, he will not be held responsible for any wrong information. The speaker can also employ this tense structure when he is unsure of whether or not the action took place. In short, the speaker is the not the source of information since he does not possess any firsthand encounter. Similar to the regular past tense structure, -miş can also be attached to verbs, nouns and adjectives.

This utterance displays the verb+miş combination (The speaker heard from the boy’s mother that he went to school):

4)      Anne-si-y-le                             konuş-tu-m.       Okul-a                   git-miş.

mother-POSS.3SG-y-POST    talk-PAST-1SG    school-DATIVE    go-PAST

“I spoke with his mother. He went to school.”

The following shows the noun+miş combination (The speaker heard that the prime minster was in France):

5)      Başbakan              dün               Yunanistan-‘da-y-mış.

prime minister     yesterday    Greece-LOC-y-PAST

“The prime minister was in Greece yesterday.”

The final example features the adjective+miş combination (The speaker heard from Yurcel that his friend fell ill):

6)      Yurcel-‘le         onun             hakkında    konuş-tu-m.       Hasta-y-mış.

Yurcel-POST    POSS.3SG     about         talk-PAST-1SG    sick-y-PAST

“I spoke with Yurcel about her. She was sick.”

On a side note, you might have noticed the different spellings of the regular past tense and story past tense affixes (-di, –miş). This is due to vowel harmony in Turkish. Turkish has two sets of vowels, namely the front and back vowels. Vowel harmony disallows front and back vowels to occur in the same word. Hence, grammatical affixes, such as the ones presented here (-di/ –tu, –miş / –mış), come in both front vowel and back vowel forms. This segment on vowel harmony in Turkish shall be elucidated later on! Stay tuned!

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Is It True That “Past Tense” Does Not Exist in Chinese Language?

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Languages differ from one another in so many ways. Tense structure tends to be the complicated aspect of foreign language learning. For instance, even though Chinese appears to lack tense structure, Chinese speakers are in fact, aware of actions that refer to the past, present and future. In other words, the time reference in Chinese is represented differently – instead of tense, it is labeled as aspect.

To cut to the chase, aspect is conceptualized into two types of actions – either telic oratelic. The former refers to an action that has been completed while the latter symbolizes an action that is uncompleted. Because Chinese grammar does not marktense, whether or not the action is completed depends on the type of sentence final particle (SFP) (了 le, 過 guo). Both refer to actions in the past, but the minor contrast lies in guo being more far back than le.

As guo would usually be understood as an experience, thus the action appears to be more far back than le (他去日本 “He has been to Japan” as opposed to 他去日本 “He went to Japan”). To elaborate, in the first utterance, the mentioned person might already be back in his home country (he has the experience of visiting Japan) while in the following utterance, it is also possible that the he is still in Japan or is on his way to Japan. As Chinese does not mark tense (English: go, went drink, drank), speakers tend to rely on context to determine which SFP to use – whether it has been completed (guo) or it has not been exactly completed and still onging (le), keeping in mind that both actions would be conceptualized as “past” in general.

Languages differ from one another in so many ways. Tense structure tends to be the complicated aspect of foreign language learning. For instance, even though Chinese appears to lack tense structure, Chinese speakers are in fact, aware of actions that refer to the past, present and future. In other words, the time reference in Chinese is represented differently – instead of tense, it is labeled as aspect.

To cut to the chase, aspect is conceptualized into two types of actions – either telic oratelic. The former refers to an action that has been completed while the latter symbolizes an action that is uncompleted. Because Chinese grammar does not marktense, whether or not the action is completed depends on the type of sentence final particle (SFP) (了 le, 過 guo). Both refer to actions in the past, but the minor contrast lies in guo being more far back than le.

As guo would usually be understood as an experience, thus the action appears to be more far back than le (他去日本 “He has been to Japan” as opposed to 他去日本 “He went to Japan”). To elaborate, in the first utterance, the mentioned person might already be back in his home country (he has the experience of visiting Japan) while in the following utterance, it is also possible that the he is still in Japan or is on his way to Japan. As Chinese does not mark tense (English: go, went drink, drank), speakers tend to rely on context to determine which SFP to use – whether it has been completed (guo) or it has not been exactly completed and still onging (le), keeping in mind that both actions would be conceptualized as “past” in general.

Now, you understand how do the Chinese express “past” in their language. Have you ever thought about a past tense mark in another language? <To be continued>

Pic source: ashscrapyard.wordpress.com

10 Tips Guide You How to Write in Style

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Formal writing might not come as second nature to many, but there are some simple tips to get rid of these writing woes as far as basic formatting is concerned. Not being able to format your writing would probably leave the reader uninterested and annoyed. The lack of standardization might also imply the disregard towards the target audience as well as the nature of the document or report. It is important to be consistent once you have adopted a particular style of formal writing. This allows the reader to better understand and retain the content of your document. Below are some useful points to take note before you begin to produce or edit a formal document.

1)      First and foremost, whole numbers which are smaller than 10 should be spelt out. In other words, numbers one to nine should not be written as 1 or 7 in formal writing.

2)      If whole numbers are to be spelt out, numbers which do not belong to this category do not have to be spelt out. Values such as 3.5 or 0.5 do not have to be spelt out like three point five or zero point five.

3)      However, as mentioned earlier on, it is important to stick to a particular formal writing style from the beginning to the end of the document. There is really no standard spelling rule for numbers. For example, some writers or editors might adhere to the first rule above, however some might feel otherwise – one-word number should be spelt out instead. For instance, twenty instead of 20 or thirty instead of 30.

4)      Please use a comma if your document involves huge values. For example, in English, the comma is regarded as a thousands separator (886, 000 “eight hundred and eighty-six thousand”) while the period is understood as a decimal separator. However, take note that in Europe, this is exactly the other way round – the comma acts as a decimal separator while the period acts as a thousands separator!

5)      Centuries and decades should be spelt out. For example, seventies or twentieth century.

6)      Values which have been rounded off should be written in a numeral-plus-word format. For instance, about 5 billion or an estimated 20 million.

7)      When two numbers are written next to each other such as 2 15-year-olds, it can appear a tad odd and confusing. In this case, write 2 as two and the phrase becomes two 15-year-olds.

8)      When addressing people formally such as sir or madam, the first letter only needs to be in upper case when it is placed before the addressee’s name or when it appears at the start of a sentence.

9)      In formal writing, please refrain from using the percent sign %.  It should be spelt out as percent. For example, 20%  becomes 20 percent or twenty percent, depending on your preference (this brings us back to the third rule).

10)   Last but not least, please ensure that there is consistency once you have adopted a particular formal writing style. For instance, please do not write 20 boys at one point and then witch to writing twenty days somewhere else in the same document.

We hope these 10 tips have shed some light on adopting an appropriate formal writing style! Please feel free to share more formal writing tips. Happy writing or editing!  🙂

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