While most of you non-native speakers of English speak English quite well, there is always room for improvement (of course, the same could be said for every person for any subject, but that is another matter). To that end, I’d like to offer you a poem. Once you’ve learned to correctly pronounce every word in this poem, you will be
speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
If you find it tough going, do not despair, you are not alone: Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language … until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud.
Try them yourself.
English is tough stuff
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. Read More…
My faithful Personal Assistant, Mr. Siri.
He is British and although we had some initial issues with our accents (my pronunciation of “Maria” is “Midea” to him), we are mates now 🙂
With some inspiration from: http://siri-jokes.com/, there we had a nice conversation (mhm, yep, the window was open. Now my neighbours assume I have a bit slow Englishman at home (not that far from the truth)):
Ok, ok, I’ll get some sleep (for I most certainly need it),
(in full subpoena ad testificandum) a writ ordering a person to attend a court: a subpoena may be issued to compel their attendance [mass noun]: they were all under subpoena to appear
verb (subpoenas, subpoenaing, subpoenaed or subpoena’d)
summon (someone) with a subpoena: the Queen is above the law and cannot be subpoenaed
require (a document or other evidence) to be submitted to a court of law: the decision to subpoena government records
late Middle English (as a noun): from Latin sub poena ‘under penalty’ (the first words of the writ). Use as a verb dates from the mid 17th century
Subpoena translates to “under punishment” in Latin. It is an order from a court for a person to appear at a trial under punishment for failure to appear. If the person given a subpoena does not appear, some courts have the discretion to find the person in contempt of court and either order the person’s arrest or issue fines accordingly.
The term subpoena is primarily used in US courts. The preferred term in the UK is now Witness Summons, at least in civil trials. In either country, the subpoena is usually written by the court clerk after he or she has been given a list of witnesses for a trial. The court clerk then writes out, usually in a form letter, a request for the witness’ presence at a specific date and time for testimony.
When the testimony has lagged or the trial has been delayed, those receiving a subpoena still must appear at the specified date and time. The witness may then be given another date and time to appear, or may have to wait several hours or days to deliver testimony. If one has a time conflict of a serious nature, contacting the court or the attorneys may help change the subpoena date to a better time. In some cases, testimony has been given over long distances, or has taken place in locations other than the court, such as hospitals. In these cases, both the defense and prosecuting lawyer must be present so that fair examination and cross-examination can both take place.
When a subpoena is issued, it is usually the responsibility of the attorney to deliver it. In criminal cases for example, the defense lawyer will deliver subpoenas to any witnesses who might help prove innocence. The prosecuting attorney will deliver subpoenas to those who can help prove the guilt of the accused.
As well, in divorce or child custody hearings, a subpoena can be issued to one of the spouses. Failure to appear in a child custody trial is tantamount to giving up custody of one’s child. Failure to appear in a divorce proceeding tends to mean the divorce is uncontested and may be granted immediately. Financial or custodial arrangements after the divorce usually will favor the appearing spouse.
The US Congress is empowered to send subpoenas when testimony is required in a congressional investigation. The US Congress, like the federal and state courts, can fine people who ignore a summons to testify. A person failing to appear is said to be in contempt of congress.
We talked (a bit) about others judging us by our language command.
Here we have another point of view. Could you seem taller if you talked with different articulation or tone? 🙂
Open you mouth and your soul flies out…
Probably the best free web service/site/podcasts that I have stumbled upon these past years is the BBC Learning English:
Try them and tell me what you thought about it. Do you have something else in mind?
Working on my voice,