New, North, and other N places

the only time I lived outside New York State was in 1977

NunavutEight states and five Canadian areas begin with the letter N? Let’s get to it!

NB: New Brunswick, in French, Nouveau-Brunswick (N.-B.), a Canadian Maritime province. Capital: Fredericton. Moncton

NC: North Carolina, a state in the southeast US. Capital: Raleigh. Largest city: Charlotte. My parents and my “baby” sister moved to Charlotte in 1974. I resided there for four months in early 1977, the only time I lived outside New York State.

ND: North Dakota, a state in the Midwest US on the Canadian border. The abbreviation was N.D. or occasionally N. Dak. Capital: Bismarck. Largest city: Fargo.

NE: Nebraska, a state in the Midwest US. The traditional abbreviation was Neb. or Nebr. Initially, the state code was NB until it was decided in 1969 to avoid confusion with New Brunswick. Many Slang abbreviations describing the place still use Neb. Capital: Lincoln. Largest city: Omaha.

NH: New Hampshire, a New England state in the US. Capital: Concord, which allows even encourages diagonal street crossing, and designs the lights to be able to do so. Very civilized. Largest city: Manchester, whose newspaper has an outsized impact on Presidential politics, since the state has the first primaries.

NJ: New Jersey, a US state on the mid-Atlantic coast. Capital: Trenton. Largest city: Newark. When I was a kid, we went to Atlantic City and the boardwalk a few times, pre-gambling. I almost got arrested in the state hitchhiking to Philadephia, PA when I was stopped and I had left my wallet in some stranger’s car. BTW, I got the wallet back intact.

NL: Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canadian maritime province. In French, T.-N.-L. is short for Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador. Before December 6, 2001, when the province changed its name, NF was the two-letter abbreviation used for Newfoundland. “LB was commonly used for Labrador—the mainland part of the province—prior to 2002. It was an official code available for optional use in lieu of NF and was listed in the Canada Postal Guide.” Capital and largest city: St. John’s

NM: New Mexico, a US state in the Southwest, sometimes formerly abbreviated N. Mex. Capital: Santa Fe. Largest city: Albuquerque.

NS: Nova Scotia, a Canadian maritime province. In French: Nouvelle-Écosse. It’s Alba Nuadh in Scottish Gaelic. All three N provinces have a form of New in the name. Capital and largest city: Halifax.

NT: Northwest Territories, a Canadian territory. In French, Territoires du Nord-Ouest. What’s with these territories, anyway? “The major difference between a Canadian province and a territory is that provinces receive their power and authority from the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the British North America Act, 1867), whereas territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Parliament of Canada.” Capital and largest city: Yellowknife.

NU: Nunavut, a Canadian territory. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999. It is the largest and second-least populated section of the country. Capital and largest city: Iqaluit.

NV: Nevada, a western US state, historically abbreviated Nev. Capital: Carson City. Largest city: Las Vegas.

NY: New York, a mid-Atlantic US state. Capital: Albany, where I’ve lived for 40 years. The largest city in the US: New York City. I have lived in Binghamton, Kingston (briefly), New Paltz, Jamaica (Queens), and Schenectady.

For ABC Wednesday

N is for English as a New Language

English, on a language perspective, makes no sense at all.

english_as_a_new_languagelMy wife is a teacher of English as a New Language (ENL). It has also been called English as a Second Language (ESL), but the NEW designation is more accurate because, for some of these students, English is their third or fourth language.

Here’s a 2008 article about English Language Learners (ELLs) that I think describes the process and problems of learning English for non-native speakers.

The rules for the order of adjectives are nearly instinctive for native-born speakers of English. In case that you need help learning this language, we recommend you this igcse online english tutor.

But it is tricky for the ELL. There are several lists, found here and here and elsewhere. But they generally agree on the order.

Comparative / superlative
Example: Bigger chair, smartest student

Example: an interesting book, a boring lecture

Dimension (size)
Example: a big apple, a thin wallet

Example: a new car, a modern building, an ancient ruin

Example: a square box, an oval mask, a round ball

Example: a pink hat, a blue book, a black coat

Origin / nationality
Example: some Italian shoes, a Canadian town, an American car

Example: a wooden box, a woolen sweater, a plastic toy

So you would say a “new Italian car,” not an “Italian new car.” Or a “big pink plastic sculpture.” And you don’t use commas between the terms. If you ask a native speaker why, she’ll say because to do otherwise sounds wrong. If I were an ELL, this might be a difficult aspect.

Other issues for ELL students depend on their native language. Certain sounds aren’t “available in their first language (‘th’ is a big one in general, but so are ‘v’ for Turkish speakers, ‘w’ for some European language speakers, ‘sh’ for Spanish speakers, and ‘r’/’l’ for many Eastern/Southeastern Asian language speakers).

“English, on a language perspective, makes no sense at all. There are so many exceptions, and these exceptions don’t follow the same rules. Some letters are silent, but they aren’t always so. There is no real verb conjugation. You always need your pronoun or it makes no sense at all.

“The sounds are weird as well. You can learn the short and long vowel rules, but in some situations, they are just different, and there is no reasonable explanation as to why you have pronounced something differently.”

There are also issues with verb conjugations, idioms, and homophones/homographs/homonyms.

I’m always impressed when people take on English as a New Language.

ABC Wednesday – Round 19

I want the NEW Paul McCartney

Hint to Wife: NEW by MACCA is #1 on my Christmas list,

My friend Karen, who I’ve only known since we were in kindergarten, wrote this article for our sixth-grade newsletter in which she was the winner of a contest to fly to England and see the Beatles in person. Back in 1980, her record company put out John & Yoko’s Double Fantasy album, but that was an arm’s-length situation.

Now, her current record company is putting out the new album by Paul McCartney, NEW, and while he’s in the New York City area, she’s spending time with him. This means she was THERE when Macca surprised a Queens high school with an auditorium rock show, plus Q&A on John Lennon’s birthday; she described it as a most satisfying experience. The day before, when she was with him doing interviews for nearly five hours, was another highlight.

I’m guessing she was present when Sir Paul surprised the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon audience by sticking around to perform seven more songs in a mini-concert.

I’m so very happy for my good friend, who has turned me onto new music for decades. I have only a soupçon of jealousy.

I haven’t gotten the new album, NEW, yet. (Richie has already ordered it.) I’m very pleased it’s gotten a good review in Entertainment Weekly and an even more interesting one in The New Yorker, plus others.

Hint to Wife: this is #1 on my Christmas list, even ahead of Beatles at the BBC, Volume 2. Get the deluxe edition, please!

Paul’s YouTube channel

Ranking the 21 Best Paul McCartney Deep Tracks. Some of these I had never heard.
Misheard lyrics of ‘Let ‘Em In’.

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