2017年03月14日

graduate from college、be graduated from college、あるいは graduate college のどれが正しい?


 Voice of America の Everyday Grammar という番組を聞きましょう。やさしい、ゆっくりとした英語です。

 きょうは、graduate を使った表現の変遷についてです。

 スクリプトを下に示します。下のシークバーをクリックすると音声が流れます。7分04秒あります。





For VOA Learning English, this is Everyday Grammar.

This week’s Everyday Grammar is by a guest author, David Sullivan. He is Assistant Managing Editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Vice President of the American Copy Editors Society.

 Part of the reason that English has grown as a world language is that it adjusts easily to change. Unlike some other languages, there is no "official" English that must be used generation after generation, and there never has been.

 However, this means that what one was taught as a child in school may be out of fashion a couple of decades later. Slang is meant to come and go, but when common phrases change, it can make speakers feel "wrong" because they were taught that something else is "right."

 One example of this is a term linked to school itself. Today, it is common for people to say that they "graduated high school" or college. The word "graduated" has two common meanings. One is to mark off a series. The easiest way to think of this is to go back to high school chemistry class and remember the tubes used for experiments. They are called "graduated cylinders" because they have lines to show how much liquid to add: 10 milliliters, 20 mL, and so on. The lines make up a series.

 The other meaning is closely related. As you move through school, you cross off a series of achievements: grade school, middle school, high school, and college. So, in a way, school itself is "graduated."

 So, when people used to speak of getting a diploma, they said they "graduated from college." "To graduate college" would have meant, literally, to mark it off by year – freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. Similarly, "to graduate to college" would have meant to complete high school and move up to the next level. The use of the preposition was important.

 But as happens often in English, when people understand your meaning, smaller words, verb forms, and other parts of speech can disappear. "I graduated college today" is easy to say. Sometimes written language reflects the spoken one, sometimes it does not. In this case, usage has moved rapidly toward "graduated college" as acceptable, if not correct.

 This may upset people who were taught that you had to use "from" to be correct. But this is not the first time this phrase has been simplified. It used to be that you said, "I was graduated from college," instead of, "I graduated from college." The change may reflect how we think about the student and the university. Before, the emphasis was on the college: It graduated you. Now, the emphasis is on the student: I graduated.

 A search in Google's NGram Viewer shows a sharp fall in the number of times people used "was graduated from" between 1920 and 2000. The phrase "graduate college" increased from 1930 to 2000.

 You can’t predict what English will keep and what it will lose. Who could imagine that we would still say we "dial" a phone number when we now push buttons on our cell? Yet we know what it means. And, of course, "dial," like "text," at one time was only a noun, not a verb. You looked at a sundial or the dial of a compass.

 People complain that English uses too many odd spellings, like "through" or "doughnut." Many want to change them to simpler spellings. When it comes to speaking, though, modern English speakers get to the point quickly. The question is, why are we complaining?

I’m Pete Musto.
And I'm Jill Robbins.

_________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

generation – n. a group of individuals born and living about the same time.

slang - n. words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language and that are used very informally in speech

graduate - v. to earn a degree or diploma from a school, college, or university

graduated - adj.. marked with lines for measuring

cylinder - n. a shape that has straight sides and two circular ends

emphasis - n. special importance or attention given to something

complain - v. to say or write that you do not like something


Now it’s your turn. Do people complain about changes in your native language? Have you noticed other changes in the way English is used? Let us know in the comments section.


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posted by 赤井田拓弥 at 12:47| Comment(0) | 英語で英文法

TOEIC の満点は、なぜ1000点ではなく990点?


 TOEIC には、リスニングセクションに100問、リーディングセクションに100問の、計200問ありますね。そして、スコアは点刻みです。348点というような1点刻みのスコアはありません。

 200問で5点刻みですから、1問あたり5点ということになります。200×5=1000で、満点は1000点ではないかという感じですが、990点ですね。

 なぜでしょうか。

 昔「2000年問題」というのがありました。西暦(グレゴリオ暦)2000年になるとコンピュータが誤作動する可能性があるとされた問題ですね。

 その原因は、プログラムの日付を扱うとき、西暦の4桁のうちの上位2桁を無視して、下2桁だけを処理対象にしたことにありました。

 1960年代や70年代に作られたプログラムならまだしも、あと20年もしないうちに2000年がやってくるという80年代になってから作られたプログラムにも、下2桁だけで処理しようとするものが数多くあったのでした。

 「2000年がやってくるのは分かっているだろうに」と思いましたが、コンピューターのプログラムというのは、2桁を処理するのと4桁を処理するのとでは、負荷が大きく違ってくるのだそうです。それで、分かっていながら下2桁だけを使ったというわけです。

 TOEIC の満点990点にもこれが影響しています。

 TOEIC を開発していたのは1970年代です。上で述べたように、コンピューターの処理能力はまだまだ低く、満点を1000点にしてしまうと、それだけ高度なプログラムを構築する必要が生じることになります。

 滅多に出ない満点(1000点)のために(当時は、満点はほとんど出ないだろうと思われていました)、4桁を計算するプログラム作りに苦労するくらいなら、満点を495+495にし、トータルスコアを3桁のままの990点にしておくほうが現実的だったというわけです。

 割と単純な理由からだったのですね。

 TOEICのスコアに関する情報は、この本に詳しく出ています。990円ではなく、99円ですよ。

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posted by 赤井田拓弥 at 10:16| Comment(0) | 英語で英文法