General Discussion about English. Part 2

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Steve: Now, where did we start on all of this?

We started with me asking you why you needed a battery when you should be plugged in and you told me that you moved to a different room and, therefore, you move your computer to get away from the noise in the general office area and so you’re relying on your battery.

Then how did we get to this subject, do you remember?

Jill: Because you said we’re just going to have a general discussion and I think you said that we used the word “typically” a couple of times and we went on from there using the same word more than one time.

Steve: Exactly and then you said that it’s a good thing to have a few synonyms, words that mean the same thing, available, handy, that you can go to so that your language, especially your written language, won’t seem too repetitious.

Jill: Right.

Steve: Because that’s sort of an aspect of style that we are taught at school.

Yeah, that’s where we got off on this subject.

Jill: Well, yeah, today is Friday and normally we do a LingQ update on Fridays, but we just didn’t really have anything major to report today, so.

Steve: You know, one thing I don’t mind mentioning on this LingQ update…before we move onto that though on the subject of synonyms, we did do a discussion I guess a week ago or whenever it was where we discussed synonyms for look, see, view, vision, etc., a lot of words that related to the idea of looking at things.

I think that’s a good thing to do and we did invite people to tell us what words they would like us to, you know, take up in a future discussion.

We haven’t yet had any feedback, so we’re always happy to get that.

Yeah, Friday, do you find that Friday you start to get a little silly Jill?

Jill: Get a little silly, wild and crazy here at the office?

Steve: Well, yeah, you know.

Jill: Only when you’re not here Steve.

Steve: That’s what I’m afraid of and it’s not only you I’ve got to find out what goes on on Fridays when I don’t go into the office.

Jill: It’s just a big, wild, party here, you know?

Steve: Well yeah, people start to unwind and they take liberties, you know.

I’m going to maybe have everyone come in on a Saturday so we get some work done on Friday.

Jill: Install some secret cameras so you can see what really goes on when you’re not here.

Steve: What makes you think I don’t already have them installed?

Jill: Well, this is true.

Steve: That’s right; they’re secret.

If you knew that they were there then they wouldn’t be secret, would they?

Jill: (???11:56)

Steve: No, the updates in LingQ I think is worth mentioning for those listeners who are also LingQ users.

I think we mentioned it last time, but it’s worth mentioning again, that we have two more people helping us program because, I mean, it’s just very difficult to keep telling people that it’s slow and it’s difficult and it’s complex, but it is.

There is just so much work to do and there are so many good things that we’re planning in terms of LingQ and functions and community and so forth that it’s just taking a long time, but we now have more resources working on getting these things done, so I think that’s worth mentioning.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning and I’ve mentioned it on the LingQ Forum is that we are going to in the near future change the way we deal with points.

We are going to move to a system whereby if you don’t use your points you will lose them.

I’ve spoken to a number of our members and they all agree.

I haven’t had one person disagree.

They feel that if it’s too loose and too easy not to use your points they tend not to study.

They tend not to write, they tend not to come on discussions, they tend to even not use their system as much because they’re saying well, you know, I don’t have to pay for it.

I can pay for it next week or next month, so we will ask you to use your points in the month that you have them.

Now, the members will still be able to schedule something for the following month or whatever, but they just have to at least allocate the points in the month or they will lose them.

Jill: Right.

Steve: So that is something.

We will, of course, warm people, but that’s one of the reasons why I’m mentioning it now is to make people realize that this is coming and so they should be thinking of using their points.

On the other hand, the points that will be therefore lost are going to go into a community fund and this community fund will be used to pay those people who are creating content for us.

Jill: As well as very active members.

Steve: As well as very active members.

Because right now, understandably, if a learner has a choice between taking some piece of content that’s free and one that costs 20 points they will take the content that’s free.

But, if one of our learners has spent two hours transcribing an interview or maybe making up a story in Japanese or Spanish or French then we would like to compensate; we would like to reward those people.

If the learners don’t want to pay, which I understand, I’m not criticizing the members for preferring to take something that’s free, I did so myself, I chose (???14:45) free Portuguese content to work on my Portuguese, so there’s nothing wrong with that.

What we’ll do is the points that members do not use will be allocated to this common fund and then from the common fund people will be compensated who are helping us in different ways.

And you said, also, for the most active members; we haven’t worked those details out yet.

Jill: Yeah, our original plan, and we were talking about it yesterday, was that, you know, there’ll be sort of a contest.

Steve: Oh, the “learner of the month” type of thing, yeah.

Jill: Yeah, whoever does the most.

Steve: Jill, that’s a good idea. Was that your idea?

Jill: Yeah and I was thinking it would be a real learner of the month; really.

The person who is the most active on LingQ for that month will get a certain percentage of those points that we have in the fund.

Steve: Right, very good; that’s a good idea.

Jill: Yeah, I mean, we haven’t worked out all the details, of course.

Steve: And the other thing is that we are also going to make it possible for people to tip.

Like I must admit that having used now (??? 15:50) content and enjoyed it, I would have no hesitation in giving him some points retroactively like a thank you; like sending someone flowers or a box of chocolates because I thought he did a great job and I had, you know, hours and hours and hours of pleasant listening to his Portuguese that he created.

I could throw some points towards (??? 16:11), so we’ll also probably have that kind of flexibility in the system.

Jill: So there’s lots of exciting things to come that I think are going to make our community much more active and more fun.

Steve: Well yeah and we want people to…we want to hear people’s voices in their own language.

Now, one thing that’s unfair, you know, this morning I was on a discussion and we had two people from Japan, one person from France and one person who lives in the states, but who is originally from Serbia.

Now there are far more people who want to learn Japanese and French then want to learn Serbian, so the system could be a little bit unfair to people who speak a language that there aren’t too many, you know, potential students for.

Jill: Yeah, but it’s not just…like I said, it will be also people who are active on the system who will have a chance to earn points.

I mean, unfortunately, we can’t really do anything about the popularity of languages, so.

Steve: No, although you know, we’ll look at different ways.

It may be that the people who speak, you know, these less, you know, Finnish for example.

I don’t know that there are a lot of people studying Finnish, but there are some.

But, you know, those people might also find resources for us.

Jill: That’s right.

Steve: You know, they might find a good source of say podcast with transcript in English or in Spanish or Chinese and so, you know, there might be other ways that we can reward them.

Jill: Right.

Steve: And, of course, ultimately if they think it’s not fair then they can use all their points in the month and then it won’t be a problem for them.

Jill: Exactly, so I mean, that’s the best option is use your points. We want people to use their points.

Steve: Exactly. Alright, now, I think the party, the Friday afternoon…

Jill: …it’s winding down; it’s winding down.

Steve: Well, what do you mean it’s winding down?

You still got a few hours to go here, but, of course, just to finish off there is that term TGIF.

You know, we have a very austere office.

Everybody who works for K.P.

Wood or The Linguist, I mean, they are all very serious people and not allowed to laugh on company time.

They are fined for laughing on company time.

There is no yawning on company time.

Jill: Yeah, you rule with an iron fist, don’t you?

Steve: Absolutely. No yawning, no scratching…

Jill: …no smiling, no laughing, no talking, no fun.

Steve: But in other places they have the TGIF parties every Friday.

Like from 2 o’clock onward it’s Thank God It’s Friday, TGIF, Thank God It’s Friday and not much work gets done on Friday, but we don’t do that.

Jill: No, no, we don’t actually, unfortunately.

We should institute that policy I think.

Steve: Alright, something to look forward to.

Okay Jill, I’ll let you get back to the party.

Jill: Alright, have a good weekend.

Steve: Thank you.

Yeah, okay, thank you.

Jill: Bye, bye.

Steve: Bye, bye.

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