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Searching for Movie English - the Chifforobe

 
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:51 am    Post subject: Searching for Movie English - the Chifforobe Reply with quote

In the end, I'll tell you about an intriguing web site, but
first, I'll tell you how I found it.

It started with a stray thought, out of nowhere:
In the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, what was it that
Mayella wanted tom Robinson to "break up"?
I've wondered about it for years, but was finally in
a position to act.

Google is great, but I didn't know the name of the thing
I was searching for, and didn''t really know the names
of the characters. I figured "break up" and "To Kill a
Mockingbird" as search terms would find it right away.
Instead I found thousands of student essays writing
about breaking up the monotony (I don't remember,
was the book that monotonous?).

Since that didn't work, I tried casts, then found characters
(thanks, IMDB), then quotes.

Well it was a "chifforobe". As far as I can tell it is a piece
of furniture along the lines of an armoir. A southern
expression. As far as the story line goes, I have to assume
it was another indicator of the poverty of the character,
Mayella, breaking up furniture for firewood. And it was "bust up",
which explains why my first search failed.

Sometimes when you reach the end of a journey, you find
more than just the thing you sought, sometimes where you
find the thing is more important than the thing itself.
In this case, it would be hard to be otherwise, given the
offhand nature of the original goal. Still,
http://www.eslnotes.com was full of a lot of great material
from my point of view. Only a few dozen movies are reviewed,
and the formatting is haphazard, but they include a section:
Some Words and Expressions that You may not Know.

Where better to fill in gaps of things you should know about
English as a first language, than from material designed to make
English understandable for a non-English speaker?
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