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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Coping with English    

Coping with English



almaz
United Kingdom

Coping with English
 
Apparently, a petition signed by thousands of French students who complained that they didn�t recognise the word �coping� in one of the questions of this year�s English comprehension section of the baccalaur�at has gone viral and tickled the British media:
 
 
The question related to an extract from Ian McEwan�s Atonement and asked how the protagonist was "coping with the situation". I checked around and it�s generally agreed that �coping� in this context is not particularly uncommon in English (the petition�s instigator whined insisted that it was "un mot peu courant").
 
Is it just this year�s crop of 17-year-old French students who have a problem with the word �coping� or is there a genuine issue with the frequency of this particular word among other non-native speakers? The bac English exam requires a level of �medium fluency�, if I recall � though I�m willing to be put straight on that. 

25 Jun 2015      





s.lefevre
Brazil

Really funny. Those French students discovered how to cope with their bad language skills. They protested!!!!!!!!!!!
If I knew that one could protest when not knowing something, I would have protested about each Math Exam.

25 Jun 2015     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

cope with is definitely within the pre-intermediate/intermediate range (supposedly the level of school leavers) so what �s the hassle all about anyway?
 
@ Alex aka Almaz: In our ZNO in English (a school leavers � exam by External Indepedent Evaluation Centre, something like A Levels in Britain) there was a task on which I would like to know your opinion.
 
In the text about jeans:
In the 1850s, when Levi Strauss ran out of tent canvas for the pants he was selling to California gold miners, he imported a tough material from Nomes in France called serge de Nomes.(40) _______________ ,de Nomes became �denim�.
 
A - Americanizing
B - Having Americanized
C - Americanized
D - to be americanized
 
The correct variant is obviously C, but a lot of students (really smart ones) chose B. (If the word Americanized wasn �t capitalized in B (I stand corrected - it�s always capitalized)) Could it have been a legitimate choice as well? 

25 Jun 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

Thanks, Silvia. That was more or less my response too when I read about it, but, hell...  �\__/�
 
Sophia (aka ueslteacher): Yes, exactly; the Oxford English Corpus shows that it �s as frequent as words like cream, alarm, superior and weird; and you �ll find it in the New General Service List (which " represents the most important high frequency words" for second language learners of English) nestling between �external � and �emphasis � (hardly rarely-used words). Ironically, the English word cope comes from the French...
 
Regarding the question about Americanized (it �s usually capped, by the way), the verb is both transitive and intransitive � although the latter is less common. If you accept answer C (transitive) as the passive form with �having been � (or something along those lines) understood, you �ll see that answer B (intransitive) doesn �t really make sense: it would be a bit of a stretch � no pun intended �  for serge de N�mes to Americanize itself.

25 Jun 2015     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

Thank you Alex!
Got it! 

25 Jun 2015     



yanogator
United States

I agree with Alex on the Americanized question.

Bruce
 

25 Jun 2015     



evinches
France

 Hello everyone!
 
I just felt I had to react to this. I �ve lived in the south of France, near NIMES for about 30 years now and I often wear denims!
 
There is a mistake in the spelling of the city in the south of France famous for the origin of DENIM and for it �s beautiful Roman monuments ....
 
There is quite a bit of controversy about the origins in fact but not about the spelling of Nîmes!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeans 
 
 
In the 1850s, when Levi Strauss ran out of tent canvas for the pants he was selling to California gold miners, he imported a tough material from Nomes in France called serge de Nomes.(40) _______________ ,de Nomes became “denim”.
 
Wishing you all a happy weekend,
Esther 

26 Jun 2015     



ueslteacher
Ukraine

@ Esther: Thank you for your clarification! I just copied from the original task which they had obviously copied from somewhere else without even checking against the wikipedia:)

26 Jun 2015