Salty water covers much of the earth’s surface, and salt has been a part of the diet of humans since time immemorial. So why wouldn’t the word “salt” find its way into the world of English idioms?
When should one use the adjective “marine” and not “maritime” or “nautical”? This is a tricky question. All three words are connected with the sea and often applied interchangeably without people noticing the difference.
It should not matter whether one uses “female” or “woman” as an adjective for a ship captain or some other person. Both are grammatically correct. But in this age of political correctness and fragile sensitivities, some rabid feminists may object to the use of “female”…
British English has a certain flavour that can make it quite pleasant to hear. The plural noun “docks”, for example, means the man-made structures for the mooring and loading/unloading of boats and ships. But when Brits say “I’m going down to the docks,” they refer to the area of water where the docks (quay walls, piers or wharves) are located and the offices and warehouses around them.
Bay or harbour? These two terms can be a source of confusion for writers and even for some mariners. Official names help to some extent — e.g., “New York Harbor” and “Manila Bay”. But one may well ask: what is the crucial difference between the two given that ships regularly come in and out of both places?
The APA (Amercian Pschological Association) Dictionary of Psychology defines empathy as “understanding a person from his or her frame of reference rather than one’s own, or vicariously experiencing that person’s feelings, perceptions, and thoughts.” Clearly, there should be empathy if seafarers are to be treated more kindly by those who profit from them. So why is this word not used more often by advocates of seafarers’ rights?
A candid writer should not expect to be popular with those who wield some power and influence in the shipping world. On the contrary, he should prepare himself to be despised or, worse, ignored. This much I have learned in the 13 years that Marine Café Blog has been in existence.
Seafarers who want to hone their English skills would do well to learn and use more idioms in their daily life. Idioms are useful tools for facilitating communication. They can also give a good impression of the seafarer to senior officers and management.
It has been 17 years since the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) made its inspection visit to Turkey — the first of many it would conduct to verify compliace with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Yet, many still have a foggy idea about the real nature and goal of these inspections.
There are three reasons why seafarers and other maritime professionals should learn to use idioms more often. First, they enable one to express an idea concisely and avoid being verbose. Second, they enrich one’s vocabulary. Third, and not the least important, they add a bit of flavour to everyday conversation.
Slogans are indispensable in any campaign. They are intended to drive home an important message and goad people into action. To achieve this end, the slogan has to be catchy and original, not clichéd. Alas, some maritime campaign slogans are dull and unimaginative.
There are certain words and phrases that one does not get to read in the maritime press. They are not polite to use, to say the least. Yet, they aptly describe some folks in the shipping community. It is language that goes beyond appearances and indicates who an individual really is, not what he or she purports to be. Take the following for instance: