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Free-for-all: just my today's homework :)



 
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
Use the expression "most probably" | Expression: Perfectly well
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Free-for-all: just my today's homework :) #1 (permalink) Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:29 pm   Free-for-all: just my today's homework :)
 

Hi

I'm not sure and don’t actually know whether is there a suitable place to ask you (cheeky :) ) to check my homework. :)
But…

Below is a piece of quick (up to 15 minutes) free-style writing on 'junk mail' topic :)
With a dictionary :)

Main point of this particular exercise is:
1. Free-for-all – what does this phrase mean? Can you think of another meaning other than the literal translation?

---
Junk mail free-for-all: Gratis versus Libre? :)

Well, the expression free-for-all is actually ambiguous.

On the one hand, the word free is doubly attractive to people, as it relates to liberty/freedom, that is the thing we’re all (more or less) lack of, and to gratis that means 'free of charge'.

On the other hand, each time when you got something unwanted that is clamed to be 'for free', you have the full rights to consider it as a violent act that breaks your own freedom.

Another unpleasant meaning of free-for-all is 'ordinary' or even 'of(?) low quality'.
Most people like to think of themselves as the very special person :) and normally want to have some exceptional, exclusive offers. This kind of human’s 'inferiority complex' is the main reason why all those persuasive phrases, like 'Special offer', 'Only for you', 'The best', and 'Exclusive' are even more attractive for most people than just 'Even cheaper!' and 'Great discount!' :)

Last but not least, most of us perhaps know very well and from own experience that the lion's share of what free-for-all posts actually offer is (are?) very like to that 'free lunch' from the (a?) classic proverb that is, in fact, just a crafty hook to force us to pay further - and probably, even twice as much! Free cheese in a mousetrap. Lucrative mailshot business, aiming to you… among the multitude…

I suppose that quite many people would definitely prefer to take their own choice, opt out unwanted posts and generally take their stand on the attitude like 'Be sure in your own free choice and pay the price for what you actually want.'
---

Note to moderators: sorry my choice of the forum's section... I don’t mind if you move the topic to a more suitable place, at your own choice :)
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Tamara
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Free-for-all: just my today's homework :) #2 (permalink) Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:57 pm   Free-for-all: just my today's homework :)
 

Hi Tamara

A few preliminary thoughts...

You've dissected the word free-for-all in a very interesting way, but what you've written leads me to believe that you don't really understand the word.

The word free-for-all is quite well-known and I understand it to be a sort of massive brawl or a wildly chaotic competition in which (too) many people are involved and in which there are either no rules or no rules are being observed.

As I see it the key ideas in this word are massive participation and wildly chaotic.

I wouldn't normally say "free-for-all" posts or "free-for-all mail"...

You could talk about the internet as being a sort of free-for-all. Everybody and their brother is allowed to participate, in any practically any way they like, and rules of conduct which would elsewhere be followed are frequently simply ignored. It's hard to distinguish what's "on the level", what's fraudulent, what's good, what's bad, etc....

Amy
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Free-for-all: just my today's homework :) #3 (permalink) Sat Oct 28, 2006 13:05 pm   Free-for-all: just my today's homework :)
 

Amy, sorry my negligence, I didn’t mention that I have a number (12 :( ) of different exercises to do – and they all are (should be) based on the particular article that is named 'Junk mail free for all'.

It discusses the current strategy of the Royal Mail (that want to be competitive and deliver 'unaddressed' mail - on the one hand, but have many complaints about junk mail 'just-rubbish' deliverance, on the other.

So, generally, you're obviously right.

This was just the first my shot… :( (aimed to "another meaning other than..."...)

OK.

Thank you for your thoughts!
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Tamara
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Joined: 25 May 2006
Posts: 1577
Location: UK

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