What is good grief – TroubleinthepeaceS

Anatole France, in his book Le Livre de mon Ami, writes that the older he gets, the more often he recalls the back-to-school days of his childhood years.

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I think of the passage he wrote about going back to school after the summer months that were used as a rote lesson in the first grade of high school half a century ago still fresh in my memory… Memorized lesson in French after half a century century has become a passage in Vietnamese in my mind for a while. It’s not verbatim French anymore…

Je vais vous dire ce que me rappellent, tous les ans, le ciel agité de l’automne, les premiers diners à la lampe, et les feuilles qui jaunissent dans les arbres qui frissonnent; je vais vous dire ce que je vois quand je traverse le Luxembourg dans les premiers jours d’octobre, alors qu’il est un peu triste et plus beau que jamais , car c’est le temps ou` les feuilles tombent une à une sur les blanches epiaules des statues…

I will tell you what I remember every year when the sky is full of autumn, the first dinners under the lights and the yellow leaves on the branches tremble; I will tell you about what I saw when I passed by Luc Xam Bao garden in the first days of October, it was a bit sad but more beautiful than ever because that was when the leaves were falling one by one. down the white shoulders of the statues… What I saw then in the garden, was a little boy, his hands in his pockets, his schoolbag on his back, on his way to school, his feet jumping like a sparrow. . Only in my mind can I see him, because that boy is a shadow, a shadow of myself 25 years ago… The boy walks fast, the schoolbag on his back and the spinning top in his pocket. The idea of ​​seeing his friends again cheered him up. There is so much to say and to hear…

Anatole France recalls the image of 25 years ago. If the boy was 9 or 10 years old then, when he sat down to write the above lines, the author Anatole France was about 30 years old.

As for me, when I think back to that 10-year-old boy, I’m twice the age of Anatole France.

We all have opening days in our lives. But there is still only one school day we remember the most. Not all school days. But there is only one most memorable day of school

That day was not the opening day of Thanh Tinh’s school. The first day of school, as Thanh Tinh writes, is the first day of school, full of worries and fears of the child when his mother takes him to school. The first desk in the class. The name of the little friend sitting next to him is strange, easier to hate than his younger brother at home. The little brother then suddenly became more adorable than ever. The teacher looked strangely fierce. Outside the window, the mother disappeared at the end of the street, behind the wall of the school.

Sitting back in class, I just wanted to cry and ask to go home. Definitely don’t want to go to school anymore.

My mother lovingly held my hand… The late autumn sky, silvery clouds, fallen leaves on the street… my heart fluttered about the memories of the first day of school. Not the first day of school. Never been to school how to say back to school…

But two or three times after returning to school, the first day back to class was much more exciting.

Just like Anatole France has a gyro in its pocket. The briefcase is worn on the back. The gyroscope in the bag is the main one. The rope for spinning the gyroscope was in the other pocket of his pants until it was time to play before pulling it out. The multiplication table has been memorized. The division calculations, remembering, were also taught by her mother during the summer months. The puzzles of animals, faucets, slugs climbing up from the well, stopping at night to rest until they reach the mouth of the well … are carefully taught to prepare for the new class. There’s nothing to worry about anymore. The only concern is whether the teacher or teacher will teach the new class, will it be as fierce as the friends threatened, or whether the two guys sitting next to it will be kind. Those are the biggest concerns after the gyroscope in the pocket…

The days after school were nothing short of memorable.

It’s the last summer in Hanoi, the sunny afternoons escape to the Temple of Literature to catch the dragonflies, the chili dragonflies, the damselflies… Dragonflies can fly with wings, and a thief puts his hand out. catch you, the pages of De Amicis’s Noble Souls translated by Ha Mai Anh, An Di, Phan Tin, teacher Dan Cat Tien … read passionately in the attic, the calls of little friends drooping down to play. marbles, the side coins are carefully sharpened to knock off the wall, in the mornings sitting behind the car the father goes to Nghi Tam, stops at the yard of Tran Quoc pagoda, there is a statue of a guardian man who looks terrible in the cool mist, turns down. The zoo, the bread bought in the car next to Nung mountain is so delicious, and then, the midnight trip from Hanoi to Saigon and another day of school with so many new things at the elementary school near House…

The notebooks depicting the Olympic athlete, the steel-green bamboo-leaf pen nib, the Staedler crayons scented with pine, the last bottle of purple ink of the school days, certain to return in a few years. The school is located between Sinh Tu and Hang Day streets…

From the classroom that hung a photo of the President of the Republic of Vietnam, to the class that hung the picture of President Ngo and the changes that followed, the opening days of school were no longer exciting.

And now, the opening day here is even more different. The grandchildren in the back pack have iPads and laptops of quick hands on the keyboard that are completely different from the first day of school more than half a century ago when the boy turned 10 near Quoc Tu Giam, Hanoi. . Instead, there are pictures of little nieces, new clothes, piles of books on their backs, waiting for the bus to go to school…

The opening day of school today is far different from the opening date of the middle of the last century.

September 7, 2011

my friend,

A children’s coloring book called We Shall Never Forget 9/11 was released just two or three weeks ago when it was fiercely attacked by an Islamic organization in the US.

The book, published by a publisher in Missouri, had a clear purpose. Not just for children to color, but to teach children born after 9/11 about the terrible events that have befallen the United States, affecting the lives of billions of people around the world.


The book depicts scenes of two buildings of the World Trade Center in Manhattan burning after being rammed by two terrorist planes, along with drawings of Osama Bin Laden and the hijackers. The last page shows Osama being shot dead by US commandos while hiding behind a woman wearing a niqab in a house in Pakistan.

It was the drawing on the last page that provoked an outcry from an organization called the American Council of Muslim Liaisons. Below the drawing is a paragraph that says these terrorist activities are carried out by the hands of Muslim extremists who hate the American way of life because our society is a free society. freedom and the American people are the beneficiaries of liberty.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations objected to the words used in the book, the words “radical Islamic Muslim” meaning radical Islamic elements. According to this Islamic organization, the words “radical Islamic Muslim” are used 10 times in all of the book. That detail offends all Muslims, according to the aforementioned Muslim organization.

Based on the available evidence, none of the plane hijackers in the 9/11 terrorist series were Buddhists or Christians. All are followers of Islam.

So what’s wrong with calling them Muslim?

In addition, all are clearly labeled as extremists, extremists. Without the word “radical” going in front of it, it can be said that the publisher has taken all the action and blamed all the Muslims. By the way, the book clearly states that these are “radical” elements, not all Muslims, a religion that Muslims say is very peaceful, only advocating killing all people. non-Muslim, non-Muslims they call infidels.

Writing words like the above to accompany the pages of such coloring books is too careful. The painting of Osama Bin Laden hiding behind a woman in a niqab has been criticized for presenting a different image of Islam. Where is not beautiful? In the place where Osama Bin Laden is depicted wearing a Muslim man’s shirt and a woman wearing a niqab? If they don’t let them wear those things, how should their clothes be? Or do they both have to wear robes, the clothes of Buddhist monks, to avoid mentioning the details that they are Muslims?

Why is that difficult?

Letting Muslim dressing also protest. It is forbidden to wear clothes that cover up from head to tail like in France. Why is it that in France, people want to wear a niqab, hijab, and chador, but in the US, a coloring book that depicts the scene where Osama Bin Laden was shot wearing full Muslim clothes is opposed?

So what should a children’s coloring book about 9/11 be like? There must be drawings of Osama Bin Laden with a holy face like an angel, surrounded by children prostrating in front of him praising Osama’s compassion, roughly:

White man’s shirt in the middle of pink cloudsHis eyes were kind, his mouth smiling…

Can not. There’s no other poet who makes verses like that anymore, so I had to subtitle a few sentences that upset the Muslims of that organization.

The guy who made these two rotten verses is already dead. It was Uncle To Huu who wrote to praise Stalin, but no other dog.




(Lesson 113)


The translation is done by Quynh Anh. Lesson 113 will be broadcast on Soul Viet Television in December 2011.


This is an English in Daily Life program managed by Bui Bao Truc. Welcome to Bui Bao Truc, Truc Giang and Quynh Anh.

The English in Daily Life program comes to you weekly to review some English-related things that you encounter in your life. If you have any questions, please contact Soul Viet TV to have it transferred.


Dear uncle, my daughter, 7 years old this year, right before going to school, I don’t know where to study, she kept saying WOW and WOW all day. Now he has gone to school, and almost every day, he has new words to bring home to tell the whole family. Actually, the new languages ​​he learns at school aren’t obscene ones either, but I’m surprised that he learns so quickly and learns so much.


The fact that her daughter graduated from school and learned new languages ​​was not a concern. Even if it learns obscenities. It’s a common occurrence in language development. Sure, it could have known more than that, but it knew how to self-censor so it wouldn’t be used at home. So what does Truc Giang want to ask?


I don’t know what GEE WHIZ is, so I want to ask you to explain.


Yes, sir, please explain the WOW word that QA often hears too.


WOW! This is a voice used for exclamation, in English called EXCLAMATORY WORDS. English learners should also know some of these languages. Maybe I’m speaking English or American, and suddenly someone stepped on my foot and cried out UI GIA! IT HURTS… well… weird.

There’s a TV announcer here, speaking Vietnamese from start to finish but every once in a while WOW! one, sounds great.

These exclamations when used, must know how to express them to make sense. No one speaks in a monotone, neither rising nor falling… ouch… it hurts… What’s the point of complaining like that! It’s like saying ui gia… it hurts… I have to scream OUCH! IT HURT MAN!


WOW is used in situations of joy as well as sadness, anger and joy, often in the face of things that can be surprising or frightening, good or bad. Seeing the neighbor driving a new car, watching his son bring home his school prize, hearing a friend win the lottery, reading that Mr. Obama bought his wife a new shirt at K-Mart…we can all WOW! one and then mention the details just mentioned above.

What about GEE! or GEE WHIZ! It’s a little bit different. In Christianity, in the 3rd commandment it is said not to call out God’s name for no reason. So, instead of saying JESUS! or CHRIST! they say camp out into GEE! or GEE WHIZ! as well as some people say Jesus, my God! in Vietnamese.

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So sir, how to say it right… OH MY GOD! or OH MY GOSH!


Both are correct. Say GOSH to avoid using GOD. People also abbreviate to OMG while writing e-mails or sending texts to each other.



I also heard DANG! What does this word mean?


DANG or sometimes DARN is the language to use instead of DAMN, which is considered obscene. DANG or DARN can be used before an adjective for a stronger meaning. For example, by saying HE IS A GOOD STUDENT, one can also say HE IS A DANG GOOD STUDENT or HE IS A DARN GOOD STUDENT. Sometimes people let it stand alone like when hammering a nail and aiming your finger with a hammer, at least you have to scream DANG! MY FINGER…


On the weekend, standing in the kitchen, QA heard his son hammer the hammer in his hand and shouted, sounding a little different, it’s SHOOT! I HIT MY FINGER! So what is SHOOT sir?


SHOOT is to replace another word that is more vulgar, meaning waste in the body. But at home, his grandson didn’t dare to splash in front of his mother. That word almost sounds like a bed sheet. The difference is that one letter has a long “I” sound, the other has a short “I” sound.

In the past, I mentioned the word OUCH as OUCH or OMG to scream for… less pain. But OOPS is different. This word is used when you make a mistake, or accidentally use your hand, foot, or mouth. For example say OOPS! I JUST BROKE IT…


Can use OH NO! to replace OOPS! no sir?


Okay, but that’s in case something unfortunate happens, we’re sorry, we don’t want it to happen. OH NO! I FORGOT TO BRING YOU THE BOOK AGAIN… OH NO! IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY TODAY… I DID NOT KNOW THAT…

Also this word I also want you to know… It’s YIPPIE or HURRAH to use in happy situations like YIPPIE! WE WON THE LOTTERY, OR HURRAH! OUR TEAM SCORE ANOTHER GOAL… HURRAH can be understood as HOHO in Vietnamese HIP HIP HOORAY! or HIP HIP HURRAY! so is it. Like when our sports team just scored a goal like the one above. When I was a kid, I used to hear this saying too: LITTLE or HAPPINESS… THINKING CHICKEN is the same as cheering but a little bit of a parade. The pullet hen is included in this sentence to rhyme with the HIP HO above. The other words are BRAVO, or BINGO too.

BRAVO is usually preceded by a funny story. Like BRAVO! WE COME TO THE AIRPORT ON TIME!

BINGO is used to introduce a surprise, something that can be surprising but is often a pleasant surprise rather than a bad surprise. For example, I lost my keys, searched everywhere all morning and couldn’t find them, then while I was tossing a load of clothes into the washing machine, I suddenly heard a clack, and when I looked back, BINGO! THE KEYS FELL OUT FROM THE SHIRT POCKET.


A character from the Peanuts graphic novel series is the bilingual Charlie Brown GOOD GRIEF! So what is GOOD GRIEF sir?


Charlie Brown used those two words to lament whenever something bad happened, like when the kite got caught in a tree branch, or when Lucy Van Pelt tricked him into letting Charlie Brown miss the ball, or when Charlie Brown swept the leaves. neatly in the corner of the garden, the dog Snoopy jumped in and made a mess of the leaves in the garden. GRIEF literally means sadness caused by a great loss. But GOOD GRIEF is just a word to say that it’s so frustrating, so boring. People say GOOD because they want to abstain from using the word GOD as we said above.

Speaking of Charlie Brown, there is another character that is also loved by many people, Steve Irwin, an Australian crocodile hunter (CROCODILE HUNTER). Steve Irwin used to say CRICKEY! This word is in Australian, dating from the end of the 19th century. At that time, people spoke more kindly than now. If they didn’t open their mouths, they would swear all the time. CRICKEY has no meaning at all, it is only used to replace CHRIST, so as not to call out God’s name like the 3rd commandment said. CRICKEY is considered a lingua franca in Australia. Has OKEY DOKEY answered all of your questions yet?


Teacher yet. Because the two words I just said QA want to know what it means.


OKEY DOKEY just means OKAY. Add DOKEY to make it rhyme. As well as the two letters RIGHT O! which I hear a lot in Australia and New Zealand is just RIGHT. RIGHT or RIGHT O is used to express agreement, which is equivalent to what we say in Vietnamese… RIGHT O THEN, LET’S CHANGE THE SUBJECT…


One day when I went to the market, I went to look for some steak to make barbecue, I asked an employee in the market: WHERE’S THE BEEF? I didn’t expect my question to have a different meaning, causing the employee to laugh and then show me the way to the beef stall. Sir, does my question mean anything other than the one I used to inquire about the butcher stall?


WHERE’S THE BEEF is the origin of the hamburger company Wendy’s used to advertise for their hamburger back in 1984. The ad uses three elderly women holding a hamburger with a large, but opened, sandwich. Beef is very small. A big question asked WHERE’S THE BEEF? The idea of ​​skewering refers to hamburgers from other companies, the sandwich is big, the steak is too small. The saying immediately became a well-known one, in the US as well as in Canada. But a few months later, that sentence no longer just means where is the beef, but it has another meaning of where is the real problem? What is the core, important part? For example, when Mr. Mondale ran for president, asked candidate Gary Hart that when he heard Mr. Hart talk about the program, Mr. Mondale just wanted to ask Mr. Gary Hart if WHERE’S THE BEEF? It means that Mr. Gary Hart’s program has nothing to say, no reality, no substance.


Sir, why not ask WHAT’S THE BEEF? What is the important issue? What is the core?


Miss QA asked an interesting question. Please answer that it is not possible to ask that, because WHAT’S THE BEEF? has a completely different meaning. WHAT’S THE BEEF? What is your complaint, your frustration, your displeasure? The father saw his son grumbling and said STOP BEEFING! That means no more complaining.


Sir, is the mantra you just taught an idiom? Or is it a proverb?


Not an idiom but not a proverb. English calls it CATCH PHRASE, a saying that is repeated, used many times and becomes widely popular, but sometimes the meaning is changed completely, no longer keeping the original meaning.

For example, the sentence GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY, for example. This is what Clint Eastwood as Detective Harry Callahan said in the movie Sudden Impact to a robber when he was about to shoot a hostage during a robbery at a restaurant. GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY means just do it (just shoot the hostages), let me have a good day (because I’ll shoot you to death), just go against my will, I’ll be so happy because there reason to punish him…

Then, President Reagan used this sentence to tease Congress that if it wanted to, it could oppose him by rejecting the bill he passed, and he would take measures to deal with it. Such sentences CATCH PHRASES are quite a lot in daily activities. Another CATCH PHRASE sentence is STAND BY YOUR MAN, the title of a song by Tammy Wynette that Clinton used but was backfired because it was considered a line that despises women.


Ladies and gentlemen, the program English in Daily Life of Soul Viet Television comes to an end here. The program will return to the screen of Soul Viet Television in the next lesson. Welcome to Bui Bao Truc, Truc Giang and Quynh Anh.



For a time, about 1967, 1968, the evenings, after sitting with X. and some friends in La Pagode, almost always the song came back to me when I left.

The evenings were not quite late, but the city’s air was cool. After the afternoon rain, raindrops were still on the car. The leaves of the tamarind trees on both sides of the road stick on the glass. The car’s lights are not enough to illuminate the dark road.

…Farewell to the sunset in your eyesI search for streets without lights Early autumn wind has a taste of a little scent when I first met…

The song One Voice of You by Dinh Hung that Nguyen Hien popularized as Da Huong Hair is back. The song’s voice belongs to Le Thu.

That song I first heard in my senior year of high school, The First Love Song in her contralto voice.

On my trip out of Vietnam in 1962, I brought with me a small tape containing a single song with Le Thu’s voice. I listened to that tape for several years during my time in that room on campus until the tape broke.

It was not until I returned to Vietnam a few years later that I heard Le Thu’s voice again.

Short hair, beautiful long dresses at the Ritz, at Queen Bee, and at Tu Do help to renew Ngai Ngai, Then Mai I Take You, Ha Trang… and give these songs new lives even though they have been lost. many people sing them.

Le Thu was the first to sing some of Trinh Cong Son’s songs. Few people know that detail.

But Le Thu’s voice did not stay long or only with one musician. Le Thu sang Doan Chuan music, then Le Thu sang Cung Tien, Pham Duy, Nguyen Anh 9 … and many other musicians.

Cung Tien’s Hoai Cam song is one of her best songs. Is it because Cung Tien dedicated this song to Le Thu in the album printed in Saigon in 1974 that Le Thu sings better than other voices singing the same song?

In fact, if it is difficult to find the perfections of the voice, people still find the faux in Le Thu’s voice. Le Thu’s voice is full but not long. Some notes are too high to not play. But listeners Le Thu accepted and loved those little faux ones.

Around the mid-60s, Le Thu found for her voice the songs that she sang better than many other singers. That voice reached its peak and was most popular around the late 60s, through the early 70s.

The stage name Le Thu chose for herself also pulls songs with breath, images of autumn, the most beautiful and saddest season of the year to her voice.

That voice when singing those songs naturally sounded like sad sobs. The most obvious is when Le Thu sings Truong Sa’s song Xin Still Calling Each Other’s Names.

Le Thu still retains the voice that I first heard decades ago.

There are still very hot days in early September in California. But autumn has begun, has begun again from the north and is spreading slowly down to the south.

Le Thu’s music program on September 17 has been named by her as Afternoon Nhac Thu. But called Music Afternoon Autumn, or Thu, Music Afternoon are still appropriate names for a program for music listeners to hear the voice that has been with music for nearly half a century.

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That voice will remain forever in the afternoons when the old incense burner is lit, the guitar is re-matched with loose strings, even if it is the future..


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