🇺🇸 Learn English the Hard Way with “Timequake”

Chances are you are looking for improving your English language comprehension through reading books.

I know the drill. Take me right to the sentences.

Feel like upping your game and start catching the slightest subtleties of English?

Look no further.

However, there is a catch.


Who is this article intended for?

For English language learners, as they, all too often, tend to skip a lot of subtleties while reading books / reading stories / reading comics / watching movies /watching game movies, thus slowing down and negating their language progress. I

The catch has to do with the “THE HARD WAY” of learning English, right?

I can’t promise improving your English through this article will be easy, but I promise it will be worth it, provided you work through ALL THE SENTENCES down below. And by the way, to make it even more challenging for you, no answers are given and you are to find them on your own. There’s a reason this article is called “Learn English the Hard Way”, don’t you think?

Still no clue what I’m supposed to do…

If you’re still not really sure what’s going on here, I highly recommend you read the description of “Learn English the Hard Way” challenge.

russia-flag Для чего эта статья и что нужно здесь делать?

По своему опыту могу сказать, что когда в освоении английского приходишь на всё готовенькое, то интеллектуально расслабляешься и не особо вникаешь в детали и тонкости языка.

А вот когда, мы “пропускаем язык через себя”…

  1. внимательное чтение книг, просмотр фильмов, т.д… не знаем, что то или то означает, почему так написано, вообще не догоняем, что происходит, значит отмечаем находку
  2. анализ “любопытных” предложений, конструкций, выражений (грамматика и прагматика наши лучшие друзья)
  3. прогонка проработанного материала через правое полушарие
  4. задействование “освоенных” предложений, конструкций, выражений на письме, в устной речи (идеально, с носителями языка)
    …то результаты будут совершенно иными, нежели чем “со всем готовеньким”.

А именно, выработка силы воли, языковой интуиции, внимательности, любопытства и реальное улучшение навыка английского языка.

Ниже представлены предложения, которые заинтриговали меня при прочтении книги / прочтении рассказа / прочтении комикса / просмотре фильма / просмотре игрофильма. То есть, я сделал первый пункт из четырех выше и поделился результатами с Вами. За Вами остаются остальные три.


If you feel like up to the challenge, then below is my list of the cherry-picked sentences with curious grammar and vocabulary findings from the book “Timequake”.

Study hard!

So it is not one whit mysterious that we poison the water and air and topsoil

A great American university gives up football in the name of sanity. It turns its vacant stadium into a bomb factory. So much for sanity. Shades of Kilgore Trout.

Anything interesting happen at work today, Honey-bunch?

My bomb is going to work just great.

He was exiled from Moscow to a whistlestop on the permafrost.

More heartening to me than Sakharov’s cockamamie exhortation was the behavior of firemen in Schenectady

He said without a scintilla of regret,

in which he apologized didactically for having had a much nicer life than normal

Their appetites for diversions from boredom were perfectly satisfied by all the crap Nim-nim was selling them. Why not? What the heck.

But our brains are big enough to let us adapt to the inevitable pratfalls and buffoonery

I grant you,” said Trout, “that some of the ideas in the apple had catastrophic side effects for a minority of those who tried them.”

booze recipes have played a deleterious part in the lives and deaths of many great American writers

“All four of your ink-on-paper heroes were certifiable alcoholics!”

Acculturated persons are those who find that they are no longer treated as the sort of people they thought they were

Dillinger wasn’t a simpering, sly swindler. He was an athlete.

“Why is it so important that we all be humiliated, with such ingenuity and at such great expense? We never thought we were such hot stuff in the first place.”

The Museum of the American Indian had moved the detritus of overwhelmed aborigines

by replacing the wooden front door with half-inch steel armorplate, fitted with a whoozit, or peephole, which could also be closed and locked

The staff had done the garish artwork

Universe canceled the family reunion, for the nonce at least.

She could get the piss sued out of her for doing that to a student nowadays. But then was then, and now is now.

Your whole problem is you think you matter! Get over that, or sashay your stuck-up butt the hell out of here!

I don’t write literature. Literature is all those la-di-da monkeys next door care about

Those artsy-fartsy twerps next door create living, breathing, three-dimensional characters with ink on paper

and economies that make heroes and heroines alike feel like something the cat drug in

“Bunker Bingo Party,” was a roman à clef

I hired my friend Ted Adler, a skilled man-of-all-work my age

When I myself am dead, God forbid, I hope some wag will say about me, “He’s up in Heaven now.”

Dave and his buddy skedaddled away from there

rich and powerful Indianapolis family would be allowed to marry a woman whose family didn’t have a pot to piss in

Dumb? You want to talk dumb? The people in one of the halves were so dumb, they didn’t have an alphabet!

and no more worthy of his respect than wars or economic collapses or plagues, or tidal waves, or TV stars, or what you will.

tests which pit the testees against the Joe and Jane Sixpacks, against the Lumpenproletariat.

half from people so stupid you couldn’t believe it, half from people so smart you couldn’t believe it.

Calling Dr. Fleon Sunoco! Sharpen your microtome. Do we ever have a brain for you!

Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way.

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

No matter how awful a supper was, though, the hunters pronounced it lip-smacking delicious, clapping Father on the back and so on.

I don’t think I missed the boat when I failed to write a novel about Albert Lieber

So he sent me some black-and-white Xeroxes of his squiggly miniatures, mostly dendritic forms, maybe trees or shrubs, maybe mushrooms or umbrellas full of holes, but really quite interesting. Like my ballroom dancing, they were acceptable

Joe’s studio looks like something out of the Middle Ages.

What Kilgore Trout did with that cigar was scrooch it out in the saucer

Nothing would do, then, but that the Trout family, when little Kilgore was nine, spend the summer of 1926 camped on the shore of Disappointment Lake in inland Nova Scotia.

in wide-brimmed hats draped with gauze, to protect their heads and necks, no matter how hellishly hot the weather

camera and tripod to the marshy campsite while harnessed to a travois

Was Dr. Trout ever in for a surprise, though!

it was a particularly elegant commentary on the patriotism and nice-nellyism during the deliberately insane Vietnam War

who called themselves, hey presto, Communists, just as Hitler called himself, hey presto, a Christian.

It was triage, such as Kilgore Trout had seen practiced on World War Two battlefields

They don’t have to get a bankable actor or actress to commit to the project

said within my hearing, and apropos of nothing more than that day’s theatrical performance and the setting sun: “I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”

who in print found humiliation and pain so delectable at the end of the previous century

I got a sappy letter from a woman a while back.

When his son Terry had cancer of the throat, Bernie, ever the experimentalist, prayed for his recovery

I don’t think he ever forgave me, although all I intended was that he be tickled pink.

Wow, it seems you’ve made it to the end of this new-vocabulary-grammar-intensive article… But did you actually work through all the findings?  No shirking? Sweet! That’s what I call being persistent at mastering English!


russia-flag Вы дочитали и проработали статью до конца? Так держать!

Если Вы дочитали до конца эту статью, то я уверен, что Вы узнали много нового про английский язык (при условии, что Вы действительно проработали предложения выше).

Проработать так много материала это совсем не шутки, а вполне серьёзный подход к делу.

Теперь же дело за малым: эффективно всё перенести в речевой актив и начать всласть применять новые знания на практике (пункт 3 и 4, соответсвенно).

Спасибо за то, что уделили время.

Удачи в Вашем языковом путешествии!


I am crazy enough to do the whole nine-yards over again. Please bring me to the beginning of the sentences. Yeah!

Did you know that you are more than encouraged to go ahead and tell me in the comments section below how the whole process went?

With that, thanks for taking your time accepting the challenge, reading and working through the article.

Until next time!


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