The writing task in September was to produce a contribution to a guidebook for a section called Off the beaten track. Many of you chose destinations in and around Coimbra that have given me a great list of things to do during my first months here.
For the first in a series of follow-up posts, this one will focus attention on a similar text in order to analyse some language features it contains.
Text reconstruction – Lagos
The following sentence beginnings and endings come from a text I found on the Internet (from a google search: “off the beaten track” “Portugal”). Match the beginnings 1-9 with the endings a-i. The beginnings 1-9 are in their original order.
|1||Lagos is a small city in||a||where you can make boat tours to the natural caves.|
|2||You can pretty||b||(the) Algarve, (in the) south of Portugal.|
|3||There is a great variety||c||of things to see;|
|4||The city centre is sculpted with traditional||d||activity, if you like to wake up early don’t miss it.|
|5||Beaches vary in shape and style from long sandy beaches||e||much walk everywhere.|
|6||Ponta da Piedade is a beautiful spot with a nice lighthouse from||f||about anyone, from the relaxing beaches to the exciting dolphin tours.|
|7||The harbor in the morning is full of||g||to almost private ones hidden by cliffs.|
|8||Also the fish market is an interesting||h||spot.|
|9||Lagos has things to do for just||i||architecture and colours from the region.|
You can check your answers by following this link.
(Text source: http://www.gotsaga.com/detailsaga/off-the-beaten-path-in-portugal-5-places-that-will-leave-you-dreamin/3574 Copyright 2011 GotSaga LLC)
A useful pattern to notice:
- My music tastes are really varied, I like anything from Jazz and Classical music to Rock and Pop.
- At XYZ language school we provide classes for everyone, from pre-school infants to retired people.
- Coimbra is a great shopping city. From dusty antique shops to state-of-the-art shopping centres, there’s something to fit everyone’s tastes.
- He’s spent time living in many interesting places, from remote villages in The Andes to more than 5 European capital cities.
Take a couple of weeks, hit the road and explore the best of America’s west, from nature’s biggest, tallest and most powerful features to beautiful wineries, before finishing by heading back to San Francisco or north to Seattle. http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20111017-the-perfect-trip-california
With 62 restaurants included in the programme, there will definitely be something for everyone, as it caters to all tastes: from the more conservative and classic environments to the more modern and trendier places. http://www.portugaldailyview.com/01-whats-new/lisboa-restaurant-week-taste-the-best
Holiday accommodation in Penela comes in many shapes and forms, providing the kind of variety and versatility that caters for anything from a quietly relaxing break for two to a vacation for all your family and friends… http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/penela.htm
The final two examples really show how this aspect of pushing a message of variety is common in travel texts (“comes in all shapes and forms” / “providing the kind of variety and versatility”/”caters for anything”/”offers something for everyone”) because they add an element of persuasion. Commercial travel texts and guidebooks try to sell a destination, make it seem appealing. The more people they can attract, the better. The more varied the experience the destination is seen to offer and the more they can make the destination sound like it will appeal to as many people as possible, the better. For this reason I suspect that the frequency of using the pattern from…to with phrases like ‘there’s something for everyone‘ and ‘caters to all/many tastes‘ is quite high.
- “caters to anything” – 20,400 google results, “caters to anything from” – 3,730 google results
- “cater to anything” – 48,700 google results, “cater to anything from” – 22,700 google results
- “cater to all tastes” – 1,700,000 google results, “cater to all tastes from” – 49,200 google results
- “cater to any taste” – 40,800 google results, “cater to any taste from” – 1,340 google results
- “something for everyone” – 37,100,000 results, “something for everyone from” – 5,500,000 google results