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Old 12.02.2010, 09:47
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English question, from an english speaker

Hi all, I know there are lots of people on this forum who are quite particular about the english language, so before I make a fool of myself with my real estate agent, I thought I would just check here.

We are selling our apartment in Sydney and I have already had one discussion with my agent and he insists that the following dot point is correct, it reads:

* All this within an unbeatably popular location - a boutique block of 7 in a level 4 minute walk of Neutral Bay shops, CBD express bus transport, cafes etc

Now personally I don't love the dot point - it is long and unweidly, but the thing that is annoying me is the "walk of Neutral Bay shops" shouldn't it be "walk to Neutral Bay shops"?

You don't walk "of the shops" you walk "to the shops".

I told my agent it was a typo and should be changed but he replied that it was correct and not a typo - before I go back and say no it really isn't right - am I missing anything??

Thanks
Jo
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Old 12.02.2010, 09:52
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

"a four minute walk to the shops"

or

"walk to shops within four minutes"

What he said sounds awkward.
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Old 12.02.2010, 09:59
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

Half of it is incomprehensible to me. What is a boutique block? I don't think anything can be 'within a location' not even an 'unbeatably popular' one -whatever that is. '...in a level 4 minute walk...' sounds odd, and, as you say, you usually walk TO the shops.

However, my sister used to work for an estate agent in England and the 'correct' terms sounded very peculiar to me there too, so I think you really need another Australien Estate Agent to tell you how such things are usually phrased.

Any EFers around with experience in this field?

Hope you find someone who can help.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:01
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

I suppose you could say "within a 4 minute walk of ....", using 4 minute walk as a measure of distance, similar to "within 200 metres of ....".

But even then, the sentence you have isn't very good, and it could definitely do with some punctuation.



Disclaimer - This post probably contains errors (if it doesn't then the disclaimer is the error)
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:21
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

I'm with Longbyt, its largely incomprehensible to me too. Firstly what does "a boutique block of 7 in a level" mean? but yes "4 minute walk of Neutral Bay shops" makes no sense. I would re-write the ad in proper English and tell them to run with that.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:26
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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I'm with Longbyt, its largely incomprehensible to me too. Firstly what does "a boutique block of 7 in a level" mean? but yes "4 minute walk of Neutral Bay shops" makes no sense. I would re-write the ad in proper English and tell them to run with that.
Ah. I read it differently. I read it as, "A boutique block of 7, in a level 4 minute walk of shops."

Still nonsense of course. It reminds me of that game where you pull random words out of a hat.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:30
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

Yes, the standard of English is astoundingly poor, but then we are talking about an estate agent I think most estate agents go to a specialist language school before being allowed to start writing housing adverts, to ensure that they can write meaningless jibberish that sounds like it should be telling you something important but you just aren't clever enough to understand it...

If it was me, I would propose that they change it to:

Quote:
All this in an unbeatably popular location - a boutique block of 7 apartments, which is just a 4 minute walk from Neutral Bay's shops, CBD express bus transport, cafes etc.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:31
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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Ah. I read it differently. I read it as, "A boutique block of 7, in a level 4 minute walk of shops."

Still nonsense of course. It reminds me of that game where you pull random words out of a hat.
I'm even more confused now... do they mean its a level (i.e. average) 4 mins walk to the shops or that the building is called a level, and its that which is 4 mins walk to the shops?

I'm friends with quite a few Aussies, and none of them speak like this
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:36
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

They mean it's a level walk -- no gradient (i.e. the block isn't at the bottom of Ben Boyd Road).

Or, more likely, they're lying. They're real estate agents.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:38
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

It--the sentence--seems to need, in my opinion, some "punctuation" and/or total refitting!*

*Not used: ; '_ ? ( )
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:38
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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* All this within an unbeatably popular location - a boutique block of 7 in a level 4 minute walk of Neutral Bay shops, CBD express bus transport, cafes etc
That is unspeakably atrocious English. He should be b*tchslapped for jeopardising your chances of a sale.

"Part of a boutique block of 7 in an unbeatably popular location, only a 4 minute walk to Neutral Bay shops, CBD express bus depot, cafes etc"
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:41
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

Let's take a look at other estate agent phrases. This is very on-topic as it might help us to understand the original text. Or then again, it might not.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:43
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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They mean it's a level walk -- no gradient (i.e. the block isn't at the bottom of Ben Boyd Road).

Or, more likely, they're lying. They're real estate agents.
I *think* they mean that it is a block of 7 apartments, which is 4 minutes walk on level ground to the shops etc. The inability to work out what they mean is why punctuation is an integral part of the English language.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:48
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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I'm even more confused now... do they mean its a level (i.e. average) 4 mins walk to the shops or that the building is called a level, and its that which is 4 mins walk to the shops?

I'm friends with quite a few Aussies, and none of them speak like this
I took it to mean that there were 7 apartments on each floor of this "Boutique block".

I know some estate agents. If they tried pulling this crap off I'd smack them.
As the old sign in Singapore used to say, "Speak Good English. Be Understood"
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:49
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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* All this within an unbeatably popular location - a boutique block of 7 in a level 4 minute walk of Neutral Bay shops, CBD express bus transport, cafes etc

\Jo
It is complete garbage! Is your estate agent Greek?

How about.....

A superb apartment in a boutique block of 7. Located in an unbeatable and popular location only 4 minutes walk from Neutral Bay shops, cafes and CBD express bus.
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Old 12.02.2010, 10:49
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

"All this within an unbeatably popular location - a boutique block of 7 in a level4 minute walk of Neutral Bay shops, CBD express bus transport, cafes etc"

Developers, agents and architects define a boutique block as one with a small number of apartments - less than 20 is the consensus.

Level walk = Relaxed

Without re-writing the whole ad I'd just change:

"All this in a highly desirable location - a boutique block of 7 apartments, within walking distance of the Neutral Bay shops, CBD express, cafes etc"

I'd never state the times it takes to walk somewhere as people always challenge it and it's not worth the hassle.
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:07
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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...
* All this within an unbeatably popular location - a boutique block of 7 in a level 4 minute walk of Neutral Bay shops, CBD express bus transport, cafes etc...
I put it into an Aussie accent, and a comma after the 7, and it sounded ok!

It's not wrong, I think, but it is rather complex.
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:10
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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, CBD express bus transport,
I wonder whether the word transport isn't a bit superfluous and patronising there. Most people know what buses are for.
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Old 12.02.2010, 12:00
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

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within walking distance of
Weasel Words!

John o' Groats is within walking distance of Land's End.
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Old 12.02.2010, 12:03
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Re: English question, from an english speaker

Got your answer yet, OP?

Ah, trial by Forum committee ... and the verdict is: guilty of unconscionable Manglish!
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