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3:10 AM
@EddieKal Wow, that's a long conversation about me. I'm not really that interesting. I'm not really a native Bengali speaker either. I'm sort of a heritage speaker: it was my father's first language and I spoke it as a little boy, but never lived any place where it was widely spoken, and after my dad died when I was little, I had very little occasion to speak it. Since my first and last names are typically Bengali, people assume I speak it natively. That illusion lasts until I open my mouth.
I think that if I were to find myself in an immersive Bengali environment, I'd get fluent in a couple of weeks, though. It's just a question of practice. As for the claim that my use of maida (either as a word, or as an ingredient) marks me as Bengali: it's the same word in every Indian language I know.
The Bengali I speak is highly formal and respectful, the kind one speaks to one's father. I know no swear words in Bengali. I'm told by native speakers that my diction is too grammatical, too "clean", and too idiomatic.
 
 
1 hour later…
4:40 AM
@verbose You are interesting, as much as if not more than lot of people on SE are interesting. But it wasn't a conversation about you. I don't think we could call it that if we read beyond the first few lines. I don't want you to feel talked about behind your back, so I am glad you are here and can be part of the conversation. Even during that conversation I wanted to ping you so that it would've been a conversation with you, but I didn't remember ever seeing you in this room.
@verbose Speaking of maida, I am still not quite clear on its difference from atta--yes I have read the wiki pages, but I don't know how to use them. I have some atta that I use to make chapati, and I am proud to say I know how to puff them up
@verbose That makes sense. I think that's pretty characteristic of heritage speakers.
 
5:05 AM
@EddieKal aaTaa is whole wheat flour. maidaa is refined flour without the bran or wheat germ, just the starchy endosperm
 
5:23 AM
@verbose How do you use maida? I have read your Seasoned Advice questions. It seems it is mostly used the same way as bread flour? In one of your posts you said "maida or all purpose flour". That's where I get confused
 
 
2 hours later…
7:00 AM
I have finally accepted and awarded the bounty to the very first answer I received, Javalatte’s answer made the answer of LawrenceC even better to understand.
 
7:15 AM
@EddieKal Bread flour is high gluten, maida is very low gluten. Maida is more like cake flour. I don't remember in what context I would have compared maida to all purpose flour; I did once ask whether I could mix bread flour (high gluten) with maida (low gluten) to yield a substitute for all purpose flour, since I don't usually have all purpose flour at home. The answer, btw, was yes.
In Bengali cuisine, maida is used to make "luchi" which is basically fried bread. Made a dough with maida, salt, and water, roll it out into flat circles about 4" or 10 cm in diameter, deep fry.
 
7:33 AM
Also, I meant that my Bengali is too unidiomatic, not too idiomatic ... sheesh.
 
8:02 AM
@AydenFerguson Okay I see. Then I won't make the attempt. I was going to take a stab at it too.
@verbose Oh I think I misremembered. This is very helpful. Thanks! I don't see maida sold in Indian stores in the U.S. I may have seen it once or twice? In comparison it is really easy to find atta, I think.
 
8:26 AM
@EddieKal I haven't had trouble finding maida in the Indian stores here. It's usually sold in smaller quantities (1 or 2 pound bags) so it's not as easy to spot as aata. You might need to look more closely or ask someone who works in the store? Granted it's been a while since I've needed to buy it, since I don't use it very often at all.
 
 
3 hours later…
11:32 AM
@EddieKal I am sorry to ping you. I can’t locate the page which has been highlighted in the pic. The instructions for that are unclear. (This is a screenshot of one of the pages of the CGEL). Could you tell me where that is?
 
 
1 hour later…
12:48 PM
@EddieKal I didn't understand the flag response, because why should being answered or not have any effect on a question's off-topicness or migratability? But when you said here "a sign of the community accepting those questions", that makes sense, especially if the answerers are people familiar with ELL's scope who'd know better than to answer an off-topic question.
There's so many different views on migration even among SE staff. I've seen different (now-former) CMs advise either that only answered questions should be migrated since unanswered ones can be deleted and reasked instead, or that only unanswered questions should be migrated since answers might be tailored to a site.
@EddieKal I can't vote to close, but I'll try flagging to close, assuming I can do that after already having raised a custom flag before.
 
 
5 hours later…
6:45 PM
@Randal'Thor I do think flagging "off-topic" should be the way to go in such cases in the first place, because I didn't think this question should be mod-closed. I probably should have included in my response another important piece of information that there was and still is no closevotes on the question.
A lot of frequent answerers/contributors are also people who help moderate the site by voting/flagging to close and doing reviews. So when a question has been answered, it is not very likely the answerers will vote to close that question. In such cases, I don't think mod-hammering it, skipping the community vote-review-close mechanism, should be an option. That's why I marked your flag helpful but didn't migrate or close it.
This question on the other hand, is about to get its fifth close-vote. With it one vote shy of closure, as a mod, I am much more comfortable contributing my vote and helping close it.
Alas someone beat me to it as I was typing here
I just cleared the votes, reopened and then reclosed it. Too old to migrate to Language Learning SE
 
7:37 PM
12
Q: What is meant by "grammar"?

M.A.R.Some people equate grammar with any rules governing the language. Some people believe grammar is language itself minus whatever is being discussed in the shade of "meaning" and "comprehension". Some people think "grammar" is anything that prohibits them from uttering some words, morphemes or phon...

 
@AydenFerguson Check out page 407 and page 339
But you should note what's discussed on CGEL page 339 is not the same case as presented in LawrenceC's answer
Wind is a count and noncount noun. LawrenceC and JavaLatte both provided answers explaining why it can also be a count noun
CGEL page 339 tells you when the indefinite article can be used with noncount nouns
The answers you have received basically strive to show you the count use also makes sense
 
7:55 PM
@EddieKal I agree, CGEL uses a complete different but vaild approach . I totally get it that
Valid*
 
@AydenFerguson No, that's not what I meant.
Those are two different situations
"He has a good knowledge of English." Here "knowledge" is a mass noun but it can be preceded by the indefinite article
 
I was about to complete my sentence, but the chat had sent the incomplete message
 
"There was a strong breeze" "breeze" is a count noun
 
What I believe is that “Breeze” sort of works uncountably, basically “a breeze” means “a type of wind which is gentle”, and it’s not common to pluralize “breeze”. And talking about “knowledge”, it’s also considered countable because of the use of the indefinite article with it. Using the indefinite article with such nouns, shouldn’t make the nouns countable
@EddieKal you were saying something? I am sorry, my net is slow, I didn’t see that you typed something.
 
"Fires spread by strong winds have caused widespread damage."
"wind" used in the plural
It's a really fine distinction between "a count interpretation" of a noun, "a count noun", and "a noncount noun used with an indefinite article"
I think those pages in CGEL that I have mentioned are pretty clear
 
8:24 PM
@EddieKal yes, those pages are really helpful.
 

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