Official Thimbleweed Park Forums

The official language thread


Another one who doesn’t like Interview with the vampire?

(Sure, sure, the book was better…)


I much prefer The Company Of Wolves by the same director.


Huh, I glossed over that Byzantium movie but it does star Jonny Lee Miller…


Heard today on the street from the mouth of a little girl:

Ze moest naar een nieuwe uniformschool en dat uniform trekt echt op geen reet. En het kostte vijfhonderd euro!

She had to go to a new uniform school and that uniform looks like total shit. And it cost five hundred Euro!

(Or is this more of an anecdote?)


I think it qualified for this thread the moment you decided to recite it bilingual.


Otherwise I would’ve just PMed it to @Sushi, although I suppose you German-speaking lot would get the gist of it. :slight_smile:


English comprehension:
Useful vs. Helpful

When use one or the other one?

  1. Ransome! Give me a hand, be ________ and stop beeping.
  2. The vacuum cleaner, recently introduced in the Constitution, is ________ to clean the floors.
  3. I’ve found information for your trip to Stonehenge. Hope they could be ________ .
  4. That doesn’t seem to work. That’s not ________ .

In italian, both words translate in the same word (“utile”)


I like the hidden references to P’n’C.

I’d use “helpful” for the first and last case, but I really couldn’t tell why.

Maybe the last sentence could use both. And maybe when referring to a person, better to use “helpful”. Let’s wait for the opinion of the natives.


As a basic rule of thumb living things can be helpful, while objects are useful.

Hence calling an object helpful would mean you’re personifying it, probably meaning you really like it, and calling a person useful is generally insulting because you only care about how you can use them.


I agree.

“Ransome is really helpful” means that he often helps people, but “Ransome is really useful” would mean what Frenzie said.

But if somebody is being lazy, it would be normal to tell them to “be useful” or “make yourself useful”, which just means they should find a way they can help.

I think “helpful” fits better in the last example, where it’s referring to a person’s action.


They should make themselves useful because they’re not being helpful. :wink:

As a native non-Romance speaker I find the confusion itself somewhat puzzling. Someone who’s helpful is prone to aid or assist, to throw in a couple of Latinate synonyms. Someone who’s useful can fulfill tasks. You can easily be helpful without being useful and vice versa.


Btw, that should be, “I hope it will be useful.”


Right, news, information are singular (while in Italian are plural).
Thanks for all the clarifications!


Same in German: one “Information”, several “Informationen”.


News isn´t really singular.


One flesh, one bone, one true religion

(Fried chicken)




Neither is information (nor water, sand, etc.).


What about “water” and “waters”?


You can have two waters (:clinking_glasses:) , but then you’re not talking about the same thing at all.