The other day there was a girl who, in spite of her repeated attempts, didn't understand these expressions: "no more than," "not more than," "no less than," and "not less than." Though she is not my student, she asked me how to tell them apart and make correct sense of them.
My explanation about them has varied several times since I started my career as an English teacher. But the one I have now seems by far the best. My point is not the best explanation but what she said after I gave her the lecture. She said, "Hearing you talk about English, I think you are very fond of it."
No other comment can be more timely than this one, considering the entry I posted some days ago.
Am I fond of English? I don't know. True, when I was younger I was so into it that I kept away from class as far as my graduation would not be suspended and transcribed some passages of Aldous Huxley, my favorite author around that time, into my notebook and memorized them. As a result, the English I used to write in those days was very much like his. Sentences tended to be long with a lot of commas but expressed (at least I hope) vividly the stream of my thoughts.
Time and tide wait for no man. And I seem to have gone through many changes. If asked whether I feel willing to do that transcription and memorization, I will say no. Or maybe yes. But it is not out of my love for English but from the need to write a paper academically in English.
But, although I have undergone many changes, it is not unlikely that there is still left in me a residue of the love I once felt. During the talk with the girl, that residual fondness might have turned up.