Award :)

8 Feb

I started this blog just about a week ago and I can’t believe the amount of positive feedback I have received! I would like to thank http://thejottersjoint.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger’s award 🙂

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Who and Whom: The New You’re and Your

7 Jan

Thanks to contributions from grammaticians, we have made significant progress in the cure for knowing when to use your and you’re. I feel the need to raise awareness about a different grammar disease: who and whom wrongful interchangeability. This highly infectious disease is caused from not paying attention in fifth grade English class. Its worst symptom is the inability to distinguish between subjects and objects of clauses. The incubation period for this disease is very short—as soon as you contract it, you will present symptoms of this disorder. Do you have this disease? Here are a few warning signs of this disease:

If you think the usage of who is correct in the following sentences, you may want to contact your family grammatician:

  • Who am I talking to?
  • Who can we trust?
  • I don’t know who he invited.

However, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from this gruesome disease if you educate yourself.

When using who, you are referring to the subject of a clause. When using whom, you are referring to the object of a clause. The subject is the doer; the object is the receiver. Mixing up the pronouns who and whom is like using she for her—it just doesn’t make sense. No one would think to say “He loves she.” That’s because “He loves her” not only sounds right, but is right. Its not “me want cake” its “I want cake.” She and I are subjects, while her and me are objects. Using who as an object (He loves who?) is just like saying “He loves she.” They’re both wrong, but most people don’t notice that who is used incorrectly. When in doubt of choosing who or whom, think if whether she or her would work in the sentence. Replace all she’s with who’s and all her’s with whom’s.

It is a pandemic, but it doesn’t have to be. Continue to educate yourself on this dreadful disease and stay tuned for more grammar posts on my blog!

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

5 Dec

I have been struggling to come up with another idea for a post, I think I’ll post about punctuation. AGH! I just committed the eighth mortal sin. There’s lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride, and comma splices.

A comma splice is the use of a comma in between two independent clauses. Independent clauses, by definition, are clauses that can stand alone as a sentence. Why is using comma between two independent clauses so grievous? Comma splices are the grand daddy of all punctuation sins because literally any other form of punctation would work except for a comma. Take a look (WARNING: explicit grammar error may be unsuitable for children).

Comma Splice:  These pretzels are making me thirsty, I will get some water.

^Here are two independent clauses joined by a comma. (Seinfeld fans will appreciate the first clause.) These two clauses, in order to be effectively separated, need to be separated by some form of stop punctuation. Essentially any other form of punctuation, even a dash(—), would work.

These pretzels are making me thirsty; I will get some water.

These pretzels are making me thirsty: I will get some water.

These pretzels are making me thirsty. I will get some water.

These pretzels are making me thirsty! I will get some water.

These pretzels are making me thirsty—I will get some water.

Choosing which punctuation to change it to is completely up to you. Based on the context of the two clauses, you can pick whichever one most effectively creates the relationship between the clauses that you desire. Of course, you can add a coordinating conjunction. There’s no fun in explaining those since they don’t tie in too well with my sinning joke I’ve got going on. Perhaps we’ll save those for a later post. In the meantime, for your penance of committing comma splices, say ten Hail Marys and look for more grammar posts on my blog!

Willie teaches me to lay v. to lie

3 Nov

There are a few things that no matter how many times you tell me, I will never absorb the information: how old my dad is, daylight savings (spring ahead; fall back—what is that?), and lastly, the tenses of to lie v. to lay. Willie has inspired me to take care of that last one. He said he’ll help me figure out a way to remember the tenses. Let’s see if this works!

To Lie—to rest or recline

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Simple Present: Willie lies on the couch now.

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Simple Past: Willie lay in the shade yesterday.

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Past Participle: Willie should have lain under the bed because he thought it was comfortable.

To Lay—to put something down

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Simple Present: Willie lays his lobster toy down.

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Simple Past: I laid Willie down on his back.

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Past Participle: Willie stood next to his red, stuffed toy which he had laid there only moments before.

I think Willie was on to something. I definitely remember the differences better now! Thank you WIllie, I’ll give you a treat 🙂

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Creating Innovators Review

3 Oct

Creating Innovators

This is a book I reviewed for Jim Estill

Sing, O Muse, O high genius, aid us now. I invoke thee, O Muses, from the darkness of my soul, for the inspiration that will give the young people of our country the innovation necessary to create jobs in this country.

Studies tell us that our children’s creativity capacity has been declining since 1990. We are experiencing a “creativity crisis.” Research shows the deterioration of the young people’s creative capacities over the last two decades. This is a serious issue in light of the recent economic decline and our social and civic well-being. Creativity drives innovation. Business executives from around the world believe that innovation is the best way to create jobs in this country. Since innovation and creativity are essential for saving the country, how can we reverse this decline in the creative capacity in young people? The silly answer would be to invoke the muses with praises similar to the one in the beginning of this review. Doing that is not necessary. All of the answers to generating creativity in young people can be found in Tony Wagner’s Creating Innovators.

The book Creating Innovators gives insights into what the important influences are on a young innovator. It teaches you how to maximize the development of a child’s capacity. The book presents the lives of various, highly successful innovators: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics innovators (STEM innovators) and social innovators. It reflects on the different approaches to their upbringings and the different factors of their childhoods that made them who they are today. A special emphasis is on the adults in these people’s lives that helped nurture their creative and innovate spirits. In Wagner’s research for this book, he discovered a pattern among these innovators: play, passion, and purpose, all of which are explained within the chapters. Creating Innovators also explores many ways in which educators are looking to new solutions to various twenty-first century problems.

If these ideas and strategies weren’t enough for you, maybe the format of the book will sell you on buying this book. The format of Creating Innovators is very imaginative. Throughout the pages, there are QR tags. Everyone has seen these tags on products or posters. If you download the free app for your smartphone, you can access additional information and related videos about the innovators through the software. Wagner has taken this idea and applied it to his book. It is truly ingenious! Your smartphone expands the content of the story. The book is filled with information and if you want more, you can access it through the QR tags. It’s truly like having two books in one! I think it is fitting that a book on innovation is innovative itself.

Anyone can learn something from this book. However, this book is perfect for parents, teachers of any level, mentors, and employers. This book has highly valuable information and the potential to foster a strong economic future. To get this future, you need to read the book and integrate this information into our lives.

You Know You’re An English Major When…

2 Sep

You know you’re an English major when you find yourself contemplating which part of speech is your favorite.  After minor deliberation, I have decided that adverbs are my favorite part of speech. Nothing changes a sentence like an adverb does. For real—look at the following sentences:

1) He drove to work. V. He drove recklessly to work

2) I stared at the boy. V. I stared longingly at the boy.

3) I placed the cup on the table. V. I daintily placed the cup on the table.

Adverbs make the sentence more dynamic. Hearing or reading a simple sentence is like looking through a dirty lens—you can make out what you’re looking at, but it’s not very clear. Adding but one adverb clears up the lens better than an adjective ever would. Here is a short list of a few exciting and descriptive adverbs:

Zealously, keenly, absentmindedly, loftily, deceivingly, sheepishly, and methodically 🙂

I remember this one time when I thought, “I wonder if it would be better if I was a business major.” This indecisiveness lastly only ten seconds when I corrected my own grammar (I wonder if it would be better if I were a business major). I can’t imagine being any other major and moments when I catch myself contemplating parts of speech only confirm this feeling.

Well, that’s why I like adverbs. Comment with your own favorite part of speech, favorite adverbs, or sentiments on how weird I am because I care about such things.

 

****Note: I have been getting a lot of comments saying that one should shy away from adverbs in writing. I completely agree. I guess I should have clarified this better in the post. My love of adverbs is strictly with the spoken word, not the written.

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Fitzgerald on Keats

2 Aug

For awhile after you quit Keats, all other poetry seems to be only whistling or humming. -F. Scott Fitzgerald

As a fan of American Modernism literature, I take anything F. Scott Fitzgerald says as literary dogma. Upon reading this quote for the first time, I was convinced. I really have been trying to get into Keats’s poetry. I even bought a book of his poems, but unfortunately, I haven’t had any time to read it. 😦 I just decided that I will read it tonight instead of my book for work.