March 2008 Archives

March 30, 2008

EL150: It's true - I miss-use the dash, sometimes.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

"The dash is nowadays seen as the enemy of grammar, partly because overtly disorganized thought is the mode of most email and (mobile phone) text communication, and the dash does an annoyingly good job in these contexts standing in for all other punctuation marks."

Example

"I saw Jim - he looked gr8 - have you seen him - what time is the thing 2morrow - C U there."

(All of the above found on page 157.)

 

Though I have never seriously texted like that, I always spell everything out completely; I do use the dash like that. Especially when I'm texting, I go dash crazy. I think it's mainly because when I'm texting I, for some odd reason, have a hard time being able to tell where a sentence should end or where a comma should go. Also, I'll admit it, I think for texting purposes, the comma and period are a waste of a character and really a waste of time. I'm going to English hell for saying that, I know, but it's true. Honestly, who can say that all of their texts are grammitically correct? I'm thinking that no one is raising their hand right now.

EL150: We'll get along fine, Exclamation Mark

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

On page 137 - "...it still shouts, flashes neon, and jumps up and down. In the family of punctuation, where the full stop is daddy and the comma is mommy, and the semicolon quietly practices the piano with crossed hands, the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets over excited and breaks things and laughs too loudly."

So I think if I was in the family of punctuation I would totally be the exclamation mark. It does stand out, because it just looks so different and when I picture it I even picture WOW. It just cannot be ignored. Clearly I'm the same.

 

EL150: Second grade pen-pals

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

I loved second grade. Mrs. Timble is probably one of my favorite people ever. In her class we did plenty of fun things, one of them has having pen-pals. We were actually set up through an elementary class pen-pal agency thing, kind of like eHarmony for little kid classes. We were set up with another second grade class in Michigan. At that time I thought this was the greatest idea ever because from a young age I loved writing, and at that age I especially liked writing about myself, which I would be able to do with a pen-pal.

I was given Diana to be my pen-pal. Now as a second grader I think that I was pretty advanced in the grammar category, it was the spelling thing that I had problems with. (Read more about that story on my xanga page, you'll have to scroll down, but it's called The Cover Sheet.) Anyway, so I was easily fed up with Diana because her grammar was TERRIBLE. But since she was a second grader, and I was just clearly advanced I let it slide.

The reason for me telling this story...is because I was reminded of it when I read pages 103 and 104. Because, when re-doing my room the first time, when I was in like sixth grade, I found some of those letters from Diana and decided to become pen-pals with her again, since we started to loose touch after the summer between second and third grade. We stayed pen-pals into Jr. High until I realized that her grammar abilities had not changed, she was the same old Diana. But as we were turning fourteen I couldn't give her the benefit of the doubt anymore, it was driving me CRAZY! So like Lynne Truss I had to end this relationship, though I did not do it as harshly as she did, I just happened to loose touch with Diana and I'm hoping that college is treating her grammar well, and that there is no problem with it now.

March 29, 2008

EL150: A comma, a small, crooked point.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

"On the page, punctuation performs its grammatical function, but in the mind of the reader it does more than that. It tells the reader how to hum the tune." (Found on page 71)

Examples found on page 75.

"Comfort ye my people" (please go out and comfort my people)

"Comfort ye, my people" (just cheer up, you lot; it might never happen)

 

Like in my last post, I mention that commas and their proper usage make or break what you're trying to say. Those examples mean two totally different things, just because of where the comma is (or in the first one, isn't). Commas are super-duper important. Your whole point could be changed if you used them in a way you didn't mean to.

EL150: What a lovely, little panda book.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

First, I would like to mention that I love that this book comes with a "limited-edition Punctuation Repair Kit."

Second, I love witty writing and this book does a lovely job of delivering that. Yay!

But, onto business...

 

Forward by Frank McCourt

I love Frank's style of writing. It's fun and easy to read because simply put, it's cute. (Sorry if that's not what you were really going for though, Frank.) Also, it really makes me expect greatness from the rest of this book, which I think my expectations were fulfilled.

 

Introduction

I'm not going to lie; I am very much in love with signs that are properly punctuated. Maybe it's because so few are these days that I really appreciate it when someone takes the extra, I don't know...five seconds, to get it right. I understand when someone slips up once in awhile, everyone does. But, it's not that hard to check to make sure you got it right, seriously kids. I liked this section A LOT esp. the quote I chose, "...when teachers upheld the view that grammar and spelling got in the way of self expression."

I'm sorry...what? No offense world, but if I have to read your wonderfully, thought out, self expression paper, that is God's gift to the world of writing, but your grammar sucks, I'm going to look past the wonderful writing part and hope that you start at the fundamentals before swimming in the deep end. Honestly kids, you cannot claim to be a phenomenal writer without knowing the basics of good grammar, when grammar is what makes or breaks the point you are trying to make.

For example (which I found on page nine.)

                  A woman, without her man, is nothing.

                  A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the second sentence. This example is precious. Both sentences have all the same words, but two totally opposite meanings. It just makes me smile, that's all.

 

The Tractable Apostrophe

For those of you that have this book, please turn with me to page 51. Love it! 

For those of you that do not have the book, do not fret, I'll copy an example for you.

     "Nigger's out (on a sign seen in New York, under which was written, wickedly: "But he'll be back shortly")

 

For those of you that do not understand the above, book in hand or not, I'm sorry for you're life and I'll explain it later if need be. Thank you Lynne Truss, you must be a lovely human being. 

March 6, 2008

EL150: I'm glad I'm complex.

I'm an English Major - Now What?

"Regaurdless of your major, however, remember: Your major is not you. Nor is your future determined or limited by your major. If it were, every politician would have majored in political science" (Lemire 183).

GOOOOOOOOD!!! When I first picked my major(s) I thought, okay great so I'll be in something that I like and then live in a box until I die...sweet. However, I AM so much more than just Journalism and Communication. I like soooo many different things, I really could have gone to any major (okay minus the math and science ones) but still, I was open to anything. Currently, I'm really interested in the Marketing field and thinking of making it my minor (if that's possible) but anyway, I really like the more business, media planning and public relations kinda thing then just the write for a newspaper stuff. So this is good news, thank you sir!

Page 187

Marketing

Upside-The industry likes a liberal arts background with specialized knowledge, as well as creative people strong in idea generation and presentation skills; stimulating work; variety of assignments.

Downside-Hours can be long(expect more than forty hours a week):travel often required;intensely competitive field.

I'm more than sure that I can handle the ups and downs - so bring it on Marketing Minor. (SHU get used to this face, I'll be around awhile.)

 

EDIT

Seton Hill does not offer a Marketing Minor. (Insert sad face here.) 

March 5, 2008

EL150: Let's be a little more rude...

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

Page 113:

"No," Holly finally interjects. "That's not true. Not everyone can get this job. You have to pass the test!"

The test? The Accutrac test? "The test," I practically yell, "is BULLSHIT! Anyone can pass that test!"

 

The next line Ehrenreich says that, that was an inexcusable outburst. It was - very much so. Granted those tests are dumb and everyone probably could pass them...you don't say that to the girl that couldn't get a job any where else and is now sitting in the back seat of your car very badly injured and crying that she has to continue working because she doesn't have enough money to take the day off. Ehrenreich pisses me off with this section the most. I understand that she comes from decent money and is now writing about and living the life of a minimum wage worker. From personal experience - minimum wage doesn't cut it and only REALLY strong people can live that way. I know that if I had to fully support myself I wouldn't make it - thank God for parents (since I know they are reading anyway) but honestly how could she be so inconsiderate? I hope she realized that not everyone makes it in the world like she did - some people actually have to live like that everyday...not just for a book.

EL150: Put that song on repeat!

Essential Literary Terms: Hamilton

Page 98: Repetition creates unity and emphasis.

I mean, I'm not going lie I overuse repetition in ALL of my papers. It's just that it is the easiest way to get the readers attention and keep it. By repeating details the writer wants the reader to pick up on something - its the easiest way to get your point across - I love it.

March 3, 2008

El150: Giant Eagle...yeah I don't miss you.

Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America

Ah, summer reading assignment making a come-back in the Spring semester! I think I'm one of the only people that actually didn't mind reading this book over the summer. (Apparently, I am a loser. Whatever, I'm cool with that.) Most of my reading was done in the break room of Giant Eagle while I finally got to rest from fixing the shelves that would more than likely be messed up even more when your break was over...even though you fixed them perfectly just 15 minutes ago. Maybe I should've started smoking while working at the great GE...hmmm.

"I complain to one of my fellow servers that I don't understand how she can go so long without food. 'Well, I don't understand how you can go so long without a cigarette," she responds in a tone of reproach. Because work is what you do for others; smoking is what you do for yourself," (Ehrenreich 31).

I understand this quote too well. Many of my fellow GE workers smoked and only did because frankly, the job was tough. A lot tougher than one would expect. I thought being able to fix the shelves for hours would be the easiest job ever because my OCD always kicked in while shopping when the shelves were not fixed. Everyone that I know that smokes says that it calms their nerves and really relaxes them...if I wasn't allergic I'd probably start too. Working at GE was very much doing everything for others and since I'm not a smoker and never will be, reading this book during my hours in the summer was basically my "something you do for yourself."

EL150: Sports writing = more than just writing.

I'm an English major - Now what?

I'm the Sports Editor for The Setonian so maybe this quote stuck out to me most because of that, but I feel like this goes well with what I am looking for when considering people to write sports for my section.

"If you love sports and writing...there's no problem," (Lemire 84).

I don't want writers for the sports section, I want athletes that can write. Or at least writers with a passion for sports as well as writing. Personally, I feel that it takes more than a writer to write sports. It takes someone that understands the mentallity, someone that knows what a team that is really a family feels like, someone that hates running the suicides in practice, but loves the feeling of the pay off afterwards.

Dr. Jerz recently told me that the way I presented writing for the sports section was inappropriate and unprofessional. (I used the fact that good looking guys play sports at SHU and saying this to a, basically all girl class, was really just for a laugh.) Though this may be true, The Setonian cannot be all professional - especially when it's the sports section. Our 'hard news" area should be, but sports are a lighter topic and frankly sports writing isn't about how great of a writer you are, its about how well you know what you're talking about. So really the way I presented the "Hey write sports for The Setonian" was aimed towards getting the attention of the girls that are athletes, not the girls that make beautiful sentences.

"If you love sports and writing...there's no problem."

I want the kids that do both, not the kids that think if you can write about one thing you can write about anything. Even as a serious writer I think this statement is wrong. You've got to know what you're talking about. You've got to know that love means nothing and that cauliflower is not a vegetable. Sorry if this comes off has harsh but I will not let this section go foul while it is under my supervision.