March 2008 Archives

Semi-Comprehendable

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"Th first printed semicolon was the work of good old Aldus Manutius just two years after Columbus sailed to the New World....."
"The colon and semicolon had been adopted into English well before 1700, confusion has surrounded their use ever since." (Truss 111-112).

I really didn't expect to find out the colon and semicolon were that old. I will admit, I thought they were more of the computer generation inventions. Haha. I never liked to use semicolons and especially colons, because I have no idea why you use a colon. Sad I know. I know when to use a semicolon but I avoid it. Truss didn't exactly spell it out to my liking, so I found this website on differences of colons and semiocolons. . It's a lot easier from there. Like i said before I don't like these punctuation marks and yes I think it is bad that I avoid using them, but at least now I know how to use a colon. For awhile, when my 8th grade teacher told me I need to stop with my run-on sentences, I used semicolons to cover that up. Clearly she was intelligent because she caught on very quickly to my antics. (I never could get away with anything in there. But other classes....absolutely). So, thank you for reading my blog and my insightful junior high stories. :)

"'The Flag is red, white, and blue.' So what do you think of it? (Comma after white?) Are you for it or against it? Do you hover inbetween? (Truss 84)."

Apparently, in Britain you are supposed to leave out the comma, but in America, you're to leave that comma in and there are those who make a point of removing it (ESPECIALLY JOURNALISTS). I was always taught, if you have 3 items listed, there are to be 2 commas. And 4 items have 3 and so forth. The number of items equals one less number of commas. That "Red, white and blue." doesn't make sense to me (without the comma). I thought that last comma was up to the writer and never actually knew the rule for it. Now I have an engraved picture frame on my desk that I am staring at from Things Remembered and the quote at the top says, "Today, Tomorrow and Always." (Minus the second comma-Was the engraver British?)
And why do Journalists omit that comma. I was taught to leave that comma in but I'm a Journalism major, so what do I do?
If I go to Britain, should I omit that random comma if I'm writing something there. What If I write it there to bring it back to the US, should I just leave it in?
To make things better I'm going to pretend the rule is up to you, kinda like when you write 1000, you can put the comma in (1,000) only if you want.
That's what I am going to do.

I never thought I could write an entire blog entry on ONE comma.


.!;:?

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"Another writer tells us that punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop" (Truss 7). This book cracks me up! Who knew reading about punctuation would be entertaining? So since you were in first grade, commas, periods, semicolons, exclamation marks, and question marks began as little inflatable figures aound the room. (With one pop, they were gone--I was not that kid ;() ). We were taught what they were and had to write endless sentences using them. Now, punctuation should be a natural part of our lives that comes so easily. But, no matter how many times you practice, it's not going to be perfect....that angers me.
However, to the real point, these little symbols and characters, !?,:; can tell you how to read. It can be AMAZING! Inquisitive? or pause, pause, pause. No matter how much we hate learning punctuation over and over agian.

It helps us keep our sanity otherwise we would have continuous run on sentences without any breaks pauses or hiatus to slow us down and think about what we have read in the previous sentence that means sentences wouldnt exist because there would be no periods and everything would go on and on and on without any purpose of one thought at a time dontcha think

I always get the Last Word

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Once again, the last line of a story always leaves the reader with something to think about. Page 252 of O'Connor's, The Displaced Person, "He came regularly once a week with a bag of breadcrumbs and, after he had fed these to the peacock, he would come in and sit by the side of her bed and explain the doctrines of the Church."

Well, hypocracy often a reoccuring theme with O'Connor. Time for an elementary school story about little Tiffany. In school about 6th grade, our teacher asked us when do we wear masks. When are we something we are not? Some answers were, in front of relatives, around teachers, with friends and enemies, but one boy in particular responded, in church. In church we wear masks. We all pretend to be perfect bible following Christians but in reality, most people arent. We have our flaws but many people like Manly Pointer and the priest are mask-wearers, aka hypocrites.
O'Connor has many characters who are hypocrites in the church, and I can relate to that very well. I see people everyday who say they have certain christian morals but act differently. I can say I apply to that category in ways.
I think this theme is more realistic than anything else and everyone can relate to it whether they are christians or aren't.

I Know More than You

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"A sililoquy, from the Latin word for "to speak alone" is a monologue delivered by a character who is alone on stage" (Hamilton 141).

When I think of sililoquies, I think about the fact that we, the audience know something in which the characters do not. This also creates the tensions between you and the television during a horror film, when you see the guy with the ax behind the door while the young girl searches the house to what? Overtake him herself? Anyhow, you're screaming at the tv, like she can hear you, "HE'S BEHIND THE DOOR!" and that is my modern definition of a soliloquy.

:)

Irony and No Good Country People

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Can we say ironic about this story in its entirety? Apparently you cannot trust those bible sellers.
Let's just say, the most shocking point in this story, "It was hollow and contained a pocket flask of whiskey, a pack of cards, and small blue box with priniting on it" (O'Connor 192). I almost fell off my chair when I read this part. Talk about catching the reader off guard. My expression :() <-----
I enjoy those stories that begin with subtle problems which happiness overrides anyhow, but this story...shockkkkkerrrr.

Anyway, leading up to this point,^ there are two character identity changes. Joy used to be Hulga but chose the ironic name Joy because of her lack of it. With her wooden leg she was never able to dance or play since she lost it so young. JOY HOPEwell.... Significant? What about Manly?. What the heck! He clearly is not who he says he is, "come on now, let's begin to have us a good time. We ain't go to know one another good yet" (O'Connor 193). HYPOCRITE!!!
I am starting to see a theme in O'Connor's works like identity fraud (haha) and identity problems. A Good Man is Hard to Find, The River, The Life you Save May Be your Own, A Stroke of Good Fortune, and Good Country People, all have characters who struggle with idenity.
Hulga said, "I don't even believe in God," (186). The boy claiming to be a Christian and follower of God turns out to be just the opposite. The one who does not believe in God seems to have better morals than the one who pretends to. How can two people who believe in the same thing, turn out so different?
And no where in this story do you find a "Good Country Person." Mrs. Hopewell has her ego and social standing, Mrs. Freeman is the gossip queen and nosy neighbor. Hulga is mean about Glycerin and Caramel, I mean Glynese and Carramae, and don't get me started on Manly.

I was hoping the country folk would be friendly :( Well Dr. Jerz disproved that with his bunny and rainbow analogy :(

Count your Blessings

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"All those children were what did her mother in--eight of them: two born dead, one died in the first year, one crushed under a mowing machine. Her mother had got dead with every one of them. And all for what? Because she hadn't known any better."(O'Connor).

So Ruby blamed her entire family for ruining her mother. Yet is it ironic that she was not one to blame? Of course she was the good child. How conceded. But at the end of the story, I began to think that Ruby was lonely. Her husband didnt' seem to be ideal and she did not want to have children. She was always angry at Hartley Gilfeet and her neighbors annoyed her. The poor woman didn't have anyone. She came from a decently large family where tragety struck and the family fell apart because of the withered mother. Even though it was so long ago, Ruby had never recovered. A tragety she suffered from her childhood has been haunting her her entire life.
And, the majority of people in the world consider a baby a blessing, but the poor woman doesn't know the meaning of family and loved ones, because of her past. I like the way that O'Connor used an everyday blessing into a heartache and fear. It's not a common dilemma, but we get to see a situation in what most people would react the opposite way towards.
Loneliness is not like the typical ailment, There is no treatment or medication, it is harder to get rid of. :(

Aprehensive College Kids

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"I find that there are two kinds of people who sing the praises of the English major the most: English majors who are secure in a job, and non-English majors who are secure in a job. It's very easy when you've got a good job" (Lemire).

So, I really have not found one student in college who thinks positively of their English major. It's not the fact that they are bored with it, but it's the fact that there is no guarenteed job. It's that kind of major where you hopefully fall into the right crack....so I believe. It's not like you're a nursing major and you're set...after graduation, go be a nurse! We are English majors....go speak English? No. I have heard my poor English major roommate speak these words, "I'm leaving college with debt and no job to pay them off." Poor girl. :)
It is hard to think positively when you're still on the rocky road, and it still hasn't smoothed out yet.
In the end, I'm sure one day my roommate and myself will be telling younger people not to worry and things will work out as we watch their grimacing faces before us. As for now, that is the next step: Finding a job which will lead into a career that is reliable. Ahhh more stress on the poor college souls.

"Just take away the career and the higher education, and maybe what you're left with is this original Barb, the one who might have ended up working at Wal-mart for real if her father had not managed to climb out of the mines."

Even though, Ehrenreich was being so blunt and straigh-forward, this is unfortunately realistic. I'm in all hopes that those who work hard enough may rise from rags to riches and that hopefully it will be more frequent than rare. Those who carry on with the can-do attitude need to realize there is a greater risk at failing than succeeding. Once you get knocked down so many times, it's going to be harder and harder to get back up and try again. Those who are determined that their life will change hopefully aren't agraid to give it their all above and beyond. I think it is important to know the risks and consequences before you seek out the benefits. That's just my opinon.

"An epiphany means a sudden, ovewhelming insight or revelation evoked by a commonplace object or scene in a poem or a work of fiction" (Hamilton 102).

The first time I heard the word epiphany, I thought my English teacher sneezed my name...ahhpifany.
So obviously that drew my attention. As I listened to him ramble on about the Catcher in the Rye, which was dry and annoying throughout the entire novel until Holden sees the carosel and has the epiphany. He says "I mean how do you know what you’re going to do till you do it?” Throughout the novel Holden was trying to figure out what was going to happen next and why. He didn't find a solution but he found HOW to find a solution. The idea of an epiphany.
So to me...the term epiphany has in a way sentimental value to me, if that is what you want to call it. To make it all better, After realizing the epiphany (HA!) In the Catcher in the Rye, it is my absolute favorite book.

"Magazines, like any other periodical, come big and small, with their own pros and cons. You might enjoy working for a small magazine where you know everyone by name and, for the benefits of your professional education, can learn what everyone else does to contribute to the magazine's construction." (Lemire 100).

How true is this? We all know we have to start small to work big, but how hard is that blow to the head when you go from writing for the Laurel Mountain Post to Sports Illustrated? Gradually there will be mediocre magazines and the size difference probably won't be too big too fast, but when you look back thinking you started out writing for your town magazine and now you're writing for one of the most popular magazines in the world, you're more than amazed.
I've had my fix with newspapers, I know what they're about and now I'm broadening my horizons. Magazines? Hmmm....they seem interesting and yeah, it would be so cool to hit the top one day, but the process takes longer. No one is going to graduate college and start working for Vogue magazine, (and if you do, let me know how). So this brings me to my main point, get as much experience as you can during college and after. This relates very well to my first interview with Vanessa Kolberg. She had alot of experience around Seton Hill which will help her in the long run.
So, as for us Journalism majors who don't have to stick with newspapers for eternity, there are other options, like magazines, but to get to the top, work hard, gain experience and one day we'll get there.


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This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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