Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009: how to use English good

I've seen various forms of these rules, which totally crack me up. The scary part for me is how many people don't even get the joke! Anyway, here's one list, which I found while trying to figure out where the list originated. This was the best explanation, in my opinion, and below is a partial list. Enjoy!

  • Make sure each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
  • Just between you and I, the case of pronoun is important.
  • Watch out for irregular verbs which have crope into English.
  • Verbs has to agree in number with their subjects.
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  • Being bad grammar, a writer should not use dangling modifiers.
  • Join clauses good like a conjunction should.
  • A writer must be not shift your point of view.
  • About sentence fragments.
  • Don't use run-on sentences you got to punctuate them.
  • In letters essays and reports use commas to separate items in series.
  • Don't use commas, which are not necessary.
  • Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.
  • Its important to use apostrophes right in everybodys writing.
  • Don't abbrev.
  • Check to see if you any words out.
  • In the case of a report, check to see that jargonwise, it's A-OK.
  • As far as incomplete constructions, they are wrong.
  • About repetition, the repetition of a word might be real effective repetition - take, for instance the repetition of Abraham Lincoln.
  • In my opinion, I think that an author when he is writing should definitely not get into the habit of making use of too many unnecessary words that he does not really need in order to put his message across.
  • Use parallel construction not only to be concise but also clarify.
  • It behooves us all to avoid archaic expressions.
  • Mixed metaphors are a pain in the neck and ought to be weeded out.
  • Consult the dictionery to avoid mispelings.
  • To ignorantly split an infinitive is a practice to religiously avoid.
  • Last but not least, lay off cliches.

  • Thursday, July 9, 2009

    July 9, 2009: My beach history

    Okay, so I was born in Southern California, in a place called Oceanside, which is even actually right by the ocean, and we apparently went to the beach on a regular basis. But I don't remember it at all, and we moved north when I was 3 1/2 or 4. The first time I actually remember being to the beach was when I was 12--we went to Disneyland and camped near the beach, and I loved it. As I recall, it was all stones--no annoying sand. The next time I remember was when I was 18, went to Disneyland again (this time with my high school graduating class), and I hated it, but I don't think that had to do with the beach itself, even though it was sandy, but with the fact that I did NOT want to be on that trip and had a bad attitude about it the whole time. I'm sure I'd been to the beach other times during my childhood, but I honestly don't remember them. Mom? Sibs? Do any of you read my blog?

    When I was 18 I went to Mexico for a year, lived six hours from the coast, and went with the youth group to the beach over a weekend, which also happened to be my birthday. Except for getting sunburned after sitting in the back of a pickup truck for six hours, and the campfire where they all sang happy birthday to me and each and every person gave me a hug (I love Latin America!), I don't remember much from that time, either. Is it possible I didn't even go in the water?

    I've also been to the beach several times in Costa Rica: once with the group of exchange students when I was there the first time in 1988, once with my host brother and some of his friends (I think in 1993, but not sure), and once with most of the family two years ago. We did have a wonderful time, but the sand was all over the place and irritating. Having the outdoor shower in the house where we stayed was very helpful.

    During my 17 1/2 years in Germany we made several day-trips (three-hour drive each way) to the beach in the Netherlands, but the last time was five years ago, and I'd also been to the Baltic Sea a couple of times, the last time 11 years ago.

    I shouldn't forget that last year we lived in Muizenberg, South Africa, for four months, literally a five-minute walk from the beach...and I went to the beach a total of three times.

    Oh yes, and we spent a couple of days at the beach in Thailand three years ago. I didn't want to be there (at the beach, that is--I loved the eight weeks in Thailand that we spent with the PEOPLE), hating being surrounded by tourists and sand. I annoyed my family and my friends by singing Sandra Boynton's wonderful song, "Tropical Sand." Here's my favorite line from the first verse:

    You like the tropical sun and the tropical sea, But hey, mon, Alaska sounds good to me.

    Then the brilliant chorus:

    I got de sand in my toes and de sand in my nose,

    de sand in my ears and de sand in my clothes.

    I got de sand in my hair and de sand in my face.

    I think I got de sand most everyplace.

    And we now live in Cyprus, where the furthest distance from the beach isn't very far, and we live in Larnaca, right on the coast. Without children I could probably walk to the beach in 20 minutes, we can certainly drive there in less than five minutes (parking and getting into and out of the car take longer than the drive), but I DON'T LIKE SAND. People had been telling me since January that we'd be going to the beach regularly once it got hot, and I was skeptical. I love being in the water, but I don't like sand, and I don't like the sun much, either. When my brother visited at the end of March we did go to the beach for an hour, but it was cold (which was nice) and only three of the children even went into the water. Wind kept blowing sand in my face and I sang my favorite beach song again. In the middle of May a friend took us sailing, and the beach there was all stones, which I liked very much, but the children missed sand. the end of May, my husband had found the perfect beach for us, in Pervolia, about 15 minutes away. Once I've gone to all the hassle of getting everyone and all the stuff into the car, I really don't care if we drive 15 minutes instead of five, especially for this perfect beach. It has stones where our stuff all stays sand-free, and right at the water it has sand for the children to play in. It stays shallow for a very long way, so I'm not paranoid about the children, and the very best part: when we go around 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon, we have SHADE--even in the water! And there are hardly any people there, and most of the people we've seen are Cypriots, not tourists. I've even had a couple of good exchanges with non-English-speaking Cypriots, and they're very hard to find. So for the last five weeks or so we have been to the beach three or four times every week, and we've been loving it.

    Yesterday, however, we couldn't go to "our" beach, because we had a homeschool families get-together at the beach here in Larnaca, which is all sand. We did find a little bit of shade from the lifeguard station, but there was sand in everything and on everything, and there were people all over. I did enjoy the part where I was in the water, and I very much enjoyed having the time with the other parents, but I'm looking forward to going to Pervolia tonight. I'm going to have to get used to sand, though, too, as the homeschoolers want to meet at the beach every week, and our housegroup will be meeting at the beach every other week throughout the summer, starting tomorrow. And yesterday I promised my husband that I would NOT sing the best beach song that was ever written, so I didn't. And that's the point of this post--getting to sing the song! :-)

    You like to be playing in the sun when it's hot.

    I wish I could find me some shade where it's not.

    You tell me the islands are very, very pretty,

    but me, I find them...a little too gritty.

    Any sand-coping strategies out there?