03 August 2006

Dickens and Words

Lines and phrases in classic literature sometimes take on new, unintended meanings over the years because of changes in the meaning of words. "Knock up" is one that turns up a lot in English literature, and causes an unintentional giggle now (it used to mean just to knock at a particular person's door). And while I am not the first person to point this out, David Copperfield contains one line that has taken on an unintended meaning that arguably makes more sense than the original. It's in the big confrontation between Little Emily, Steerforth's ex-mistress who still loves him even though he ruined her reputation, and Rosa Dartle, Steerforth's ex-mistress who still loves him even though he scarred her face:

“What is there in common between us, do you think?”

“Nothing but our sex,” said Emily, with a burst of tears.

Please click HERE to read the rest of this entry

21 July 2006

Composition - Bizarre English Metaphors (and Similes)

Hi Readers,

Earlier, I did a review on a lesson I did this Spring semester with writing students on similes and metaphors HERE. I thought my students did fairly well.

What I’ve reprinted below (including the intro paragraph) came into my mail today: these are NOT from my students (can also be found HERE--thanks, Femmebot). Note that most of these are really analogies.

I found some of them hilarious though and, as some commenters have pointed out, covertly ingenious is some cases. Anyway, I thought some of you might enjoy seeing examples of--what I assume to be--unintentionally silly / mixed metaphors. My colleague suggested that it would be nice if writing students would at least indulge in this much creativity from time to time!

*Every year, English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners . . .

*[Please click HERE to read the rest of this blog-entry]*

05 July 2006

Expatriatism! Easier to spell than antidisestablishmentarianismistically!

The expatriate in Asia is often a complainer: things are so different there from the way they are in wherever he thinks of as home that he feels aggrieved, ripped off, patronized or left out. The complaint takes different forms in India, Hong Kong and Japan, but the expat often stresses the ex part, as if he’s more aware of what he’s left behind than of where he’s landed. The foreign observer is likely to be happy only if he sees his foreignness as an adventure, and recognizes that he has given up a sense of belonging for a sense of freedom, traded the luxury of being understood for that of being permanently interested . . .

[Click HERE to read the rest of this article]

American Expatriatism in Canada

Currently, the United States is experiencing a slight national obsession with Canada. Between 10,000 and 20,000 Americans were ready to pack up and head to the land of the maple leaf after November’s election, reported U.S. News and World Report in February.

A traveler prepares to enter the boarding area of Dundas subway station.
The Canadian immigration Web site, which usually gets about 20,000 hits a day, got 115,000 hits from Americans alone the day after the election, said Rudi Kischer, a British Columbian immigration lawyer, to the Associated Press.

But it’s all talk, Farish says . . .

[Click HERE to read the rest of this story]

A Bit About Expatriatism

The floating head to your left is Ernest Hemingway. He is sort of your penultimate American expat - he enlisted to serve in the US ambulance corps in World War I and never turned his back on that continent. Hemingway's Europe of the 1920s appealed to his generation much the same way the Europe of the 90s and 00s appeals to mine - it's a new frontier, particularly "East" Europe, that is former communist Europe (because Vienna is farther east than Prague is). In the 1920s, the frontier of America, which had sustained America's adventurers for 300 years, was dead. Defeated. But in the cafes of Paris - well, there was a new adventure brimming . . .

[Click HERE to read the rest of this entry.]

23 June 2006

How to e-mail a professor

I've read enough e-mails to know that many college students could benefit from some guidelines for writing an e-mail to a professor. Here they are:

27 May 2006

Tell your mother thank you!

From: The Crow's Nest by Alyce Baker Putt

Despite her small stature, she entranced me. All I could do was stare at her—even though I know it is impolite. No one else seemed to notice her. They were busy chitchatting and eating. I was busy looking at her.

My passion for Toni Morrison’s works began during the summer of 1999 while taking a major author course at Shippensburg. Prior to this course, I had never read any of Morrison’s works. By the end of the five-week course, I had read all six of her novels. She has published two more, which I, of course, bought and read immediately. I have also read her non-fiction and much of the criticism about her works. And I have read practically every interview she has ever given.

People have asked what lures me to Morrison’s works. Most often I reply . . .

[click HERE to read the rest of this article]

23 April 2006

Discussing Truth: Is There a Factual Definition?

This month there has been a lot of discussion about the concept of "truth." Do you recall the film Dekalog 8 by Krzystof Kieslowski? It had everything to do with telling "the truth," remember? So did the documentary Strongwoman. Several of you, I might add, expressed that you did not believe Justyna's testimony (which seemed to horrify Maria Z. who, in fact, did!)

In our last exercise we looked at Henry Adams's (1838-1948) admonition to learn as the prime directive. In other words, the ability to learn or the process of learning, above all, is the most important thing of all since it gives a person "enough" to get by in life. If we take this statement for granted, are we then to assume that we should be learning "truthful" things? Would Adams sound nearly as clever if he told us to go out and fill our heads with "untruths"? It seems important, then, if we are to learn let it not be wasted on lies and propaganda (useless data) but on knowledge that we somehow know to be true . . .

Click HERE to read the rest of this entry . . .

06 April 2006

Awesome Cartoon Strip: "The Trek Life"

Hilarious comic strip about three trekkies who make the Star Trek world the focus of their life.


04 March 2006

03 March 2006

02 March 2006

10 February 2006

The Global Citizen


Definitely NOT a site for Nationalists!

09 February 2006

Peaceful Earth Dynamic


Search for Sanity beyond the Self!

08 February 2006

Universal Denizen


One Planet / One People. Need more be said? National boundaries are an insane, outdated, counter-productive concept.
Let there be peace, sanity, prosperity and serenity. Let there be goodwill.
This teacher's mission: to promote values that embrace education, progress, tolerance and understanding.