Friday, December 1, 2017

Final Exam

The final exam will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, December 8th.

The exam will cover elements of the midterm (sentence pattern types, verb tenses, sentence elements, passive voice, etc.). The exam will also cover comma placement and lessons that students have presented in the second half of the term, some of which we have been reviewing this week, such as:
  • which vs. that
  • clear antecedents
  • strengthening writing through the use of strong verbs and the excision of adjectives and adverbs
  • differentiating between gerunds and progressive verb tenses
  • subject and object pronoun use
  • combining sentences using relative pronouns and participial phrases
  • diagramming simple sentences

Ten percent of your grade on the final will be based on the following assignment:

Find and email me unique examples in Garner of each of the five "stages" referred to in the "Language-Change Index."

For example:
Stage 2:  forecasted for past-tense of forecast (current ratio:  forecast that vs. forecasted that): 9:1.

Due before 9 a.m. on Friday.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Daily Assignments, 2017

Assignment #24: Write an original compound sentence that includes the following elements:

  • an introductory subordinate clause;
  • a verb in passive voice;
  • a verb in present perfect tense.

Due by Sunday, November 5th at 10 pm.

Assignment #23: Read 100% of your assigned book and email the instructor a review of it in which you identify the title, the author, the number of pages in the book, and the number of pages you've read. Describe the subject, the intended audience, the writer's approach to subject, and something you learned in the last 25% section of the book.

Due by Friday, November 3rd by 5 pm.

Assignment #22:  Read 75% of your assigned book and email the instructor a review of it in which you identify the title, the author, the number of pages in the book, and the number of pages you've read. Describe the subject, the intended audience, the writer's approach to subject, and what you have found valuable about the book so far.

Due by Friday, October 27th at 5 pm.  Remember: we will not have our regularly scheduled class meeting on Friday.

Assignment #21:  Read 50% of your assigned book and email the instructor a review of it in which you identify the title, the author, the number of pages in the book, and the number of pages you've read. Describe the subject, the intended audience, the writer's approach to subject, and what you have found valuable about the book so far.

Due by Sunday, October 22nd at 10 pm.

Assignment #20:  Revise these 4 sentences for clarity and email them to me.

The first two sentences have long subjects and long introductory elements. Add commas to the original sentence where appropriate. Then write a new version of the sentence in whatever ways seem appropriate.

1.  Although one way to prevent foreign piracy of videos and CDs is in the criminal justice systems of foreign countries and for cases to move faster through their systems and for stiffer penalties to be imposed no improvement in the level of expertise of judges who hear these cases is expected any time in the immediate future.

2. Since school officials responsible for settling policy about school security have said that local principals may require students to pass through metal detectors before entering a school building the need to educate parents and students about the seriousness of bringing on to school property anything that looks like a weapon can be made a part of the total package of school security.

The next two sentences are unfortunately interrupted. First, add commas to the original sentence where appropriate. Then write a new version of the sentence that eliminates wordiness and corrects the interruption.

3. TV talk shows because they have an appeal to our fascination with real life conflict because of our voyeuristic impulses are about the most popular shows that are regularly scheduled to appear on TV.

4. The merit selection of those who are judges given the low quality and character of elected officials is an idea whose time came long ago.

Due by Tuesday, October 17th at 10 pm.

Assignment #19:  Identify 3 different passages from your own formal writing that raise questions about comma usage. Email these passages to me.  If you find a dangler in your writing, please send it as well!
Due by Sunday, October 15th at 10 pm.

Assignment #18:  Read 25% of your assigned book and email the instructor a review of it in which you identify the title, the author, the number of pages in the book, and the number of pages you've read. Describe the subject, the intended audience, the writer's approach to subject, and what you have found valuable about the book so far.
Due by Thursday, October 12th at 10 pm.

Assignment #17:  This assignment has two parts.  Part B is for students who do not intend to attend class on Friday for the midterm review scheduled for Monday, October 9th.

Part A. Identify which of the following sentence deploy the passive voice. After you have identified the passive voice structures, identify the "be" form in each and the past participle. Then try to rewrite them in the active voice.  You may find that you have to change other parts of the sentence in order to accomplish this, and you may have to introduce a subject that the passive voice has hidden. Some of these may include multiple instances of the passive voice.
  1. After President Trump said the death toll from Hurricane Maria was a success in comparison with “a real catastrophe like Katrina,” the island’s governor said the number had risen to 34.
  2. Duane Buck, a Texas man, was convicted of two 1995 murders, but his death sentence was lifted because of racist testimony from a psychologist.
  3. Johnny Barney of Ada was honored as a cumulative breeder.
  4. Marilou Danley, who left the country before the shooting, is considered a “person of interest” in the investigation.
  5. Officials hope his girlfriend, who returned from the Philippines, can provide some insight
  6. The authorities are looking to interview everyone who crossed paths with the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, in recent weeks.
  7. The revelation stunned customers and cybersecurity analysts, and it came just months after Verizon Communications acquired Yahoo for $4.48 billion, when the breach was still thought to have affected only one billion. 
  8. Thousands of people who had come from far away for a country music festival suddenly found themselves under fire.
  9. Two weeks after Hurricane Maria, many are still receiving only meager portions and delivery is being hampered by bureaucracy and tough logistics.
  10. When Baker Mayfield was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the third quarter at Baylor two weeks ago, some saw another flag raise up.
Part A. is due Thursday, October 5th by 10 pm.

Part B. Read this article. Find all the sentences in the article that use the passive voice. Paste them into the body of an email and send them to me (hint: I found four). Identify the "be" form and the "past participle" in each example. Comment on why the sentences were written in the passive voice.  Then find three other examples of the passive voice used in three separate news or textbook articles.  Identify the "be" form and the "past participle" in each example and comment on why the sentences were written in the passive voice. Are any of the authors of your examples guilty of "tricks of obfuscation"? Would their sentences be better in active voice?

Part B is due Friday, October 6th by 10:50 AM.

Assignment #16:  This assignment has two parts.  Part B is optional
A. Use Amazon to research three of the titles listed below.  Read about the author. Look over the table of contents and read the sample pages. Email me an analysis of at least three titles.  Describe the target audience, the writer's style, and why it does or does not interest you.

  • Booher's Rules of Business Grammar: 101 Fast and Easy Ways to Correct the Most Common Errors by Dianna Booher
  • Doing Grammar by Max Morenberg 
  • English Grammar: An Introduction by Peter Collins/Carmella Hollo 
  • Exercises for Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln/Robert Funk 
  • The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English by Roy Peter Clark
  • Grammar by Diagram by Cindy L. Vitto
  • It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences by  June Casagrande
  • Painless Grammar by Rebecca Elliott
  • Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects by Martha Kolln
  • Sin and Syntax: How to craft Wicked good prose by Constance Hale
  • Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagraming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey
  • Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams
  • The Best Punctuation Book, Period by June Casagrande
  • The Practical Grammar Handbook for College Writers by Marian Anders
  • Reviewing Basic Grammar: A Guide to Writing Sentences and Paragraphs by Mary Laine Yarber/Robert E. Yarber
  • The War Against Grammar by David Mulroy
  • The Writer's Options: Lessons in Style and Arrangement by Max Morenberg/Jeff Sommers
  • Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln/Robert Funk
  • When Words Collide: A Media Writers Guide to Grammar and Style by Lauren Kessler/Duncan McDonald
  • When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better And/Or Worse by Ben Yagoda
  • Writers' Choices: Grammar to Improve Style by Michael Kischner/Edith Wollin
  • Writing for Life: Sentences and Paragraphs by D. J. Henry
  • You Need to Read This: The Death of the Imperative Mode, the Rise of the American Glottal Stop, the Biz arre Popularity of "Amongst," and Other Cuckoo Things That Have Happened to the English Language by Ben Yagoda 
B. OPTIONAL
Identify which of the following sentence deploy the passive voice. After you have identified the passive voice structures, try to rewrite them in the active voice.  You may find that you have to change other parts of the sentence in order to accomplish this, and you may have to introduce a subject that the passive voice has hidden. Some of these may include multiple instances of the passive voice.
  • One woman was killed and two others were wounded when they were shot outside a Manhattan nightclub early Monday morning, police said.
  • The CITE project will see future technologies developed in a $1 billion empty city in the New Mexico desert.
  • There he found a small but successful restaurant run by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald and was stunned by the effectiveness of their operation. 
  • New techniques, ideas and theories are discovered frequently so when presented with new situations or circumstances research is needed to verify the best options are being provided for clients.
  • A version much like this one was given to the anthropologist Frank Speck in 1918 by an elderly Penobscot man named Newell Lion
Due: Tuesday, September 26th by 10 p.m.

Assignment #15: This assignment has two parts:
Part One
Identify which of the following sentence deploy the passive voice. After you have identified the passive voice sentences, try to rewrite them in the active voice.  You may find that you have to change other parts of the sentence in order to accomplish this, and you may have to introduce a subject that the passive voice has hidden.

1. Queen Elizabeth had reigned in England for many years.
2. Nobody was told what was going to happen that evening.
3. Spongebob has been on television for far too long.
4. The girls were put in time-out for fighting over the last piece of cake.
5. Bobby has been caught shoplifting again.
Part Two
Find an example of the passive voice in a fictional text written by one of your favorite authors.
Type out the passage in which the sentence appears (including, for example, the few sentences or the paragraph that proceeds it).
Mark the passive voice elements (form of the word 'be" and
Revise the sentence in the active voice.
Comment on how the change affects the passage.

Example from Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut:
"I am an American by birth, a Nazi by reputation, and a nationless person by inclination.
"The year in which I write this book is 1961.
"I address this book of mine to Mr. Tuvia Friedman, Director of the Haifa Institute for the Documentation of War Criminals, and to whomever else this may concern.
"Why should this book interest Mr. Friedman?
"Because it is written by a man suspected of being a war criminal. Mr. Friedman is a specialist in such persons. He had expressed an eagerness to have any writing I might care to add to his archives of Nazi villainy."
PASSIVE VOICE:  "Because it is written by a man suspected of being a war criminal. Mr. Friedman is a specialist in such persons."
ELEMENTS:  To be form:  "is"; past participle:  "written"
ACTIVE VOICE REVISION:  Because a man suspected of being a war criminal wrote it.

The passive voice construction respects the known-new contract.  It starts with a pronoun, "it," whose reference is clear:  the book. The new information in the sentence is that the author is suspected of being a war criminal.  The passive voice allows that information to be placed in the final position.

Interestingly, the sentence that follows the passive voice construction does not follow the known-new contract.  If it did, it would read:  "Such persons are of special interest for Mr. Friedman." This revision would also reinforce coherence with the next sentence, which begins with a pronoun reference ("he") to Mr. Friedman. These sentences are short enough that coherence is not a problem for comprehension, but I think this revision would have a mildly positive effect on the flow of the passage.

Due: Sunday, September 24th at 10 p.m.

Assignment #14: Read Garner's discussion of passive voice (676-677). Then identify which of the following sentence deploy the passive voice. After you have identified the passive voice sentences, try to rewrite them in the active voice.  You may find that you have to change other parts of the sentence in order to accomplish this, and you may have to introduce a subject that the passive voice has hidden.

EXAMPLE:
A. The cackling laughter echoed in the students' ears as Dr. Benton fell, dropping the bright red apple to the classroom floor. ACTIVE
B. Glowing, sparkling dust was thrown through the air, only to settle on the squirming bodies of the excited grammar students. PASSIVE
REVISION: Dr. Benton threw glowing, sparkling dust through the air, and it settled on the squirming bodies of the excited children.

1. As the time to start class passed, a bone-chilling howl was heard by the stranded students.
2. Orange Fanta bottles were thrown every which way as the grammar students celebrated their arrival in Room 333.
3. It has been said that Cole is the best of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
3. Chelsi has earned the right to be known as a sentence-pattern identification legend.
4. Despite the pleasant atmosphere in the classroom, the students were troubled by Dr. Benton's frequent references to twerking.
5. Jill has saved Batman more than her fair share of times.
6. The guitar was flipped around forcefully as Shyanna did her best ZZ Top impression.
7. Dr. Benton's face burned as the students politely asked him not to wear his rainbow onesie on Fridays.
8. The students have eaten too many deep fried pickles in class. 
9. Dr. Benton's restraining order was delivered in class by a masked man wearing a cape.
10. Several types of deadly wildlife have been found hiding in the air-conditioner.

Due: Thursday, September 21st at 10 p.m.

Assignment #13:  Email me three sentences include at least three nominalizations in each sentence. Also email me revised versions of of those same three sentences with the nominalizations removed or replaced by verbs. You may use the list below to help you think of words you might use, but please note that while some of these words are nominalizations, others are verbs that could be nominalized.

EXAMPLE:  It is our belief that we can produce a definition of the problem that will provide satisfaction for everyone.
REVISED: We believe we can define the problem in a way that will satisfy everyone.

Analysis
Suggest
Expression
Decrease
Believe
Approach
Failure
Improve
Attempt
Comparison
Acquisition
Increase
Conclusion
Define
Appeal
Accuracy
Relevant
Emphasize
Discuss
Appearance
Decide
Evaluate
Explanation
Description
Clear

Due by 10 pm on Tuesday, September 19.

Assignment #12:  Copy and paste the following sentences into an email to me. Under each sentence
a) identify the subject and the main verb (some may have compound subjects or verbs; some may be compound sentences; and some may have subordinate clauses);
b) identify the verb type (intransitive/transitive/linking-be); and
c) identify any of these other elements if they are present: direct object, predicate adjective or predicate nominative. Underline prepositional phrases. Italicize participial phrases. Bold subordinate clauses.

EXAMPLE: Social conservatives are enjoying clout in Washington as they secure new policies on gays, guns and abortion.
SUBJECT:  Social conservatives
MAIN VERB (complete): are enjoying (transitive)
DIRECT OBJECT:  clout

1. Some civil servants have left as a result.

2. Television correspondents are standing out in the storm as Hurricane Irma lashes Florida.

3. In grilling Catholic judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett about her faith, the senator revealed her own orthodoxy.

4. As he prepares for re-election next year, Senator Ted Cruz faces a challenge in helping millions of people — in his hometown, Houston, and beyond — rebuild after Hurricane Harvey.

5. Dogs are more than accessories or travel companions on the pro tennis tour.*

5. Some players are registering them as emotional support support animals, vital to surviving life on the road.

*After I put the original #5 up (see above), I realized that is more complicated that necessary for our purposes. If you've already done it, you don' t have to do the new number 5.  If not, I would prefer that you do the new number 5 instead.

Due by 10 pm on Tuesday, September 12.

Assignment #11:  Copy and paste the following sentences into an email to me. Under each sentence
a) identify the subject and the main verb (some may have compound subjects or verbs; some may be compound sentences; and some may have subordinate clauses);
b) identify the verb type (intransitive/transitive/linking-be); and
c) identify any of these other elements if they are present: direct object, predicate adjective or predicate nominative. Underline prepositional phrases. Italicize participial phrases.

EXAMPLE:  Suddenly Trump and the Democrats are making deals.
SUBJECT:  Trump and the Democrats (compound)
MAIN VERB (complete):  are making (transitive)
DIRECT OBJECT:  deals.

1. Central and South Florida have grown at a breathtaking pace, making big storms potentially more dangerous and costly.

2. A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2 struck off the southwestern coast of Mexico late Thursday, shaking buildings as far away as Mexico City.

3. The quake set off tsunami warnings and sent residents into the streets.

4. Posing as ordinary citizens on Facebook and building “warlists” of Twitter accounts, suspected Russian agents intervened last year in the American democratic process.

5. They were the first black boys to integrate the South’s elite prep schools.

Due by 10 pm on Sunday, September 10.

Assignment #10:  Copy and paste the following sentences into an email to me. Under each sentence
a) identify the subject and the main verb (some may have compound subjects or verbs; some may be compound sentences; and some may have subordinate clauses);
b) identify the verb type (intransitive/transitive/linking-be); and
c) identify any of these other elements if they are present: direct object, predicate adjective or predicate nominative. Underline prepositional phrases. Italicize participial phrases.

EXAMPLE: Liniers has been big in Latin America for years, but now his covers and books are getting broader exposure in the United States.
SUBJECT 1: Liniers
MAIN VERB 1: has been (linking)
PREDICATE ADJECTIVE:  big
SUBJECT 2: covers and books (compound)
MAIN VERB 2:  are getting (transitive)
PREDICATE NOMINATIVE:  exposure

1. Almost any amount and type of physical activity may slow aging deep in our cells, and middle age may be a critical time to get the process rolling.

2. President Trump’s approach to the North’s nuclear plans has produced no results and sowed confusion about his intentions.

3. The hurricane arrived in the islands with 185 m.p.h. winds, and the eye passed over Barbuda as it headed toward Puerto Rico.

4. Houston residents have returned to homes near a chemical plant that caught fire during Hurricane Harvey, but the explosions revealed gaps in industry disclosure rules.

5. As Harvey’s rains bore down on Texas, a 911 dispatcher and a pastor’s daughter felt nature at its fiercest — and saw humanity at its best.

Due by 10 pm on Thursday, September 7.

Assignment #9:  Copy and paste the following sentences into an email to me. Under each sentence, identify the subject and the main verb (some may be compound subjects ; identify the verb type (intransitive/transitive/linking-be); and identify any of these other elements if they are present: direct object, predicate adjective or predicate nominative. Underline prepositional phrases. Italicize participial phrases.

EXAMPLE: In interviews, four of the 69 Arab prisoners of the Islamic State freed in a military raid last week described life under the thumb of the Islamic State.
SUBJECT: four
MAIN VERB: describes (transitive)
DIRECT OBJECT: life

1. Matthew Broderick, Annaleigh Ashford and Julie White star in the first Broadway production of A.­R. Gurney’s 1995 comedy.

2. A collaboration including the Rockefeller Foundation, the producers of “Hamilton” and a nonprofit American history institute is bringing students to the show.

3. Mr. Takei’s memories of his family’s imprisonment in the United States during World War II inspired the Broadway musical “Allegiance.”

4. The producer and performer spoke to students after recently being named artist in residence at the Tisch School of the Arts.

5. This drama follows the misfortunes of a woman living a difficult existence in the poor section of Manila.
Due by 10 pm on Tuesday, September 5th .

Assignment #8:  If you want to attend a Verb Tense Review session on Friday, September 1st, complete assignment 8A below.  Otherwise, complete assignment 8B below.

Assignment 8A.  Due Thursday, August 31st by 10 p.m.
Create and email to me a short drama in which each of verb forms below are deployed in separate, independent sentences. Identify the verb tense you are using in parentheses after each sentence. Due date:  10 pm on Thursday, August 24th.
1. present progressive (ex. "I am noodling.")
2. past progressive (ex. "I was noodling.")
3. future progressive (ex. "I will be noodling.")
4. present perfect (ex. "I have noodled.")
5. past perfect (ex. "I had noodled.")
6. future perfect (ex. "I will have noodled.")
7. perfect conditional (ex. "I would have noodled.")
8. present perfect progressive (ex. "I have been noodling.")
9. past perfect progressive (ex. "I had been noodling.")
10. future perfect progressive ("I will have been noodling.")
11. progressive conditional ("I would be noodling.")
12. perfect progressive conditional ("I would have been noodling.")

Assignment 8B. Due Friday, September 1st by 10:50 a.m. If you do not attend the verb tense review, you may spend our class period working on this assignment, which has 3 options.  I’m not giving your word limits on these; I’m just expecting 50 minutes of work. You only have to do one of the three options.

8B1: The Research Option.
Spend 50 minutes researching and writing about the questions ("a" through "i") below. Send me an email in which you report on your research. The first two ("a" and "b") are speculative. The remaining 8 ("c" through "i")  have answers. Make sure that your answers have reliable sources. I hope to be able to turn some of these answers into “Did You Know . . . ?” Facebook posts! You do not need to answer any set number of the questions below, but spend at least 50 minutes on this exercise.

a) You are standing at the checkout counter, and the cashier says, “That will be $39.14.” Why did he use the future tense?
b) You are having a meeting to make plans for a banquet that will be taking place the following week. You wonder if the guest of honor will be there. One of the officers reports: “Yes, she is coming.” Why did she use the present continuous tense?
c) What is the “historical present” tense? Provide an original example.
d) Which tenseless language is spoken by the most people in the world? Explain what “tenseless” means. Provide some additional interesting facts about the language.
e) Identify a language that has two tenses: past and non-past. How might that language account for the future? Provide some additional interesting facts about the language.
f) Identify a language that has two tenses: future and non-future. How might that language account for the past? Provide some additional interesting facts about the language.
g) What is unique about the tenses Kalaw Lagaw Ya language? Provide some additional interesting facts about the language. Are there others like it?
h) Identify a language that habitually uses two past tenses: an imperfect tense and a preterit tense? What is the difference between these two tenses? Provide examples.
i) Identify languages that use a hodiernal tense, a crastinal tense, and a hesternal tense. What are these? Provide examples

8B2. The Creative Writing Option
Write a work of poem, a short drama, or a work of fiction in which a diverse array of verb tenses play a prominent role.  Potential options:  a heated argument in which specific verb tenses clarify or obscure the truth; an encounter between a human and an alien who is just learning how language works;  a drama in which the tenses themselves are characters (who naturally use—perhaps, not exclusively—the tenses that share their names). Spend at least 50 minutes on this.

8B3.  The Pedagogical Option
Create one or more handouts (or a PowerPoint) that would be helpful to someone (including, perhaps, your classmates) who is trying to remember how to recognize and produce the verb tenses we have been studying. You might provide visualizations, worksheets, explanations, etc. Spend at least 50 minutes on this.

Assignment #7:  Copy and paste the following sentences into an email to me. Under each sentence, identify the subject and the main verb (some ; identify the verb type (intransitive/transitive/linking-be); and identify any of these other elements if they are present: direct object, predicate adjective or predicate nominative. Underline prepositional phrases

EXAMPLE: Tyrone Howard, arrested in the fatal shooting of Randolph Holder, a New York City police officer, received a series of breaks in nearly two decades of frequent arrests and convictions.
SUBJECT:  Tyrone Howard
MAIN VERB:  received (transitive)
DIRECT OBJECT:  a series

1. The American Cancer Society’s new guidelines are wrong.

2. Many of Europe’s new mystery children are boys ages 14 to 17, sent by families too poor to pay smugglers for more than one journey.

3. It will be the first job as a museum director for Ms. Fogelman, who currently oversees collections at the Morgan Library & Museum

4. Al Pacino, in a play by David Mamet, soared into Broadway box-office territory usually reserved for musicals.

5. Gender affects hiring behind the scenes, according to an academic report.

Due by 10 pm on Tuesday, August 29th.

Assignment #6:  Email me a song title or lyric that matches each of the four following sentence pattern types. Identify the person who sings the song. The song does not need to follow the norms of Standard Written English.
1. Subject + intransitive verb
2. Subject + transitive verb.
3. Subject + linking verb/be + predicative adjective
4. Subject + linking verb/be + predicate nominative

Due by 10 pm on Sunday, August 27th.

Assignment #5. Email me 12 sentences, one that uses each of the following verb tenses in the main clause. Identify the verb tense you are using
Due date:  10 pm on Thursday, August 24th.
1. present progressive (ex. "I am photobombing.")
2. past progressive (ex. "I was photobombing.")
3. future progressive (ex. "I will be photobombing.")
4. present perfect (ex. "I have photobombed.")
5. past perfect (ex. "I had photobombed.")
6. future perfect (ex. "I will have photobombed.")
7. perfect conditional (ex. "I would have photobombed.")
8. present perfect progressive (ex. "I have been photobombing.")
9. past perfect progressive (ex. "I had been photobombing.")
10. future perfect progressive ("I will have been photobombing.")
11. progressive conditional ("I would be photobombing.")
12. perfect progressive conditional ("I would have been photobombing.")

You can either:

a) look through a recently published online news publication to find a complete sentence that deploys each of the verb tenses listed above. Some of these--3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11--are easy to search for. Just run a search on the first two words on a particular website--make sure you put quotation marks around them). Just run a search for the first three words for #s 10 and 12. Please identify your source (url).

OR

b) create original sentences that demonstrate each of the verb forms. If you choose option "b," each sentence must include at least one of the following words, which have been added to well-known dictionaries in 2017 (make sure you know what they mean before you use them); Don't use the same word more than once:
1. thing (referring to ‘a genuine or established phenomenon or practice," as in: "Did you know that “leaf peeping” was a thing?") Click here and here for the sources for these words.
2. a Boston marriage
3. a birdcage veil
4. Baltic (meaning extremely cold)
5. woke (meaning "aware" or "well informed")
6. a baby face or a face (meaning a wrestler who is cast as the hero or ‘good guy’ in a match.
7. post-truth (as in "circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief")
8. sext
9. hangry
10. binge-watch
11. side-eye
12. face-palm
13. ghost (as in "To abruptly cut off all contact with someone--such as a former romantic partner--by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.)
14. pareidolia
15. prosopagnosia
16. safe space
17. wayback (referring to part of a van, station wagon or SUV)
18. weak sauce
19. woo-woo

OR
c) some combination of both "a" and "b"


Assignment #4. Sign up for a day when you will email me something new that you have learned from Garner's Modern English Usage. Learn something new. Email it to me.  I'll post it on the ECU Linguistics and Grammar page on Facebook. Like the page to follow along.
Due dates for each student are listed below:
Aug 23: Karina Tarpey
Aug 24: Sierra Newey
Aug 27: Dana Welch
Aug 29: Ashley Tucker
Aug 30: Sharayah Alkire
Aug 31: Taylor Pruitt
Sep 1: Kelci Smith (Pollock)
Sep 2: Melissa Copeland
Sep 3: Lauren Trimmer
Sep 5: Cole Kugler
Sep 6: Amber Deela
Sep 7: Chelsee Marie Gray
Sep 8: Maci Hanson
Sep 9: Austin Ward
Sep 10: Jill Taylor
Sep 11: Socorra Rider
Sep 12: Sidney Lewis
Sep 13: Shyanna Sloan
Sep 14: Madison Harvey
Sep 15: Taylor Thomas
Sep 17: Jared Larson
Due September 18th at 10 pm.

Assignment #3. Read Garner's essay "Making Peace in the Language Wars" (xxxiii-xlv). Send me an e-mail (sbenton@ecok.edu) in which you:
a) describe a salient point made in the article, and
b) respond with reflections, questions, feelings, thoughts, etc.

Use Standard Written English.
Include your name in the subject line of the e-mail.

Due: August 22nd at 10 p.m.

Assignment #2. Explore the entries in Garner's Modern English Usage. Learn something. Post it the comments section of the relevant post on this blog.
Due August 20th at 10 p.m.



Assignment #1. Read "Tense Present" by David Foster Wallace. Click here for the pdf.

Send me an e-mail (sbenton@ecok.edu) in which you:
a) describe a salient point made in the article, and
b) respond with reflections, questions, feelings, thoughts, etc.

Use Standard Edited English.
Include your name in the subject line of the e-mail.

Due:  August 17th at 10 pm

Friday, September 29, 2017

Final Exam exemption?

This is a reminder: I will not be in class on September 29th, but I strongly encourage you to come to the classroom and work together to use the class period as a study session. I will deliver worksheets to the classroom that you can use for review purposes.  If you have any questions about the answers, you can email them to me.

We will have a quiz over passive voice and nominalizations on Monday.

FINAL EXAM EXEMPTIONS
If you got a grade of 90 or better on both of the first two quizzes (not the make-ups) and you match up with a student who got a grade of below 70 on either of the first two quizzes, and both of you get a score of 80 or better on the midterm, the student who got a grade of 90 or better on the first two quizzes, can choose to use their quiz average for the final exam score and not take the final exam.

The midterm will be on Monday, October 9th.

If you intend to match up, you must notify me by today--September 29th!

As of 8:00 a.m. on 9/29, only one pair of students has notified me of their intention to match up.

I hope more of you contact me after today's class!
SB

Many forms of Be

Most Common Forms:
Is, Are, Is being, Was, Were, Been (have been), Be (will be)

Present
1st person ("I") singular: am
2nd person singular ("you"), 1st & 3rd person plural ("we" & "they"): are
3rd person singular ("he," "she," "it"): is

Past
1st, 3rd person singular: was
2nd person singular, 1st and 3rd person plural: were

Present participle: being
Past participle: been

Present Perfect:
have been, has been

Past Perfect:
had been

Present progressive:
am being, are being, is being

Past progressive:
was being, were being

Conditional:
would be

Future:
will be

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Presentation Guidelines

25% of your grade in this class is based on an Academic Paper and an in-class presentation. The paper is worth 15% of your grade. It should be 4-5 pages in length and is due one week after in-class presentation. The in-class presentation is worth 10% of your grade. It should be 10-15 minute in length. Each student must meet with the instructor to rehearse the presentation at least one week prior to assigned presentation day. You will not be graded on your rehearsal, but your global score for the in-class presentation may be affected if you do not schedule a rehearsal or do not come to the rehearsal fully prepared.

Your in-class presentation should include an introduction to the author of the text (academic credentials, publishing record, etc.) and a discussion of the book's target audience, organizational structure and writing style.  The focus of your presentation, however, should be on something valuable that you learned from the text that you think your classmates will also find valuable. I expect you to teach that material to your classmates.

I expect most in-class presentation to include a PowerPoint, but this is not strictly required. You may include handouts, exercise, and in-class discussion questions as a part of your presentation. Your presentation should last 10-15 minutes, including activities.

Your paper should be 4-5 pages in length. It should provide a fuller discussion of the book's target audience, organizational structure and writing style, as well as commentary on what qualifies the author as an authority on the subject. Consider the rationale that the author presents for the study of grammar and knowledge of grammatical terms. If you have chosen a book that does not have grammar as its central focus, you should discuss the ways in which knowledge of grammatical terms might or might or might not affect the reader's ability to comprehend the text and get the most out of it. 

The focus of these assignments is not to express your feelings of love or hatred for the text.

Your presentation and your paper will be evaluated using the criteria below.

Presentation/Paper:
1. follows the assignment guidelines;
2. describes the material in a way that is clear, logical, and easy to follow;
3. is polished and demonstrates attention to detail;
4. demonstrates awareness of some of the complexities of the issue under discussion..

Some notes:
•If you plan to include activities, prepare the activities before your rehearsal.
•Handouts may be helpful for activities.
•If you have a choice between something quick and easy but less beneficial and something more complicated but also more beneficial, choose something more beneficial.
•Don’t include too many words on your PowerPoint. You don't want your slide to compete with what you're saying. What's on the PowerPoint should complement what you're saying. Items to include on a PowerPoint slide:  bullet points that clarify the structure of your presentation; examples used for analysis and discussion; key terms, author names, book and article titles.
•Provide examples to illustrate your claims. For example, if you say that the author uses a "modern" style, provide quotations from the text that illustrate this claim.
•You may find it useful to compare the way your text discusses your topic and the way Bryan Garner discusses it and the way some other authors or online resources discuss it.
•If your text is a writing guide, I will be interested in hearing whether or not it makes extensive use of grammatical terms and what, if anything, it has to say about the importance of knowing those terms.
•If your text is a grammar guide, I will be interested in hearing what it has to say about the importance of the subject and who might be interested in it.



Presentation Dates

Remember:  you are required to rehearse your presentation with me at least one week before you are scheduled to make your in-class presentation.  It is your responsibility to set up a rehearsal time.  The way to do this is to email me a list of days and times that you are available.  The sooner you do this, the better. Generally speaking, I am most available on Tuesdays and Thursdays and MWF after 3:15.

Make sure that your presentation is fully ready at the time of our rehearsal.  If you are under-prepared at the time of our rehearsal, it will negatively affect your grade on this assignment.

A written analysis of your assigned text will be due exactly one week after the date of your in-class presentation.

A fuller description of the assignment requirements will be posted on this website at a later time.

Friday, November 3:  Booher's Rules (Karina and Taylor P.)
Monday, November 6:  Understanding English Grammar (Jared, Ashley, and Dana)
Wednesday, November 8:  The Glamour of Grammar (Amber, Chelsee)
Friday, November 10:  Sin & Syntax (Kelci, Sidney, Sierra, Melissa)
Monday, November 13:  Righting the Mother Tongue (Lauren), Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog (Madison), and Doing Grammar (Taylor)
Wednesday, November 15: The Practical Grammar Handbook for College Writers (Shyanna), Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Maci)
Friday, November 17:  It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences (Ray), Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace (Jill)
Monday, November 20:  The War Against Grammar (Austin); The Best Punctuation Book, Period (Cole) and Painless Grammar (Michael)

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Passive Voice Can Come in Many Tenses

Present Progressive:
You are getting served.

Present:
You get served every morning.

Future:
You will get served tomorrow.

Future progressive:
You will be getting served tomorrow.

Past progressive:
You were getting served.

Present perfect:
You have gotten served.

Past perfect:

You had gotten served before then.

Present perfect progressive:
You have been getting served every day for the past week.

Past perfect progressive:
You had been getting served every day until I showed up.

Conditional
You would get served.

Conditional progressive
You would be getting served.

Perfect conditional
You would have gotten served.

Perfect progressive conditional
You would have been getting served.

Friday, August 18, 2017

What did you learn from Garner's Modern English Usage?

For fun, click here to hear what Garner has to say about "Tense Present," the essay that "changed his life."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Approaches to Grammar, Fall 2017

Syllabus
Office: Faust 155
Phone: 580-559-5877
Office Hours: 2-2:50 MTWR and by appointment

Over the course of this semester, we will discuss lexical categories, verb forms, sentence types, descriptive and prescriptive accounts of language use, and the differences between grammar rules and usage norms. Along the way, you will make progress toward developing a linguistic super power that will allow you to exchange an unspoken mental handshake with others who have developed the same skills you have.

Required Materials
Garner’s Modern English Usage, Fourth Edition. (Oxford UP, 2016)

Course Plan: Reading and writing assignments (and modifications to these assignments) will be announced over the course of the semester.  Students who miss class are responsible for learning what changes have been made in the syllabus.  Make sure you have the e-mail address and/or phone number of at least two of your classmates, so you can get the information you need about assignments in a timely manner. You may also check the course website:  www.ecugrammar.blogspot.com for new assignments.

The class will not hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, October 26th.

Evaluation:
60% Daily assignments (reading responses, quizzes, etc.)
20% Grammar book review plus in-class presentation (4-5 pages on an approved text plus a 10-15 minute in-class presentation to be given during the second half of the semester; each student must meet with the instructor to rehearse presentation at least one week prior to assigned presentation day; paper is due one week after in-class presentation).
10% Midterm Exam
10% Final Exam

Attendance: To get an “A” or a “B” in this class, you must have an attendance score of 80% or better; to get a “C” in this class, you must have an attendance score of 70% or better; to pass this class, you must have an attendance score of 60% or better.

Absences: I always appreciate it when students let me know in advance if they will not be able to attend class or turn in an assignment on time. Do not ask me for permission to miss a class or turn an assignment in late. It’s not that I don’t think some absences or delays are unavoidable; I just don’t want to have to make isolated, on-the-spot judgments throughout the semester about which absences (other than the excused absences mentioned below) and extensions are justifiable. I would rather make that judgment at the end of the term with the big picture in view. So at the end of the course, if your absences or the number of assignments you turned in late will negatively your grade, and you feel that some of those delays were unavoidable, send me an e-mail explaining your case and I will consider granting you whatever retroactive extensions and excused absences I judge to be fair at the time.

Excused Absences include required field trips, participation in activities formally sponsored by the university, documented illness or injury, and illness or death of a family member. Situations leading to multiple absences must be documented with the Office of Academic Affairs.

ECU Catalog Description:
Examines grammar and syntax. Includes emphasis on the theories of and strategies for grammar instruction in the English classroom.

Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement:
According to University policy, plagiarism is “presenting the words, visual images or ideas of another as one’s own. Except for what is called ‘common knowledge,’ any information taken from another source must be documented in the student’s work. When a student interprets another’s ideas, credit must be given by an in-text reference. When a student uses an exact copy of another’s work, it must be delineated by use of quotation marks or indentation and referenced with the source” (East Central University Policy on Academic Integrity). Plagiarism can result in a failing grade for the course or expulsion from the university.

ADA Statement:
East Central University is committed to providing equal access to university programs and services for all students. Under university policy and federal and state laws, students with documented disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations to ensure the student has an equal opportunity to perform in class. If any member of the class has such a disability and needs special academic accommodations, please report to Student Support Services, Room 155 Administration Building, as soon as possible. Reasonable accommodations may be arranged after Student Support Services has verified your situation. Do not hesitate to contact me if any assistance is needed in this process.

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Statement:

In keeping with the university’s emphasis on writing proficiency, all student produced writing will be expected to reflect clear content, coherent and organized structure, and adherence to the stylistic and mechanical standards articulated by the professor.