Wednesday, August 3, 2022

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH, LESSON 5

 

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH

PERSUASION KEYS:

ETHOS – AUTHORITY, CHARACTER, KNOWLEDGE

LOGOS - REASON AND EVIDENCE

PATHOS – EMOTION

 

- STRUNK AND WHITE, ELEMENTS...

- EMERSON, SELF-RELIANCE

- FROST, POETRY, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

- WEEKLY SHORT ASSIGNMENT: “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

 LAST WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT: WHY STUDY WRITING FROM OTHER    TIMES AND PLACES? (150-200 WORDS) 

LAST WEEK’S WRITING ASSIGNMENT: 150-250 WORDS ON: KIPLING’S “IF”

 

 

 

ELEMENTS OF STYLE, CONTINUED

V. AN APPROACH TO STYLE, Contnued

11. Do not explain too much.

12. Do not create awkward adverbs (xxxly).

13. Make sure the reader knows who is speaking.

14. Avoid fancy words.

15. Do not use dialect unless your ear is good.

16. Be clear.

17. Do not inject opinion (without good reason).

18. Use figures of speech sparingly (similes, metaphors).

19. Avoid shortcuts at the cost of clarity (though brevity is good).

20. Avoid foreign languages.

21. Prefer the standard to the offbeat.

Young writers will be drawn at every turn toward eccentricities in language. They will hear the beat of new vocabularies, the exciting rhythms of special segments of their society, each speaking a language of its own. All of us come under the spell of these unsettling drums; the problem for beginners is to listen to them, learn the words, feel the vibrations, and not be carried away.” (STRUNK AND WHITE)

 

 

ESSAY, "SELF-RELIANCE," RALPH WALDO EMERSON

 

FIRST LINE OF FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF THE ESSAY (BROKEN INTO SENTENCES HERE):

The nonchalance of boys who are sure of a dinner, and would disdain as much as a lord to do or say aught to conciliate one, is the healthy attitude of human nature.

LAST LINES FROM THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH:

He would utter opinions on all passing affairs, which being seen to be not private but necessary, would sink like darts into the ear of men and put them in fear.

NEXT PARAGRAPH FROM EMERSON’S “SELF-RELIANCE” (AGAIN, IN SEPARATED SENTENCES)

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world.

Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. 

Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater.

The virtue in most request is conformity.

Self-reliance is its aversion.

It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.

Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.

He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness.

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind.

Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.

I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church.

On my saying, “What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within?” my friend suggested,—”But these impulses may be from below, not from above.”

I replied, “They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the devil’s child, I will live then from the devil.”

No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.

Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it.

A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.

I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.

Every decent and well-spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right.

I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.

If malice and vanity wear the coat of philanthropy, shall that pass?

If an angry bigot assumes this bountiful cause of Abolition, and comes to me with his last news from Barbadoes, why should I not say to him, “Go love thy infant; love thy wood-chopper; be good-natured and modest; have that grace; and never varnish your hard, uncharitable ambition with this incredible tenderness for black folk a thousand miles off. Thy love afar is spite at home.”

Rough and graceless would be such greeting, but truth is handsomer than the affectation of love.

Your goodness must have some edge to it,—else it is none.

The doctrine of hatred must be preached, as the counteraction of the doctrine of love, when that pules and whines.

I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me.

I would write on the lintels of the doorpost, Whim. 

I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation.

Expect me not to show cause why I seek or why I exclude company.

Then, again, do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations.

Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.

There is a class of persons to whom by all spiritual affinity I am bought and sold; for them I will go to prison if need be; but your miscellaneous popular charities; the education at college of fools; the building of meeting-houses to the vain end to which many now stand; alms to sots, and the thousandfold Relief Societies;—though I confess with shame I sometimes succumb and give the dollar, it is a wicked dollar, which by-and-by I shall have the manhood to withhold.

 

POEM: FROST’S “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

 

 

REMINDER  / REVIEW

Chapter Titles from THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

 

WRITING ASSIGNMENT: 150-250 WORDS ON FROST’S “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Sunday, July 31, 2022

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH, LESSON 4

 WEEK 4  

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH


CLASSIC ELEMENTS OF PERSUASIVE WRITING:

ETHOS - AUTHORITY, CREDIBILITY

LOGOS - EVIDENCE, REASON, LOGIC

PATHOS - EMOTION


RESOURCES

- STRUNK AND WHITE, THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

- EMERSON, "SELF-RELIANCE"

- KIPLING, POETRY, “IF”


 LAST WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT: WHY STUDY WRITING FROM OTHER TIMES AND PLACES? (150-200 WORDS)


THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, CONTINUED

V. AN APPROACH TO STYLE

6. Do not overwrite. (Keep it simple.)

7. Do not overstate.

8. Avoid the use of qualifiers.

9. Do not affect a breezy manner.

10. Use orthodox spelling.

 

ESSAY EXCERPT, "SELF-RELIANCE," RALPH WALDO EMERSON

 

FIRST LINE OF THIRD PARAGRAPH

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.

LAST LINES FROM THIRD PARAGRAPH:

Bashful or bold then, he will know how to make us seniors very unnecessary.

 

NEXT PARAGRAPH FROM EMERSON’S “SELF-RELIANCE”

The nonchalance of boys who are sure of a dinner, and would disdain as much as a lord to do or say aught to conciliate one, is the healthy attitude of human nature.

How is a boy the master of society; independent, irresponsible, looking out from his corner on such people and facts as pass by, he tries and sentences them on their merits, in the swift, summary way of boys, as good, bad, interesting, silly, eloquent, troublesome.

He cumbers himself never about consequences, about interests; he gives an independent, genuine verdict.

You must court him; he does not court you.

But the man is as it were clapped into jail by his consciousness.

As soon as he has once acted or spoken with eclat he is a committed person, watched by the sympathy or the hatred of hundreds, whose affections must now enter into his account. 

There is no Lethe for this. 

Ah, that he could pass again into his neutral, godlike independence!

Who can thus lose all pledge and, having observed, observe again from the same unaffected, unbiased, unbribable, unaffrighted innocence, must always be formidable, must always engage the poet’s and the man’s regards.

Of such an immortal youth the force would be felt.

He would utter opinions on all passing affairs, which being seen to be not private but necessary, would sink like darts into the ear of men and put them in fear.

  

POEM: RUDYARD KIPLING’S “IF

Rudyard Kipling - 1865-1936

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
   And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—
   Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


REMINDER  / REVIEW

Chapter Titles from THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

 

WRITING ASSIGNMENT: 150-250 WORDS ON: KIPLING’S “IF” 

Monday, July 25, 2022

ROMANTIC LYRICS, "That's All"

 "That's All"


I can only give you love that lasts forever,
And the promise to be near each time you call,
And the only heart I own is yours and yours alone, that's all, that's all.
I can only give you country walks in springtime,
And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall,
And a love whose burning light to warm the winter night, that's all, that's all.
There are those I am sure who have told you,
They will give you the world for a toy.
All I ask for these arms to enfold you, and a love, time can never destroy.
If you're wond'ring what I'm asking in return, dear,
You'll be glad to know that my demands are small.
Say it's me that you'll adore for now and ever more, that's all, that's all.


Written by Brandt and Haymes

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/franksinatra/thatsall.html

I dedicate this to Tina Su Cooper.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH, LESSON 3

WYZANT WRITING WEEK 3 062722 

 

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH

ETHOS, LOGOS, PATHOS

- STRUNK AND WHITE, ELEMENTS...

- EMERSON, SELF-RELIANCE

- FROST, POETRY, “The Road Less Traveled”

- WEEKLY SHORT ASSIGNMENT

 LAST WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT: WHY STUDY WRITING BETTER ENGLISH?

 

ELEMENTS OF STYLE, CONTINUED

 

V. AN APPROACH TO STYLE

 

1. Place yourself in the background.

Unless, of course, you are writing a memoir or autobiography. Even then, try not to brag.

 

2. Write in a way that comes naturally.

Write pretty much as you talk.

 

3. Work from a suitable design.

An outline will help greatly. In a formal piece, your first paragraph should outline the presentation such that each sentence could be a suitable topic sentence for a paragraph in the body of the work that follows.

 

4. Write with nouns and verbs.

Use specific nouns and descriptive verbs.

 

5. Revise and rewrite.

You will always find something worth improving; however, don’t let perfectionism cripple you.

 

   Poet ROBERT FROST, "The Road Not Taken”

The Road Not Taken

 - 1874-1963

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.



ESSAY, "SELF-RELIANCE," RALPH WALDO EMERSON

THIRD PARAGRAPH OF THE ESSAY (BROKEN INTO SENTENCES HERE):

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.

Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.

Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the Eternal was stirring at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.

And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not pinched in a corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but redeemers and benefactors, pious aspirants to be noble clay under the Almighty effort let us advance on Chaos and the Dark.

What pretty oracles nature yields us on this text in the face and behavior of children, babes, and even brutes.

That divided and rebel mind, that distrust of a sentiment because our arithmetic has computed the strength and means opposed to our purpose, these have not.

Their mind being whole, their eye is as yet unconquered, and when we look in their faces, we are disconcerted.

Infancy conforms to nobody; all conform to it; so that one babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it.

So God has armed youth and puberty and manhood no less with its own piquancy and charm, and made it enviable and gracious and its claims not to be put by, it will stand by itself.

Do not think the youth has no force, because he cannot speak to you and me.

Hark! in the next room who spoke so clear and emphatic?

It seems he knows how to speak to his contemporaries.

Bashful or bold then, he will know how to make us seniors very unnecessary.

 

 

Chapter Titles from THE SEEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

 

ASSIGNMENT: 150-200 WORDS: WHY STUDY THE WRITINGS OF OTHER TIMES AND PLACES?

I help people write and publish their books through Write Your Book with Me


Friday, July 15, 2022

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH, LESSON 2

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH, LESSON 2


KEY ELEMENTS OF PERSUASIVE WRITING

ETHOS, LOGOS, PATHOS

Ethos - Authority, character, reliability, knowledge

Logos - Logic, evidence

Pathos - Emotional appeal


Recommended reading

STRUNK AND WHITE, ELEMENTS OF STYLE

EMERSON, "Self-Reliance" Essay

FROST, POETRY, "Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same"

WEEKLY SHORT ASSIGNMENT: Why study fine writers from other times and foreign lands?

LAST WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT: WHY STUDY WRITING BETTER ENGLISH?

FROM ELEMENTS OF STYLE:

II. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION

 

8. Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic.

This can be tricky, as “topic” is a slippery term. Lately, short paragraphs have become fashionable and are effective.

 

9. As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity with the beginning.

“In conformity” does not mean repeating, however. Be more creative as you restate.

 

10. Use the active voice.

Active: She wrote the poem.  Passive: The poem was written by her.

 

11. Put statements in positive form.

Do not put statements in this negative form, generally.

 

12. Use definite, specific, concrete language.

As done in “connecting Asian American women to the world.”

 

13. Omit needless words.

Be pithy, terse, and succinct, avoiding repetition and redundancy, unlike this sentence.

 

14. Avoid a succession of loose sentences.

Loose sentences are distinguished from periodic ones, where the main idea comes at the end.

 

15. Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form.

Use parallelism in sentence structure: she wrote the book and he drew the pictures.

 

16. Keep related words together.

Make it clear what your modifiers modify.

 

17. In summaries, keep to one tense.

Generally, use the simple present or simple past tense: it does, it did….

 

18. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end.

Easier said than done.

 


ESSAY, "SELF-RELIANCE," RALPH WALDO EMERSON

SECOND PARAGRAPH OF THE ESSAY (BROKEN INTO SENTENCES HERE):

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. 

The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.

Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact, makes much impression on him, and another none.

It is not without preestablished harmony, this sculpture in the memory.

The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray.

Bravely let him speak the utmost syllable of his confession.

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.

It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.

It needs a divine man to exhibit anything divine.

A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace.

It is a deliverance which does not deliver.

In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope.

Poet ROBERT FROST, "Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same”

He would declare and could himself believe

That the birds there in all the garden round

From having heard the daylong voice of Eve

Had added to their own an oversound,

Her tone of meaning but without the words.

Admittedly an eloquence so soft

Could only have had an influence on birds

When call or laughter carried it aloft.

Be that as may be, she was in their song.

Moreover her voice upon their voices crossed

Had now persisted in the woods so long

That probably it never would be lost.

Never again would birds' song be the same.

And to do that to birds was why she came.

 

ASSIGNMENT: 100-200 WORDS ON WHY STUDY FOREIGN WRITERS AND NON-CONTEMPORARIES, TOO?


I help people write and publish their books, through my WriteYourBookWithMe.com, and I tutor on Wyzant.com.

You can email me at douglas@tingandi.com


Thursday, July 7, 2022

WRITING BETTER ENGLISH, LESSON 1


ETHOS - authority, LOGOS - reason, PATHOS -emotion

 GRAMMAR AND SPELLING


GOALS FOR TUTORIAL

CAREER GOALS:

 TUTORIAL PLANS

-- FINISH WRITING/EDITING OF NOVEL

 - WRITE YOUR BOOK WITH ME

 - STRUNK AND WHITE, ELEMENTS OF STYLE

- EMERSON, "SELF-RELIANCE," PROSE

- FROST AND OTHERS, POETRY

 WEEKLY SHORT ASSIGNMENTS 


FROM MY ESSAY, BASED ON ELEMENTS OF STYLE

I. ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE

1. Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding ‘s.

A dog’s life, Tom’s pen, and Charles’s paper are right. Note that possessives of plurals that themselves end in s take only the apostrophe, so we have: several friends’ birthdays. Plurals not ending in s do take ‘s: the children‘s hour.

2. In a series of three of more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last.

This, that, and the other all qualify.

3. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas.

It is best, at least most of the time, to avoid parentheses.

4. Place a comma before a conjunction introducing a co-ordinate clause.

This is often done incorrectly, but it is important.

5. Do not join independent clauses by a comma.

This is also often done incorrectly; it is important to use a semicolon instead or start a new sentence.

6. Do not break sentences in two.

Be sure. Not to. Or only rarely!

7. A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject.

Trying to write well, you should heed this rule.


ESSAY, "SELF-RELIANCE," RALPH WALDO EMERSON

OPENING PARAGRAPH OF THE ESSAY (BROKEN INTO SENTENCES HERE):

I READ THE OTHER day some verses written by an eminent painter which were original and not conventional.

Always the soul hears an admonition in such lines, let the subject be what it may.

The sentiment they instill is of more value than any thought they may contain.

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,— that is genius.

Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for always the inmost becomes the outmost—and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.

Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men, but what they thought.

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages.

Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his.

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.

Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this.

They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side.

Else to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.

 

NEXT WEEK, MORE EMERSON AND

Poet ROBERT FROST, "Never Again Would Birds' Song Be the Same”

 

 SCHEDULE:

 ASSIGNMENT:

10 POSSIBLE TITLES FOR YOUR NOVEL

100-200 WORDS ON WHY STUDY WRITING ENGLISH BETTER


NOTE: I TUTOR ON WYZANT.COM, AND THIS IS FROM MY NOTES FOR THE FIRST LESSON WITH AN AUTHOR WHO HAS A MANUSCRIPT FOR HIS NOVEL.


I published WRITE YOUR BOOK WITH ME through Outskirts Press, and you can reach me through WriteYourBookWithMe.com and douglas@tingandi.com.