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06.9 Word families (English 9)

If you took English 9 2nd quarter from the EHS, you learned a little about the history of the English language. In brief, English and most other European languages are descended from a single, much older form called Indo-European.
Some groups of modern English words have similarities because they came from the same Indo-European root, but differences because they came by way of different intermediate languages – most often old German, Norse, French, Spanish, Latin or Greek.

Below are some examples of “family trees” for words. Note that they are not exhaustive - there are more related words that might have been included. (Sorry they're hard to read - download the two .gif files to see them better.)

06.7 What is an essay? (English 9)

An essay is a category of literature which is not poetry, fiction or drama. It is usually comparatively short (most often between about one and fifteen pages in length), and focused upon one nonfiction topic.

Essays may be classified in various ways:

- by their subject matter: science, nature, history, travel, or literary, for example.

- by their purpose: persuasive, descriptive, narrative, critical, comparitive, etc.

- by their organizational structure: chronological (time order), spatial (as in moving from room to room in a house), cause and effect, comparison/contrast (looking at similarities and differences between two or more subjects), problem and solution, process (giving directions for how to do something), or analytical (looking at the parts of an issue or topic), just to name a few.

Formal essays are usually written in third person, and are serious, analytical treatments of the topic.

Informal essays are often written in first person, and may be serious or funny, unconventional, and personal in tone. Informal essays often interweave memories or personal experiences with information about the topic.

There are many web sites to help you plan and organize an essay. Also, Writer's Inc has several sections about writing essays, including examples.

06.3 Summarizing and paraphrasing (English 9)

A summary is a SHORT synopsis of the main ideas and/or facts from a longer piece of writing. If you can learn to write good summaries, you will be able to write research papers without worrying about plagiarism.

The object of a summary is to contain all of the most important ideas of the original, but in much shorter form, leaving out extraneous detail. NOTE: This is not the same thing as paraphrasing.

A paraphrase is about the same length as the original, and retains all the information, but re-stated in different words. It is difficult to paraphrase without plagiarizing. A good paraphrase does NOT just replace some of the original words with synonyms, but re-phrases the ideas.

Examples:
Original article: Where art and science converge
By Teresa Mendez | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
PROVIDENCE, R.I. In an unexpected confluence of art and science, the continuing education division of the Rhode Island School of Design quietly turns out between seven and 10 science illustrators each year.
Many students enter the natural science illustration program here captivated by nature, but with a background in art. They'll leave with a foot each in the worlds of art and science - or else firmly situated in the place where the two converge.
It's not such an unlikely pairing. Both art and science are about "close observation," says Ann Caudle, director of the science illustration program at the University of California, Santa Cruz - considered, along with RISD's, one of the nation's best. The students who come through Santa Cruz, she says, are as concerned with the way that light glints off fur as they are with identifying the mammal covered by that fur.
Across the country, more than 20 such programs, geared toward both undergraduates and graduate students, offer training in the art of science illustration. Many are small, obscured within the universities and medical schools that house them. A few offer very specialized courses - like the entomology department at the University of Minnesota, where students learn to draw only insects, but are kept busy with millions of species to chose from.
The classroom where the majority of RISD's science illustration courses are taught is in a sprawling brick building, directly beneath the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab. More utilitarian than aesthetic, every inch of the Nature Lab is covered with specimens. Displays of bugs, birds, starfish, and pine cones compete for space with a stuffed bobcat and a pair of live doves. It's here, says the Nature Lab's director, that students really learn to see. That skill - coupled with an ability to interpret and illuminate natural forms - is the cornerstone of the science illustrator's craft.

Summary of entire article:
More than 20 universities in the US offer small programs in science illustration where students learn to draw animals and plants, focusing on learning to observe carefully and draw exactly what they see.

Paraphrase of first two paragraphs:
You wouldn't normally think of science and art as being connected, but the Rhode Island School of Design's continuing education division produces between seven and ten science illustrators every year.
Incoming students tend to have a background in art, but a strong interest in nature. When they finish the program they will be part scientist, part artist, or a blend of the two.

Could you use these in your paper without plagiarizing?

The summary? Yes,
IF you included a parenthetical reference and a bibliography (Works Cited) section on the article, you could definitely use the summary with no problem.

The paraphrase? Maybe:
The paraphrase borders on plagiarism. The only way it might be acceptable would be if you started the section with "According to Teresa Mendez of the Christian Science Monitor," AND included the proper parenthetical referencing.
If you paraphrased a longer section in a similar way, it would cross the line into plagiarism.

06.2 Prepositions and prepositional phrases (English 9)

Prepositions are words (or small groups of words) that help define a relationship between their objects and other things in the sentence.

In your grandparents' days in school, a common English assignment was to memorize a long list of prepositions.
Here is a list of some (by no means all) prepositions:
about, before, from, on, since
above, behind, in, into, out of
through, after, beside, in regard to
over, toward, among, around, by
like, over, under, upon, with
at, for, during, of, near, to

Notice that many of these words can also be used in OTHER ways, so they are not ALWAYS prepositions. For example, in the sentence "I like cookies," the word "like" is the verb. In the sentence "Wear a color like black or brown," the word "like" is a preposition.
In the sentence "I'm going to school," the word "to" is a preposition. In the sentence "I like to ski," the word "to" is part of the infinitive (which you'll learn more about in 4th quarter).
In the sentence "Since we got the new puppy, it isn't safe to leave anything on the floor," the word "since" is a subordinating conjunction - it connects the two clauses of the sentence. In the sentence "I haven't seen them since Christmas," the word "since" is a preposition.

Prepositional phrases
A prepositional phrase is the preposition, its object (a noun or pronoun), and any modifiers of the object.

This sounds more complicated than it is.
"Up the hill" is a prepositional phrase. "Up" is the preposition, "hill" is its object, and "the" modifies hill.
"Up the steep, rocky hill" is also a prepositional phrase. The only differences between it and the first example are the two extra modifiers ("steep" and "rocky"). (Notice that in the last sentence "between it and the first example" is a prepositional phrase with a compound object, and in this sentence, "in the last sentence" and "with a compound object" are also prepositional phrases.)

Prepositional phrases can (and most often do) act like adverbs or adjectives:

The boy in the red hat ran up the hill.

"In the red hat" describes or modifies "boy," telling which boy, so it is functioning as an adjective.
"Up the hill" tells where he ran. It modifies "ran", so it is functioning as an adverb.

Remember that one definition of "phrase" is "a group of words that function together as a noun, verb, adjective or adverb in a sentence."

I can't think of a way to make a prepositional phrase into a verb,
but it can work as a noun:
Under the bed was the last place I looked. (subject of the sentence)
As an adverb, modifying hid:
I hid the money under the bed. (tells where)
Or as an adjective, modifying troll:
The troll under the bed wanted to eat me. (tells which troll)

06.1 Types of phrases (English 9)

Kinds of phrases, and how they work in sentences

Definition: A phrase is a group of words that functions as a single part of speech, and lacks either a subject, a predicate, or both. [A phrase is different from a clause because a clause has both a subject and a predicate.]

Verb phrases - function as verbs
A verb phrase consists of the main verb in a sentence and one or more "helping" or "auxiliary" verbs. Common helping verbs include is, are, was, were, has, had, been, could, would, should.
Examples in sentences (verb phrases are in capital letters):
Kim WOULD HAVE LIKED to go to the museum.
ARE you COMING home soon?
He COULD HAVE ORDERED chocolate.
The kitten WAS SHIVERING AND CRYING.
The band HAD BEEN PLAYING for nearly an hour.

Verbal phrases (more about these in fourth quarter) - may function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs, but NOT verbs.

A verbal phrase consists of a verbal and its modifiers. A verbal is a word that you would usually think of as a verb, but that is not being used as the verb in the sentence. There are three kinds: gerunds, infinitives and participles.
Examples in sentences (verbal phrases are CAPITALIZED):
Gerunds (always function as nouns & end in -ing):
PLAYING IN THE FOUNTAIN got him in trouble.
I particularly like SKIING ON A SUNNY DAY.
GOING HOME LATE was not an option.
Infinitives (begin with "to"; may function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs):
TO GO KITE-BOARDING sounds like a lot of fun.
He wanted TO BUY HER A DIAMOND RING.
Your plans TO IMPROVE THE TOWN sound great.
Drive carefully TO HELP GET US HOME SAFELY.
Participles (always function as adjectives; usually end in -ing or -ed):
The picture, DRAWN FROM HIS EXPERIENCES IN ARIZONA, was beautiful. (There's one that doesn't end in -ing or -ed.)
DRIVING HOME FROM WORK, I saw a spectacular sunset.
The car was quiet because the baby, TIRED OUT FROM HIS LONG DAY, fell asleep.
He saw an elk COMING OUT OF THE TREES.

Prepositional phrases [more about these in the lesson on prepositional phrases] - may function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs.
A prepositional phrase is a group of words starting with a preposition and ending with a noun. Prepositional phrases are most often used as adverbs or adjectives.
Examples in sentences (prepositional phrases are IN CAPITAL LETTERS):
We are going straight home AFTER SCHOOL.
IN THE MORINING I'll check ON HOW MUCH it would cost.
The car WITH THE SUNROOF is the one I want.
Get me the shoes FROM THE CLOSET.

Appositive phrases:
A appositive phrase renames the noun (or pronoun) that comes right before it, and consists of a noun or pronoun and its modifiers. It functions as a noun. An appositive phrase is usuallly set off by commas.
Examples in sentences (appositive phrases are IN CAPITAL LETTERS):
Tonight we're going to the Panorama, THE WORLD'S OLDEST DRIVE-IN.
Tonight we're going to the world's oldest drive-in, THE PANORAMA.
The radio announcer, A SERIOUS WACKO, was still talking about the underwear festival.
Matthew, HIS TWIN BROTHER, is even smarter.

Absolute phrases:
An absolute phrase consists of a noun and a participle (along with any object or modifiers), so it looks almost like a clause, but it doesn't have a true verb. It normally functions as an adjective describing the nearest noun.
An absolute phrase is usually set off by commas.
Examples in sentences (absolute phrases are IN CAPITAL LETTERS):
The band, THE DRUMMER GOING CRAZY IN THE BACKGROUND, finished the first set.
FRONT END BASHED IN BY THE INITIAL IMPACT, the truck spun twice and rolled into a ditch.
Elsa was singing a lullaby to the baby, HIS EYES ALREADY CLOSING IN SLEEP.

05.7.2 Kinds of sentences (English 9)

Sentences, clauses and phrases
When we write or talk, we use groups of words. For the sake of simplicity, we have names for different kinds of groups of words - so that we can talk or write about our talking or writing.

The key unit of written communication is the sentence. A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark or exclamation point. It is the smallest group of words that can stand alone (often it is said to "express a complete thought"). A sentence always has a subject and a predicate (though sometimes the subject may be understood rather than expressed, as in "Get out of here!", where the subject is understood to be "You").

A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate. A clause may be:
an independent clause(in which case it may be a whole sentence by itself, or a part of a complex sentence), or a dependent clause, also called a subordinate clause (in which case it must be part of a complex sentence).
A dependent clause is not missing any parts - the thing that makes it dependent is an extra word (or words), usually a conjunction which is meant to link or relate it to an independent clause. For example:
I stayed up late so that I could study.
"I stayed up late" is an independent clause, which could stand alone as a sentence. "So that I could study" is a dependent clause which can't stand alone as a sentence, but ONLY because the words "so that" link it to the first clause. If you left out "so that", "I could study" could be a complete sentence on its own.

A phrase is a group of words working together to function as a single part of speech. It may have a subject, or a predicate, but doesn't necessarily have either, and never has both. Here are some examples of phrases:
going to Georgia
caused various problems
up the stairs
the strongest man in the county

A simple sentence has only one clause (though it may have many phrases).
Examples of simple sentences:
Marian slept.
The cat and dog chased each other around the house.
Tom ordered a milkshake.
The house has a spiral staircase, two stained glass windows, and a balcony.
We stopped for groceries, talked to friends, and drove home.
Before starting chores, they changed clothes.

A compound sentence has two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction (commonly, and, or, but, & so).
Examples of compound sentences:
We won the first game, so we had to stay for the finals.
I finished running errands, but I was late.
Margaret can go to the carnival, or Jared can go to the movie.
He was happy, and he was pleased with his son.

Another, much less common kind of compound sentence has two independent clauses connected by a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb (such as: then, thus, however, also, nevertheless, similarly, for example, in addition).
Examples:
We won the first three rounds; however, we lost in the finals.
She told her mother where they were going; furthermore, she left a note on the refrigerator.

A complex sentence has one independent clause and one dependent clause. Either clause can come first, and the dependent (sometimes called subordinate) clause begins with a subordinating conjunction (such as: because, since, that, before, after, in spite of, although, if, while, until, when, where, unless), a relative pronoun (which, who, that).
Examples of complex sentences:
After we started home, we quickly got lost.
We got lost after we started home.
Because she was wearing white, she didn't want to fall in the mud.
She wouldn't have minded getting muddy if she had been wearing jeans.
Unless George is going to drive, I can't go.
Desrie likes Robert in spite of the fact that he wears twelve earrings.

As you might guess, a compound-complex sentence has both two independent clauses, and at least one dependent clause, in any order.
Examples of compound-complex sentences:
Marty was hungry, so after they finished cleaning up, they bought a pizza.
Before the test started, Jeremy got sick and Brent passed out.

05.3 Commonly misspelled words (English 9)

he following words, which are often misspelled or confused, may appear on the spelling quiz:

There/their/they’re
Your/you’re
Were/we’re
We’ll/will
Write/right
Through/threw
Until
Piece/peace
Definitely /defiantly
A lot
Its/it’s
Here/hear
Accept/except/ acceptable
Argument
Believe
Advise/advice
Receive
Principal/principle
Affect/effect
All ready/already
All right
Desert/dessert
Loose, lose, loss
Quiet, quite, quit
Set, sit
sell, sale
Then, than
Cite/site/sight
Sole, soul
Stationary/stationery
Wear/where/ware
Weather/whether
Who’s/whose
Pore/pour/poor

Study these words and make sure you know when to use them correctly. You can find definitions and examples of correct use in Writer's Inc, or in dictionaries.

05.0.2 Techniques for good writing (English 9)

Good writing techniques
Writing is a craft, and, like any craft, has skills you can learn to help you improve. Many pieces of good writing use recognizable techniques, some of which are introduced below. It would be unusual for a single piece of writing to contain all of these, but nearly every piece of good writing includes many of them.
(These ideas come from the work of Nancy Atwell, Mary Ledbetter, and the Utah Writing Project.)

1. Magic Three

Three parallel groups of words, usually separated by commas in one sentence (though sometimes in three separate sentences), that add emphasis or support for a point, or create rhythm.

Examples:
Jeri liked riding her horse on a cool summer evening, hiking in the mountains to see the fall leaves, and playing her silver flute at midnight.

Charlie's parents must want to get rid of him. For his fourteenth birthday, they bought him a matched set of designer luggage. For his fifteenth birthday, they bought him an eight week trip to a college prep summer camp. For his sixteenth birthday, they bought him a Hummer with leather seats, a thousand dollar gas gift card, and a fully functional GPS system.

Notice that the series of three must be three phrases, not just three words:
Magic Three: Some of my goals are to go skydiving solo, to record an original album, and to live long enough to see how global warming turns out.
Not Magic Three: For dinner, I want pizza, salad, and ice cream.

Good examples of Magic Three use parallel structure. Parallel structure can also apply to series of two, four, or any number. Parallel structure sounds complicated when I try to explain it (each phrase uses the same kind of grammatical structure), but it is pretty easy to recognize in examples. Notice in the first example above, each of the three phrases starts with an -ing verbal: riding, hiking, playing. In the second example, each of the three sentences starts out the same: "For his _____ birthday, they bought him..." In the example highlighted in green, each phrase starts out with an infinitive (the "to ____" form of verbal): to go, to record, to live.

2. Figurative Language

Non-literal comparisons – such as similes, metaphors and personification – add “spice” to writing and can help paint a more vivid picture for the reader. (**See the chart at the bottom of this page.)

Examples:
It seemed like we were moving through traffic as slowly as a California tourist driving through a herd of sheep. Meanwhile, the minutes galloped away from us like race horses being chased by a swarm of hornets. I could just imagine the coach, an angry bear on the sidelines, roaring at the other players about what he would do to me when I finally got there.

...occasionally someone would lean forward and softly rearrange the logs
on the fire so that the flames flapped upward more brightly, and the
remains of the steaks sizzled briefly, like a nest of sleepy wasps. -
Gerald Durrell

A simile: The wind was like a hungry tiger tearing down our tent. [Wind and a tiger are not generally the same.]
Not a simile: The wind was like a hurricane. [A hurricane and wind are quite similar in many ways.]

3. Specific Details for Effect

Instead of general, vague descriptions, use specific, concrete sensory details to help the reader visualize what you are describing. Details are also a key to humor (see humor section).

Example:
Instead of saying "My mother was sitting & working," say:
Mama settled back into the cane chair and scooped up another apronful of peas. She snapped about three peas to every one of mine. Her right hand twisted over and back as she snapped a little curl of string off the end of each pod and rolled out the peas with her thumb. (Kingsolver, Barbara - from The Bean Trees)

Instead of saying, "The lady got her dog a collar," say:"Mrs. Drummond ordered her French bulldog a collar of red crocodile leather studded with alternating two-carat sapphires and one-carat diamonds. The buckle was gold-plated, and his engraved name tag was sterling silver set with another sapphire."

A closely related technique is
Show, Don't Tell:

Instead of telling the reader what to think in abstract terms, show them a concrete scene and let them figure out what to think.

Instead of saying "Crystal is my best friend. She has always been there for me," say:
When Brent called me fat in fourth grade, Crystal told him to get lost. Then she dumped the applesauce from her lunch in his desk. When my grandma died, Crystal stood next to me for the whole three hours of the viewing. When I was flunking algebra, Crystal spent two hours every night on the phone with me, helping me do my homework. She got even with my first boyfriend after he dumped me by locking his keys into his car while he had his date at his house after curfew. We've made each other's birthday cakes, chosen each other's prom dresses, and listened to each other's complaints."

Instead of saying, "It was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen," say:

I noticed a pink glow at my dorm window, and looked out at the sunset. Dozens of tattered clouds were scudding across the sky, and glowing with tangerine light. As I watched, the colors intensified to hot pink, not just in the west, but across the entire sky. All the students outside had stopped walking to look up. People were running for cameras, and shouting for their friends to come see. Over the next two or three minutes, the clouds turned magenta with purple edges; then the sun dropped below the horizon, and the colors faded back to pink and dissolved into twilight.

4. Repetition for Effect
:

Writers may repeat specially chosen words or phrases to make a point, to stress certain ideas for the reader, and/or to create rhythm. Often, the repetition uses parallel structure, as in the first two examples and the second sentence of the third example.

Examples:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance... (Ecclesiastes 3)

Everyone else on the estate was concentrating on her – how lovely her hair looked, how lovely her dress fit, and how lovely her gold brooch looked with the pearls she had had to buy for herself. (Haifley, Erin)

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. (Tolkien, The Hobbit)

5. Magnified Moment

Instead of “speeding past” a moment, zoom in on it. Emphasize it by slowing down and looking carefully at each action, expanding it so that readers can make a movie of what is happening in their mind. Of course you don't want to focus in on EVERY moment and every detail - that would be boring, and it would take far too long - but a common problem in writing is failing to go beyond summarizing what happened. Think of a radio sportscaster. If the announcer just said, "In the first inning, the home team had two hits and one run,"not only would there have been a half hour of silence while all those things happened, but the audience wouldn't be able to picture the action. Choose the most important parts of your topic, and give play-by-play detail.

Examples:
Instead of saying, "I was nervous while I waited to see the principal," say:
I dropped onto the hard wooden chair outside Mr. Mautz’s office, contemplating the conversation we were about to have. The chair creaked desperately under the pressure of my considerable bulk, the seat all but eclipsed by my beefy thighs. My mission, once that office door opened, was to not lie. I didn’t want to tell the truth, exactly, I just wanted not to lie. There is a difference, I told myself.
Ms. Barker smiled from behind her secretary’s desk, and I thought I detected a hint of compassion. Her phone beeped and she spoke quietly into the handset, looked up and said, “You can go in now, Eric.”
I grimaced, slowly lifting my carcass from the chair. Ms. Barker smiled again. “Remember, it’s against the law for him to do what he wants to do to you.” (Crutcher, Chris - from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)

Instead of saying, "I got bucked off my horse and lost my glasses," say:
We were cantering across the stubble field when I felt Star hump her back and drop her head. I grabbed for the reins to shorten them, but it was too late. I managed to sit the first jump, but the second one jolted me off to the side, and her third leap catapulted me through the air. As usual, I somersaulted to a head-first landing on the damp ground, rolling a couple times before I scrambled to my feet. As usual, Star had stopped and was nibbling the brown stubble, waiting for me to get back on. I had picked up the reins and was turning her around to remount when I realized that my bleary vision wasn't just the effect of recently landing on my head. My glasses had fallen off, and I couldn't see well enough to look for them.

6. Humor

Writers know the value of laughter; even subtle humor can help turn a “boring” paper into one that is fun to read. Often, it is the specific details that make a situation funny.
Examples:
One of my students wrote in a story that one of the characters choked to death - but he made it funny by saying that she choked to death on an organic plum pit in the Back to Nature Health Foods store.

“My point is that God created a prototype for a reasonably sturdy carbon unit, gave us a perfectly usable place to live, some excellent advice, as in ‘words to live by’ – most of which are misunderstood by the least of my brethren – and stood back to see what we’d do with it.”
I’m surprised. I didn’t know Ellerby had any philosophical considerations. I thought he just drove his Christian Cruiser through the world seeing whose nose he could get up. And how far. Lemry’s eyes land on me. “Mobe?”
My hands shoot up in surrender. “I give a wide berth to all religious discussions. My plan is to get baptized late in the afternoon of the evening I die, so I don’t have time to sin. A spot in heaven awaits me.”
“Cute,” she says. “And chicken.”(Crutcher, Chris - from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)

7. Vivid verbs & specific nouns

Make your verbs and nouns do most of the work; use adjectives and adverbs sparingly. [Best-selling author Stephen King says, "The road to hell is paved with adverbs."] I've marked the nouns in red, verbs in green, adjectives in orange, and adverbs in blue.

Instead of saying, "He walked slowly and determinedly over the wet, muddy ground," say:

He slogged through the muck. ["slogged" is more vivid than than "walked slowly and determinedly"; "muck" is better than "wet, muddy ground".]

Instead of saying, "An expensive, fancy sports car went by really fast and loud," say:

A Porsche roared by. ["Porsche" is more specific than "expensive, fancy sports car"; "roared" is more vivid than "went by really fast and loud".]

8. Full-Circle Ending

One way of creating an ending is to repeat a phrase from the beginning of the piece.
Example:
People are a mystery to me. One day they complain the government isn’t capable of keeping track of its own rules; the next day they claim the government is controlling the laws of nature, creating tornadoes in the Midwest. Parents who can’t get their children to take out the trash or turn down the stereo complain that schools aren’t teaching the little darlings advanced algebra. A brain surgeon smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. A husband who beat up his wife goes ballistic when she leaves him. Brothers and sisters feud for ten years over who should inherit mother’s rocking chair. Yes, people are a mystery.

9. Hyphenated Modifiers

Sometimes a new way of saying something can make a big difference; hyphenated modifiers may make a reader “sit up and take notice.” Note that a modifier must be acting as an adjective or adverb in the sentence, and that not every use of a hyphen in a sentence is a hyphenated modifier.
Examples:
Jenny and I were already giggling; my mom had that if-you-say-anything-I’ll-get-you-later look on her face, but we could tell Peter wasn’t paying any attention.

When I got to work, the clinic wasn’t due to open for another fifteen minutes, but there were already a man with an elderly Afghan hound, and a lady with a don’t-touch-me-I’m-a-princess Persian kitten ignoring each other in the waiting room.

I, the used-to-be-oldest kid, am now a middle child.

05.0.1 The writing process and six-trait writing (English 9)

The Writing Process:
Here is a brief summary of the "writing process". View the PowerPoint presentation for more information.
The writing process begins with prewriting. This can include brainstorming, researching, outlining, and any other way of getting ideas and planning what you want to write.
The next step is often called drafting or composing. This is the part where you are actually writing, whether it is with pencil and paper, or on a computer.
Once you have gotten your writing "on paper" (or on screen), it is time for revising. This is the step most people are tempted to skip, but the one many professional writers spend the most time on. You try different ways of organizing your ideas, changing the order, adding details, cutting out what doesn't belong, improving word choice and sentence fluency, all to make your writing as powerful, clear and effective as possible.
After you are happy with the content of your writing and how you have put it together, the next step is editing. This is when you proofread and fix any conventions errors.
The next step is publishing, or sharing, your writing so others can read it.

The Six-Trait system of evaluating writing:
Below is a very brief review of the six traits, the way your writing will be evaluated and scored. For more information, download the PowerPoint or PDF about the six traits, and see the link below.
1. Ideas & content - are the ideas well-developed, with supporting details that are specific and concrete?
[Instead of "Our kitchen is a wonderful place", which is general and abstract, write something like:
- "The stained linoleum is curling up at the edges, and the cupboards need to be re-finished where my brother and I carved our initials the year I was ten, but the old stove always has a pot of chili simmering on top, or a sheet of oatmeal cookies baking in the oven."
or -
"When I get home from school, I can pop a frozen cheese pizza into the oven. I'd better remember to wipe up any crumbs, because my mom is really proud of the shiny new black granite countertop."]

2. Organization - are the ideas in some kind of logical order? Does the order help you to understand the ideas, or does it just seem random? Check out the beginning - does the introduction help set up your expectations for the rest of the piece, and/or grab your attention? How about the end - does it just stop, or is there a sense of conclusion?

3. Voice - Does the writer's personality come through? Writing without voice seems generic, as if any stereotypical teenager could have written it, and flat, as if it might have been generated by a committee or a machine (or a textbook company!).

4. Sentence fluency - do the sentences flow smoothly if you read it out loud? are they easy to follow and understand? Good writing includes sentences of varying length and construction. Common faults include short, choppy sentences; sentences that are so long and convoluted they are hard to understand; and non-sentences (fragments or run-ons).

5. Word choice - This is related to both voice and ideas. Are the words and vocabulary the best ones for the job? Nouns should be specific and concrete; verbs should be active and vivid. Generally, it's better to say "poodle" or "German shorthair" than "dog"; better to say "Honda Civic" or "Porsche" than "car"; better to say "waddled" or "leaped" or "slithered" than "went". Words should also be used accurately and precisely.

6. Conventions - Correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, etc.

05.2 Implication and inference (English 9)

When a writer sets up situations like Jared feeding part of his lunch to a stray puppy, s/he is implying that Jared is kind. When a reader reads about Jared feeding part of his lunch to a stray puppy, s/he can infer that Jared is kind.
Wikipedia defines inference like this: the act or process of deriving a conclusion based solely on what one already knows. It is "reading between the lines."

For example, when you are reading you can draw inferences by looking at the clues the author provides - mainly the situations and the characters' actions and conversations - and making reasonable guesses about things the author hasn't actually told you.
The skill of drawing inferences is based on your experiences so far in life, and "common sense". If you break a family rule - say, a curfew - and your mom says, "You're grounded tomorrow", you don't need to be TOLD that your mom is upset that you broke the rule. You infer from the situation, her reaction and your past experience that she is upset.

If you are writing a story and the main character yells, "I never want to see you again!" and slams the door, you don't need to write that he slammed the door "angrily" - you have already implied he was angry, and the reader should be able to infer that he was angry. We all know from life experience that someone who yells like that and slams a door is angry!

Suppose you want to show that a character in a story you are writing is incredibly naive. Telling the reader 'Her grandma was incredibly naive' is nowhere nearly as effective as showing the grandma using her credit card to buy all new living room furniture after she gets an e-mail saying she won the Nigerian lottery.

Good readers use inference to help understand stories; good writers use implication to create effective stories.

05.1 Character development (English 9)

Authors and playwrights use various techniques to help the reader or audience understand characters in the story. The most obvious technique is just to tell certain facts about the character: He has brown eyes, she is fifteen years old. In a book, the author can write this in a regular paragraph, but too much of this "exposition" gets to seem boring to the reader. Another way the story can "tell" you things is to have one of the characters talk about it in conversation (dialogue):
Jenny said, "Have you seen that cute new boy with the gorgeous brown eyes?"
Notice two things about this -

1. The boy has brown eyes.
2. Jenny says that he is cute and that his eyes are gorgeous. Maybe he really is cute, and everyone in the story agrees with Jenny - but maybe this is an opinion of Jenny's, and other characters in the story consider him completely unattractive. Another possibility is that Jenny doesn't really believe what she is saying, but has some other motive for calling the boy cute. Jenny's comment tells us as much about her as it tells about the new boy.

Authors can also SHOW us important information about a character's personality and values by what the character DOES and SAYS. In good writing, this is how we find out most of the information about characters.
Instead of telling us that Jared is kind and considerate, the author can show us Jared helping a freshman girl who dropped all her books pick them up, Jared telling a student who is teasing a Down's syndrome boy to lay off, and Jared feeding a piece of his hamburger to a stray puppy (not all in one chapter, of course - that would be overkill!).
Instead of telling us that Julie has a sense of humor, but can be cruel, the author can have Julie get on the bus in the morning and say to a girl she doesn't like, "How'd you do your hair this morning - stick it in the toilet and flush?" or about a not-so-bright student, "He's going for the school record in most tests failed in a semester."

Here is a quick review of some terms you may find helpful in talking about characters:
The characters are the "actors" in the story.
Most often the characters are people, but they may be animals, aliens, toys, robots or whatever.
The protagonist is the main character, sometimes called the hero, though he or she may not behave heroically.
In some stories there is an antagonist - the "villain", the character who opposes the protagonist.
Round characters are characters who have detailed, complex personalities, and seem like real people.
Flat characters are characters who are often stereotypical, and lack the complexity to make them seem real.
Characters can also be classified as dynamic or static. Dynamic characters change in the course of the story. Static characters stay the same.

04.4 Writing about poetry (English 9)

Evaluating Poetry
When we talk about evaluating literature, we don't just mean whether we like it or not.

The Death of the Ball-Turret Gunner

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
-Randall Jarrell

"The Death of the Ball-Turret Gunner" is not a pleasant poem to read - not the sort of thing most of us "like". It is nevertheless considered a good poem. How do we decide whether a poem is good or not?

Before doing anything to evaluate a poem, we need to read it carefully several times, and think about what the poet intended. First, we read the poem on a literal level: What is going on here? Does the poem tell a story, or paint a picture? Then we look at the individual words used, and consider their connotations and associations. Can parts of the poem be read as symbolic? What feelings does it evoke? Is the tone dark? humorous? joyful?

A good poem needs to make some kind of sense, and be consistent enough that a careful reader can follow it. If a metaphor is used comparing the branches of a tree to a woman's arms, and then in the next line has her hands deep underground, the image doesn't make sense. Her arms can be the branches or the roots, but not both at once.

One of the main considerations in evaluating poetry is how the poem uses language. One definition of poetry is "the best words in the best order." Vivid, precise, specific & concrete words are usually better than abstract, general words. "Fancy" words are not necessarily better than simple words. Because most poetry is relatively short (in comparison to most prose forms), the poet often needs to condense the most possible meaning into the fewest possible words.

Another factor in the evaluation of poetry is originality. The first person who said "fast as lightning" was making an original comparison, but now we have heard it so often, it doesn't have much impact on us. We call such expressions cliches, or dead metaphors. It is natural to use such trite expressions in conversation, or in first drafts of poems (or any writing). It is lazy to leave them in final drafts. One of the goals of revision should be to replace trite expressions with fresh, powerful ones.

Good poetry should also be emotionally honest. Syrupy sentimentality is all right on greeting cards, but in poetry it is a cop-out. You may enjoy reading a "tear-jerker", but that doesn't make it good poetry.

When we evaluate a poem, we must take into consideration what the poet was attempting. A limerick is supposed to be different from a serious love poem. Part of evaluation is asking how well the poet succeeded in what he or she attempted.

Following are two poems about trees. Which is more original, more unexpected, less sentimental?

Lost

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
- David Wagoner

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
- Joyce Kilmer

Writing about Poetry
There are many ways to write about literature - many "schools of criticism". People may write about how his/her poems reflect the poet's life experiences. Others may write about how the poem is related to other literature, or to events in history, discoveries in science, or to philosophy, religion, politics, human rights etc.

However, for this class, you will mostly be writing about what you see in the poem itself. It is usually best to begin by writing about the literal sense of the poem: What is going on here? From there, you should discuss the poem's use of various poetic devices (metaphor, meter, rhyme, assonance, imagery, symbolism, etc.), and then evaluate how well the poet succeeded in what seems to be his/her purpose.

In formal writing about poetry (such as essays you might write in a college poetry class), you should not digress into personal experiences. However, for this class, you may also write about what a poem reminds you of - other literature,songs, movies, your friends, or your own feelings or experiences.

04.2.1 Other poetic devices (English 9)

Imagery
Imagery is the use of words to convey sensory experiences: vision, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Good writing (poetry or prose) uses the most precise and vivid words to help the reader imagine what the writer means. Some poetry is made up almost entirely of imagery; most poetry contains a substantial amount of imagery.
Notice how Robert Frost leads us from a specific image (not just a bird, but a crow; not just snow, but "dust" - fine, powdery snow; not just a tree, but a hemlock tree) to a more abstract feeling:

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved a part
Of a day I had rued.

William Carlos Williams wrote a famous poem which is nothing but imagery after the first two lines:

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

Notice the precision and detail of the images in the next poem:

from "The Fish"

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled and barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
--the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly--
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
-Elizabeth Bishop

Figurative Speech: Simile, Metaphor & Personification

Simile
A simile is a comparison of two different things, using the words "like" or "as" or "than". A trite (overused) simile is "My feet are as cold as ice." Feet and ice are not alike in most ways, but the simile uses the characteristic of being cold to compare the two.
Robert Burns used simile when he started a poem by saying "My love is like a red, red rose", comparing the woman he loved to a flower.

Metaphor
A metaphor implies comparison of two different things (without the words "like" or "as") by stating that one thing is (or was or will be) another thing. If you said, "My feet are ice," that would be a metaphor. Metaphors are generally considered to be stronger statements than similes.
The second stanza of Sylvia Plath's poem "Lady Lazarus" uses a simile (comparing her skin to a lampshade), which is followed by two metaphors:

I have done it again
One year in every ten
I manage it -

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen...

Personification
Personfication is a figure of speech which gives some attribute of a human being to an object, animal or idea. Comparison between the human and the non-human is implied. If we say that "the clouds wept", we are personifying the clouds by giving them the human ability to cry. The following poem begins with a simile (the second line), but most of the poem is a sort of extended personification:

"The Avalanche"

Just last month
the avalanches like good women
were headed for a downfall. I saw one
throw back her head
and let go of the world.

No more free soup bones for that one.
No more faces of friends at the door
with doilies and lace
with ivory charms
carved of the elephant's great collapse.

Once an avalanche makes up her mind
not to cling,
there's no more covering up the cliff face
and hiding the truth,
and in her breakdown
she knows everything
and knows she knows everything
about the turning wheel of earth,
love, markets, and even the spring
coming soon with its wildflowers.
- Linda Hogan

Symbolism
Symbolism is the use of one thing to stand for another. In advertising, pictures of galloping horses or birds in flight, which usually have nothing to do with the product being advertised, may symbolize freedom. A country's flag is often used as a symbol for the country itself. In poetry, a symbol represents both itself (its literal meaning) and something else (its symbolic meaning).

"The Sick Rose"

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

- William Blake

"The Sick Rose" can be read on a literal level, as a gardener's concern for a plant which is being attacked by a "worm" (maybe a caterpillar), and bad weather. But it can also be read on a symbolic level, and the rose may represent (or symbolize)something else entirely - maybe the poet's lover, or his feelings for his lover.

Allusion
When a poem contains words or phrases that refer to something from another work of literature, art, religion, history or science, that reference is called an allusion. Since John F. Kennedy's famous inaugural speech, any writing that mentions a torch passing is likely to cause the reader who was alive in that time period to think of Kennedy. For younger readers, a torch passing may suggest the Olympics, and the torch being carried to the next host city. Poets often try to use such allusions to make their poems more powerful, to give the poems more meaning.

Using allusions in poetry is risky, because the writer doesn't have any way of knowing whether the reader will be familiar with the source of the allusion. When you are reading poetry, you may sometimes need to find out more about the allusion in order to understand what the poet intended. If there are too many obscure allusions, you are likely to give up on the poem.

T.S. Eliot's poem "Journey of the Magi" alludes to the birth of Jesus and the three visitors, variously called "wise men", "magi" or "kings". If you had never heard the story of Jesus' birth and the wise men, you would read this poem entirely differently.

from "Journey of the Magi"

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

The first six lines of "Journey of the Magi" are quoted from a sermon which was well-known in Eliot's day. Now, more than 50 years later, we are extremely unlikely to recognize that quote. This is another danger of allusion - what is familiar to today's reader may be unknown to future readers.

04.2 Poetic devices 1: Sound devices (English 9)

Poetic devices

In this lesson, we will study some of the more common poetic devices, and you will come to recognize them in various poems. Later, you will put some of these devices to work in your own poems. Many of these devices are also used in prose writing (loosely defined, prose is any writing that isn't poetry), but here we will be looking at them as they occur in poetry.

Rhythm and meter

In language, rhythm has to do with the repetition of a pattern of accented and unaccented syllables. Rap music is an example of how words can create a rhythm.

In poetry, meter is the patterned arrangement of stressed & unstressed syllables, measured in "feet". There are different kinds of feet *:

name syllables example
iamb one unstressed, one stressed among
trochee one stressed, one unstressed running
dactyl . one stressed, two unstressed galloping
anapest two unstressed, one stressed absolute
spondee two stressed daybreak

In some traditional poetry, lines have a specified number of feet.

For example, poems with three feet in a line are said to be in trimeter; poems with four feet in each line are said to be in tetrameter; poems with five feet per line are in pentameter; and those with 6 feet per line are in hexameter.

Sonnets are written in iambic pentameter. That is, they have five iambic feet (ten syllables) in each line.

Reading and marking the stressed and unstressed syllables in lines of poetry is called "scansion". Traditionally, unstressed syllables are marked with a curved line (like the phonetic symbol for short vowels), and stressed syllables are marked with a straight line (like the phonetic symbol for long vowels). If we scan these lines:
Over the river and through the woods -
we find four stressed syllables. It starts with two dactyllic feet, and then the rhythm changes.

The English language lends itself fairly easily to iambic meters, as in this excerpt from Robert Frost's famous poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening":

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep

Line-breaks are one way poets control rhythm in a poem, since a line-break causes the reader to pause briefly. In metered poetry (sometimes called "verse"), the line-breaks are determined by the number of feet. In much modern poetry, lines are of different lengths, and the poet must decide where to break each line. Lines that end where the thought or meaning ends are called "end-stopped":

But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Man knoweth not the price thereof;
Neither is it found in the land of the living.
- from the Book of Job

Lines that end in the middle of a thought or phrase are called "enjambed". Notice the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th lines of "On His Blindness":
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies,"God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait."
- John Milton

*More about counting feet:

It is only meaningful to talk about feet if the poetry has a definite meter. The number of feet in a line of metric poetry is usually the same as the number of stressed syllables (this would be true as long as none of the feet is a spondee). In iambic or trochaic lines, the number of feet would be half the number of syllables, because every other syllable is stressed. In dactyllic or anapestic lines, the number of feet would be one third the number of syllables, because only one of every three syllables is stressed.
Examples in mostly dactyllic rhythm:
HALF a league, HALF a league, HALF a league ONward (Ten words, eleven syllables, four feet - 3 dactyls and one trochee)
GALloping, GALloping, GALloping ONward (only four words, but the same eleven syllables and four feet as the previous line)

Before you can determine the number of feet, you have to decide whether you have iambs, trochees, dactyls, anapests, or spondees. If there are no spondees, you are pretty safe to just count the stressed syllables. If the rhythm is absolutely regular (all iambs, all trochees, all dactyls, or all anapests), you just count how many of those there are.
Examples in completely iambic meter:
When I/ conSID/er HOW/ my LIFE/ is SPENT (Eight words; ten syllables; five iambs; five feet)
When I/ can SEE/ how YOU/ are WAST/ing TIME (nine words; ten syllables; five iambs; five feet)

Note that the number of feet is NOT usually the same as (or even directly related to) the number of words.

Rhyme

Words rhyme when they end with syllables that have the same vowel AND consonant sounds. Usually, only the last syllable of each word (the only syllable if it is a one-syllable word) rhymes. For example:

"round" rhymes with "sound" but not directly with "end" (same consonant but different vowel sound) or with "out" (same vowel but different consonant sound).

"Out" or "end" might be used as indirect or slant rhymes for "round". A slant rhyme is a word that almost rhymes - shares either the end consonant sound, or the last vowel sound, but not both.

More examples of one-syllable rhymes: feet, defeat, beat, cheat, unseat.

Harder to find are two-syllable rhymes, like: perdition & sedition OR everything & marrying. There are even three-syllable and longer rhymes.

Note that it does NOT matter whether rhyming words are spelled similarly, as long as the sounds are the same. "Bite" and "light" are true rhymes, as are "bray" and "neigh", or "though" and "mow".

When we say that a poem rhymes, we generally mean that the last word of most or all of the lines rhymes with the last word of another, nearby line. A rhyme scheme is the pattern of the rhymes. If the first two lines rhyme with each other, then the next pair of lines rhyme with each other (but not with other lines), and the next pair rhyme with each other and so on, the rhyme scheme is said to be aabbcc etc:

Day is done
Gone the sun
In the west.
Birds will nest
All the night
Till morning light.

Here are some lines with an ababcc rhyme scheme:

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down...

- Joni Mitchell, from "Circle Game"

However, some poems also (or instead) use what is called internal rhyme, which means that the rhyming words fall somewhere other than the ends of lines. (Notice in "Circle Game", in lines three & four, the words fearful and tearful.) Internal rhymes tend to be more subtle than end rhymes.

A rhyming couplet is a pair of lines (two, a "couple") that rhyme:

Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Languages of Latin origin, like Spanish and Italian, are rich in rhyming words. By comparison, English has fewer possible rhyming words. Most English poetry written between 1400 & 1900 rhymes, but most contemporary poetry (written in the last 75 years) does not rhyme.

It is challenging to write rhyming poetry that is fresh, original and serious. Most humorous poetry rhymes, as does nearly all greeting card poetry, which tends to be trite and/or sentimental.

Other sound devices

Alliteration, consonance & assonance are repetitions of similar sounds (not necessarily similar spelling). Repetition of sound helps unify writing, and adds musical qualities much like rhyme, but more subtle. *****Review from elementary school: Vowels are a, e, i, o, u (and sometimes y). Consonants are all the other letters.*****

Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds (at the beginning of words or syllables). Old Anglo-Saxon poetry (for example, "Beowulf") used extensive alliteration:

There lay many a man
Marred by the javelin

Tongue-twisters often carry alliteration to an extreme:

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Consonance

Consonance is the repetition of final consonant sounds (at the end of words or syllables). Notice all the "t" sounds (and the related "d" sounds) in this example:

I gaze upon the roast
that is sliced and laid out
on my plate
and over it
I spoon the juices
Of carrot and onion
And for once I do not regret
the passage of time.
- from "Pot Roast" by Mark Strand

(Also look at the excerpt below from "The Rose" and notice how the repetition of "s" and "t"sounds create consonance.)

Assonance

Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds. Look again at "Pot Roast", and notice how

"gaze", "laid", & "plate",
"spoon", "juices" &"do",
"carrot", "onion" & "once"
share vowel sounds. They DON'T rhyme, though. If ALL the words that share the same vowel sound also rhyme, we don't call that assonance - it is just rhyme. SOME rhyming words may be mixed in with the non-rhyming ones to create assonance.

See also in the following excerpt how the long "o", "e" and "i" sounds repeat (rose, rose, stone, whole; sea, keeping, sea; light, silence, mine):

And in this rose, this rose in the sea-wind,
Rooted in stone, keeping the whole of light,
Gathering to itself sound and silence -
Mine and the sea-wind's.
- from "The Rose" by Theodore Roethke

Take note: It doesn't count unless the sounds are the same. "Little", "receive" and "ice" do not create assonance. They all have the vowel "i", but the three i's don't have the same sound. "Father" and "pot" DO create assonance. One uses the vowel "a" and the other uses the vowel "o", but both have the same sound.

Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia is the use of words that sound like what they mean, for example "hiss" or "pop" or "cock-a-doodle-doo" - or, as in this example, "rap" and "tap".

from "The Raven":
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.' - Edgar Allen Poe

04.1.2.1 Survey of poetry: Poetry of other cultures (English 9)

Much of the poetry you will read in this section was not written in English, and you will be reading translations. Poetry is exceedingly difficult to translate. In the first place, sound is an important characteristic of poetry, and no translation can keep the same sound as the original. Even something as basic as rhyme or meter may be impossible in translation. Beyond that, many words from other languages have no exact equivalents in English. Even if a word in English has the same definition as a word from another language, the connotations and cultural associations with that word will differ. Because of the difficulties of translation, you should probably be less critical of the structure and/or sound of translated poetry, and attend more to the ideas it presents.

The Far East: Australia & Asia
Read works by the following poets:
Rabindranath Tagore(India), Bhavabhuti (India), Seth Vikram (India)
Amir Khosrow (India), Mira Bai (India), Mirza Ghalib (India)
Chang Chi, Basho (Japan), Chang Yang-Hao (China)
Ch'ang Yu (China), Chuang Tzu (China), Chu Su Chen (China)
Yosa Buson (Japan), Kobayashi Issa (Japan), Masuoka Shiki(Japan)
Kikaku, Li Ch'ing Chao, Li Po
Liu Tsung-Yuan, Mei Yao Ch'en, Ou Yang Hsiu
Po Chu-i, Muso Soseki, Tu Fu, Wang Wei

"On the Nature of Love"

The night is black and the forest has no end;
a million people thread it in a million ways.
We have trysts to keep in the darkness, but where
or with whom - of that we are unaware.
But we have this faith - that a lifetime's bliss
will appear any minute, with a smile upon its lips.
Scents, touches, sounds, snatches of songs
brush us, pass us, give us delightful shocks.
Then peradventure there's a flash of lightning:
whomever I see that instant I fall in love with.
I call that person and cry: `This life is blest!
for your sake such miles have I traversed!'
All those others who came close and moved off
in the darkness - I don't know if they exist or not.
- Rabindranath Tagore

(untitled haiku)
O snail
Climb Mount Fuji,
But slowly, slowly!
- Issa

The Middle East, Europe, and Africa

Read works by the following poets:
Dennis Brutus (South Africa), Moshe Benarroch (Israel), Jaime Gil De Biedma (Spain)
Nazim Hikmet (Middle East), Jalal al-din Rumi (Persia), Orhan Veli Kank
Paul Celan (Germany), Seamus Heaney(Ireland), Boris Slutsky(Russia)
Czeslaw Milosz(Poland), Wislawa Szymborska (Poland), Vicente Aleixandre (Spain)
Bjornstjerne Martinius Bjornson (Norway), Giosue Carducci (Italy), Odysseus Elytis (Greece)
Karl Adolph Gjellerup (Denmark), Juan Ramon Jimenez (Spain), Erik Axel Karlfeldt (Sweden),
Par Fabian Lagerkvist (Sweden), Frederic Mistral (France), Eugenio Montale (Italy)
Saint-John Perse (France), Salvatore Quasimodo(Italy), Jaroslav Seifert (Czechoslovakia)

"ONE VERSION OF EVENTS"

If we'd been allowed to choose,
we must have gone on forever.

The bodies that were offered didn't fit,
and wore out horribly.

The ways of sating hunger
made us sick.
We were repelled
by blind heredity
and the tyranny of glands.

The world that was meant to embrace us
decayed without end
and the effects of causes raged over it.

Individual fates
were presented for our inspection:
appalled and grieved,
we rejected most of them.

Questions naturally arose, e. g.,
who needs the painful birth
of a dead child
and what's in it for a sailor
who will never reach the shore.

We agreed to death,
but not to every kind.
Love attracted us,
of course, but only love
that keeps its word.

Both fickle standards
and the impermanence of art works
kept us wary of the Muses' service.

Each of us wished to have a homeland
free of neighbors
and to live his entire life
in the intervals between wars.

No one wished to seize power
or to be subject to it.
No one wanted to fall victim
to his own or others' delusions.
No one volunteered
for crowd scenes and processions,
to say nothing of dying tribes -
although without all these
history couldn't run its charted course
through centuries to come.

Meanwhile, a fair number
of stars lit earlier
had died out and grown cold.
It was high time for a decision.

Voicing numerous reservations,
candidates finally emerged
for a number of roles as healers and explorers,
a few obscure philosophers,
one or two nameless gardeners,
artists and virtuosos -
though even these livings
couldn't all be filled
for lack of other kinds of applications.

It was time to think
the whole thing over.

We'd been offered a trip
from which we'd surely be returning soon,
wouldn't we.
A trip outside eternity -
monotonous, no matter what they say,
and foreign to time's flow.
The chance may never come our way again.

We were besieged by doubts.
Does knowing everything beforehand
really mean knowing everything.

Is a decision made in advance
really any kind of choice.
Wouldn't we be better off
dropping the subject
and making our minds up
once we get there.

We looked at the earth.
Some daredevils were already living there.

A feeble weed
clung to a rock,
trusting blindly
that the wind wouldn't tear it off.

A small animal
dug itself from its burrow
with an energy and hope
that puzzled us.

We struck ourselves as prudent,
petty, and ridiculous.

In any case, our ranks began to dwindle.
The most impatient of us disappeared.
They'd left for the first trial by fire,
this much was clear,
especially by the glare of the real fire
they'd just begun to light
on the steep bank of an actual river.

A few of them
have actually turned back.
But not in our direction.
And with something they seemed to have won in their hands.
- Wislawa Szymborska

"The Walnut Tree"

my head foaming clouds, sea inside me and out
I am a walnut tree in Gulhane Park
an old walnut, knot by knot, shred by shred
Neither you are aware of this, nor the police
I am a walnut tree in Gulhane Park
My leaves are nimble, nimble like fish in water
My leaves are sheer, sheer like a silk handkerchief
pick, wipe, my rose, the tear from your eyes
My leaves are my hands, I have one hundred thousand
I touch you with one hundred thousand hands, I touch Istanbul
My leaves are my eyes, I look in amazement
I watch you with one hundred thousand eyes, I watch Istanbul
Like one hundred thousand hearts, beat, beat my leaves

I am a walnut tree in Gulhane Park
neither you are aware of this, nor the police
-Nazim Hikmet, translated from Turkish by Gun Gencer

"I know the truth - give up all other truths!"

I know the truth - give up all other truths!
No need for people anywhere on earth to struggle.
Look - it is evening, look, it is nearly night:
what do you speak of, poets, lovers, generals?

The wind is level now, the earth is wet with dew,
the storm of stars in the sky will turn to quiet.
And soon all of us will sleep under the earth, we
who never let each other sleep above it.
- Marina Tsvetayeva

"On the Field of Kulikovo"

The river is spread wide. It flows, sad and sluggish, and washes its banks. Above the barren clay of the yellow cliff ricks stand sadly in the steppe.

O Russia! My wife! Our long road lies painfully clear ahead. Our road has pierced our breast with an arrow of the ancient Tatar power.

Our road lies through the steppe, it lies through boundless anguish- your anguish, O Russia! And even the darkness of the night that lies beyond the border I do not fear.

Let night come. We will gallop on to the end. We will light up with camp-fires the steppe stretching into the distance. In the smoke of the steppe the holy banner and the steel blade of the Khan's sabre will flash...

And the battle has no end! We only dream of peace through the blood and dust... The mare of the steppe flies on and on, and tramples the feather-grass.

And there is no end...The miles and cliffs flash past... Stop! The frightened clouds are drawing nearer and nearer, and the sunset is bathed in blood.

The sunset is bathed in blood. Blood streams from the heart.Weep, heart, weep. There is no peace- the mare of the steppe flies on at a full gallop!

- Alexander Aleksandrovich Blok

The Americas (Non-English)

Read works by the following poets:
Jorge Luis Borges(Argentina), Ariel Dorfman(Chile), Gabriela Mistral(Chile)
Octavio Paz(Mexico), Derek Walcott (St. Lucia/Trinidad), Pablo Neruda (Chile)

You may be able to find translations of native American poetry written while these languages were still in common use. One possible source is Native American Songs and Poems edited by Brian Swann. Current native American poets are listed under Contemporary Poetry.

"A Tree Within"

A tree grew inside my head.
A tree grew in.
Its roots are veins,
its branches nerves,
thoughts its tangled foilage.
Your glance sets it on fire,
and its fruits of shade
are blood oranges
and pomegranates of flame.
Day breaks
in the body's night.
There, within, inside my head,
the tree speaks.
Come closer-can you hear it?
-Octavio Paz

"If You Forget Me"

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

-Pablo Neruda

04.1.2 Survey of poetry: English and American poetry (English 9)

Historical Overview of English and American Poetry

Languages evolve and change over time, and you will probably find that older poetry (particularly that from before about 1600) is more difficult to understand than comparatively recent poetry. Spelling, pronunciation and even meanings of words have changed over the past few hundred years. Also, some poets of earlier eras assumed that readers would be familiar with the Bible, Greek and Roman mythology, and other classics, and often alluded to characters or stories you may not recognize.

Certain twentieth century poetry can be challenging for another reason: some poets were experimenting with an extremely spare style, and in some cases writing about personal experiences. This sometimes produced poems in which, though the words themselves might be easy to understand, the main idea or even general drift is difficult to determine.

Often very early poetry has what looks to us like strange spelling. This is partly because spelling has changed over the years, and partly because spelling had not yet been standardized - since there wasn't a "right" way to spell most words, even educated people might just spell something the way it sounded.

Here is one example -
from "EPITHALAMION"

Now is my love all ready forth to come,
Let all the virgins therefore well awayt,
And ye fresh boyes that tend upon her groome
Prepare your selves; for he is comming strayt.
Set all your things in seemely good aray
Fit for so joyfull day,
The joyfulst day that ever sunne did see.
Faire Sun, shew forth thy favourable ray,
And let thy lifull heat not fervent be
For feare of burning her sunshyny face,
Her beauty to disgrace.
O fayrest Phoebus, father of the Muse,
If ever I did honour thee aright,
Or sing the thing, that mote thy mind delight,
Doe not thy servants simple boone refuse,
But let this day let this one day be myne,
Let all the rest be thine.
Then I thy soverayne prayses loud will sing,
That all the woods shal answer and theyr eccho ring.
- Edmund Spenser

Read also from the following works or authors:
"Beowulf", Geoffrey Chaucer, old popular ballads or songs (usually anonymous)
John Skelton, Henry VIII, Sir Thomas Wyatt
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey; Nicholas Breton, Sir Walter Raleigh
Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, Robert Greene, Michael Drayton

17th-19th century poetry

Most of the well-known, 'classic' poems come from this time period.
Read from the works of the following poets:
William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Campion
Ben Jonson, John Donne, Robert Herrick
George Herbert, John Milton, Andrew Marvell
John Dryden, Anne Finch, Alexander Pope
Thomas Gray, William Blake, Phyllis Wheatley
Robert Burns, William Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott
Samuel Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley
John Keats, William Cullen Bryant, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Lord Tennyson
Robert Browning, Edward Lear, Emily Bronte
Walt Whitman, Matthew Arnold, Christina Rosetti
Emily Dickinson, Lewis Carroll, Gerard Manley Hopkins
Robert Louis Stevenson, and American folksongs & spirituals

Here are two examples:

"Ozymandius"

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
- PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

(untitled)
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
- Emily Dickinson

20th century English & American poetry

In the past hundred years, free verse became as popular as rhymed forms.
Read works of the following poets:
A.E. Housman, William Butler Yeats, Rudyard Kipling
Edwin Arlington Robinson, Charlotte Mew, Amy Lowell
Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg
Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Sara Teasdale
Ezra Pound, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Marianne Moore
T.S. Eliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, e.e. cummings
Ogden Nash, W.H. Auden, Theodore Roethke
Elizabeth Bishop, Dylan Thomas, Robert Lowell
May Swenson, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath

"Poppies in October"

Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly --

A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky

Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.

O my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frost, in a dawn of cornflowers.
- Sylvia Plath

"In Tall Grass"

Bees and a honeycomb in the dried head of a horse in a pasture corner—a skull in the tall grass and a buzz and a buzz of the yellow honey-hunters.

And I ask no better a winding sheet

(over the earth and under the sun.)

Let the bees go honey-hunting with yellow blur of wings in the dome of my head, in the rumbling, singing arch of my skull.

Let there be wings and yellow dust and the drone of dreams of honey—who loses and remembers?—who keeps and forgets?

In a blue sheen of moon over the bones and under the hanging honeycomb the bees come home and the bees sleep.
- Carl Sandburg

"Metamorphosis"

Always it happens when we are not there--
The tree leaps up alive into the air,
Small open parasols of Chinese green
Wave on each twig. But who has ever seen
The latch sprung, the bud as it burst?
spring always manages to get there first.
Lovers of wind, who will have been aware
Of a faint stirring in the empty air,
Look up one day through a dissolving screen
To find no star, but this multiplied green,
Shadow on shadow, singing sweet and clear.
Listen, lovers of wind, the leaves are here!
-May Sarton

Contemporary Poetry
Contemporary poetry might be very roughly defined as poetry written in the past four or five decades, and includes poems being written now. Poets now have great freedom to choose the form they prefer. There was a period when it was extremely difficult to get traditional forms of poetry published - especially rhyming poetry. The attitudes of editors & publishers seem to be relaxing, and serious poets are working in both "modern" free verse and more traditional forms.

You can find current poetry in journals like Poetry, American Poetry Review, Triquarterly, Poetry Northwest, and literary magazines published by universities & colleges.

You might also look for anthologies of recent poetry, such as:
The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry
Burning Down the House, Bonair-Agard et al
Voices of the Rainbow, Rosen
Durable Breath, Smeleer & Birchfield
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, McClatchy
The Forgotten Language, Merrill

Read works by the poets:
Maya Angelou, Joy Harjo, Janet Buck
Leslie Marmon Silko, Vicki Hearne, W.S. Merwin
Brewster Ghiselin, Margaret Atwood, Wendell Berry
Joseph Bruchac, Hayden Carruth, Amy Clampitt
Stanley Kunitz, Pattiann Rogers, Gary Snyder
William Stafford, Henry Taylor, Czeslaw Milosz

"Hay for the Horses"

He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."
-Gary Snyder

"Still I Rise"

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
- Maya Angelou

"December's Totem"

Twelve black cormorants
Stand on twelve creosote pilings.
Dark pools of reflection lie
Below in clear grey water.
Yellow beaks reach skyward.
Wings open wide,
Giving breasts to the sun.

What ancient silent prayer,
What pleading is this?

If we spoke
The same language still...
But feather-hidden ears cannot hear
What my tongue would ask.
I am thankful.

Twelve black cormorants
Are simply there
On twelve creosote pilings.
I am simply here
In a green rowboat.
The sun is on our breasts,
Our backs are to the cold wind.
- Annie Hansen

Children's Poetry
What we think of as "children's poetry" is a mixed bag - some of it was written specifically for children, some (like the Mother Goose rhymes)was originally folklore or political commentary, and some is simply poetry which someone decided was suitable for children. Poetry written for children in the 19th or early 20th century was often didactic (meant to teach a moral lesson), and/or overly sentimental. More recently, much of the poetry written for children has been humorous.

Suggested readings:
Mother Goose
Robert Louis Stevenson: A Child's Garden of Verses
A.A. Milne: When We Were Very Young & Now We are Six
Authors:
Karla Kuskin
Jack Prelutsky
Shel Silverstein

"Millions of Strawberries"

Marcia and I went over the curve
Eating our way down
Jewels of strawberries we didn't deserve,
Eating our way down.
Till our hands were sticky, and our lips painted,
And over us the hot day fainted,
And we saw snakes,
And got scratched,
And a lust overcame us for the red unmatched
Small buds of berries
Till we lay down -
Eating our way down -
And rolled in the berries like two little dogs,
Rolled
In the late gold.
And gnats hummed,
And it was cold,
And home we went, home without a berry,
Painted red and brown,
Eating our way down.
- Genevieve Taggard
-------------------------------
Swift things are beautiful:
Swallows and deer,
And lightning that falls
Bright-veined and clear,
Rivers and meteors,
Wind in the wheat,
The strong-withered horse,
The runner's sure feet.

And slow things are beautiful:
The closing of day,
The pause of the wave
That curves downward to spray,
The ember that crumbles,
The opening flower,
And the ox that moves on
In the quiet of power.
- Elizabeth Coatsworth

"Around and Around"

The flower's on the bird
Which is underneath the bee
And the bird is on the kitten
On the cat on me.
I'm on a chair
On some grass
On a lawn
And the lawn is on a meadow
And the world is what it's on.
And all of us together
When the day is nearly done
Like to sit and watch the weather
As we spin around the sun.
- Karla Kuskin

04.1.1 Forms of poetry: rhymed verse (English 9)

Forms of Poetry
"Every game ever invented by mankind is a way of making things hard for the fun of it." - John Ciardi

John Ciardi is a poet, and meant to include poetry as one of the games invented by mankind. One of the ways that poets make poetry hard for the fun of it is "form". Each form of poetry has its own rules. The rules may specify the number of syllables in a line, the lines in a stanza, the rhyme scheme, the subject matter, or any number of other parameters. Even free verse, which technically has no prescribed form, often follows a pattern chosen by the poet.

Choosing to follow a particular form imposes a kind of discipline on the poet. In order to stay within a form, the poet may be forced to think in a new way, find connections or associations s/he might otherwise never have found. In this way, strict form sometimes engenders originality.

Traditional rhymed poetry:
Over the past several hundred years, much of the poetry written in English has been in rhyming forms. This tradition continues today, mostly in the form of song lyrics. A few serious poets who are not song-writers are working within rhymed forms, though many serious poets over the past hundred years or so have chosen not to use rhyme. Here are some examples and definitions of rhymed forms.

Sonnet
The sonnet is a strict form, consisting of 14 lines of iambic pentameter, and a specific rhyme scheme.
In many sonnets, the different sections (distinguished by changing rhyme schemes)express different but related thoughts or ideas.
Most sonnets are one of two sub-forms: Italian (also called Petrarchan) or English (also called Shakespearian).

Italian sonnet
An Italian sonnet usually consists of two parts: the first eight lines (called the "octave"), with an abbaabba rhyme scheme, and the final six lines (called the sestet), with two or three different rhymes, often arranged either as cdcdcd or cdecde.

Untitled sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

Love is not blind. I see with single eye
Your ugliness and other women's grace.
I know the imperfection of your face, -
The eyes too wide apart, the brow too high
For beauty. Learned from earliest youth am I
In loveliness, and cannot so erase
Its letters from my mind, that I may trace
You faultless, I must love until I die.
More subtle is the sovereignty of love:
So am I caught that when I say, "Not fair,"
'Tis but as if I said, "Not here - not there -
Not risen - not writing letters." Well I know
What is this beauty men are babbling of;
I wonder only why they prize it so.

English sonnet
An English sonnet consists of three quatrains and a couplet. The rhyme scheme is typically ababcdcdefefgg.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediment. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Limerick

A limerick is a five-line poem in which the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines are anapestic trimeter, the 3rd & 4th lines are anapestic dimeter**, and the rhyme scheme is aabba. Limericks are traditionally humorous, and many (but not these two) are bawdy.

There was an old man of Peru
Who dreamt he was eating his shoe.
He awoke in the night
In a terrible fright,
And found it was perfectly true.
- anonymous

I wish that my room had a floor;
I don't so much care for a door;
But this crawling around
Without touching the ground
Is getting to be quite a bore.
- Gelett Burgess

**Basically the meter of a limerick goes like this:
duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH
duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH
duh-duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH
duh-duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH
duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH-duh-duh-DAH

Ballad

A ballad is a poem that tells a story, usually in quatrains with an abab rhyme scheme.
Many ballads are song lyrics, and some are very old, and were sung in many variations long before they were written down. Ballads often (though not always) include unhappy endings and violent deaths.

Examples of ballads you might have heard recorded by folk singers include "Long Black Veil", "Mary Hamilton", "Lady Diamond", "Willie o' Winsbury", "Cruel Sister" and "Polly Von".
Contemporary songwriters continue to produce modern ballads. The song "Pancho and Lefty" (written by Towns Van Zandt, and recorded by him and by Willie Nelson) is a 20th century ballad, as is "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot.

Here is a common old English ballad, "Lord Randal":

Where have you been all the day,
Rendal, my son?
Where have you been all the day,
My pretty one?
I've been to my sweetheart, mother
I've been to my sweetheart, mother

Chorus: Make my bed soon
For I'm sick to my heart
And I fain would lie down.

What have you been eating,
Rendal, my son?
What have you been eating,
My pretty one?
O eels and eel broth mother,
O eels and eel broth mother,

Chorus

Where did she get them from,
Rendal, my son?
Where did she get them from,
My pretty one?
From hedges and ditches, mother,
From hedges and ditches, mother.

Chorus

What was the colour on their skin,
Rendal, my son?
What was the colour on their skin,
My pretty one?
O spickled and speckled, mother,
O spickled and speckled, mother

Chorus

What will you leave your father,
Rendal my son?
What will you leave your father,
My pretty one?
My land and houses, mother,
My land and houses, mother

Chorus

What will you leave your mother,
Rendal my son?
What will you leave your mother,
My pretty one?
My gold and silver mother,
My gold and silver, mother

Chorus

What will you leave your brother,
Rendal my son?
What will you leave your brother,
My pretty one?
My cows and horses, mother
My cows and horses, mother

Chorus

What will you leave your lover,
Rendal my son?
What will you leave your lover,
My pretty one?
A rope to hang her, mother
A rope to hang her, mother

Make my bed soon
For I'm sick to my heart
And I fain would lie down.

Lyric Poetry

Lyric poetry takes its name from the Greek tradition of singing or speaking their poetry to the music of the lyre (a stringed instrument). This is also why the words to songs are called "lyrics".

Most lyric poetry is no longer intended to be sung, but it retains a rhythmic quality, and sounds as if it might be sung. Lyric poems are relatively short, and express the poet's emotions, often about love and/or nature. Some recent, unrhymed poetry is also considered lyric poetry.
The ode and the elegy are specialized types of lyric poetry.

The following example of a lyric poem has spelling that looks strange to us, as it was written by a Scottish poet in the 18th century.

"My Luve"

O my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my luve is like the melodie,
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.
- Robert Burns

04.1 Introduction to Poetry (English 9)

Poetry is difficult to define, and nearly any definition we can come up with has exceptions. Most poetry is easy to recognize, in part because of the way it lies on the page, in relatively short lines, rather than in paragraph form. Generally, poetry uses one or more of the following devices: musical language (rhyme, rhythm and/or other music-like sounds); a shorter, more intense form than prose; a partial disregard for the usual rules of sentence structure, grammar & usage; vivid imagery; metaphor or other figures of speech; or symbolism.

Poetry is more than subject matter

People sometimes think that only certain subjects are appropriate for poetry. As you read for this class, notice that poetry has been written about virtually anything you can think of. For example, the following poem has neither traditional subject matter, nor the formal language we often expect in poetry:

One-Legged Redwing Blackbird

You stay busy with both
there. One gone, gotta watch
all the time. Still don't
take shit from cowbirds.

Learn real quick how
to balance on the one
even in wind, wobbling,
tail bobbing up, down.

Tall One No Wings keeps
a pole box full of seed.
That helps. And now it's
April. Sun's out

sometimes. That helps.
- Carroll Arnett

Another myth is that everything that can be said about certain subjects has already been said. One of the great things about poetry is that everyone has something different to say, even when the subject matter may appear to be the same. Read and compare the following poems "about" deer:

Traveling Through the Dark

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.

By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.

My fingers touching her side brought me the reason--
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.

The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.

I thought hard for us all--my only swerving--,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.
- William Stafford

The Dead by the Side of the Road

How did a great Red-tailed Hawk
come to lie - all stiff and dry -
on the shoulder of
Interstate 5?

Her wings for dance fans

Zac skinned a skunk with a crushed head
washed the pelt in gas; it hangs,
tanned, in his tent

Fawn stew on Hallowe'en
hit by a truck on highway forty-nine
offer cornmeal by the mouth;
skin it out.

Log trucks run on fossil fuel

I never saw a Ringtail til I found one in the road:
case-skinned it with the toenails
footpads, nose, and whiskers on;
it soaks in salt and water
sulphuric acid pickle;

she will be a pouch for magic tools.

The Doe was apparently shot
lengthwise and through the side -
shoulder and out the flank
belly full of blood

Can save the other shoulder maybe,
if she didn't lie too long -
Pray to their spirits. Ask them to bless us:
our ancient sisters' trails
the roads were laid across and kill them:
night-shining eyes

The dead by the side of the road.
- Gary Snyder

Ute Hunters

Here with laborious stealth
On heavy snow-shoed feet through
Years piled in windswept blizzards
Men stalked with skill and prayer
The wary deer.
Glimpsed through gray leafless thickets
Heads high, long mule ears
Tuned to the whisper of leather
In snow, they would hear and spring
Too soon away, out of range,
Spear and arrow no match for their
Bounding flight. The men weary
Watch still all the shivering
Way home, wait yet near the trail,
Peer through snowlit dusk.

Snowplows scrape the highway clear
Pushing drifts aside,
Spreading the salt that draws
Deer, who pause, only listening still
For stealthy step, wolf, lion,
So they die fearless on crumpled chrome
Feared, cursed by men who
Eat slow, earthbound meat,
Pass too fast to see the blood
Smeared on the salted
Street, bare now. The plows
Pass again on the shoulder,
Piling snow sheared
Off into walls of ice
That melt and settle.
Here and there I notice
A slim leg protrudes,
Or dark eyes sightless peer
From the banked snow,
Feasts for the magpies and eagles.
And I wonder if I listened
In the thickets would I hear,
When the snowlit dusk draws down,
The spirits of the hunters greet
The spirits of the deer.
- Ellen Walker

Deer Among Cattle

Here and there in the searing beam
Of my hand going through the night meadow
They all are grazing

With pins of human light in their eyes.
A wild one also is eating
The human grass

Slender, graceful, domesticated
By darkness, among the bred-
for-slaughter,

Having bounded their paralyzed fence
And inclined his branched forehead onto
Their green frosted table,

The only live thing in this flashlight
Who can leave whenever he wishes,
Turn grass into forest,

Foreclose inhuman brightness from his eyes
But stands here still, unperturbed,
In their wide-open country,

The sparks from my hand in his pupils
Unmatched anywhere among cattle,

Grazing with them the night of the hammer
As one of their own who shall rise.
- James Dickey

How to see Deer

Forget roadside crossings.
Go nowhere with guns.
Go elsewhere your own way,

lonely and wanting. Or
stay and be early:
next to deep woods

inhabit old orchards.
All clearings promise.
Sunrise is good,

and fog before sun.
Expect nothing always;
find your luck slowly.

Wait out the windfall.
Take your good time
to learn to read ferns;

make like a turtle:
downhill toward slow water.
Instructed by heron,

drink the pure silence.
Be compassed by wind.
If you quiver like aspen

trust your quick nature:
let your ear teach you
which way to listen.

You’ve come to assume
protective color; now
colors reform to

new shapes in your eye.
You’ve learned by now
to wait without waiting;

as if it were dusk
look into light falling:
in deep relief

things even out. Be
careless of nothing. See
what you see.
- Phillip Booth

03.8 Descriptive essays (English 9)

Essays: Descriptive Essay
Good descriptive writing should help the reader picture, hear, taste, smell and/or feel - both in the tactile sense and in the emotional sense - what it is you are describing.

Review the slide show or PDF about the writing process, and the techniques of good writing.

03.7.2 Sentence parts (English 9)

Basic parts of the sentence
This is a brief review of some of the most basic parts of a sentence:

Subject
The subject of a sentence is usually a noun or pronoun, although it can be a phrase, and it is usually (though not always) near the beginning of the sentence.
Often, the subject is whatever (or whoever) is doing the action of the sentence:
The horses were galloping across the field.
The boat will sail away.
John and Allen played so well the team won the game. (Notice that this complex sentence has two clauses, and the first clause has a compound subject.)

Often, the subject is the topic of the sentence.
The painting is beautiful.
The hot, spicy chili tasted wonderful.
Sometimes the subject is being acted upon:
At the end of his mission, the spy was debriefed by the CIA.
The victim had been stung over a hundred times.

A clause or simple sentence usually has one subject, but can have a compound subject:
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
Lobsters, spiders, earthworms and honeybees are all invertebrates.

Here is an example of a subject that is a phrase:
Michael choosing me to be his partner meant a lot to me. (The verb is 'meant'.)

The Predicate
Simply put, we might say that the predicate is everything in the sentence that isn't part of the subject. We are going to look at three components that may be part of the predicate: verbs, direct objects, and indirect objects.

Verbs
Verbs most often specify the action of the sentence:
Gavin flew the kite.
The snake is swallowing the mouse.
The wind blew all night.
The man was overcome with sorrow.
The trees had been struck by lightning.
After we eat dinner, we will be going for a walk in the woods.(This is a complex sentence, so it has two sets of verbs.)

Verbs can also link the subject to some information about it:
The candy will be sticky.
The champion collie was beautiful.
Her name is Bethany.
The fried chicken smelled delicious and tasted even better. (This simple sentence has a compound predicate.)
The drumrolls sounded like distant thunder.

Some verbs, which are called intransitive verbs, show a complete action that doesn't need an object:
The big bull was bucking, spinning and twisting.
George smiled.
Her broken leg ached for months after the accident.
After dinner, we just rested.

Direct objects
Some verbs, which are called transitive verbs, show an action that is done TO something - these verbs need a direct object. The direct object receives the action of the verb:
The basketball team ate twenty-two pizzas. [The direct object - pizzas - tells WHAT they ate.]
I'm ordering Christmas presents on-line. [The direct object - presents - tells WHAT is being ordered.]
Some specialists earn several hundred dollars an hour.

There can be multiple direct objects:
Jared bought milk, cookies, and ice cream.

If there are multiple verbs, each verb can have its own direct object, as in this Magic Three structure:
Megan outran her opponent, received the pass, and scored a winning goal.

A direct object is usually a noun or pronoun, but it can also be a phrase:
I want to go skiing.[To go skiing is WHAT I want.]

Indirect objects
A few sentences also have an indirect object, which specifies for whom (or to what) the direct object belongs:
I am ordering my children Christmas presents. [The presents are FOR the children.]
Skyler fed the horses their hay and the chickens corn. [The hay was fed TO the horses, and the corn was fed TO the chickens.]
The magical goose laid us a golden egg.
The waiter brought Susan dinner.
We will get the car new tires.

To decide whether a word is an indirect object, try re-arranging the sentence with the word after 'for' or 'to':
"I'm picking my daughter a necklace" can be re-stated as "I'm picking a necklace FOR my daughter," so in the original version, "daughter" is an indirect object.
"I'm picking my daughter up after school" can NOT be re-stated as "I'm picking up after school for/to my daughter", so in that sentence, 'daughter' is NOT an indirect object.

03.7 Sentences, clauses, and phrases (English 9)

When we write or talk, we use groups of words. For the sake of simplicity, we have names for different kinds of groups of words - so that we can talk or write about our talking or writing.

The key unit of written communication is the sentence. A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark or exclamation point. It is the smallest group of words that can stand alone (often it is said to "express a complete thought"). A sentence always has a subject and a predicate (though sometimes the subject may be understood rather than expressed, as in "Get out of here!", where the subject is understood to be "You").

A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate. A clause may be:
an independent clause(in which case it may be a whole sentence by itself, or a part of a complex sentence), or
a dependent clause, also called a subordinate clause (in which case it must be part of a complex or compound sentence). A dependent clause is not missing any parts - the thing that makes it dependent is an extra word (or words), usually a conjunction which is meant to link or relate it to an independent clause. For example:
I stayed up late so that I could study.
"I stayed up late" is an independent clause, which could stand alone as a sentence. "So that I could study" is a dependent clause which can't stand alone as a sentence, but ONLY because the words "so that" link it to the first clause. If you left out "so that", "I could study" could be a complete sentence on its own.

A phrase is a group of words working together to function as a single part of speech. It may have a subject, or a predicate, but doesn't necessarily have either, and never has both. Here are some examples of phrases:
going to Georgia
caused various problems
up the stairs
the strongest man in the county

A simple sentence has only one clause (though it may have many phrases).
Examples of simple sentences:
Marian slept.
The cat and dog chased each other around the house.
Tom ordered a milkshake.
The house has a spiral staircase, two stained glass windows, and a balcony.
We stopped for groceries, talked to friends, and drove home.
Before starting chores, they changed clothes.

A compound sentence has two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction (commonly, and, or, but, & so).
Examples of compound sentences:
We won the first game, so we had to stay for the finals.
I finished running errands, but I was late.
Margaret can go to the carnival, or Jared can go to the movie.
He was happy, and he was pleased with his son.

Another, much less common kind of compound sentence has two independent clauses connected by a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb (such as: then, thus, however, also, nevertheless, similarly, for example, in addition).
Examples:
We won the first three rounds; however, we lost in the finals.
She told her mother; furthermore, she left a note on the refrigerator.

A complex sentence has one independent clause and one dependent clause. Either clause can come first, and the dependent (sometimes called subordinate) clause begins with a subordinating conjunction (such as: because, since, that, before, after, in spite of, although, if, while, until, when, where, unless), or a relative pronoun (which, who, that).
Examples of complex sentences:
After we started home, we quickly got lost.
We got lost after we started home.
Because she was wearing white, she didn't want to fall in the mud.
Lois wouldn't have minded getting muddy if she had been wearing jeans.
Unless George is going to drive, Tyler can't go.
Desrie likes Robert in spite of the fact that he wears twelve earrings.
We went to see Paul, who is my favorite brother. [who, which, that & what can act both as the subordinating conjunction and as the subject of the dependent clause]

As you might guess, a compound-complex sentence has both two independent clauses, and at least one dependent clause, in any order.
Examples of compound-complex sentences:
Marty was hungry, so after they finished cleaning up, they bought a pizza.
Before the test started, Jeremy got sick, and Brent passed out.

More explanation & examples about simple, compound, and complex sentences:

A simple sentence can be stripped down to its single subject & verb. Here is a long simple sentence:
Hoping to meet her brother on the evening before their departure, she carefully planned a schedule to help with her preparations.
Why is this a simple sentence? Because if you get rid of all the extra modifiers, it strips down to "she planned a schedule". It has only one clause. You might think of a clause as a basic subject/verb unit. If you think of it that way, you can see that this is still a single clause even though the subject & verb are compound: George and Terry stopped and waited. It is one unit of meaning.

Compound sentences:
On the other hand, if we say "George stopped, and Terry waited," now we have two clauses - two units of meaning. Each unit has its own subject doing a unique thing. We could also say "George stopped, but Terry waited," or "George stopped, so Terry waited." Any of those three are compound sentences because they consist of two independent clauses, connected by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, so, or).

Complex sentences
The other way of connecting clauses involves subordinating conjunctions, which suggest how one of the units of meaning depends on the other. If we say "Because George stopped, Terry waited," we have a complex sentence - one independent clause (terry waited) with at least one dependent, or subordinate, clause (because George stopped). In many cases we can reverse the order of the clauses ("Terry waited because George stopped.)" A complex sentence can have clauses nested inside of clauses: Because Terry was waiting ~ while George was stopped,~ the whole convoy came to a halt~ until the tow truck arrived~ so that George's car could be hauled back home~ where a mechanic was waiting to fix it ~so that he could continue on with everyone else. That has seven clauses! Only one (the whole convoy came to a halt) is independent.

Compound/complex sentences
More often, complicated sentences use both ways of connecting clauses, so they have two or more independent clauses AND one or more dependent (subordinate) clauses: George stopped ~ and Terry waited ~ while the rest of the group caught up. (Two independent clauses and one dependent clause)

03.6.2 Greek and Latin word parts (English 9)

Greek and Latin prefixes, roots and suffixes common in English
Many of our English words, especially in the fields of science and medicine, come from Greek or Latin. Some of the words got into our vocabulary "by accident", as people adopted and adapted from various languages. Some of them were deliberately constructed, created, by scientists and writers who needed to name a new concept or thing. If you know the meanings of some of the common prefixes, roots and suffixes, you can figure out what some unfamiliar words might mean. Study the charts below before you do the quizzes on this material.

Prefixes

Prefix Meaning Modern example
a- or dis- or non- not;negative abiotic: not living; discomfort: the opposite of comfort; nonconformist: one who doesn't conform
ambi- both ambidextrous: able to use both hands well
anti- against antipathy: a dislike for
bi- double; twice bicycle: a two-wheeled cycle
circum- around circumnavigate: to sail around
counter- against counteract: to act against
de- down descent: the act of going down; demolish: to tear down
hemi- (or semi-) half hemisphere: half the sphere
hygro-, hydro-, humidi- wet humidity: the water vapor in the air; hydro-electric: using water power to generate electricity
hyper- (or super-, supra-) above, over (big) hyperactive: very active
hypo- (or sub-) under, below (small) hypodermic: the needle used to get medicine under the skin
in- or im- or non- not; beyond impossible: not possible; incomparable: beyond compare
inter- between international: between countries
intra- or intro- within intrastate: within a state
mega-, magni-, grandi-, macro- big megalopolis: huge city; grandiose: someone or something pretending to be very important; magnify: to make appear bigger
poly- or multi- many polygon: a shape with many sides; multi-colored: many colored
post- after, behind postmortem: after death
pre- or pro- before, in front of proactive: action taken before problems arise; pretest: a test given before instruction
re- again, back rearrange: to arrange again
sur- over surplus: extra, the amount over what is needed
trans- across transcontinental: across the continent

Roots

-act-

to do action: what someone/something does
-bio- living biology: the study of life
-clud- to close exclude: to keep out; conclude: to end
-crac- or -crat- govern democracy: government of the people
-dem- people demographics: information about people
-dict- to say; words dictate: to tell, order; dictionary: book of words
-fer- carry transfer: to move from one person or place to another; ferry: a boat that carries cars or cargo back & forth
-fract- break fracture: break; fraction: a part less than the whole
-graph- or -gram- write monograph: a piece of writing about one subject
-gress- to walk, move progress: to move forward
-ject- to throw eject: to throw out
-mar- sea mariner: sailor; submarine: a "boat" that travels under the water
-mem- remember memorial: something intended to remind us of a person or group now dead
-nav- ship navigate: to travel by boat, or steer a boat; navy: armed force with ships
-pel- to drive, push repel: to drive away; propel: to drive forward
-pend- to hang append: to add on; pendant: hanging down, or a thing that hangs down
-phil- to love hydrophilic: loving water
-pop- people popular: liked by many people; population: the people living in a certain area
-port- to carry import: to bring (carry) in
-rupt- break disrupt: to break up or disturb; rupture: a break in something like a blood vessel, balloon or pipe
-scrib-, -script- to write, writing transcribe: to write down; describe: to tell (write) about
-sect- cut bisect: to cut in half; dissect: to cut apart
soph wise, wisdom sophisticated: wise about the ways of society
-tele- far telescope: a device for seeing far; telephone: a device for talking to people far away
-tort- twist distort: to twist out of shape; torture: great pain
-tract- to pull tractor: device for pulling; attract: to pull toward
-uni- one uniform: all the same; unicorn: mythical animal with one horn
-vert- to turn revert: to turn back to a previous form
-vid- or -vis- or -spec- to see television: a device that sees pictures from far away
-voc- or -vok- to call invoke: to call upon
Suffixes

-able, -ible

capable or worthy of likable: easy to like; flexible: capable of flexing
-ation, or -ment or -ist changes verbs to nouns cyclist: one who cycles; creation: something created; amazement: the quality of being amazed
-fy or -ify or -ize changes nouns or adjectives to verbs purify: to make pure;criticize: what a critic does
-logy the study of philology: the study of words; astrology: the study of stars to forecast the future
-meter, -metry measurement or measuring device perimeter: the measurement around the edge of a figure
-phobe, -phobia fear claustrophobia: fear of small or tight places
-phone sound or speech homophones: words that sound the same; telephone: device for transmitting sound over distance
Medical terms

cardio

heart cardiopulmonary: having to do with heart and lungs
derm skin dermatologist: doctor who specializes in skin problems
gastro stomach gastric ulcers: sores in the stomach
hepat liver hepatitis: inflamation of the liver
myo muscle myocardial: heart muscle
nephro kidney nephrosis: abnormality of the kidneys
neuro nerves neurosurgeon: a doctor who specializes in surgery on the brain, spine or nerves
odont, or dent teeth orthodontist: specialist in straightening teeth
osteo bone osteochondrosis: abnormal development in and around the bone
-algia pain neuralgia: pain in the nerves
-ectomy the surgical removal of appendectomy: the removal of the appendix
-itis inflamation arthritis: inflamation of the joints
-ology the study of physiology: study of human body functions
-osis diseased or abnormal halitosis: bad breath

03.6 History of the English Language (English 9)

The History of English
Why is spelling so difficult in English? One important reason is that our language is really an amalgam of several languages.

Indo-European
Many years ago (we're talking pre-history: thousands of years ago), a group of people lived in what is now central southeast Europe. Over a long period of time these people (whom scientists now call the Indo-Europeans) migrated both east, as far as India, and west, through Europe as far as what we now call England. Naturally they took their language with them. Most languages spoken today in Europe are descended from that ancient language. Therefore English (along with French, German, Latin, Sanskrit and many others) can be classified as an Indo-European language. Some examples of languages NOT in the Indo-European group include Finnish, Hungarian, and Chinese.

Invasions and Conquerors
Once upon a time, not quite so long ago as the early Indo-European migration but still thousands of years ago, most of the people living in England were what we now call Celts (their descendants include the Welsh and Irish). They were called the Brittons. Their languages were part of the Indo-European group of languages, but split off from the others quite long ago, and therefore look quite strange to us. We don't speak Celtic today because over the past 4000 years, more or less, England was repeatedly invaded by Europeans who killed many of the Celts, and pushed the small remaining groups out of most of England.

The Romans invaded England about 2000 years ago, bringing with them their language, Latin. However, after a few generations, the Romans withdrew from England as the Roman empire collapsed. [Countries that were part of the Roman empire longer - like Spain, France and Italy - have languages descended more directly from Latin, the language of the Romans. Spanish, French and Italian are called "Romance" languages for that reason. ] Latin would eventually return to England when Christian missionaries converted the people of England - Latin was the language of the early Christian church.

The earliest of the waves of invaders who stayed were Germanic peoples - the Angles & the Saxons - from northern Europe. They brought the language that developed into what we now call Old English, which was very similar to Old German. Many of our basic, simple vocabulary words, like man, foot, mother, dog, or cow (along with many of our swear words) come from Germanic roots.

A later wave of invaders were the "Vikings" (Danes), Scandinavian people who spoke another Germanic language. For a while, England was divided into two sections: the south, where the Saxons (or Anglo-Saxons) lived and spoke Old English; and the north, where the Vikings spoke Old Norse. Eventually the two groups blended, and then they were invaded by the Normans, who spoke French. For a couple hundred years, the kings of England spoke French as their native language!
None of these languages pushed out Old English (or Middle English), but the English borrowed words from all the different languages and added them to the English vocabulary. So the word "cow" comes from old Germanic roots, but if we eat the cow, we call her meat "beef", from the French word for cow (boeuf). To us this seems perfectly normal, but in many languages there is only one word that names both the animal and its meat.

Science & Technology
As science and technology became major influences on culture & life, new words had to be invented for all the new discoveries and inventions. For centuries, Latin and Greek had been regarded as the languages of the highly educated, and used for communication between scientists of different countries. Many of the words created to describe scientific, medical and technological concepts were from Latin or Greek roots.

Pronunciation vs. Spelling
To complicate matters further, the way English is pronounced has changed a lot in the last 700 years. English vowels used to be pronounced much like other European vowels (a as in "father", e more or less like the vowel sound in "bay", i like "ee", O kind of between our current short & long O, and u like "oo" in "boo"). Letters that are now silent in words used to be pronounced. A common example of this is the word "knee". A few hundred years ago, people would have said it something like k-NAY-a.

Also a few hundred years ago, most people were either illiterate, or just barely knew how to read and write. People just spelled words like they sounded. There weren't any dictionaries, so there wasn't a "right" way to spell words. Then one of the kings decided that spelling should be standardized (everyone should spell words the same way). In the time since then, we have kept on using the same spelling even when some of the words aren't pronounced the same way as they used to be.

Today
How does all this affect us? Obviously it makes spelling and reading harder to learn. There is a bright side, though: we have one of the richest and most varied vocabularies in the world, with a wide choice of near-synonyms to help express exactly what we mean. Our language continues to change. A hundred years ago, there was no 'video' or 'pickup truck' or 'laser'. "Rap" had nothing to do with music, and 'gay' was a synonym for 'happy'. In your lifetime, English will invent more new words to name new ideas, give old words new meanings, and borrow more words from other languages.

03.5 Diction, connotation, and denotation (English 9)

Diction
Diction is closely allied with word choice. Like it or not, people will judge you by your diction, both spoken and written. If you always spoke in long formal sentences and used lots of multi-syllable words, most teenagers would probably think you were strange, and maybe stuck-up.
Likewise, if you write using lots of slang, text-messaging abbreviations, and non-standard grammar, many adults (including potential employers, bosses and teachers) will probably think you are uneducated, and maybe even stupid.
Beyond that, making your ideas clear to other people requires that you choose your words carefully. The more precisely you use language, the greater chance there is that people will understand exactly what you mean.
Denotation
Denotation is what a word means - its dictionary definition(s).
If words are listed as synonyms, they may have very similar denotations - but be careful, because they may still have very different connotations! Don't make the mistake of just substituting a random synonym to avoid repetition, or to try to raise your word choice score.
Connotation
Connotation is (according to my dictionary) "an association or idea SUGGESTED by a word IN ADDITION TO its primary meaning". A word's connotation is what the word implies, beyond the basic definition.
An example may help you understand this better. Consider all these words which mean "a female person":
woman, lady, girl, chick, babe, fox, gal, hag
granny, mother, mommy, hoochie, b***ch
girlfriend, honey, maid, lass, virgin
dowager, widow, nanny, teeny-bopper, governess
aunt, wife, old lady, valley girl, coed
princess, mammy, nun, witch, sorceress
siren, temptress, debutante, nursemaid.... you can probably think of more. Now, the words on the list don't have EXACTLY the same denotations, but even if you put them into smaller groups with very similar denotations, the implications differ widely.

Some of these words have mostly positive connotations; some, mostly negative. "Woman" is probably the most nearly neutral.
Some of these words seem old-fashioned, and might imply that either the person using the word, or the person being named, was older. Some are in current use as slang, and imply youth, and a certain subculture.
Some of the words imply good looks, or the opposite. Some hint at the person's intelligence, character, relationships or social standing.

Be careful about the connotations of the words you use. Connotations can make a sentence mean far more - or less.

03.4 Choose a novel from the list to read (English 9)

You will need to read ONE novel, chosen from the list below (if you can find an unabridged version of the book on audiotape, or talk someone into reading it out loud to you, you may listen to it instead of reading). Be sure to check the related reading response unit activity before you begin reading.
(NOTE: You will also need your book for two of the writing assignments (the Diction exercise, and the Elaboration exercise). Your final test will include a major essay question about this book. If you leave that question blank, you will probably not pass the test, or this class.)

[What if you have already read one of these books? There is nothing wrong with choosing to re-read a book that you have read before, if you liked it. Do NOT choose a book you have read before and then NOT read it again - and for heaven's sake, don't re-read a book if you didn't like it to begin with.]

You Don't Know Me by Klass (realistic fiction, funny in parts, about a high school boy whose mother's boyfriend is beating him; unusual style, occasionally hard to follow, but great story)
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Crutcher (realistic fiction; includes some controversial issues and some funny stuff)
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Paterson (realistic fiction; about a girl who has been in foster homes most of her life, and discovers her mother's address; funny & sad by turns; probably the easiest book on this list)
The Mukhtar's Children by Watson (historical fiction, about growing up in the conflicts between a Jewish and a Palestinian village)
Across Five Aprils by Hunt (historical fiction, about life in Civil War times)
The Bean Trees by Kingsolver (realistic fiction, about a young woman who grows up in rural Kentucky always wanting to get away, and heads west when she gets a car; not a book for the average 9th grader, but if you are more mature, this book might appeal to you)
The Hero and the Crown by McKinley (fantasy, about a king's daughter who learns to kill dragons)
Speaker for the Dead by Card (science fiction, the sequel to Ender's Game, a sort of mystery involving ecology, genetics & ethics)
Dicey's Song by Voigt (realistic fiction, the sequel to Homecoming)
When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune (realistic fiction; this book mentions condoms on the first page, but there is no explicit sex in the book)
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by McKillip (fantasy)
The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien (fantasy - don't make the mistake of thinking you can "just watch the movie")

03.3 Spelling commonly misspelled words (English 9)

Why is English spelling so inconsistent and tricky?
It ties back into the history of the English language.
"In spelling, the [English] language was assimilating the consequences of having a civil service of French scribes, who paid little attention to the traditions of English spelling that had developed in Anglo-Saxon times. Not only did French qu arrive, replacing Old English cw (as in queen), but ch replaced c (in words such as church--Old English cirice), sh and sch replaced sc (as in ship--Old English scip), and much more. Vowels were written in a great number of ways. Much of the irregularity of modern English spelling derives from the forcing together of Old English and French systems of spelling in the Middle Ages. People struggled to find the best way of writing English throughout the period. ... Even Caxton didn't help, at times. Some of his typesetters were Dutch, and they introduced some of their own spelling conventions into their work. That is where the gh in such words as ghost comes from.

"Any desire to standardize would also have been hindered by the ... Great English Vowel Shift, [which] took place in the early 1400s. Before the shift, a word like loud would have been pronounced 'lood'; name as 'nahm'; leaf as 'layf'; mice as 'mees'. ...

"The renewed interest in classical languages and cultures, which formed part of the ethos of the Renaissance, had introduced a new perspective into spelling: etymology. Etymology is the study of the history of words, and there was a widespread view that words should show their history in the way they were spelled. These weren't classicists showing off. There was a genuine belief that it would help people if they could 'see' the original Latin in a Latin-derived English word. So someone added a b to the word typically spelled det, dett, or dette in Middle English, because the source in Latin was debitum, and it became debt, and caught on. Similarly, an o was added to peple, because it came from populum: we find both poeple and people, before the latter became the norm. An s was added to ile and iland, because of Latin insula, so we now have island. There are many more such cases. Some people nowadays find it hard to understand why there are so many 'silent letters' of this kind in English. It is because other people thought they were helping."

David Crystal, The Fight for English: How language pundits ate, shot, and left, Oxford, 2006, pp. 26-9.

Spelling
Yes, spelling can be a nuisance, but yes, it is important. Here are some general guidelines to help you become a better speller:

1) Learn some of the basic rules that work MOST of the time, for instance:

i before e except after c, or when sounded as "ay" as in neighbor or weigh

When you add a suffix to a word which ends with a single vowel followed by a single consonant, double the consonant (fit becomes fitted or fitting); when you add a suffix that begins with a vowel to a word that ends in a silent e, drop the e and add the suffix (fade becomed fading or faded; fate becomes fated, or fateful).

For words that end in a consonant & y, change the y to i UNLESS the suffix begins with i (fry becomes frying or fries or fried).

2) Use the spell-check on your computer, but

3) Don't depend on ONLY the computer spell-check. Your computer doesn't know what word you meant to spell, only whether the words you used match a long list of possible words.

4) Ask a friend or family member who is a good speller to check your work.

5) Make a list of words you have trouble with, and work on learning one of them each day or week.

Common Words that Cause Spelling Errors

1) there refers to a place (here and there).
they're is the contraction for "they are" (They're coming over later.)
their is the possessive of they, which is why the e comes before the i. (Don't touch their fancy car.)

2)Two is the number 2. (I want two cookies.)
too may mean "also" (I want cake, too.) or may add emphasis (It was too hot.)
to is a preposition or part of the infinitive (I want to go to the store.)

3) Conscious means you know what is going on around you (you haven't been knocked out). (He was conscious of them all staring at him.)
Conscience is the part of your mind that tells you something is morally right or wrong. (Her conscience was bothering her because she had lied to her best friend.)

4)which is a pronoun referring to something.(I couldn't decide which one to buy.)
witch is a woman with magical (often evil) powers. (The witch cast a spell to turn the prince into a frog.)

5) were is the past tense of "are". (They were sad.)
where refers to a place. (Where are we going?)

6) loose is the opposite of tight. (The screw had worked loose and fallen off.)
lose is the verb related to lost. (I didn't want to lose my earring.)

7) all right is the only correct way to write this expression (there is no such word as "alright").

8)desert is a dry place. (Cactus grow in the desert.)
dessert is the treat you eat after dinner. (We're having apple pie for dessert.)
Note that the above two words break the usual pronunciation rule that in two syllable words, vowels followed by a single consonant are long, and vowels followed by a double consonant are short.
Desert (pronounced like "dessert" with a long E in the first syllable) can also be a verb meaning to leave (I can't imagine how a mother could desert her children.)

9) everyday is always an adjective. (I wore my everyday clothes except to church.)
If you mean something that happens day after day, you write every day. (I get up before noon every day.)

10) definitely means certainly (I definitely want to graduate from high school.)
defiantly means with defiance (The demonstrators shouted defiantly at the police.)

11) Pay attention to the difference between into and in to especially if preceded by "turned":
Correct - The sorceress turned them into frogs.
Possibly confusing - I turned into a parking lot. (Did you turn so as to arrive in a parking lot, or were you transformed from a human into flat asphalt?)
Correct - He turned them in to the police.
Incorrect: He turned them into the police.
Correct - I went in to see what was going on.
Correct - I was accepted into the club.

03.1.2 Some Techniques for Good Writing (English 9)

Good writing techniques
Writing is a craft, and, like any craft, has skills you can learn to help you improve. Many pieces of good writing use recognizable techniques, some of which are introduced below. It would be unusual for a single piece of writing to contain all of these, but nearly every piece of good writing includes many of them.
(These ideas come from the work of Nancy Atwell, Mary Ledbetter, and the Utah Writing Project.)

1. Magic Three

Three parallel groups of words, usually separated by commas in one sentence (though sometimes in three separate sentences), that add emphasis or support for a point, or create rhythm.

Examples:
Jeri liked riding her horse on a cool summer evening, hiking in the mountains to see the fall leaves, and playing her silver flute at midnight.

Charlie's parents must want to get rid of him. For his fourteenth birthday, they bought him a matched set of designer luggage. For his fifteenth birthday, they bought him an eight week trip to a college prep summer camp. For his sixteenth birthday, they bought him a Hummer with leather seats, a thousand dollar gas gift card, and a fully functional GPS system.

Notice that the series of three must be three phrases, not just three words:
Magic Three: Some of my goals are to go skydiving solo, to record an original album, and to live long enough to see how global warming turns out.
Not Magic Three: For dinner, I want pizza, salad, and ice cream.

Good examples of Magic Three use parallel structure. Parallel structure can also apply to series of two, four, or any number. Parallel structure sounds complicated when I try to explain it (each phrase uses the same kind of grammatical structure), but it is pretty easy to recognize in examples. Notice in the first example above, each of the three phrases starts with an -ing verbal: riding, hiking, playing. In the second example, each of the three sentences starts out the same: "For his _____ birthday, they bought him..." In the example highlighted in green, each phrase starts out with an infinitive (the "to ____" form of verbal): to go, to record, to live.

2. Figurative Language

Non-literal comparisons – such as similes, metaphors and personification – add “spice” to writing and can help paint a more vivid picture for the reader.

Examples:
It seemed like we were moving through traffic as slowly as a California tourist driving through a herd of sheep. Meanwhile, the minutes galloped away from us like race horses being chased by a swarm of hornets. I could just imagine the coach, an angry bear on the sidelines, roaring at the other players about what he would do to me when I finally got there.

...occasionally someone would lean forward and softly rearrange the logs
on the fire so that the flames flapped upward more brightly, and the
remains of the steaks sizzled briefly, like a nest of sleepy wasps. -
Gerald Durrell
03.1.2 Figurative language03.1.2 Figurative language
Similes and metaphors compare two things NOT generally considered to be alike.
A simile: The wind was like a hungry tiger tearing down our tent. [Wind and a tiger are not generally the same.]
Not a simile: The wind was like a hurricane. [A hurricane and wind are quite similar in many ways.]

3. Specific Details for Effect

Instead of general, vague descriptions, use specific, concrete sensory details to help the reader visualize what you are describing. Details are also a key to humor (see humor section).

Example:
Instead of saying "My mother was sitting & working," say:
Mama settled back into the cane chair and scooped up another apronful of peas. She snapped about three peas to every one of mine. Her right hand twisted over and back as she snapped a little curl of string off the end of each pod and rolled out the peas with her thumb. (Kingsolver, Barbara - from The Bean Trees)

Instead of saying, "The lady got her dog a collar," say:"Mrs. Drummond ordered her French bulldog a collar of red crocodile leather studded with alternating two-carat sapphires and one-carat diamonds. The buckle was gold-plated, and his engraved name tag was sterling silver set with another sapphire."

A closely related technique is
Show, Don't Tell:

Instead of telling the reader what to think in abstract terms, show them a concrete scene and let them figure out what to think.

Instead of saying "Crystal is my best friend. She has always been there for me," say:

When Brent called me fat in fourth grade, Crystal told him to get lost. Then she dumped the applesauce from her lunch in his desk. When my grandma died, Crystal stood next to me for the whole three hours of the viewing. When I was flunking algebra, Crystal spent two hours every night on the phone with me, helping me do my homework. She got even with my first boyfriend after he dumped me by locking his keys into his car while he had his date at his house after curfew. We've made each other's birthday cakes, chosen each other's prom dresses, and listened to each other's complaints."

Instead of saying, "It was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen," say:

I noticed a pink glow at my dorm window, and looked out at the sunset. Dozens of tattered clouds were scudding across the sky, and glowing with tangerine light. As I watched, the colors intensified to hot pink, not just in the west, but across the entire sky. All the students outside had stopped walking to look up. People were running for cameras, and shouting for their friends to come see. Over the next two or three minutes, the clouds turned magenta with purple edges; then the sun dropped below the horizon, and the colors faded back to pink and dissolved into twilight.

4. Repetition for Effect

Writers may repeat specially chosen words or phrases to make a point, to stress certain ideas for the reader, and/or to create rhythm. Often, the repetition uses parallel structure, as in the first two examples and the second sentence of the third example.

Examples:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance... (Ecclesiastes 3)

Everyone else on the estate was concentrating on her – how lovely her hair looked, how lovely her dress fit, and how lovely her gold brooch looked with the pearls she had had to buy for herself. (Haifley, Erin)

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. (Tolkien, The Hobbit)

5. Magnified Moment

Instead of “speeding past” a moment, zoom in on it. Emphasize it by slowing down and looking carefully at each action, expanding it so that readers can make a movie of what is happening in their mind. Of course you don't want to focus in on EVERY moment and every detail - that would be boring, and it would take far too long - but a common problem in writing is failing to go beyond summarizing what happened. Think of a radio sportscaster. If the announcer just said, "In the first inning, the home team had two hits and one run,"not only would there have been a half hour of silence while all those things happened, but the audience wouldn't be able to picture the action. Choose the most important parts of your topic, and give play-by-play detail.

Examples:
Instead of saying, "I was nervous while I waited to see the principal," say:
I dropped onto the hard wooden chair outside Mr. Mautz’s office, contemplating the conversation we were about to have. The chair creaked desperately under the pressure of my considerable bulk, the seat all but eclipsed by my beefy thighs. My mission, once that office door opened, was to not lie. I didn’t want to tell the truth, exactly, I just wanted not to lie. There is a difference, I told myself.
Ms. Barker smiled from behind her secretary’s desk, and I thought I detected a hint of compassion. Her phone beeped and she spoke quietly into the handset, looked up and said, “You can go in now, Eric.”
I grimaced, slowly lifting my carcass from the chair. Ms. Barker smiled again. “Remember, it’s against the law for him to do what he wants to do to you.” (Crutcher, Chris - from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)

Instead of saying, "I got bucked off my horse and lost my glasses," say:
We were cantering across the stubble field when I felt Star hump her back and drop her head. I grabbed for the reins to shorten them, but it was too late. I managed to sit the first jump, but the second one jolted me off to the side, and her third leap catapulted me through the air. As usual, I somersaulted to a head-first landing on the damp ground, rolling a couple times before I scrambled to my feet. As usual, Star had stopped and was nibbling the brown stubble, waiting for me to get back on. I had picked up the reins and was turning her around to remount when I realized that my bleary vision wasn't just the effect of recently landing on my head. My glasses had fallen off, and I couldn't see well enough to look for them.

6. Humor

Writers know the value of laughter; even subtle humor can help turn a “boring” paper into one that is fun to read. Often, it is the specific details that make a situation funny.
Examples:
One of my students wrote in a story that one of the characters choked to death - but he made it funny by saying that she choked to death on an organic plum pit in the Back to Nature Health Foods store.

“My point is that God created a prototype for a reasonably sturdy carbon unit, gave us a perfectly usable place to live, some excellent advice, as in ‘words to live by’ – most of which are misunderstood by the least of my brethren – and stood back to see what we’d do with it.”
I’m surprised. I didn’t know Ellerby had any philosophical considerations. I thought he just drove his Christian Cruiser through the world seeing whose nose he could get up. And how far. Lemry’s eyes land on me. “Mobe?”
My hands shoot up in surrender. “I give a wide berth to all religious discussions. My plan is to get baptized late in the afternoon of the evening I die, so I don’t have time to sin. A spot in heaven awaits me.”
“Cute,” she says. “And chicken.”(Crutcher, Chris - from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)

7. Vivid verbs & specific nouns

Make your verbs and nouns do most of the work; use adjectives and adverbs sparingly. [Best-selling author Stephen King says, "The road to hell is paved with adverbs."] I've marked the nouns in red, verbs in green, adjectives in orange, and adverbs in blue.

Instead of saying, "He walked slowly and determinedly over the wet, muddy ground," say:

He slogged through the muck. ["slogged" is more vivid than than "walked slowly and determinedly"; "muck" is better than "wet, muddy ground".]

Instead of saying, "An expensive, fancy sports car went by really fast and loud," say:

A Porsche roared by. ["Porsche" is more specific than "expensive, fancy sports car"; "roared" is more vivid than "went by really fast and loud".]

8. Full-Circle Ending

One way of creating an ending is to repeat a phrase from the beginning of the piece.
Example:
People are a mystery to me. One day they complain the government isn’t capable of keeping track of its own rules; the next day they claim the government is controlling the laws of nature, creating tornadoes in the Midwest. Parents who can’t get their children to take out the trash or turn down the stereo complain that schools aren’t teaching the little darlings advanced algebra. A brain surgeon smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. A husband who beat up his wife goes ballistic when she leaves him. Brothers and sisters feud for ten years over who should inherit mother’s rocking chair. Yes, people are a mystery.

9. Hyphenated Modifiers

Sometimes a new way of saying something can make a big difference; hyphenated modifiers may make a reader “sit up and take notice.” Note that a modifier must be acting as an adjective or adverb in the sentence, and that not every use of a hyphen in a sentence is a hyphenated modifier.
Examples:
Jenny and I were already giggling; my mom had that if-you-say-anything-I’ll-get-you-later look on her face, but we could tell Peter wasn’t paying any attention.

When I got to work, the clinic wasn’t due to open for another fifteen minutes, but there were already a man with an elderly Afghan hound, and a lady with a don’t-touch-me-I’m-a-princess Persian kitten ignoring each other in the waiting room.

I, the used-to-be-oldest kid, am now a middle child.

03.1 The writing process, and the six-trait system of evaluating writing (English 9)

Here is a brief summary of the "writing process". View the presentation for more information.
The writing process begins with prewriting. This can include brainstorming, researching, outlining, and any other way of getting ideas and planning what you want to write.
The next step is often called drafting or composing. This is the part where you are actually writing, whether it is with pencil and paper, or on a computer.
Once you have gotten your writing "on paper" (or on screen), it is time for revising. This is the step most people are tempted to skip, but the one many professional writers spend the most time on. You try different ways of organizing your ideas, changing the order, adding details, cutting out what doesn't belong, improving word choice and sentence fluency, all to make your writing as powerful, clear and effective as possible.
After you are happy with the content of your writing and how you have put it together, the next step is editing. This is when you proofread and fix any conventions errors.
The next step is publishing, or sharing, your writing so others can read it.

The Six Traits
Below is a very brief review of the six traits, the way your writing will be evaluated and scored. For more information, download the PowerPoint or PDF about the six traits, and see the link below.

1. Ideas & content - are the ideas well-developed, with supporting details that are specific and concrete?
[Instead of "Our kitchen is a wonderful place", which is general and abstract, write something like:
- "The stained linoleum is curling up at the edges, and the cupboards need to be re-finished where my brother and I carved our initials the year I was ten, but the old stove always has a pot of chili simmering on top, or a sheet of oatmeal cookies baking in the oven."
or -
"When I get home from school, I can pop a frozen cheese pizza into the oven. I'd better remember to wipe up any crumbs, because my mom is really proud of the shiny new black granite countertop."]

2. Organization - are the ideas in some kind of logical order? Does the order help you to understand the ideas, or does it just seem random? Check out the beginning - does the introduction help set up your expectations for the rest of the piece, and/or grab your attention? How about the end - does it just stop, or is there a sense of conclusion?

3. Voice - Does the writer's personality come through? Writing without voice seems generic, as if any stereotypical teenager could have written it, and flat, as if it might have been generated by a committee or a machine (or a textbook company!).

4. Sentence fluency - do the sentences flow smoothly if you read it out loud? are they easy to follow and understand? Good writing includes sentences of varying length and construction. Common faults include short, choppy sentences; sentences that are so long and convoluted they are hard to understand; and non-sentences (fragments or run-ons).

5. Word choice - This is related to both voice and ideas. Are the words and vocabulary the best ones for the job? Nouns should be specific and concrete; verbs should be active and vivid. Generally, it's better to say "poodle" or "German shorthair" than "dog"; better to say "Honda Civic" or "Porsche" than "car"; better to say "waddled" or "leaped" or "slithered" than "went". Words should also be used accurately and precisely.

6. Conventions - Correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, etc.

02.5 Prefixes and suffixes (English 9)

Many English words use prefixes (a word part added at the beginning) or suffixes (a word part added at the end) to create variations in meaning. Most of these prefixes and suffixes came from Greek or Latin. You probably learned these in earlier grades, so this should be a review for you. Study any of these you did not already know - they will be on the quiz about prefixes and suffixes.
Common Prefixes

Prefix Meaning Examples
bi- two bicycle, bisect, binoculars, bimonthly
extra- beyond, outside extraterrestrial, extraordinary, extravagant, extrovert
fore- front forethought, forehead, forecast, forefront
il- not illegal, illiterate, illegible, illogical, illegitimate
im- not impossible, imperfect, improbably, immobile, impassable
mis- incorrect, bad misbehave, mistake, misuse, misprint, misfit, misinform
post- after postpone, postgraduate, postwar, postoperative
pre- before prevent, prelude, prehistoric, preview, precede, predict, present
re- again return, revise, review, revive, reclaim, remain, receive, retouch
un- not undone, unable, unfit, unequal, unearned
anti- against antibody, antiwar, antidote, antacid
com- together common, community, combine, company, compare, complete
con- together connect, contact, contract, conversation, convince, conjunction
dis- apart from, away disappear, distract, distort, dispute, dismiss, discuss
inter- between international, interfere, intervene, interrupt, interject, interstate
intr- within, into intravenous, intracity, introduce, introvert, introduction
non- not nonstop, nonprofit, none, nonsense, nonfat, nonexistent
pro- forward progress, produce, protect, provide, propose
super- over, more superior, supreme, supernatural, supervisor, superhero
trans- across, beyond transport, transoceanic, transfusion, transmit, transmission

Common Suffixes

Suffix meaning examples
-able, -ible capable of, able to expandable, visible, edible, capable, agreeable, malleable
-ate cause, make create, separate, dominate, segregate, equate
-er, -or one who, that which operator, farmer, author, doctor, baker, dancer, teacher
-ful full of, characterized by beautiful, careful, useful, hopeful, helpful, fearful
-ist one who (does, makes) artist, physicist, chemist, biologist
-less without hopeless, worthless, careless, useless, fearless, heartless
-ly in the manner of usually, sincerely, exactly, carefully, suddenly, probably
-ment action, state of, result of movement, amendment, contentment, government
-tion act or state information, addition, position, motion, construction, transportation
-en make, make of wooden, frighten, frozen, happen, lighten, darken
-ess female lioness, actress, princess, goddess, governess, temptress
-ish resembling, origin, nature foolish, selfish, smallish, clownish, Irish, finish
-ism system, condition alcoholism, communism, capitalism, heroism
-ize make realize, organize, harmonize, recognize, neutralize
-let little, small booklet, piglet, coverlet, omelet
-ness quality or state of greatness, kindness, darkness, carelessness, softness
-ous full of, having dangerous, glorious, various, treacherous
-ship state of, skill, quality friendship, relationship, hardship, companionship
-tude state of, having multitude, gratitude, solitude, verisimilitude

02.7 Basic Vocabulary for Parts of Speech & Usage (English 9)

This is a very brief review of material you have learned in previous grades (see also attached PDF's):
Nouns name people, places, things or ideas. Nouns are often preceded by the word "the", "a", or "an". Examples: Mary, president, uncle, valley, ball, beauty, gratitude, association, war
Pronouns take the place of nouns. Examples: he, she, it, they, myself, everything, what Verbs show action (jump, showed, shouted) or state of being (is, are, were, was, seems, been).
Verbs come in different tenses, such as past, present & future. Examples: feel, run, reach, smelled, looked, will see, has been shot, hear, scrambles, bartered, beautifies
Adjectives modify or describe nouns or pronouns. They often answer the questions how many, which one, what size or what color. Examples: big, red, quick, longest, smarter, sour, beautiful, grateful (a, an, & the are a sub-category of adjectives, called articles)
Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, and often answer the questions where, when or how. Examples: quickly, very, entirely, yesterday, here, there, home, tomorrow, cautiously, beautifully, gratefully
Prepositions show the relationship between two words or parts of the sentence. Examples: in, on, of, to, from, by, because of, after, under, since, above, with
Conjunctions connect words or groups of words. Examples: and, or, but, though, because, since, if, when, so, because
Interjections are short interruptions that often express surprise. Examples: Oh! Dang it! Oops! Well (& also some uses of "swear words")

Sentences, Phrases, and Clauses

When we write or talk, we use groups of words. For the sake of simplicity, we have names for different kinds of groups of words - so that we can talk or write about our talking or writing.

The key unit of written communication is the sentence. A sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark or exclamation point. It is the smallest group of words that can stand alone (often it is said to "express a complete thought"). A sentence always has a subject and a predicate (though sometimes the subject may be understood rather than expressed, as in "Get out of here!", where the subject is understood to be "You").

A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate. A clause may be:
an independent clause(in which case it may be a whole sentence by itself, or a part of a complex sentence), or
a dependent clause, also called a subordinate clause (in which case it must be part of a complex or compound sentence). A dependent clause is not missing any parts - the thing that makes it dependent is an extra word (or words), usually a conjunction which is meant to link or relate it to an independent clause. For example:
I stayed up late so that I could study.
"I stayed up late" is an independent clause, which could stand alone as a sentence. "So that I could study" is a dependent clause which can't stand alone as a sentence, but ONLY because the words "so that" link it to the first clause. If you left out "so that", "I could study" could be a complete sentence on its own.

A phrase is a group of words working together to function as a single part of speech. It may have a subject, or a predicate, but doesn't necessarily have either, and never has both. Here are some examples of phrases:
going to Georgia
caused various problems
up the stairs
the strongest man in the county

A simple sentence has only one clause (though it may have many phrases).
Examples of simple sentences:
Marian slept.
The cat and dog chased each other around the house.
Tom ordered a milkshake.
The house has a spiral staircase, two stained glass windows, and a balcony.
We stopped for groceries, talked to friends, and drove home.
Before starting chores, they changed clothes.

A compound sentence has two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction (commonly, and, or, but, & so).
Examples of compound sentences:
We won the first game, so we had to stay for the finals.
I finished running errands, but I was late.
Margaret can go to the carnival, or Jared can go to the movie.
He was happy, and he was pleased with his son.

Another, much less common kind of compound sentence has two independent clauses connected by a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb (such as: then, thus, however, also, nevertheless, similarly, for example, in addition).
Examples:
We won the first three rounds; however, we lost in the finals.
She told her mother where they were going; furthermore, she left a note on the refrigerator.

A complex sentence has one independent clause and one dependent clause. Either clause can come first, and the dependent (sometimes called subordinate) clause begins with a subordinating conjunction (such as: because, since, that, before, after, in spite of, although, if, while, until, when, where, unless), or a relative pronoun (which, who, that).
Examples of complex sentences:
After we started home, we quickly got lost.
We got lost after we started home.
Because she was wearing white, she didn't want to fall in the mud.
She wouldn't have minded getting muddy if she had been wearing jeans.
Unless George is going to drive, I can't go.
Desrie likes Robert in spite of the fact that he wears twelve earrings.

As you might guess, a compound-complex sentence has both two independent clauses, and at least one dependent clause, in any order.
Examples of compound-complex sentences:
Marty was hungry, so after they finished cleaning up, they bought a pizza.
Before the test started, Jeremy got sick and Brent passed out.

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