Friday, April 30, 2010

The Simple Past Illustrated



When to Use the Simple Past:
Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.

How To Form the Simple Past:
To form the simple past of most regular verbs in English, add –ed (suffix) to the base form of the verb. The base form of a verb is defined as the infinitive without the preposition to infinitive marker. For example:
Infinitive – Base – Simple Past
• to want – want – wanted
• to follow – follow – followed
• to listen – listen – listened
• to wish – wish – wished

Many verbs need a change in spelling between the base form and the simple past. Those verbs that are spelled with a "silent" e on the end of the word, remove the "silent" e and then add the ¬-ed. For example:
Infinitive – Base – Simple Past
• to care – care – cared
• to decide – decide – decided
• to introduce – introduce – introduced
• to realize – realize – realized
• to use – use – used

Verbs that are spelled with a y on the end of the word change the y to an i and then add the ¬-ed suffix:
Infinitive – Base – Simple Past
• to deny – deny – denied
• to party – party – partied
• to study – study – studied
• to worry – worry – worried

One-syllable verbs spelled with a single vowel followed by a consonant other than w, x, and y, double the last consonant and then add the ¬-ed suffix. For example:
Infinitive – Base – Simple Past
• to bag – bag – bagged
• to nap – nap – napped
• to pet – pet – petted
• to rob – rob – robbed
• to shop – shop – shopped

Two-syllable verbs spelled with a single vowel followed by a consonant, in which the second syllable is stressed, double the last consonant and then add the ¬-ed suffix. For example:
Infinitive – Base – Simple Past
• to concur – concur – concurred
• to deter – deter - deterred
• to format – format – formatted
• to prefer – prefer – preferred
• to regret – regret – regretted

For those few verbs spelled with a letter c at the end of the word, add a k after the c and then add the ¬-ed suffix. For example:
Infinitive – Base – Simple Past
• to frolic – frolic – frolicked
• to mimic – mimic – mimicked
• to panic – panic – panicked
• to picnic – picnic – picnicked
• to traffic – traffic – trafficked

Uses:

We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.
Examples:
• I finished my tea, walked to the beach, and returned in one hour.
• He arrived in the city at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met them at 10:00.
• Did you add flour, pour in the milk, and then add the eggs?

The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past.
A: duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.
Examples:
• I lived in Peru for two years.
• Sheila studied Japanese for five years.
• They sat at the beach all day.
• They did not stay at the party the entire time.
• We talked on the phone for one minute.
A: How long did you wait for them?
B: We waited for two hour.

The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as “used to." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.
Examples:
• I studied German when I was a child.
• My sister played the violin.
• She didn't play the piano.
• Did you play oboe when you were a kid?
• She worked at the pharmacy after school.
• They never went to school, they always skipped class.

The Simple Past can also be used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true.
Examples:
• She was shy as a child, but now she is very outgoing.
• He didn't like tomatoes before.
• Did you live in Texas when you were a kid?
• People paid much more to make cell phone calls in the past.

When-Clauses Happen First
Clauses are groups of words which have meaning but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when I dropped my pen..." or "when class began..." These clauses are called when-clauses, and they are very important. The examples below contain when-clauses.
Examples:
• When I paid her one dollar, she answered my question.
• She answered my question when I paid her one dollar.

When-clauses are important because they always happen first when both clauses are in the Simple Past. Both of the examples above mean the same thing: first, I paid her one dollar, and then, she answered my question. It is not important whether "when I paid her one dollar" is at the beginning of the sentence or at the end of the sentence. However, the example below has a different meaning. First, she answered my question, and then, I paid her one dollar.
Example:
• I gave her one dollar when she answered my question.

Book Review of East of Tiffany's by Shabbir Dalal

East of Tiffany's is one of the best books that I have read. You can read this book on the subways, buses and whenever you have time. A refreshing look into different aspects of lives.

The words carry magic of emotions as if you are part of the happenings. Emotions gush out and you feel fresh and relived as it touches and shed light to many shadowed areas of our life. I felt very tocuhed by the story of the sweet dog Pepino, though animal he was in control of the author till the last minute and even commands emotion of its readers.

The different phase of life and rich variety of experiences are woven together with distinct demarcation of short stories. All in all a very good book to read.

The author touches the subject matter of faith, loyalty, bonding, budding, romance, elegance, isolation, struggles, conflicts and resolve. A very interesting book for everyone to read.

Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
GarciaMarquez,OneHundredYrs
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill
If you are interested in seeing how I achieved personal success in the United States, you may find my book of short stories East of Tiffany's interesting. Some of the stories are based on my life as an executive, investment banker, and financial adviser to wealthy investors in the East Side of Manhattan.
Close to half-million people have read East of Tiffany's so far. Order your copy from either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

Since English is my second language, Mary Duffy --a master of the English language-- aided me not only with the editing, but she also contributed her own stories. I love her writing in "When You Wish Upon a Star." This is a story based on a personal friend's life.

More Book Reviews...!



Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kafka,Metamorphosis
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse


The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers



Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
Image via Wikipedia

Lindsey Vonn



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Are Epithets and Adjectives the same thing?

Cover of "The Iliad"Cover of The Iliad


Although most writers use both terms interchangeably, we must recognize that there is a huge difference between the two: adjectives are constituents of speech, at the same level as nouns, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, and interjections.

Epithets are artificial modifiers made up by writers for many reasons, but they aren't constituents parts of speech as the ones mentioned above.

In Homer's Iliad, we read:
When the next day Dawn showed her rosy fingers through the mists, the people gathered around the pyre of Hector. First they quenched the flames with wine whetever the fire had burnt; then his brothers and his comrades gathered his white bones, with hot tears rolling down their cheeks. They placed the bones in a golden casket, and wrapped it in soft purple cloth; this they laid in a hollow space and and built it over with large stones.

We see --by reading carefully the above passage-- that adjectives modify nouns: "white bones," "hot tears," "golden casket," "soft purple cloth," "hollow space, and "large stones."

But when we read: "Dawn showed her rosy fingers through the mists," we are reading an epithet. Doubtless the subject is Dawn, and the act of showing "her rosy fingers through the mists," is more than a modification and description; it extends over a whole scene by giving the reader thorough knowledge not only of the subject but by casting light on the entire scene. Dawn brings light, it replaces the pyre, and the flames that were quenched. In her light we can visualize the scene in splendid colors: white, golden, and purple.

But Homer was Homer. And today we have no Homers.

Today we have reduced epithets to the status of simple modifiers. Some epithets have become part of the subject as in Richard the Lionhearted and Alexander the Great. Others are mainly ornamental just as adjectives are.

But artistry comes into the text when writers consciously employ epithets consistently throughout their work. Let's see how Jane Austen (in Pride and Prejudice) uses Mrs. Bennet's 'nerves' not only in different scenes, but throughout the entire book, so that at the end the lady's nerves get into our own nerves:
'Mr Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You have no compassion on my poor nerves.'
'You mistake me, my dear, I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends.'

From the above dialogue, we can see that epithets can be powerful tools of sarcasm and insult.

  • Oxymoron in Action

  • IanFleming's Intransitive Verbs

  • Orwell's Rules for Writing

  • How to Use Similes

  • What is an Allegory?

  • StephenKing vs StephenieMeyer

  • If you are interested in seeing how I achieved personal success in the United States, you may find my book of short stories East of Tiffany's interesting. Some of the stories are based on my life as an executive, investment banker, and financial adviser to wealthy investors in the East Side of Manhattan.
    Close to half-million people have read East of Tiffany's so far. Order your copy from either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
    Since English is my second language, Mary Duffy --a master of the English language-- aided me not only with the editing, but she also contributed her own stories. I love her writing in "When You Wish Upon a Star." This is a story based on a personal friend's life.

    More Writing Tips...!


    Senada Selmani, model

    To write great blogs, e-mails, term papers, essays, or fiction - Get Mary Duffy's

    Sentence Openers




    Itching to Become a Writer?


    Visit Mary Duffy's Storefront


    Famous Figures of Western Culture

    Thomas Aquinas stained glass window.Image via Wikipedia

    Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Halicarnassus c. 60 BC–after 7 BC) was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar.

    St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) The greatest of the medieval Christian theologians.
    The translation of integritas, consonantia, and claritas, (Aquinas I, Q.39, 8a) is by James Joyce in his Portrait.

    Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1645) A British materialist philosopher and author of Leviathan, a study of politics that considered the state an uncontrollable monster.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, where after his graduation from Bowdoin College in Maine, he wrote the bulk of his masterful tales and major romances such as The Scarlett Letter.

    St. Augustine (354 – 430) Early African bishop of the Christian Church who infused Platonism into Christian theology. A professor of Rhetoric and prolific writer whose Confessions initiates a new literary genre.

    Aristotle (384 – 322 b.c.) A student of Plato; his philosophical method dominated Western thought until modern times. Besides philosophical tracts he wrote the Poetics and Rhetoric.

    George Orwell, (British subject, born in India, 1903 – 1950) writer, journalist, and novelist: Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four

    Mary Wollstonecraft (England, 1759 – 1797), a feminist and politically engaged writer, best known for her pioneering views on the rights of women as expressed in her manifesto Vindication of the Rights of Women.

    Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626), Renaissance author, courtier, and father of inductive reasoning.

    Johannes Eckhart was one of the greatest of Christian mystics. He was born in Germany, in 1260, and entered the Dominican order when he was 15. He taught theology at the Universities of Paris and Cologne.

    Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) a Cardinal in the Catholic Church held that true knowledge needs a divine spark.

    Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804), German philosopher whose critiques have become philosophical landmarks of Western civilization.

    Demetrius (1st cent. A.D.), a Greek critic and teacher of Rhetoric.

    Claude Lévi-Strauss (b. 1908) is a French anthropologist who developed structuralism as a method of discovery and understanding.

    Heraclitus (535? – 475? B.C.) Greek philosopher who thought change was the only reality, and that all else was illusion. Of his writing only Fragments have been collected; his style is the continuous use of anthithesis.

    Cicero (Marcus Tullius, 106 – 43 B.C.) Roman lawyer, orator, politician, philosopher, and master rhetorician.

    Jacques Derrida (1930 – 2007), born in Algiers, founder of philosophical movement Deconstructionism. Deconstruction is a critical method that attempts “to undo” the logic of antitheses.

    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) A most influential modern thinker whose main ideas are found in Thus Spake Zarathustra and The Birth of Tragedy and the Genealogy of Morals.

    John Locke, (August 29, 1632 – October 28, 1704) English philosopher considered the first of the British Empiricists.

    Plato (428 – 348 B. C. E), Greek philosopher who by any reckoning is the most dazzling writer in the Western literary tradition. Using Socrates as his spokesperson and adhering to his Theory of Forms, he wrote on the arts, theory of knowledge, ethics, rhetoric, mathematics, and language.

    Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888 – 1965) One of the twentieth century’s major poets and critic; born American he became a British subject.

    Adam Smith (Scotland, 1723 – 1789) known today as the father of economic liberalism for his landmark book The Wealth of Nations. He also wrote on rhetoric and morals.

    William James , the American psychologist, described the mental process: “Consciousness, then does not appear to itself chopped up in bits … It is nothing jointed; it flows. A “river” or “stream” are metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let us call it the stream of thought, of consciousness, or the subjective life. (1950, 1:239).

    Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer.

    John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University; the sixth president of the United States, and also the son of our second president, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail.


    If you are interested in seeing how I achieved personal success in the United States, you may find my book of short stories East of Tiffany's interesting. Some of the stories are based on my life as an executive, investment banker, and financial adviser to wealthy investors in the East Side of Manhattan.
    Close to half-million people have read East of Tiffany's so far. Order your copy from either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
    Since English is my second language, Mary Duffy --a master of the English language-- aided me not only with the editing, but she also contributed her own stories. I love her writing in "When You Wish Upon a Star." This is a story based on a personal friend's life.

    Senada Selmani, model

    To write great blogs, e-mails, term papers, essays, or fiction - Get Mary Duffy's

    Sentence Openers




    Itching to Become a Writer?


    Visit Mary Duffy's Storefront

    Easy Grammar Glossary for Impatient People, Quote from Mary Duffy's Toolbox for Writers

    Adjective is a word that modifies a noun or pronoun. An article (the, a, an) is a type of adjective:

    The loud music awoke me.
    Dracula’s castle was dark, damp, and desolate.

    Adverb is a word that explains or modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb—and often specifies how, where, when, in what manner, etc:

    Camila worked hard.
    Leticia sleeps there.
    Dad snores loudly.
    He was very, very drunk.
    Her assistant was frequently late, and therein lied the problem.

    Bound modifier is a group of words introduced by a relative pronoun such as that, which, or who. It is usually set off by commas.

    The steak, that looked too charred to eat, was sent back.

    Case refers to the use of nouns and pronouns in a sentence. Case can affect the form of certain pronouns used. The cases, along with pronoun forms used, are:

    A. Subjective case (also called Nominative case) refers to the subject:
    Mr. Micawber was put in debtor’s prison.
    [Mr. Micawber is the subject]

    Pronouns to be used in the subjective case: I, you, he, she, it, we, they, who.

    He was put in debtor’s prison.

    B. Possessive Case is used to indicate possession or ownership:
    Diego Rivera said, “It’s my painting.” Nelson Rockefeller: “On my wall.”

    Possessive pronouns to be use for this case: my face, your face, his face, her face, its face, our face, their face]
    C. Objective case refers to the person or thing to whom the action is done.

    Sad and doe-eyed, she looked at me. Stunned, I only waved at her.
    Pronouns to be used in the objective case: me, you, him, her, it, us, them, whom

    Clause is a group of words that includes a subject (noun or pronoun) and a predicate (verb), but does not contain a full thought. (A compound sentence can include two or more clauses). A clause can be categorized as: (1) a main or independent clause (2) a dependent or subordinate clause.

    Comma splice occurs when a comma is placed between two clauses; the correct punctuation should use either a semicolon or a period. If the writer wishes to keep the comma, then it must be followed by a coordinating conjunction.

    I brushed my teeth, I didn't wash my face.

    Proposed correction to replace the comma:

    I brushed my teeth; I didn’t wash my face.
    I brushed my teeth. I didn’t wash my face.
    I brushed my teeth, but I didn’t wash my face.
    Conjunction is a word used to connect words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. Examples: and, or, therefore, however, but, because, as, while, either.

    Coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so, for (FAN BOYS)

    Correlative Conjunctions are paired connective such as both/and, either/or, neither/nor, and whether/or.

    Neither borrower nor lender be.

    Gerund is a verb ending in —ing that is used as a noun. A gerund takes the possessive form of a noun, or the possessive adjective from of the personal pronouns [see case].

    Modeling can be exciting.
    Swimming is healthy.
    I cannot see his being elected. [“him” would be incorrect]
    Tom’s swimming across the lake was amazing. [“Tom” would be incorrect]

    Independent clause (also called a main clause) is a clause in a compound sentence that contains a subject and verb, and could stand alone grammatically as an independent sentence. Independent clauses in a compound sentence are usually separated by a semicolon or a coordinating conjunction.

    Intransitive verb is a verb that ends a sentence. Many verbs are both intransitive and transitive:

    Jesus wept.
    Dawn broke.
    Memories arose.

    Linking verb is a verb that expresses a state of being rather than an action.

    My dog Pepino felt depressed.
    She looks like a million bucks.
    We remained dumbfounded.
    His novel became boring.
    The accounts receivable turned into bad debts.

    Nouns name people, places, things, objects, feelings, and ideas.

    Objective Correlative is the term that T. S. Eliot coined to explain how novelists stir up emotion in readers by animating things to mirror human feelings.

    Participle is a verbal used as an adjective.

    The frozen lake.
    The teeming jungle.

    Parts of speech constitute a traditional grammatical classification of words according to their contextual functions in a sentence—and include the noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

    Past Participle is the form of a verb that ends in —t, or —ed when the verb is regular. Irregular verbs take their own forms: to freeze takes frozen, to give takes given, etc.

    Phrase is a group of words that has neither subject nor verb. Refer to Appendix A, which contains a full treatment of all the phrase categories and illustrated with copious examples.

    Predicate as opposed to the subject, is the verb and other elements related to it (including direct and indirect objects, adverbial modifiers, and predicate nominatives).

    Prepositions are words that show position, direction, or relationships between words, things, or people. There are about seventy prepositions. Examples: With, without, in, out, over, under.

    Present Participle is the form of a verb that ends in —ing.

    Pronoun is a word used in place of a noun, called an antecedent, with which it agrees in gender male/common, female, or neuter) and number (singular or plural).

    Purple prose involves a writer’s excessive use of flowery language or sentiment.

    Rhetoric is the language art that aims at persuasion by using figures of thought and figures of speech in writing or in speeches. Many of the greatest thinkers —from Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, John Locke, David Hume, Nietzsche, Kenneth Burke, to Stephen Toulmin— were themselves great rhetoricians.

    Romance is a work of fiction in which the author isn’t held to the rigor and standards of a novel. While novel readers expect verisimilitude to allow for the suspension of disbelief, romance readers will easily accept a semblance of believability.

    Sentence is a group of words that has a subject and a verb; expresses a full thought; and ends in a period (indicative mood), question mark (interrogatory mood), or exclamation point (exclamatory mood).

    A compound sentence is constructed with two independent clauses:

    Mim read the novel, but she only remembered one or two characters.
    A complex sentence is constructed with one subordinate clause and one independent clause:

    Because she cheated, she was admitted.

    Subject as opposed to the predicate, is a grammatical unit consisting of a noun or pronoun which represents the entity performing the action.

    Dick and I went to the game Sunday.
    Justice is blind.
    The self and the ego are Freudian inventions.
    Daffodils bloom in the spring.
    Barbaro captured America’s heart.

    NOTE: Subjects are often invisible as when writers use phrases and clauses that function as subjects, or in the imperative form:

    To own riches is the poor man’s dream.
    Don’t do that!

    Subordinate clause (also referred to as a dependent clause) is a clause in a complex sentence that cannot stand alone grammatically as a complete sentence; is introduced by a relative pronoun (who, whose, whom, that, which—in which case it may be called a relative clause) or by a subordinating conjunction; and is used as a noun, adjective, or adverb.

    After he ate his chow, Pucci took his regular two-hour nap.

    Harry Truman was the last President who did not obtain a college degree.

    Although he lacked a college degree, Truman was very well read.

    Strong Verbs allow for internal vowel changes: sing/sang/sung, and slay/slew/slain.

    Suspension of Disbelief takes place when the reader decides not to doubt or question the facts that the writer is presenting, as when Kafka wrote, “As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.”

    Syntax is the study of word order and disorder in phrases, clauses, and sentences. Skillful writers manipulate the pattern of structured word order to stir emotion, suspense, and involvement in readers.

    Verb is a word that constitutes the main part of a predicate, and that expresses action, state, or relationships. Verbs often change their spelling or format to reflect tense (present, past, future, etc.), voice (active or passive), form (regular, emphatic, progressive), and to agree with the subject in number (as in I go, she goes).

    Verbal is a verb form used as another part of speech. There are three types of verbal: (1) the participle (used as an adjective), the gerund (used as a noun), and the infinitive (which can be used as a noun or an adjective).

    Verbal phrases include a verbal plus a noun (or sometimes a prepositional phrase).

    To see it through (where ‘to see’ is the infinitive, which is a verbal).

    Frozen to the spot (where ‘frozen’ is the past participle, which is a verbal).

    Picking a fight (where ‘picking’ is the present participle, which is a verbal).

    Weak Verbs allow affixation by —ed/-t/. Examples: She walks/she walked, and She buys/she bought.

  • Oxymoron in Action

  • IanFleming's Intransitive Verbs

  • Orwell's Rules for Writing

  • How to Use Similes

  • What is an Allegory?

  • StephenKing vs StephenieMeyer

  • If you are interested in seeing how I achieved personal success in the United States, you may find my book of short stories East of Tiffany's interesting. Some of the stories are based on my life as an executive, investment banker, and financial adviser to wealthy investors in the East Side of Manhattan.
    Close to half-million people have read East of Tiffany's so far. Order your copy from either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
    Since English is my second language, Mary Duffy --a master of the English language-- aided me not only with the editing, but she also contributed her own stories. I love her writing in "When You Wish Upon a Star." This is a story based on a personal friend's life.

    More Writing Tips...!


    Senada Selmani, model

    To write great blogs, e-mails, term papers, essays, or fiction - Get Mary Duffy's

    Sentence Openers




    Itching to Become a Writer?


    Visit Mary Duffy's Storefront






    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Professor Guerrero's Laws of Wealth and Success

    Capitalism - ArtworkImage by Patrick Hoesly via Flickr

    If you have a burning desire to accumulate wealth, you will. Tolstoy once said, “If you want to be happy—be!” There’s no difference between wanting to be happy and desiring to accumulate wealth.

    If we aren’t our desires, we can become them.

    The first step in wealth accumulation is seeing that it is possible, that the evidence is tangible, for we can see it in TV, in books, newspapers, and other media. Wealthy people exist and are visible and we know about them. Knowing that we aren’t in pursuit of abstractions or impossible dreams is the first step in our journey to wealth.

    But, are there formulas or hidden secrets to becoming wealthy? Let’s no delude ourselves: there are no miracle formulas for getting rich, nor are there books that can outline a course of action for people to follow, nor mental programming of any kind. The reality is that people become wealthy because they understand three basic facts that account for wealth formation: high skills, selling a product or products, and competition.

    Besides having high skills, selling products, and competing there are no other routes. Some may find a fault in my argument and say, “What about inheriting a fortune from a relative, or winning the lottery, or betting on a long shot?” Indeed, they are possibilities, but the odds for those things to happen are so remote that sane people do not waste time thinking about it.

    Your wealth you must build yourself, or it won’t be yours.

    On your way to develop high skills or select the products to sell, you must be prudent and judicious. While the wrong choices are abundant, the right ones are scarce. So choose with care. Along with your choices you’ll have other things to consider: honest time and effort and risk. If you want to become a surgeon, then choose the right schools, the right courses, and the right internships. Many wanna-be surgeons drop out because they lack the stamina, the resilience, and the will to put in the time and effort. But they took the risk.

    There are no guarantees that our decisions will get us closer to our goals, but at least we know that we made decisions, that we tried, and that we competed with others and ourselves. We may not always win the gold medal, but it isn’t that bad to settle for silver and bronze.

    If you want to sell a product or products, a very simple rule should guide your actions: “Buy cheap and sell dear.”

    A friend of mine makes a good living selling corn on the cob at the street fairs in Manhattan. She buys an ear of corn for $0.25 and sells it for $3.00 each. Humble as the example may be, it is the truth. That is a nifty profit. In a good day she sells about 400 units, which leaves her a gross profit of $1,100. Now, that’s not too shabby for one day’s work. Normally the fairs run Saturday and Sunday--so she earns about $2,200 in two days. If you do the math for the entire season (May-November) you'll see that she has a little goldmine that has empowered her to buy her own home, support her family, and complete a law degree.

    Here’s the path to riches: high skills, sell products, and compete. If you don’t compete with others, there is no possible way that you can win. No one --absolutely no one-- can be victorious if there's no conflict, fight, war, or competition. To be a winner you have to match yourself against others. In the classroom you must compete to get that "A." To be called a champion you must leave your opponent in the canvas. Competition --as we see in the Olympic games-- brings out the best in human beings. The human spirit soars to untold heights when challenged.

    The truth is that, every day of our lives, we all in one way or another learn something, compete, or sell something. If you are people-oriented then your success is in your hands for sure, for selling your skills or your products is the noble way to riches; and it is much easier for those who like and care for people.

    Money making comes easily when you think of others.

    The best shoe salesman in town sells an incredible amount of shoes every day. Customers seek him out; they return to him time after time. It is a pleasure to him work. What is his secret? This is an open secret: he cares for people, he never forgets a name, and he talks about his love of family. He thinks of others and in the process his commissions soar!

    The wise Elizabethan courtier Lord Bacon said, "Of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution; the rest is but conceit."

    Friedman: social responsibility of business is...Image by ocean.flynn via Flickr

    After a long (40 years), productive, and successful career in business, I now teach college. The articles that follow are all written from personal experience.



    If you are interested in seeing how I achieved personal success in the United States, you may find my book of short stories East of Tiffany's interesting. Some of the stories are based on my life as an executive, investment banker, and financial adviser to wealthy investors in the East Side of Manhattan.
    Close to half-million people have read East of Tiffany's so far. Order your copy from either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
    Since English is my second language, Mary Duffy --a master of the English language-- aided me not only with the editing, but she also contributed her own stories. I love her writing in "When You Wish Upon a Star." This is a story based on a personal friend's life.

    Senada Selmani, model

    To write great blogs, e-mails, term papers, essays, or fiction - Get Mary Duffy's

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    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Book Review of East of Tiffany's by Michael Galante Jr


    East of Tiffany's has very much to offer. It's filled with stories that pertain to reality in which many can relate to or that many can look up too. Its filled with moving and inspirational choices and stories in life. Its filled with love,"real love" and it touches the heart on every level.

    It is also emotional and sad but through all the hard times life brings, it shows the ability to stay strong and move forward without grief taking over. This book filled with many inspirational stories has definitely shined a light on my life as a struggling person to keep strong and move forward.

    In addition, this book is well written and well put together. I definitely recommend this book to all readers.

    Augustine, City of God
    Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
    Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
    Austen J, Emma
    Borges, The Aleph
    C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
    Burroughs E,Tarzan
    Cervantes, Don Quijote
    Chaucer, Wife of Bath
    Coelho P,The Alchemist
    Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
    Dante, New Life
    Dickens C, David Copperfield
    Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
    ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
    Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

    DuMaurier D, Rebecca
    Ellis B. E. American Psycho
    Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
    Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
    Fleming I,Doctor No
    Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
    Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
    GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
    GarciaMarquez,OneHundredYrs
    Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill
    If you are interested in seeing how I achieved personal success in the United States, you may find my book of short stories East of Tiffany's interesting. Some of the stories are based on my life as an executive, investment banker, and financial adviser to wealthy investors in the East Side of Manhattan.
    Close to half-million people have read East of Tiffany's so far. Order your copy from either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

    Since English is my second language, Mary Duffy --a master of the English language-- aided me not only with the editing, but she also contributed her own stories. I love her writing in "When You Wish Upon a Star." This is a story based on a personal friend's life.

    More Book Reviews...!



    Grass G, The Tin Drum
    Harris T, Hannibal Rising
    Heidegger M,House of Being
    Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
    Johnson S,Rasselas
    Kafka,Metamorphosis
    Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
    Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
    McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
    Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
    Nabokov V, Lolita
    Meyer, S, Twilight
    Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
    Poe E A, Gordon Pym
    Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
    Rushdie S,Midnight Children
    Sabatini R, Scaramouche
    Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

    Stendhal, Red and Black
    Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
    Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
    Stoker B, Dracula
    Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
    Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
    Trollope A, Autobiography
    Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
    Voltaire, Candide
    Webb J, Fields of Fire
    Wharton E, The House of Mirth
    Woolf V, To The Lighhouse


    The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
    Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers



    Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
    Image via Wikipedia

    Lindsey Vonn



    Friday, April 23, 2010

    Critical Theory: Glossary

    Jean-François LyotardImage via Wikipedia

    Alienation: Many contemporary thinkers and artists claimed that a sense of alienation from other human beings is the natural human condition. Marx, the father of the doctrine of communism on the other hand, argued that individuals were alienated from each other by the tedious, boring, and dehumanizing work that workers had to perform in the factory.

    Archaeology: The french philosopher Michel Foucault gave a new meaning to the word 'archaeology.' He used the term for his historical studies into the hidden discourse of Western society.For example, he claimed that traditional historian suppressed the true history of homosexuality. The purpose of Foucault's archaelogies was to show that Western culture was based on power relations rather than such idealistic notions as truth or natural justice.

    Aura: This term was coined by Walter Benjamin to signify the unique quality tha differentiates a work of art from its reproduction. The fact that the work of art belongs to a definite tradition within a culture and its history, makes it an original piece with a distinguishable aura.

    Base/Superstructure: According to classical Marxist theory, society is made up of an economic base or infrastructure and a superstructure which comprises all other human social and cultural activities. The base dictates the form of those activities (religion, the law, politics, education, the media, the arts, and others).

    Body-wihtout-organs: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari used the term 'body-without-organs' to describe the complex forces in our society which strive to repress the expression of individual desire. Capital, for example, is treated as the body-without-organs of the capitalist.

    Carnival: the Russian writer Mikhail Bakhtin saw the institution of carnival as a model for subversion of socio-political authority in the way that it parodied the ruling class. The comic genius Rabelais was for Bakhtin an excellent example of the application of the carnival spirit to literary narrative.

    Chaos theory: Chaos theory emphasizes how sensitive systems are to changes in their initial conditions, and how unpredictable this makes their behavior. One of the most disturbing aspects of the theory is that it allows for the simultaneous presence of randomness and determinism within systems.

    Class consciousness: The sense of belonging to a specific social class, whose common interests crate a sense of solidarity in its members. Marxists believe that when the proletariat, for example, reaches an awareness of its exploited status, then there is the basis for a social revolution.

    Complexity theory: Complexity theory argues that physical systems can evolve to higher levels of development through spontaneous self-organization. This phenomenon can be seen at work in organisms as diverse as human consciousness or the entire universe - possibly even within the more sophisticated computer.

    Compulsory homosexuality: The contention that heterosexuality is viewed as the sexual norm in Western societies, with all other sexual practices being treated as deviations. Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and the queer theory movement have argued that this inhibits the full expression of our sexual natures.

    Critical realism: Georg Lukacs's term for literary narratives that demonstrate how the economic system shapes human character. In the case of capitalism, this is assumed to encourage the development of competitiveness and self-interest. Lukacs did not require the author to condemn this practice, merely make it apparent to the reader.

    Cyborg: The combination of human and machine (the term is a contraction of "cybernetic organism"). In the work of Donna Haraway, this notion is celebrated as a way of escaping human, and most particularly gender, limitations.

    Death of the author: A concept derived by Roland Barthes to describe the process by which texts take on a life of their own after they leave the author. Henceforth, they become the province of the reader, who is in no way bound by whatever the author's intentions may have been.

    Deep structure: In structuralist theory, systems are held to have deep structures which dictate how they operate. Roland Barthes, for example, assumed an underlying structure of rules to narrative. Another way of thinking of deep structure is as something similar to a genetic programme.

    Defamiliarization: The process by which literary language renders the everyday unfamiliar to the reader. By "making strange" the aspects of our world, authors force us to notice what we normally take for granted. The concept was coined by Viktor Shlovsky.

    Desiring machine: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari see individual human beings as motivated by the need to find an outlet for the libidinal energy: in their terminology, as "desiring machines." Much of modern society, in their view, is dedicated to suppressing this drive.

    Deterritorialization: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari regard institutional authority as inherently territorial in mentality. Attempts to constest the boundaries that institutions set therefore count as acts of deterritorialization. Nomadic thought is an example of such transgressive behavior.

    Dialectic materialism: In the Hegelian dialectic, thesis generates antithesis, with the conflict between the two resolving itself into the creation of a new thesis or synthesis. Marx took over this scheme, but located it in the material world where it manifested itself in the struggle of one class against another. Resolution would come about in our own era when the proletariat overcame the bourgeoisie.

    Dialogism: Mikhail Bakhtin conceived of meaning as in a constant process of negotiation between individuals in a given society; that is, as "dialogic." Rather than being fixed, meaning is plural and always open to interpretation - and the same can be said of any narrative.

    Differance: The neologiam coined by Jacques Derrida to describe the way in which words fail to achieve fixed meaning at any one point. Meaning is always indeterminate to Derrida - both "differed" and "deferred" - and differance is the movement within language that prevents it from being otherwise.

    Difference: In postructuralist and postmodernist thought, difference is always emphasized over unity, and is taken to be an inescapable aspect of human affairs. Systems and texts, are held to be internally marked by difference and incapable of achieving unity: rather lend themselves to multiple interpretations.

    Differend: Jean-Francois Lyotard's term for an irresolvable dispute, in which each side starts from incommensurable premises. An employers and an employee debating employment rights would be one example; colonizer and colonized debating property rights another. Traditionally, what happens is that the stronger side imposes its well on the weaker.

    Discourse: In the work of Michel Foucault, discourse constitutes a social practice governed by an agreed set of conventions. Medicine is a discourse, as is law, or any academic discipline. Discourses are founded on power relations, and function something like paradigms (Thomas Kuhn).

    Double coding: Charles Jencks's term to describe how postmodern architecture ought to work; that is, to appeal to both a specialist and a general audience. Modernist architecture had signarlly failed to do so, in his opinion, restricting its appeal to specialist practitioners only.

    Ecriture Feminine: French feminists such as Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray have argued that women should develop a style of writing uniquely their own, self-consciously distancing themselves from patriarchal modes of expression. Other than a certain fluidity of meaning, however, it is difficult to specify what the style actually involves.

    Enlightenment project: The cultural movement, dating from the Enlightenment period in the 18th century, that emphasizes the role of reason in human affairs and is committed to material progress and the liberation of humankind from political servitude. Modern culture is based on these premises.

    Epic theatre: A theory of drama developed by the playwright Bertolt Brecht, which demanded that, rather than providing an illusion of real life, theatre should make its artifice visible by "alienation effect" to the audience. Theatre that did so, Brecht thought, would then become a critique of the dominant values of its society.

    Grand narrative: In the work of Jean-Francois Lyotard, a grand narrative constitutes a universal explanatory theory which admits no substantial opposition to its principles. Marxism is one of such example, liberal humanism another, with ideology in general tending to operate in such an authoritarian manner.

    Gynocriticism: According to Elaine Showalter, the proper object of feminist critics is texts that concentrate on the female experience, or "gynotexts." The concern of gynocriticism is to trace the development of a specifically female literary tradition, thus challenging patriarchal accounts of literary history.

    Hegemony: In Marxist theory (particularly the work of Antonio Gramsci), hegemoney explains how the ruling class exerts domination over all other classes by a variety of apparent "concensus" means, including the use of the media to transmit its system of values.

    Heroinism: Literature by female authors in which the female protagonists are placed in situations which test their characters and require them to display heroic behavior in order to survive. The term was devised by Ellen Moers, for whom 18th-century Gothic novels were an example of "travelling heroinism."

    Heteroglossia: Mikhail Bakhtin's term to describe the intertextual nature of novels. The novel is a very flexible and open form, capable of referring to a multitude of cultural discourses. Bakhtin saw this as subversive since it resisted the unifying (that is, conservative) forces operating within most cultures.

    Homology: Lucien Goldmann's work explores the way in which literary texts can express the world view of certain influential social groups contemporary with those texts. There is, in other words, a "homology" between text and group, with the former articulating the latter's beliefs more clearly than they can.

    Hybridity: The concept of hybridity figures large in postcolonial theory. For Homi K. Bhabha, it represents a condition between states (somewhere between working class identity and gender, for example) whose virtue is that it escapes the control of either. As such, it has considerable subversive potential.

    Hyperreality: Jean Braudillard's concept to describe the condition beyond meaning that, for him, sumps up postmodern life. A cultural phenomenon like Disneyland no longer means anything: it is neither the real thing nor a representation of the past. Rather, it is hyperreal - beyond meaning or analysis.

    Ideological State Apparatus: Louis Althusser's term for all those insitutions, such as the legal and educational systems, the arts and the media, which serve to transmit and reinforce the values of the dominant ideology.

    Imaginary: In Lacanian theory, the pre-self conscious state of young babies aged up to six months or so. Lacan identifies this state with the mother, and we leve it when we move into the symbolic realm of language and social existence at the age of around eighteen months.

    Inhuman: For Jean-Francois Lyotard, all those processes which conspire to marginalize the human dimension in our world. Examples would include the growth of computerization, and particularly the development of sophisticated, and eventually authonomous, systems of Artificial Intelligence.

    Interpellation: The process by which ideology manipulates us to conform to its values. For Louis Althusser, it was a cade of ideology "hailing" us, almost like a policeman calling us to attention. We respond to such signs in reflex fashion, thus revealing how successfully ideology has conditioned us.

    Interpretive community: For Stanley Fish, an interpretive community constitutes the body of scholars working in a critical discipline whose collective practices set the criteria for interpretation. These practices can change over time, and the community might be thought of as similar to Thomas Kuhn's concept of paradigm.

    Intertextuallity: A term which describes the way in which all texts echo other texts, and are, as theorists such as Mikhail Bakhtin and Julia Kristeva have pointed out, the "mosaics of quotations" and references from an extensive variety of sources.

    Linguistic model: Ferdinand de Saussure's model of how language works - a system with its own internally consistent rules of grammar - was appropriated by the structuralist movement which applied it to any and all phenomena. The main concern of structuralist analysis then came to isolate and catalogue the grammar of whatever system was being studied.

    Literariness: The quality that differentiates literary language from other forms of language-use. This quality largely derives from the lighly self-conscious use of literary devices in literary texts, and according to Roman Jakobson is the proper object of study of literary critics.

    Little narrative: The opposite of grand narrative, little narrative comprise groups of like-minded individuals who attempt to subvert the power of grand narratives. Little narratives remain at an oppositional level and refuse to allow themselves to be turned into authoritarian ideologies of the kind they are rejecting.

    Metanarrative: Another name for grand narrative. Jean-Francois Lyotard uses the terms interchangeable in this best known work, the Postmodern Condition (1979).

    Metaphysics of presence: Jacques Derrida argues that all discourse in Western culture is abased on the assumption that the full meaning of words are immediately "present" to us, in our minds, as we use them. For Derrida, this "metaphysics of presence" is illusory: meaning is always indeterminate.

    Narratology:The study of how narrative works in terms of the relations beteween its structural elements. Structuralists like Barthes, in the their desire to establish a general grammar of narrative, reduced narrative to a set of functions, specifying how these applied in each literary genre.

    Negative dialectics: Both the Hegelian and Marxist dialectic feature a conflict between thesis and antithesis which resolves itself into the creation of a new thesis. For Theodor Adorno, however, the dialectic failed to resolve its internal contradictions, with new theses simpky starting another cycle of conflict. Dialectics were negative rather than positive in quality.

    Nomadism: Thought which does not follow established patterns or respect traditional boundaries (such as disciplinary ones). For Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, nomadism is a transgressive activity which challenges institutional authority given that the latter is invariably committed to protecting its own particular "territory."

    Orientalism: Edward Said's term for the way in which the Middle East has been construed (by writers and artists, for example) as the "other" to Western culture. In the process, the "Orient" is presented as mysterious, sensuous and irrational: qualities which tend to be looked down upon in the West.

    Paganism: Jean-Francois Lyotard argued that paganism was the state in which judgements were reached without reference to pre-existing rules and conventions, but on a "case by case" basis instead. Judgement in any one case established no precedent for another.

    Paradigm: A framework of thought which dictates what counts as acceptable inquiry in an intellectual field. Thomas Kuhn saw scientific history as consisting of a series of paradigms, each incommensurable with its predecessor, with periodic revolutions when one paradigm replaced another.

    Pluralism: The commitment to multiple interpretations and the rejection of the notion of an unquestionable central authority, whether in critical or political matters. Pluralists refuse to privilege any one interpretation of a text or ideological position, and encourage diversity.

    Readerly fiction: Roland Barthes's term for fiction which imposes a particular reading of the text on the reader, and attempts to close off alternative interpretations. 19th century novelistic realism, with its carefully worked-out plots and explicit moral messages, is a prime example of this style of writing.

    Reception theory: Reception theorists concentrate on the interaction of reader and text (reader-response being another name for the approach). Textual meaning is seen to emerge from the reader's engagement with the text, with some theorists claiming that the reader is almost entirely responsible for the creation of that meaning.

    Reflection theory: Reflection theorists assume that artistic artefacts reflect the ideology of their culture. Thus, for the Marxist Georgi Plekhanov, the art of a bourgeois culture could not help but reveal the character of that culture. Art has a rather passive cultural role from this perspective.

    Repressive State Apparatus: Louis Althusser's term for those forces, such as teh police and the army, which the ruling class relies on to enforce its control over a society - by violent means if necessary.

    Rhizome: For Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, the rhizome became a model for how systems ideally should develop. Rhizomatic structures (such as tubers or moss) can make connections between any two points on their surface; a process which these thinkers considered to be inherently creative and anti-authoritarian.

    Schizoanalysis: Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's attack on Freudian psychoanalysis led them to develop the concept of schizoanalysis, in which schizophrenia was taken as a model of how to resist the methods of the psychoanalyst. The multiple personalities of the schizophrenic frustrated the psychoanalytic desire to turn us into socially conformist individuals.

    Seduction: Jean Baudrillard's method for subverting systems is based on the notion of "seducing" or "beguiling" them into submission, rather than resorting to the more usual means of overt political action or revolution.

    Semiology: Ferdinand de Saussure predicted the development of semiology - "the science of signs" - in his Course in General Linguistics (1916). Language itself, in Saussure's formulation, was a system of signs which operated according to an underlying grammar. All sign-systems were assumed to work on this linguistic model.

    Semiotics: Although it is sometimes used interchangeably with semiology to mean "the science of signs," semiotics has also come to refer to the operation of signs as a given system. Thus one speaks of the semiotics of film or fashion.

    Sign/Signified/Signifier: For Ferdinand de Saussure, language is made up of signs, which consist of a signifier (word) and a signified (concept) joined in an act of understanding in the individual's mind. The sign communicates meaning, which in Saussurean linguistics is held to be a relatively stable entity.

    Simulacra: According to Jean Baudrillard, signs no longer represent some deeper or hidden meaning (such as the class struggle), but only themselves. We live nowREaderl in a world of simulations which have no deeper meaning to be discovered. Disneyland ia s good example of such simulation.

    Socialist realism: An aesthetic theory imposed on artists in the Soviet Union from the early 1930s onwards. This demanded that works of art appleal to a popular audience and, where possible (as in the visual and literary arts), contain an explicit socialist message.

    Strange attractor: In chaos theory, the underlying force which controls any given system. The weather, for example, is assumed to have a strange attractor which dictates its patterns. The most extreme example of a strange attractor is a black hole, which absorbs all matter with which it comes into contact.

    Subaltern: To be in the subaltern position is to be in an inferior position culturally, thus subject to appression by groups more powerfully placed within the dominant ideology (as women so often are by men, or the colonized by their colonizers).

    Symbolic: In Lacanian theory, the state that succeeds the imaginary at around eighteen months in a child's life. The symbolic is the realm of language and social existence. Lacan identifies it with the "masculine" world of adulthood. Feminists see this as the entry into repression.

    Writerly fiction: Roland Barthes's term for fiction which does not impose a particular reading of a text on the reader, and which invites alternative interpretations. In Barthes's canon, modernism is the style of writing that best achieves this desirable objective.


    If you are interested in seeing how I achieved personal success in the United States, you may find my book of short stories East of Tiffany's interesting. Some of the stories are based on my life as an executive, investment banker, and financial adviser to wealthy investors in the East Side of Manhattan.
    Close to half-million people have read East of Tiffany's so far. Order your copy from either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.
    Since English is my second language, Mary Duffy --a master of the English language-- aided me not only with the editing, but she also contributed her own stories. I love her writing in "When You Wish Upon a Star." This is a story based on a personal friend's life.

    Senada Selmani, model

    To write great blogs, e-mails, term papers, essays, or fiction - Get Mary Duffy's

    Sentence Openers




    Itching to Become a Writer?


    Visit Mary Duffy's Storefront