Monday, September 21, 2009

Introductory Blog by Murriel Mapa

Greetings! My name is Murriel Mapa. I'm enrolled in the Professional Writing program, which requires I take this course in Foundations of Composition. I am hoping to learn how to write less analytically and more formally. I am already familiar with the parts of speech required for grammar to produce a nicely put-together piece of writing. I also am familiar with the basic outline of an essay, but I'm hoping to learn to write different forms of essays. Several goals I'd like to accomplish by the end of the course are learning how to phrase my thoughts more clearly, and to learn more about the English language in comparison to other languages. I'm looking forward to becoming a better writer upon completion of this course!

In the film about Steven Pinker he addresses the issues with the dictionary and how infants and adults learn the English language through the computer, and the problems with verbs. The French dictate the correct usage of words, and at the same time are attempting to create their own dictionary. Also, Pinker mentions that children and adults are taught the English language through the computer which causes many misinterpretations of what correct grammar is in our society. This is just one example of what Pinker is referring to in his lecture.

I believe that dictionaries are not dead because the English language changes so quickly. On the contrary, I believe that we should keep producing new dictionaries, and allow the dictionary to grow along with our language. Dictionaries should be able to evolve along with mankind. Decades from now, when our own children are looking in the dictionary, the new words that are contributed now will be able to convey how we've evolved in language. However, I strongly believe we should not give into "txt spk" which I believe to be is just laziness. Abbreviations such as, "lol" or "ttyl" should be kept on computers and text messaging, and stay seperate of our dictionaries.

Pinker mentions the, "Window Onto Human Nature" in his film, which explains how languages emerge from human minds interacting with one another. I believe this to be true because the best way and sometimes the only way to interact with our peers is through speech. In order to convey our thoughts and our feelings, we need to accept the English language and how to use it correctly. This is accomplished by learning the correct use of grammar, such as verbs and metaphors, which are mentioned in Pinker's speech.

"The verb is the chassis of the sentence," conveys the meaning that the framework of a sentence is based around the verb. I agree with this statement because a sentence is not complete, or even considered a sentence without a verb and its object. Pinker makes it clear that the most common mistake in the English language is which verb goes in which construction; intransitive verb or transitive verbs. The poster for verbs that Andrew, Jennifer, and Brent made does a great job of defining what a verb is in case you forget!

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