Monday, September 21, 2009

Introductory Post - Jessica Lloyd

Autumn leaves arranged in flower shape on lawn

Asking someone to tell you who they are would seem harmless enough, but it's harder to describe yourself within a singe paragraph than you may think.

'Step one: cut a hole in a box.'

This has always been ground for confusion as I've never been able to fit myself into a box. This is not only due to my lack of flexibility, but a serious love of all things deep-fried. A hippy at heart, to define myself would be no good, for I am an ever-changing entity to be taken with rich food and a background of eclectic music. After learning many life lessons, I’ve managed to carve out a little life for myself here in Edmonton. My decision to begin this new-fangled adventure was driven mostly by love, and subsequently by an apparent 'need' for Post-Secondary 'Edjumakayshion' in today’s job market.

Which brings me to the topic of this class, Foundations of Composition. As a fellow lover of the English language I am thoroughly excited to learn the intricate ins and outs of grammar and proper composition. I am also delighted to learn how to publish my ideas in an online blog and gain feedback from my fellow classmates.

Linguist, Steven Pinker does a magnificent job of challenging the issue of our ever-changing language and raising the topic of slang and jargon. For those who may want more information about the most current slang, please visit, where people like you and I are allowed to contribute slang that we use and comment on the slang of others. It would seem as though online resources are most suitable for jargon research, seeing as dictionaries and other printed references cannot be updated quickly enough. Furthermore, our colloquial language is evolving much faster than written word and continues to be altered as technology plays a part in how we communicate.

Language allows a peek into our culture. Some may say that language is a “window into human nature”, and elaborate on how we learn from each other and grow as one – whether we like it or not. Each language has a spine of some type and although we may all speak English, it is how each of our cultures play with the dialect which encourages growth. It is not only culture, it is also class that can denote and twist words into place, thereby separating people by their status.

Once again, we refer back to Pinker as he goes on to say, "The verb is the chassis of the sentence." For today, I'm going to have to disagree in the interest of dynamic writing, where a strict set of rules are considered to be more like guidelines. Structure is important to a sentence, this cannot be argued, but we can't give verbs all the attention or nouns may rise in protest! That is, if the verbs let them rise. When you think about it, the verb itself has a mob-type power over the rest of the sentence; not a word moves until it says so. Verbs are kind of sadistic.

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