Monday, November 30, 2009

Grammar Detective or Why Lizards Have Powerful Magic

Mistakes can be found many different books, newspapers, magazines and journals. The problem with being aware of those mistakes is you often can't help but notice them. I've found since starting in the Professional Writing Program, and gaining a better grasp on grammar I notice mistakes left and right. Misused semi-colons, extra commas, and incorrect modifiers are all things that will make me pause and take a moment to mentally insert corrections. Fortunately, if a book is very interesting nothing short of the book disappearing will distract me from the plot.

Of all the possible mistakes, incorrect spelling is often the most amusing grammatical error that can be found in a book, magazine, or other written work. I am often amused by the unintentional meaning when words are mis-spelled, or mis-used. For instance, in one of the early editions of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling there is a line that is obviously wrong but rather amusing: "He tried to make a sound, even a grunt, but it was impossible. Then he remembered that some lizards, like Dumbledore, could perform spells without speaking." As most people are aware, Dumbledore is a wizard and not, as this sentence claims, a very talented lizard.

Comma splices are another common error found in written work. I have recently re-read the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. There is no doubt that Wilder is a well known author and her books have been read by generations of children. Unfortunately, the books are absolutely filled with comma splices. Of course, there is the fact that these books were written quite a few years ago to take into consideration. It is possible that some of the rules have changed since then, but in my opinion some mistakes are simply that, mistakes. Take, for example, this sentence: "And they were all clean, for Sunday." This sentence is taken from Little House in the Big Woods, the first book in the series, which explains the disjointed feeling of the sentences for the narrator is young and is recollecting faint memories. However, a young narrator does not excuse a comma for being somewhere a comma has no reason for being.

Typographical and grammatical errors in published works just go to show that no one is perfect. Errors can be made at any moment, and, like Kayla Gaffney says in her blog post of a similar topic, "The only way to master your corrections is to take time in your writing." If writers take the time to give their work the time it deserves than major errors can be avoided. However, no one is perfect and errors that are amusing can still pop up. For more hilarious written goofs take a look at Funny Typos, a blog devoted to the funny errors found in written English. A personal favourite is a Harvard University mug that reads "Harvard Universty." Maybe the "i" was cut due to budget cuts?

Grammar Detective, Jennifer Kerr

I see grammar mistakes in published work on a regular basis. More commonly, I see mistakes in things like church bulletins and hand written signs or emails from friends. In everyday conversation, I can constantly pick up ways in which people I talk to misuse English language. While I do notice mistakes, I try not to point out everyone’s mistakes, because I don’t want to be perceived as a “Grammar Nazi,” and I do believe that errors are understandable and generally don’t affect how understandable something is. However, there are certain common errors that drive me crazy, and I see them startlingly often.

One example of a common mistake that I find irritating is the misuse of the contraction “there’s”. In her Grammar Detective post, Jenny Neilson talked about a journalist who said “I hope there is some Albertans there.” She pointed out that “there is” is used incorrectly in this sentence. The verb “is” does not agree with the plural subject. It seems obvious to me, and yet this mistake is made constantly, especially when “there is” is made into the contraction “there’s.”

“There’s” is the shortened form of “there is” or “there has”. What is not short for is “There are,” and yet I constantly find instances where writers use “there’s” where “there are” is the correct phrase. As an experiment, I searched the Edmonton Journal website for the contraction “There’s.” I came up with several examples of headlines using “there’s” incorrectly. As another example, consider the title of the book pictured below. It is possible that this grammar mistake was intentional, but nonetheless, it irritates me.
Grammar errors are common and to be expected. In many cases, they are forgivable and can be attributed to keyboard mistakes or simply not feeling the need to be grammatically correct. However there are certain common mistakes that can become extremely annoying, and when they appear in published work, I feel that they are unforgivable.

Grammar Detective

I was compelled to respond to a photograph that Shawna Blumenschein included in her Grammar Detective blog post. Such mindless errors occur quite frequently in signage, which I find to be incredibly irritable. With limited space to express a simple communication, an error such as writing "personel" instead of "personnel" can be very distracting, even to the relatively unaware mind. The general sentiment is still clear on the sign, but such an error is almost like an ugly focal point for the passer-by, who would not have likely used that particular door anyways. (What exactly is the attraction of entering a mall basement storage room? Who would do that? Maybe an ex-Soviet spy, that's all).
Although not meant for professional criticism, the website (a pun that ridicules the tendency for Oriental Asian translators to mistake the letter "l" for an "r") has some wonderful and hilarious examples of meaning lost through translation and poor grammar. (Check it out late on a Friday night after a few stiff beverages for maximum entertainment). The site is refreshed with new material daily and is sure to have some gems of improper language use. For example, a sign warning people with heart disease of potential risks for going onto the Great Wall of China reads, "Heart cerebral disease sufferer, ascent the Great Wall to please watch for." Upon close inspection, the meaning can be deciphered, but not without mentally coding some awkward diction, improper verbal tense, and misplaced modifiers. Another example that comes with a different problem is the sign, "Deformed Man Toilet," again, courtesy of China. Although not incorrect, such a sign might rouse anger in handicapped tourists, who are used to seeing "Handicapped Washroom(s)," or simply the universal symbol for such a facility. 
No translation is done with complete accuracy, but, if done directly, can severely complicated communication. Many examples exist in our own society; however, I find the ones at to be particularly amusing. (Is it right that I find this website funny, or just distasteful?).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Can Proofreading Be Fun?

Proofreading has never been my idea of fun, especially when it came to my own work. In Lecture 10 (Monday, November 16th, 2009), we did a live-blogging exercise in which we watched a video-clip and had to jot down as many facts and notes we possibly could about the clip. After reading the result of the quick live-blogging exercise, it was obvious that it needed plenty of revision. This is just one example of where proofreading becomes more of a chore than anything, in my opinion. Spelling, proper agreements, and regular grammar problems are just a few of the things that one must watch out for when making corrections to a piece of work. Looking out for these errors can become very tedious and most often people become careless with proofreading and therefore, causing faults in their writing. Ghostwriter Dad has come up with 10 simple ways to stay on task when it comes to proofing your work.

Spelling has become such an ignored writing tool to correct that most people rely heavily upon the “spell-check” application that most computer writing documents come with to deal with the corrections. This can easily become an unreliable resource to take the place of actually reading the document and editing it because it may pick up on misspelled words but at the same time it can automatically change the word itself to be a completely different word. For example, Rena gives the example that when the word “definitely” is misspelt, it can be automatically replaced with the word “defiantly,” thus changing the meaning of the word and sentence completely.

Word Power by Murriel Mapa

In our third lecture (Monday, September 28th, 2009), we discussed the importance of critical reading when it came to biased language. I believe that yes, when developing a piece of writing it is important to watch the wording of specific words in order to avoid creating stereotypes or offending your reader. However, I agree with Michiko Kakutani’s essay, “The Word Police.” There are many restrictions in the English Language as is, and to put up a futile argument over a word like “man-kind” is what I would call extraneous. Kakutani even mentions the 1991 edition of the “Random House Webster’s College Dictionary,” which includes words such as “womyn” in order to avoid the perception of sexism in “wom-e-n,” and also the word “waitron” is included to create a neutral gender term for the words waiter and waitress. There are a plethora of words in the English language and many of them fall in the category of biased and may be perceived as offensive to some, but the English language is not meant to offend but to show just how much the language has evolved over the years.

The language of today’s modern age may be construed as vulgar or rude, but that is not to say that we shouldn’t be proud of the development of the language today. Dictionaries are still being added to, and therefore enhanced. This is a sign that the generations that follow will have something to look back on to observe just how much they have progressed over the years. In the essay by Jake Sylvester, “The Evolution of English,” he discusses the use of new words and slang that are called upon for commercial advertisements such as Tim Hortons and the show Seinfeld. Brieanne actually did a very interesting blog about the origin of the name Tim Hortons. The English language should be treated as a privilege, and should not be used to purposefully offend anyone. However, the language shouldn’t be portrayed as something with restricted usage either, but instead indications of the growth, we as a society, have been witnesses to.

The Case of Proofreading, Shawna Blumenschein

Proofreading is an essential step for any piece of writing, whether it be a post to the writer’s personal blog or a document for their boss’s review. Despite how vital a step proofreading is, many people either do not bother or fail to spend the time required to do a thorough job. This is somewhat understandable since, as Andrew discusses, proofreading can be a laborious and repetitive task. Furthermore, with the reliance on computer spell check programs it is easy to assume that there are no errors if the computer declares it so.

However, it is a mistake to trust the computer and to shrug off the responsibility of proofreading. Indeed, in the computer age it is even more important to proofread because of the frequency of typos. There are many words in the English language that can be changed into other words with the simple addition of a letter. For example, “though” can easily become “thought” and “breath” can easily become “breathe.” More often than not the writer will know the difference between these words but because of the speed inherent in typing, that extra letter slips onto the end. All of a sudden there is an error within the copy that the computer will not pick up and a sentence that makes no logical sense. Thus it is necessary for writers to perform careful reviews of their written work.

Proofreading one’s own work comes with its own problems. Firstly, since the person proofreading the document also wrote it, he or she knows exactly what it is supposed to say. This leads to missing errors because the brain simply sees what it knows is supposed to be there. Secondly, writers can lack objectivity, especially with creative works. There are strategies to aid in proofreading but like anything else it mostly takes practice and careful attention to detail to succeed.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

People First: A Response to "Bias Free Language"

The first time I was introduced to the “people first rule” I was enrolled in a social work program at a community college in BC. We were learning about different groups of people, some of their struggles, and how to best support them in a client-worker relationship. I remember watching a video presented by the Association for Community Living; it discussed the ways that many people negatively label and view those who have developmental disabilities. A child may be labeled a “retard” by those who do not see him or her as real a person, or people might describe someone with a diagnosis of Down syndrome as “that Down syndrome kid”. Similarly, a person with a mental illness might be called “a crazy person”, “a schizophrenic”, or “a suicidal lunatic”. The video made a lot of sense to me, and afterward I committed to see the person first, and not the minor detail that made him or her different from me.
If we are speaking or writing about a person we should not call him or her “a schizophrenic” but if it is necessary to name their disease or disability we should say a “person with schizophrenia...” A child with Down syndrome is not “a Down syndrome kid” but rather “a child with Down syndrome....”
My three year old daughter attends a day care with many children from different cultural backgrounds. When I speak to her about her friends, I have made it a habit to describe her friends in terms other than their skin colour or other cultural differences: “Did you play dress up with the little girl who was wearing the white gown? What is her name?” I know it is something relatively simple, but I hope that it will help her to see the person first, and subsequently appreciate and admire differences. Kristen brings up some other points related to bias free language in her "Word Power" blog.
As a person who loves to write creatively, I acknowledge that the description of people is very important, but I think that it is more important to accurately describe a person and perhaps their behavior in the proper context and to leave out our own labels, prejudices and ignorance. After all, people are extremely complex, and what defines a woman, man, or child likely cannot be seen visually.

Grammar Detective

I was listening to CBC radio a few days ago, and a popular Alberta based journalist covering the Grey cup festivities in Calgary commented, “I hope there is some Albertans there.” I was quite surprised that she had made this seemingly obvious mistake with her subject verb agreement (take a quiz), but I can only imagine how many similar errors I would make if my spoken word was under constant scrutiny.

Since September I have had a higher sensitivity to errors in published material, and have found myself mentally correcting the written mistakes of others. I am fairly happy that I have evolved to this point; when I began the program I felt quite overwhelmed with my inadequate editing and proofreading skills (I still have a long way to go).

I was most surprised with the errors that I found on a government site while I was doing some research on the H1N1 vaccination issues; however, when I went back to look at it again, it had been updated with more relevant information. I guess that saved the Ministry of Health and Wellness from ending up in a PROW 100 blog (sort of). I thought that of all sources, the government would be a little more diligent in their efforts to minimize error (ha ha).

Yesterday I was flipping through Jamie Oliver’s Happy Day’s with the Naked Chef cook book, and noticed that on every single page there were grammatical errors of some kind. It didn’t bother me too much, considering it’s not his grammatical ability that makes him so darn lovable (and no it’s not the naked factor either). He happens to have some pretty tasty recipes, and his books have interesting photography and anecdotes. Check out this page, and leave a comment of any errors you see.

Over the term I have noticed that the Social Science Research Methods text also contains numerous errors on many of the pages; what do you think about that?

Lastly, here is an example of a note that was sent home with my son from his after school program. I’m grateful that the care he receives there is no way correlated with their grammar mistakes (sorry guys)!
It's important to remember (as Sarah does in her "grammar detective" blog) that "to err 'truly' is human."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Word Power By Kristen Harris

Language is the method at which we verbally communicate with each other. Though verbal communication accounts for only part of the way messages are transferred, the practice and study of language is very important in our society. Word choices can have unforeseen effects on a listener because some words can carry multiple meanings, just as slang terms often carry degrading meanings. In Bias-Free Language, Rosalie Maggio gives examples of slang terms that help oppress those of who the term is referring. She states calling “Native Americans ‘primitives’ and ‘savages’ made it [seem] okay to conquer and despoil them.” I agree that by taking away a person’s value, by giving them a derogatory name, it helps to manipulate the way they are perceived by society.

Censoring our own speech to accommodate other people's feelings is becoming regular practice is our conversations, and it isn’t always helpful. The word man has multiple meanings. It can refer to an adult male and in a largest context, all human beings. Some women feel when man is used in place of human beings, the term is sexist against females. However, sometimes it is the most effective word choice, even if it alludes to male domination. We haven't done anything in our blog relating to the Word Police that I could find, but Andrew Heck posted a great picture in one of his posts, that seems somewhat related.

Michiko Kakutani in The Word Police wages a word-war against those who would try to contain the use of words to only those that are politically correct. Kakutani often exaggerates her arguments though with examples like “All the King’s Men should be re-titled All The Rulers People [and] Pet Cemetery [becoming] Animal Companion Graves.” These are amusing arguments, and she is able to persuade readers with her hyperbole. Using words to argue against, or for, the use of words is amusing. A great example of this debate can be found here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dangling Modifiers By Kristen Harris

A modifier must have a word or phrase to modify, and it is the writer’s task to make sure the audience understands this relationship clearly. It is important for the reader to be able to identify which word or phrase is being modified without having to think about it. If this is not accomplished, the reader becomes confused and then may stop reading altogether. An example of a dangling modifier, that is found in our Correct Writing work-book, is “Hearing a number of entertaining stories, our visit was thoroughly enjoyable.” This sentence is confusing to the reader because it is not clear what “Hearing a number of entertaining stories”, modifies.

To correct a dangling modifier in a phrase, it is possible to just change or re-word the subject to which the modifier is referring. Another way to correct sentences with dangling modifiers is to expand the modifier into a dependent clause. An example of this would be: Since my last trip up to the mountains, I haven’t been able go skiing. It is important to recognize dangling modifiers in your own work before trying to get it published or marked. A great over-view of modifiers done by the University of Ottawa can be found here.

As a general rule, it is best to have modifiers as close to the word they modify as possible. In some sentences that have a subject and an object, it is possible for a modifier to attach itself to either, so it is best to position it to indicate the intended meaning clearly. All writers must make sure to correct any dangling modifiers they find; a writer wouldn’t want to leave his readers hanging. Our class went over the importance of proof-reading in an exercise and Rena wrote a nice story which she then proof-read.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grammar Detective, Shawna Blumenschein

Grammatical and spelling errors in published, so-called professional material are distressingly abundant once a person starts looking for them. Errors appear in everything from newspapers, books, and academic papers to signs, pamphlets, and advertisements. The mistake may be as simple as a missing or misplaced apostrophe, an incorrect contraction, or a word error. Regardless of how small the error is, it presents an unprofessional and sloppy image to everyone who notices it.

In longer works, for example novels and textbooks, such errors are understandable. Computer programs do not have the ability to understand and correct for the rules of grammar and word meaning. As such, it comes down to fallible human editors to ensure a manuscript is flawless before it goes to print. Perfection is hardly a human quality and thus the odd mistake in lengthy documents is unavoidable.

It is the mistakes in short works that are most bothersome. Take, for example, the above photograph of a sign in Southgate mall. It contains a grand total of five words and one distressingly obvious error.

What does the abundance of such simple errors tell us? Have people simply become lazy and dependent on spell-check programs to the point that, if the computer says there are no problems, then it must be right? Or do examples such as Southgate’s sign simply indicate that not enough people are knowledgeable in matters of grammar, spelling, and word meaning? This problem could even be exacerbated by spell-check programs since, as discussed by Brieanne, spell-check removes the need to actually learn from one’s mistakes. Learning from errors is the key to avoiding them in the future. The learning process can be aided by the use of resources designed solely to clarify English’s tricky words.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Importance of Clarity

Misplaced modifiers are a reader's biggest headache and a writer's most dangerous grammatical crime. Even the simplest of sentences can be complicated by poor syntactical ordering of modifiers. Kristen Harris illustrates this point well in one of her posts. Because clear communication is the most basic goal of any piece of writing, it is imperative the writer is mindful of his or her wording of certain phrases. Consider how this sentence, using all homonyms, is incredibly confusing, but perfectly correct:

Words used:

"Buffalo:" Buffalo, New York. (Proper Noun).
"buffalo:" The animal. (Noun).
"buffalo:" To bully. (Verb).

Upon some editing/translating:

"[The] Buffalo (PN) buffalo (N) [whom] Buffalo (PN) buffalo (N) buffalo (V) [also] buffalo (V) Buffalo (PN) buffalo (N)."

Now, although correct in structure, the nightmares of "buffalo" still haunt the reader, even after a closer analysis. This is exactly the reason why effective word placement is necessary. Without careful phrasing of important sentences (and all other sentences), the words will become highly unattractive to most readers. This is not only a poor way to gain popularity among an audience, but also creates an unfortunate gap in communication. Without being clear and concise, a writer has not fulfilled his or her objectives.

A Time and Place for Txt Spk by Murriel Mapa

In response to the “txt spk” exercise we did in Lecture 6 on October 19th, we were asked to rewrite an article in a newspaper using just abbreviations and slang that are commonly used when text messaging on mobile phones. This exercise proved to be very difficult because there were many words that aren’t normally seen as abbreviated or converted into a slang term. For example, Brent Stempfle’s example of his article in txt spk was a time-consuming and complicated read; however, it justifies the fact that txt spk should not be used for formal pieces of writing such as newspaper articles. In today’s society, there are cell phones and BlackBerry’s everywhere, and the popular form of communication is through means of technology. However, when communicating messages to professionals such as managers or professors, it is wise to leave out the “lol” or “ttyl” for a more appropriate time.

When we read Sarah E. Needleman’s essay, “Thx for the IView! I Wud ♥ to Work 4 U!! ;)” I took into consideration of just how much I used the language of txt spk in my own life. As far as I’ve noticed, I don’t usually use any forms of slang or abbreviations even when I text-message, let alone in my work. I also know well enough not to leave such informal messages such as text-messages or emails that contain any txt spk for any future employers of mine. Needleman actually points out that some hiring managers have based their rejection of a possible employee on a thank-you note that was ridden with words such as “hiya” and thanx” accompanied with smiley-face emoticons and exclamation marks (par. 1, Neeedleman). The professional world of writing should be something that is cherished and kept sacred for the English language is a complex form of communication. Colloquial writing versus formal writing can sometimes be a complicated subject to distinguish between. An easy way to remember if informal writing is alright is if you are positive that the person you are writing to will not take offense or have difficulty reading what you wrote, if this is the case than txt spk may be used, but in most cases, correct and formal writing is the best outlet.

Lecture 11: Dangling and Misplaced Modifiers

Misplaced Modifiers
Dangling Modifiers
Story Activity

a word or phrase whose function is to give information about another word or phrase in a sentence

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Trouble With Proofreading

I have always found proofreading works of writing of any kind, especially my own, painfully laborious. Not because of the amount of time and concentration that it takes to correct all of the little mistakes and debate over word choice, but because it feels like a repetition of thought. To quote an excerpt from Kurt Cobain's Journals, "When creativity flows, it flows." That free flow of thoughts is the life of any piece of writing, especially for someone whose thoughts fall to the paper faster than the speed of light. So, beyond ensuring correctness, why spend so much time proofreading? The only assured result will be the adaptation or censorship of one's own thoughts, which is something that no passionate writer should seek to do. 
To make another allusion to Cobain's published journals, "I like to have strong opinions with nothing to back them up besides my primary sincerity. I like sincerity. I lack sincerity... censorship is very American." Artists at heart often share this sentiment, yet why is it that musicians, painters, and performers require no "proofreading" of their acts? Practice is a separate issue, as it is a part of training. Art cannot be fine-tuned by the creator with analytical intentions, only dissected and desecrated. It seems that far more often than not, my attempts at proofreading serve as a second-guessing of my own ideas and convictions, which is something that I strive to avoid, but inevitably must do in an academic setting. 
I have to somewhat disagree with Jenny Nielsen's post on the "people first rule." Maybe if people weren't so hell-bent on being inoffensive and unbiased a lot more that needs to be said would be said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is Spelling a Thing of the Past?

In class this week we did a spelling exercise. It was interesting to realise how few words I can actually spell correctly when put on the spot. In a computer era of Spell-check, online dictionaries, and word processors, is correct spelling becoming a thing of the past? As much as I, myself, depend on Spell-check, I still feel that spelling is an integral part of education. This is not to say spelling skills are absolutely necessary to be intelligent, but that spelling should continue to be an important part of the education process. Many students remember spelling tests and lists of words they needed to know by the next week as the bane of their existence, but those tedious tests may be the reason they are so successful in classes today.

Not only do spelling tests help young students develop a basic spelling skill but they also help introduce the English language. At an Elementary School level many children are not using very advanced language, but, as they grow up, students may have need of words that once seemed useless. While not true in Canada, in the U.S.A. high school graduates who wish to apply to college must write the S.A.T. or Scholastic Aptitude Test. This test is a range of questions on many subjects, and there is a large list of terms that may or may not be on the test at any time. You can see a list of 5000 S.A.T. vocabulary words here. Unfortunately, Spell-check is no help out in a situation like that.

There is also the issue of reliability. Spell-checkers on word processors are only so smart, and often cannot distinguish between verb tenses and other grammar mistakes. Another problem is if a word is correctly spelt but in the wrong context, spell-check is unlikely to pick up on it. Canadians have even more of a problem with spell-check. Because our spelling tends to differ from both the American spelling and the UK spelling in some situations, spell-check doesn't always recognise a word or auto-corrects it to something incorrect. Without a basic knowledge of spelling no one could successfully use spell-check in the first place. The Internet, when looking up spelling, is not always dependable either. As quoted by Brent Stempfle on his blog post about Erin McKean, “The Internet shows words, not context.” You may find the spelling for a word online but if you have the wrong context, you’re still wrong. So, despite spelling becoming less of a recognisable skill in today's society there is no doubt that learning it in the first place is necessary.

Monday, November 16, 2009

In Class Proofreading Exercise, Murriel Mapa

When I was about 5(five) and a half, I had(experienced) a traumatic incident that truly defines who I am today. I have been (taking part) in competitive figure skating since I was seven, and I have loved every minute of it. From practicing my routines, to competing with many different skaters, it’s been a very memorable experience. Unfortunately(,) I have not always been so passionate about skating.(combine these two into one sentence using a semicolon) I used to skate at the local lake near my house in Windsor, ONT(Ontario no abbreviations), called Hallmark rink. At this time, it was nearly spring, but I really wanted to go on(onto) the lake just one last time before the snow melted. Thinking it would be okay, I joined my classmates on the ice, only to find the surface was beginning to crack.

Getting caught under the ice was dreadful(horrible) in a lot of ways, like scaring my friends and family, but the most awful part of this was being afraid to ever(being afraid that I'd never) lace up my skates again. A few years later, with the persuasiveness of my brother, I got back on the ice.(combine these two sentences with a comma or conjunctive adverb) Only this time, it was an indoor rink. I have now been in figure skating for about 12(twelve) years, and I hope I can continue (even) further.

Writing to express was a lot different than writing to evaluate. When writing to express, ideas are formulated and set out in paragraphs. The main purpose is to express the thoughts and theories that control the piece. However, when writing to evaluate, you're not looking to express thoughts or ideas, you're looking for ways to enhance the piece of writing, ways to correct it, and ways to clarify exactly what the writer is thinking.

In Class Proofreading Exercise: Billie Fleming

I was once engaged to a very interesting woman. For the purposes of this writing we will call her Tonya. We had been going out for about a year and a half, and on my 20th birthday we got engaged. Even at 37, from behind Tonya looked like a 12 year old boy and at most times we must have looked like a very odd couple. Not to mentioned the social stigmas of being "out" lesbians.- followed us everywhere we went.(Changed wording of sentence)Even though at the time it felt like the whole world, including my family, was against us, we trudged on and and got engaged. We have since seperated separated, for the betterment of bth both parties. After my birthday is was when we starting making plans for our future together. We moved in with eachother each other and everything seemed perfect.

Tonya had always wanted children. Her determination and love made me believe that I wanted them too, so in october October of that year we started to talk about babies. The first issue we faced was that Tonya wanted to carry the child, and she was already pushing 40. So we started scoping out sperm donors, on the internet and in our circle of friends. After some lomg long and tumoltuous tumultuous discussions we decided that we wanted complete anonymity when finding a donor. We just wanted the child to be ours and no one elses, like a normal family. What can be considered normal nowadays is completly completely up for question though. When I started to make the phone calls to Calgay Calgary and Toronto, which are where the two biggest sperm banks are in Canada, I was met with some skepticism and sexist backlash. It wasn't until I called a gay rights group in Calgary and was directed to a special section of a hospital that dealt with same sex adoption and artificial-insemination, that I got some positive results.

There are many problems that same sex couple face raising children. Peoples opinions can be completly completely with just cause and the rights of the children themselves are not taken into account as much as one would like. Every child needs a home, and every loving person who wants to bear a child and can take care of it to the best of their ability desearves deserves that chance.

Proofreading this writing exercise showed me more in depth where my grammatical errors are. I think I know more now about what I will need to study about for the final. Also, I now have a better idea about the thesis for my essay on gay and lesbian parenting/adoption.

In Class Proofreading Exercise, Jenny Nielsen

"When a neighbor loses his job it is a recession; when you lose your job it is a depression." (cite quote)

My husband got into "the trades" because the economy of the millennium was thriving, and there was a bold promise from the government, and the business sector that trades workers would never be out of work. Although Jay planned on a career in engineering eventually, working towards his Journeyman Welding ticket seemed like the perfect opportunity to get ahead until I graduated with my degree. Initially the money was plentiful, and we moved our family of five to Edmonton, so I could attend Macewan, and he could work in a Mod yard as an apprentice welder. The dream of attending the U of A's(University of Alberta) engineering (Engineering)program was ever present in his mind, and we were able to begin saving for his education. Our teenage son, who is an aspiring actor and musician, was thrilled to attend Victoria school of Performing and Visual Arts, and our younger children were happy with all of the parks and festivals that Edmonton has to offer.
Everything was going as planned, until a cold day in January of 2009(two thousand and nine). Jay called me on a regular work day at about noon to say that he had lost his job, and that he was on his way home. There was no warning, and we were completely dumbfounded. Yes, we had heard rumors that the economy had been in a state of decline, but we hadn't given too much heed to them. Jay was "out of work" for about 7 (seven)months. Writing cover letters, printing off resumes, and calling potential employers became a sadly discouraging pastime for both of us. He did eventually get a job, albeit in Fort McMurray for 18 (? spell out?)days at a time. Last week he was layed off again, with the promise of a phone call when things begin to pick up. (capital)how long can a family of five wait around for a phone call?
Our experiences bring up many important questions about the banks, the government, and the resource based economy of Alberta, and Canada.

I think that I need to review when to use capitals, and when to spell out numbers. Although, I still write with grammar and punctuation errors I feel that I have come a long way since the beginning of the term. I find that I am still slightly confused about some issues, and will most likely need to refer to my "Correct Writing" text while writing my essay. Writing to express is more descriptive creative, and personal; whereas, writing to evaluate is more objective and observational.