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Sunday, 13 March 2016

In a word

Since last October, I have been making my way through the Open Uni c*urse or module as they are now called. I prefer c*urse as it has a double meaning and was a term often used in the good old days of OU study.

Grammar in Context seemed likely to be doable, so I took the plunge. One has to take advantage of transitional arrangements while it lasts.

Previously, I completed Worlds of English which was hard work but thoroughly enjoyable. Cue my present studies, what a contrast - like as the old saying goes 'pulling teeth'.


The bane of E304 is the UAM-CT computer program.
A necessary evil...
Life is too short to detail the shortcomings of this insult to the term computer program.

Drilling down into texts by analysing the life out of them. Resurrecting knowledge acquired in junior school.

Both U214 and E304 have impacted on my ability to read and to listen. Unconsciously, I find myself taking apart texts as I come across them.

E.g. if someone says something is 'not chocolate' and then lists 'cocoa' in the ingredients my 'linguistics' etymology brain makes an objection since cocoa is the prime ingredient of chocolate, no cocoa = no chocolate.

Then I came across some folk talking about and recommending some sets of fiction books (series). Going to previews of those texts, reading or attempting to read a couple of paragraphs, my linguistics self shudders and I have to leave the page vowing to add those authors (loosely) to the do not bother with list, even if their texts are £0.00 i.e. free.

Snobbish? I don't agree, more like discerning and making better informed choices. I know folk who on picking up a book, 'must' read to the bitter end no matter what. No way would I ever punish myself like that now I have the option to decline. Schooldays literature was a 'must' therefore I ploughed through the works of Jane Austin and Thomas Hardy. I also over the years went though several works by Charles Dickens and Shakespeare; and a good grounding they were; not forgetting Chaucer.

Returning to the idea of reading choice and linguistics. The latest topics in E304 have been Tenor and Mood leading to analyses of texts from that angle. Looking at repetition, chains of meaning, lexical density along with grammatical density and cohesion. No wonder some authors with their pointlessly repetitive formulaic texts are to be ignored "shampoo-rinse-repeat sort of author, churning out the same old - same old".

Give me the fluent, richly worded, well-grated works of Tolkien, the most satisfying read in my experience. Also, other early twentieth century authors - along with the likes of the nineteenth century authors - Kipling, Wells. Not forgetting the other Inklings friends of Tolkien and brilliant writers in their own right.



2 comments:

Joy said...

That bad, eh?
J x

joanygee said...

Yes, that bad and much worse aka E304. Jx