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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shirley Franklin Reads Poetry

Shirley Franklin reads her poetry and emcees at Northwords and Rice Creek Writers' groups' reading held at the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley, MN, April 8, 2011.                                                  

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Word Order in Telugu vis a vis English Questions

I often notice a mistake like the one I saw today on a language website:  "What remote is called in Telugu?"

Without getting into the answer (which, I suspect, is, no need to translate, just use the English word!) , a comment on the question itself:  There's an important variation to note regarding the order of words when asking a who/what/when/where/why question in English.  *An appropriate form of the verb 'to be' (is, am, are, was, were) in the sentence should immediately follow the question word.

Ex:  What is your name?  NOT  What your name is?
       What is 'remote' called in Telugu?  NOT What 'remote' is called in Telugu.?

I think this mistake arises because these words would be at the very end of the sentence, or simply omitted, in the Telugu language.  But they* are expected, in English.  Or does the mistake follow on an English rule not to 'split infinitives...' 
Whatever the cause, the error causes a 'blip' in the flow of the language whether you leave them* out, or put them in at unexpected places!

I hope this helps!   ;-) 

Note to nephew about blogging and such

Good thought, Chris, using mnemonics, tho' I'd thought mnemonics was something more limited/specific than a sentence (tho #2: tho what that specific is/was I can't exactly define...haha), something catchy.  Revising yours to omit 'the' before the first '5th' and adding 'all' before 'the rest' seems a little catchier; maybe the flow of sounds of the words (is that what they call diction??) fits in the ear (thus the memory) better...Try it and see what you think. 
Let's try again to discipline ourselves to reflect and/or hone our written expression via the blog regularly, hm?  A couple of my friends have recently asked me for mine...which, you can see, has been silent for over a month...and I am flummoxed as to why I can just sit at the computer and 'let'er rip' about life in India, but produce nothing but wooden prose (wood chips, at that) here at home.  The flow is dammed somewhere (ironic choice of words, there??) Is it because Grammy once told me "Never put down on paper what you don't want someone else to read" after, I realize now, she (must have) read the journal I was attempting at the time, when I was in junior high? 
It was a discarded, partially used not-quite-standard-sized spiral notebook (aagh, I hated the way the spirals caught and stuck together when carried along with other books!) with an burnt ochre-colored cover, its narrow-lined pages rounded on the outside corners.  What I'd written in it, I don't remember, and what happened to it, I have no idea.  I suspect words never made it past the cover where I'd doodled a human figure over the notebook's previous owner's name.  The figure, I DO recall, was slightly embarassing, and further covered by copious scribbling, leaving a large, unsatisfactory blot in its place. I don't think I tried journalling again until I went to India in the  sixties...what wet blankets well-meaning comments by parents (or anybody, for that matter) can be for our budding talents, our latent gifts.
Yet I also remember unbidden appreciation of my writing ability from a variety of people over the years. Usually shrugged off with a laughing "Some day I'll write..."  So let me try this blog again, replacing what in Telugu is 'siggu,' by recalling those encouragements...But what are they?  What is the mnemonic for remembering something you've hidden away for 'some day' but lost track of, over the years...?? (Deja vu...I'm just reading HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, where a search through a cellarful of suitcases and other belongings plays an important role...) Hm, can an action or a location play a ROLE?