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That’s when I realized that when foreign students come to me with a linguistic problem it may also be a cultural or a political problem.Now I think it’s lovely that such a decorative language as Arabic exists.
In general they are long, pompous nouns that end in –—like development and fulfillment.
Those nouns express a vague concept or an abstract idea, not a specific action that we can picture—somebody doing something.
I knew I would enjoy that, and I have—I’ve been doing it ever since.
I’m the doctor that students get sent to see if they have a writing problem that their professor thinks I can fix.
As a bonus, I’ve made many friends—from Uganda, Uzbekhistan, India, Ethiopia, Thailand, Iraq, Nigeria, Poland, China, Colombia and many other countries.
Essay English As A Second Languages
Several young Asian women, when they went back home, sent me invitations to their weddings.Those nouns are rich in feeling, but they have no action in them—no people doing something we can picture.My Spanish-speaking students must be given the bad news that those long sentences will have to be cruelly chopped up into short sentences with short nouns and short active verbs that drive the story forward.Let me read you three typical letters I recently received in the mail. He bought the house almost thirty years ago for his parents, and after their death he lived there with Marilyn Monroe. Get rid of every element in your writing that’s not doing useful work. And here’s Joan Didion, who grew up in California and wrote brilliant magazine pieces about its trashy lifestyle in the 1960s. This passage is from her collection of early magazine pieces, There are always little girls around rock groups—the same little girls who used to hang around saxophone players, girls who lived on the celebrity and power and sex a band projects when it plays—and there are three of them out here this afternoon in Sausalito where the Grateful Dead rehearse.(I keep letters like this and save them in a folder that I call “Bullshit File.”) The first one is from the president of a private club in New York. They are all pretty and two of them still have baby fat and one of them dances by herself with her eyes closed [Somebody said that if I was going to meet some runaways I better pick up some hamburgers and Cokes on the way, so I did, and we are eating them in the Park together, me, Debbie who is fifteen, and Jeff who is sixteen.Those are the damaging habits I want to warn you about today. The English language is derived from two main sources. The other is Anglo-Saxon, the plain languages of England and northern Europe.The words derived from Latin are the enemy—they will strangle and suffocate everything you write. How do those Latin words do their strangling and suffocating?It’s not as musical as Spanish, or Italian, or French, or as ornamental as Arabic, or as vibrant as some of your native languages.But I’m hopelessly in love with English because it’s plain and it’s strong.What’s considered “good writing” in Spanish is not “good writing” in English.So what is good English—the language we’re here today to wrestle with?