Monthly Archives: June 2019

Antecedent

“1. The words in a text, usually a noun phrase, to which a pronoun or other grammatical unit refers back. Cook is the antecedent of him in: ‘In 1772. Cook began his second voyage, which took him further south than he had ever been.’ Similarly, his second voyage is the antecedent of which. With impersonal itthisthatwhich, the antecedent may be a whole clause or paragraph, as in: ‘Might not the coast of New South Wales provide and armed haven? To some people this looked good on paper, but there is no hard evidence that it did so to William Pitt or his ministers.’ Despite the implications of the name, an antecedent can follow rather than precede: ‘For his first Pacific voyage, Cook had no chronometer.’ 2. In logic, the conditional element in a proposition. In If they did that, they deserve our respect, the antecedent is they did that.”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Cultural Literacy: Franz Kafka

Last fall, while unpacking some boxes of books for my classroom library, I learned with considerable pleasure that Peter Kuper has rendered Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis as a graphic novel. Personally, I like what Mr. Kuper has done with that staple of Mad Magazine, Antonio Prohias’s Cold War allegory as comic strip, “Spy vs. Spy.” Mr. Prohias was a hard act to follow, and Mr. Kuper has done so respectably, indeed even admirably. Professionally, that the students I teach–who have neither particular nor general interest in reading for pleasure–all read The Metamorphosis amazed me. Needless to say, I recommend this book for your classroom.

To complement The Metamorphosis, should you come by a copy, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Franz Kafka.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Lancet Window

“Lancet Window: A tall and narrow window which comes to an acute point at its head. Commonly used in the 13th century.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Alcohol

Moving right along: here are a reading on alcohol and its attendant vocabulary building and comprehension worksheet if your practice and students would benefit from them.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Write it Right: Sensation for Emotion

“Sensation for Emotion. ‘The play caused a great sensation.’ A sensation is a physical feeling; an emotion, a mental. Doubtless the one usually accompanies the other, but the good writer will name the one that he has in mind, not the other. There are few errors more common than the one here noted.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

Sullen (adj)

As sullenness can be a chronic condition among adolescents, perhaps this context clues worksheet on the adjective sullen might be of some use to you.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Rotten Rejections: James Joyce

“As might be expected, James Joyce’s writings excited some grandiose rejections. His Dubliners was refused by twenty-two publishers and then shot down in flames by an irate citizen. As Joyce reported it, ‘When at last it was printed some very kind person bought out the entire edition and had it burnt in Dublin–a new and private auto-da-fe.’ The odyssey of his Ulysses was even more spectacular–it was rejected, in fire, by two governments. Parts of the novel were serialized in the New York Little Review in 1918–20, and after rejection by a U.S. publisher the whole book was published in France in 1922 by Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare Press. Copies were sent to America and England. They were, reported Joyce, ‘Seized and burnt by the Custom authorities in New York and Folkestone.’ Not until 1933 was the ban on Ulysses lifted; the book was published by Random House the following year.”

Excerpted from: Bernard, Andre, and Bill Henderson, eds. Pushcart’s Complete Rotten Reviews and Rejections. Wainscott, NY: Pushcart Press, 1998.