12.30.11

The Little, Brown Handbook: Fourth Post (Sentence Structure)

Posted in Linguistics, Reference at 12:57 am by Rosepixie

There are great guides to creating and improving sentences here. The book discusses repetition, emphasis and flow in a clear, concise way. As before, I found the examples to be some of the most interesting parts of the book. They discuss topics from history, relatively current affairs, sociology, education and many other topics. I would love to know how and why the subjects were chosen!

12.12.11

The Little, Brown Handbook: Third Post (Examples)

Posted in Linguistics, Reference at 12:58 am by Rosepixie

This book does a pretty good job of giving clear examples of why things should be a certain way. The examples for things like number agreement and other issues commonly messed up, especially in everyday speech, are especially strong. I really am extremely impressed with the clarity and organization of this book. I would absolutely recommend it as a good writing and grammar book.

11.24.11

The Little, Brown Handbook: Second Post (Verbs)

Posted in Linguistics, Reference at 12:46 am by Rosepixie

Verbs are why English is such a complicated language. Over 200 verbs are irregular and there isn’t really any way to make learning them any easier – each simply needs to be learned individually.

This book does a good job giving examples and practice passages. I wonder where those sentences and paragraphs come from, though. Do they find them somewhere or is there someone who wrote a whole bunch of random passage for them? It would be interesting to see how this book was written.

11.02.11

The Little, Brown Handbook: First Post (First Impressions)

Posted in Linguistics, Reference at 1:09 am by Rosepixie

This book begins with a wonderful explanation of how reading, writing and thinking are linked skills. I actually wish that the writer had taken the time to expand that idea more.

The discussion of essay writing is very clearly geared to school papers. While the text occasionally acknowledges that there may be other valid ways to structure an essay, all of the explanations, examples and exercises show only classroom basic styles.

It amuses me that I am reading this and Mark Twain at the same time.

08.17.09

Gods, Demigods and Demons: Sixth Post (Final Thoughts)

Posted in Childrens, Reference, Spirituality at 3:03 am by Rosepixie

Zeus, king of the gods, is listed dead last in this book because it’s in alphabetical order. This shows why alphabetical may not always be the best way to organize things! Still, this was a fascinating book and I’m very glad that I read it!

08.16.09

Gods, Demigods and Demons: Fifth Post (Rules)

Posted in Childrens, Reference, Spirituality at 1:25 am by Rosepixie

Some rules needed to be followed by both gods an mortals, but others, like the rule against incest (parent-child coupling, siblings were ok apparently), do not seem to have been applied to gods. Several mortals suffered horrible fates for marrying or sleeping with their parent or their child (even if it was unwittingly done). Zeus, on the other hand, seems to have had children with numerous of his daughters and the stories are peppered with other examples of godly incest and they all seem to be ok. It’s very strange.

08.15.09

Gods, Demigods and Demons: Fourth Post (Missing Entry)

Posted in Childrens, Reference, Spirituality at 1:23 am by Rosepixie

There are so many interesting stories here, many which I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard. I was frustrated to find an entry missing (another entry directs the reader to it for the story, but it doesn’t exist). There are a ton of stories relating to the Trojan War that Homer never told. There’s just so much here that’s interesting!

08.11.09

Gods, Demigods and Demons: Third Post (Mother-Goddess)

Posted in Childrens, Reference, Spirituality at 12:28 am by Rosepixie

It’s really interesting how the mythologies have evolved. There was the worship of the mother-goddess which somehow got replaced by the Greek pantheon of patriarchal gods. The transition doesn’t seem to have been perfectly smooth, however. Not only did some elements of the mother-goddess beliefs get wrapped into the new mythology, but a story even popped up of the goddess giving secrets to a wise man for safe-keeping against the day people turned away from the new gods and back to her. My guess is little of these early beliefs were written down and so now they are lost and largely forgotten except through traces.

08.07.09

Gods, Demigods and Demons: Second Post (It’s All Relative)

Posted in Childrens, Reference, Spirituality at 12:19 am by Rosepixie

Everybody is related to everybody else in Greek mythology, and only partially because they’re all related to the gods. It’s crazy. It’s like, there are really only a couple of major families that heroes were born into and they just kept producing great heroes generation after generation. It’s kind of scary. You wonder if the daughters of those families didn’t start expecting to be visited by Zeus or Apollo. Some seem so unfazed by such visitations that you almost have to think that they weren’t surprised.

08.05.09

Gods, Demigods and Demons: First Post (First Impressions)

Posted in Childrens, Reference, Spirituality at 2:56 am by Rosepixie

While reading this does feel a little disjointed at times, it is also really interesting. Because it is so complete and covers people, places and things, there are lots of pieces of story here that you rarely find in collections of Greek myths. It really makes you remember that this was a tapestry of stories woven over generations, so it has a richness that is rarely found in more focused sets of tales.

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