Bringing the frights you deserve.

Tag Archives: linguistics

1)      Learn to Speak Oneida

This looks easy.

I like the idea of preserving the native languages. According to my mother, who has since passed, my father was part Native American. I am sure that learning my native language is going to take a very long time. Unlike my neglected Spanish there really are not people out there speaking Oneida all day.

Night Ghost Oneida Story

It is my goal to learn at least one of the languages indigenous to America, I have chosen Oneida because I am from the New York region and barring finding out that my father’s ancestors spoke Navajo or something else, I am going to have to just pick something and learn it. I hope that is not offensive but I really want to just preserve what hundreds of years of flawed language policy has destroyed.

2)      Learn to Breakdance or Melbourne Shuffle.

I happen to believe that everyone in the world should know how to do at least one amazing thing that most other people cannot do. Many people know how to breakdance and Melbourne Shuffle (Or if you are in Melbourne I am sure it is just The Shuffle), but I do not and I think it is amazing. I also remember watching movies where the hero would amaze some woman with his awesome dancing skills, usually some kind of ballroom dancing or tap, I don’t like tap or ballet or froufrou ballroom dancing.

I like the gritty reality of doing dances born out of abject poverty or ones that involved copious amounts of ketamine and MDMA. So either I would like to learn to breakdance well or Melbourne shuffle to a level that would make someone male or female, I really do not care, swoon.

3)      Get a book published

Me with my Fat Royalty Check

I mean for real published. Being self-published or self-epublished will not count. I want some company to say to me, this book is good and we want to pay you for the rights to publish this book and market it and make you go on book tours. Any other option is not a real accomplishment. I want to be a Writer, and while I have received payments for writing, in my mind to be a real writer it means I have to receive payment to publish a book. Therefore, for me to die happy I have to have a published book.

4)      Complete NaNoWriMo


I have very unsuccessfully attempted this feat of writing 50,000 words for a novel during the month of November twice. I plan to attempt this again. Considering that I want to be a Professional Writer (with all the cool corporate sponsorships and Gatorade Commercials), it should not really be a feat for me to write 50,000 words in one month. Even if it is 50,000 words no better than those terrible Goosebumps books that I used to read to add length to the Drop Everything and Read challenge. Join Here.

5)      Complete Script Frenzy

For the very same reason I state above for NaNoWriMo. Did you know I thought up a very similar yet totally 100% better than that Hot Tub Time Machine? Well, now you know. However, I totally did not even attempt to write that script. Why didn’t I? Well, aside from the fact that I am ass lazy,  I am also a jerk. Therefore, I am going to do this even if it kills me because damn it I must.

6)      Master Spanish

Nosotros...uh... miramos... uh... el Teeveeo?

I should be able to speak Spanish. If you knew anything about my background, which you do not, you would know that I should be able to speak Spanish. I have relatives from both Ecuador and Puerto Rico, so seriously I should know how to speak Spanish at a level slightly above inebriated 12-year-old child. Currently there are probably children who have watched 12 episodes of Dora the Explorer that can speak Spanish at a level that would put me to shame.

7)      Visit Ireland, Britain and Scotland

I love that area and rather than be an ass and refer to it improperly I named them separately. I think that if there were past lives and all that nonsense that I was an aging British dude who kept wishing he could go back to his motherland but died in America for some reason. So for that reason, I must find myself visiting until that old dead dude is satisfied.

8)      Learn to play something very complicated on the Violin

I was NEVER this good

I played violin all thru middle school and high school, I had played for a little in elementary school but had eschewed that in favor of being popular and wearing clothes from the gap. My quest to be popular did not last. I tested in the top 5 percent on a standardize test was taken out of my classes and studied such wonderfully fun things like the origination of laws, which being in the 4th grade definitely destroyed all hopes at being part of the popular crowd. Nevertheless, I gave up playing the violin and eventually restarted never being able to excel at a level above the minor effort I put in. I figure if I start playing again sometime before I hit 35, when I’m so old I don’t want to live any more I should be able to play a song complex and beautiful that makes junkies decide to quit shooting junk.

9)      Sequence my DNA
I want to find out everything I can about my history. I have seen on some nighttime talk show people sequencing their DNA and finding their ethnic lineage. I want to find out my roots. It would be awesome.

10)   Get Married in Vegas Dressed as Elvis
Doing something silly is a necessity; I would love to do this. Just once for fun.

11)   See Neophyte Play Live
I love Neophyte, I’ve been listening to his awesomeness for years. And it just stands to argue that I need to meet him. He doesn’t play in the States often so I’d most likely have to go to Europe to see him and the Masters of Hardcore. But I’d be with the Army of Hardcore so why not.

Here’s his song “Always Hardcore” to show you one example of his great music:

Here’s a more recent song by Neophyte:

12)   Buy Something Super Expensive

So does this purse do my taxes?

I am not talking about a big screen TV or a Car. I am talking about something that has no right being expensive, like a $2,000 purse or a pair of shoes that the money used to purchase it could feed and clothe 10 families in Zimbabwe. I want to do something so terribly consumerist and utterly American. Something that after owning it for 15 minutes I just say to myself, I have to take this back but know that the store does not accept returns.

So, what is in your bucket list? Is there something that I should have in my bucket list that I don’t have? Let’s get this conversation going.


Last week we discussed Nouns of all varieties proper, common, abstract, concrete, count, and non-count. This week Write, Read, Watch will discuss pronouns.

I am not certain, and if you made me put money on it on Million Dollar Money Drop I would refrain, but I reckon most people originally thought that pronouns were proper nouns. At least, I did, but I was also a very imaginative and nice child (read stupid and easily fooled). Unfortunately, for me, and other children like me, pronouns are not a football team that plays in the Pro-Bowl nor are they nouns for professionals.

Pronouns are nouns that are substitutes for nouns. The more technical term is the word Pro-form.

Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary

A morpheme, word, lexical unit, or other clause constituent which concisely refers to and is used in place of a more specific expression occurring or implied elsewhere in the discourse.

The simpler version of that from Wikipedia:

A morpheme, word, lexical unit, or other clause constituent which concisely refers to and is used in place of a more specific expression occurring or implied elsewhere in the discourse.        


What we are trying to say here is that pronouns are words that stand in for nouns and noun phrases to both give a sense of variety and avoid a dry and repetitive tone to your writing or to stand in for other words when necessary.

Now imagine the following situation (which is fictional and in no way ever happened).

On the planet Alternate Earth 2.7, a woman named Oprah Winfrey met the homeless man with the golden announcer voice, Ted Williams and began a tawdry love affair. After many months of the tawdry love affair, the woman named Oprah Winfrey and the homeless man with the golden announcer voice, Ted Williams decided to go out to eat at WackArnold’s. At WackArnold’s, the woman named Oprah Winfrey and the homeless man with the golden announcer voice, Ted Williams decided to eat a Triple Pterodactyl Burger with extra cheese, mayo, barbeque sauce, and secret sauce on a sesame seed bun. The woman named Oprah Winfrey and the homeless man with the golden announcer voice, Ted Williams were happy with their decision to continue the tawdry love affair and to eat the Triple Pterodactyl Burger with extra cheese, mayo, barbeque sauce, and secret sauce on a sesame seed bun.


Now that long and silly sentence discusses a number of different noun phrases repetitively. Those noun phrases being, “woman named Oprah Winfrey”, “homeless man with the golden announcer voice, Ted Williams”, “a tawdry love affair”, “Triple Pterodactyl Burger with extra cheese, mayo, barbeque sauce, and secret sauce on a sesame seed bun.” A long list of noun phrases but with Pronouns, we can shorten the above paragraph significantly.

Noun Phrase Becomes Pronoun
woman named Oprah Winfrey

Not the Oprah we are looking for

Not this one an alternate one.


She or Her
homeless man with the golden announcer voice, Ted Williams

Ted the Homeless man with the golden voice Williams

This might be the ted williams we are looking for


He or Him
a tawdry love affair It
Triple Pterodactyl Burger with extra cheese, mayo, barbeque sauce, and secret sauce on a sesame seed bun

It's the chicken of the prehistoric world.



Now let us try that paragraph again

On the planet Alternate Earth 2.7, she met him and began it. After many months of it, she and he decided to go out to eat at WackArnold’s. At WackArnold’s, she and he decided to eat it. She and he were happy with their decision to continue it and to eat it.

See the difference between the two! Now of course, there exists a problem in the second version if the reader has no clue what you are talking about but there is a discernable difference. The first version is 147 words long while the second version is only 52 words long. That is a reduction by almost 2/3rd.

There are different types of pronouns. The different types are possessive, personal, relative, interrogative, demonstrative, indefinite, and reflexive.

You probably already know the Personal pronouns. Personal pronouns are: I, my, mine, me, we, our, ours, us, you, your, yours, he, his, him, she, her, hers, it, its, they, their, theirs, them. I, my, mine, and me are all first person singular personal pronouns. We, our, ours, and us are all first person plural pronouns. They are typically used to avoid Dole-isms. You never hear anyone say, “Jennifer the Writer wants some cake.” Nor do you read, “Oprah Winfrey is having a tawdry love affair,” said Oprah Winfrey. And if you do hear or read a sentence like that, you would think there was something wrong with the person saying it. At the least, it makes the person seem extremely self-absorbed. Therefore, to avoid self-absorbed language it would be more natural to say, “I want some cake,” or to write, “I am having a tawdry love affair,” said Oprah Winfrey.

Last week, we talked about a pool party with Glenn Beck and Barack Obama. Let us assume that at the pool party Barack Obama and Glenn Beck are having a Conversation.

Glenn Beck (GB): Hi, Barack Obama, are the hot dogs ready?

Barack Obama (BO): No, The hot dogs aren’t ready yet; when they are ready, I will call Glenn Beck.

Doesn’t that seem a little weird for Barack Obama to talk to Glenn Beck like that? It would be more natural for Barack Obama to answer, “No, the hot dogs aren’t ready yet, when they are ready I will call you.”

This is a more natural usage. Let us also assume that Oprah Winfrey and Ted Williams are at the pool party.

GB: Barack, Oprah wanted to know if Oprah could have two hot dogs. Oprah also wanted to know where the soda is. In addition, Oprah wanted to know where to find the sunscreen.

That sounds very annoying and weird. Even if it is correct, it comes off as repetitive and robotic. A better way for this would be to use Pronouns. First, you have to announce the proper name of the noun that you will replace in the first sentence.

GB: Barack, Oprah wanted to know if she could have two hot dogs. She also wanted to know where the soda is. In addition, she wanted to know where to find the sunscreen.

This second sentence sounds more natural using she sounds much better and unless the person you are talking to has some kind of short-term memory problem, they will know that you mean Oprah when you say she.

Now, I think I have really exceeded the length that I have intended so, I will continue with Pronouns next week. Who would have thought nouns that stand in for other nouns would have taken up so much time!

References: Oxford English Dictionary, Wikipedia, Morenberg’s Doing Grammar. And i lifted that Brontosaurus Burger Picture from the QuarryLaneFarms Blog


Tomorrow I will post the article for Grammar Thursday about Pronouns. I should have posted it on Thursday but I became very busy. Please enjoy this teaser video from Grammar Rock.

I found a video about nouns on youtube from Schoolhouse Rock.
Unfortunately they leave a lot of stuff out but it’s a good place to start.

There are a number of different parts of speech, according to multiple sources like Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition, Wikipedia, And Morenberg’s Doing Grammar, there are eight. In the following weeks, I plan to talk about all eight of them but today I wanted to start with Nouns.

Nouns are words that stand for people, places and things, as your kindergarten teacher must have explained. However, nouns are much more than that; nouns also refer to ideas and concepts.

Here are some examples:

Person: Glen Beck

Place: Manhattan

Thing: car

Idea: liberty

Concept: hate (but it depends on how it is used in a sentence.)

Nouns take a number of different places within sentences. They are often the Subject of the sentence, for example, Glen Beck talks. In the sentence, Glen Beck is the Noun that performs the action of talking. Sometimes they are the direct object of the verb like in this sentence “President Obama talks to Glen Beck.” In the sentence President Obama is the Subject Noun, talking is the action verb, and Glen Beck is the Direct Object of that action.

Obama and Beck: are they really friends?

Furthermore, the noun can take the form of an Indirect Object of the verb. Try this sentence. Let us pretend like Glen Beck and President Obama are hanging out at a pool party and Glen Beck wants a hot dog.

Glen Beck asks President Obama for a Hot Dog.

Obama knows how to make one hell of a hot dog!

In the above sentence, “Glen Beck” is the noun subject of the sentence. “President Obama” is the direct object of the verb “asks”. Hot dog would be the indirect object of the verb “asks” and the object of the prepositional phrase “for a hot dog”. There is a little more to this whole indirect and direct object thing. You are going to have to wait until after I teach you about verbs because it is confusing unless you learn about the different type of verbs.

Therefore, as you see a noun can be the subject, the direct object, the indirect object and even a modifier of another noun. If you notice the sentence “President Obama talks to Glen Beck” President Obama is the subject but it is more like that Obama is the subject whereas the noun president modifies the word Obama.

Furthermore, there are different classifications for nouns. You have proper and common nouns. In the above sentences, the nouns Manhattan, “Glen Beck,” and “President Obama” are all proper nouns. These nouns are distinguished by their status as being the specific name for a place, and people.

Proper Nouns:

Ford Focus

Glen Beck

Staten Island

“No Country for Old Men”

Common Nouns:



borough or place


As you see not only are proper nouns characterized by using capitalization but also as the very specific nature of their reference. If a person wanted a car from a lot and said “I’ve come for a car” the person could be referring to any car on the lot, but if the person said “I’ve come for a Ford Focus” they have given the salesman a very specific request. The same goes with the difference between man and Glen Beck, place and Staten Island, movie and “No Country for Old Men.”

There are also Countable and uncountable nouns or count and mass nouns. A count noun is a noun that has the ability of being pluralized or combined with numeral or quantifiers. An example is gun, rock, or bottle.

One gun (number + noun) = gun

Two guns (number + noun) = guns = more than one gun

The most bottles = more bottles than x

Several rocks = a number of rocks (a pet peeve of mine is that several equals more than two as a couple refers to two and several would be three or more.)

In contrast to these countable nouns would be the mass or non-count nouns. Examples of mass nouns would be water, beer, furniture. As it is impossible (even if you hear moronic people in Manhattan or L.A. say so) to have “three waters”, you can only have water so when your waiter says “Three waters” respond by saying “No, three bottles of water.” Make sure to leave immediately afterwards as you might be subject to some tomfoolery for correcting the person.

Additionally, collective nouns are nouns that refer to groups of more than one, like committee, gaggle and more.

Moreover, there are concrete and abstract nouns. Concrete nouns are words that refer to tangible entities like cars, guns, and bottles of Jack Daniels. Abstract nouns are words that refer to intangible objects, like ideas and concepts like the original examples above like liberty and hate, although hate isn’t always a noun.” One way to identify an abstract noun is if you see the suffix –ness, -ity, or –tion, attached to a verb or adjective you have an abstract noun see words like happiness, indignation, and serenity.

References: Doing Grammar; Warriner’s Guide to English Grammar, Wikipedia, Lingual Links.

I hope this study into the different types of nouns helps you to become a better writer. In the coming weeks I will try to enhance your knowledge of Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs, Adverbs, Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections. In addition, even further into the year I will expand on the different punctuation marks and even phrases within sentences. I look forward to talking about grammar with you.