Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Iraqi a Day Keeps Good Grammar Away

Writing in the Winston-Salem Journal, retired Journal editor Richard Creed notes that four years ago President Bush referred to “a Iraqi government.” Then he indicates that last year a news report called Iraqi President Talabani’s visit to Beijing “the first China visit by a Iraqi president since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1958.”
After citing several other examples of the use of “a” in place of “an,” Creed points out that even a careful, deliberate speaker like Sen. Barack Obama stumbled when he said that the country needs: “a effort to shore up the housing industry.”
All this raises a question in my mind,” concludes Creed. “If members of the news media, the president, and a man who might become president persist in saying such things as “a Iraqi” and “a effort,” will the useful article an fall into disuse?”
I hope not. Somehow I’m just not comfortable with the sound of a apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Here’s an Interesting Use for Photographs of Bridges

At the University of Alabama Diane Sekeres used photographs of bridges as prompts in a workshop she conducted at the Longleaf Writing Summer Institute for Teachers. “I found about about twenty pictures of different kinds of bridges: rope, draw, suspension, destroyed, over gorges, over highways, or over water,” she writes. “Then I asked the teachers to study the photos and select one that was a metaphor for their teaching.” At the conclusion to the exercise, the teacher-students wrote about their choices and their reasons for making them.

Documentary Wins Kellner’s Own Highly Coveted Golden Pen Award

Located on the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp, Corapeake, North Carolina appears to be just another small town stuck out in the middle of nowhere. But when New York photographer Kendall Messick and his best friend Brenda Parker Hunt visited Corapeake to take pictures of Brenda’s aging relatives, they discovered a treasure trove of fascinating stories and outstanding visual images. The result was a stunning documentary based on the reminiscences of the town’s elders presented on tape and in black and white photographs. You can find out more about the documentary Corapeake at

"Memory: a child walking along a seashore. You can never tell what small pebbles it may pick up and store among its treasured things." Pierce Harris, American Clergyman

Three boys walk along the shore as the sun lingers on the horizon. What if an offshore swimmer called for help? What if one of the boys found a message in a bottle? What if a tsunami appeared on the horizon? What if one of the boys found a diamond ring? What if a dead body washed ashore?
Authors have always asked themselves "What if?" when they sought inspiration. Well, if that technique works for the pros, there's no reason it can't work for students--especially when they ask "What if?" while they're viewing a photograph that can help to stimulate their imaginations

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