English 10: Writing Portfolio
|Essay the first: Origins|
|Essay the second: Literature|
|My father never mentioned the unusual tradition which his
father did while watching the Yankees which was turning off the television
and sitting in the dark when they were losing. Although my grandfather was a
good man he was very superstitious and often did similar things to this
while watching the Yankees. This story goes to show how awkward my family
truly is while watching sports.
When my parents were first dating my father thought it was important to bring my mother down to meet his parents at their house in long island. As they pulled into the houses driveway my mother noticed that there weren’t any lights on in the whole house and it seemed as if there wasn’t anyone home. This didn’t bother my father because he knew how big of a Yankees fan his father was and that every time the Yankees would be losing a game he would shut off the television because he felt he was bringing them bad luck. It never occurred to my father to tell my mother what was going on and why his father was sitting in total darkness saying “this team’s a bunch of punks” to himself.
As my parents entered the house my father asked how the Yankees were doing to his father. His father responded by saying how “the team’s a bunch of punks” and they don’t play like they used to in the Mickey mantle era”. My father turned on the television to find out that the Yankees were winning and began to say how the Yankees were still a good team. This went on for at least a half an hour as my mother stood there next to my dad who seemed to forget to introduce her to his father. Finally after they had stopped bickering about the Yankees my father seemed to remember that my mom was there and introduced my mother by saying “oh yeah this is my girlfriend Marjorie”. For many years after my grandfather carried on the tradition of shutting off the television when the Yankees were losing without question from anybody.
This story is a great example of how my family has had many awkward or different superstitions when it comes to sports. Although my family may not be superstitious about much else sports is different and one wrong movement while the game is going on can blow the game because you got up and went to get something to drink. I realized that you are unable tell how much of a sports fan someone is when you first meet them. But that can easily change when you go to a sports game with them or just watch a game on television. From this story I learned that although my family may not seem like intense sports fans when you first meet them they are true fans who become very intense about sports which they are watching.
Dear Mr. George Orwell, It is a great pleasure of mine to be writing to you. Although I am happy to be able to finally contact you, I have news concerning your works being published in next year’s textbook. We feel that a good textbook should contain text that provides a good example of the type of literature, which the student is studying. Unfortunately, your work doesn’t fit into this vision for our textbooks. We feel your work doesn’t fit into our books because the topics in your stories aren’t interesting and are quite boring. We feel your topics are too in the past and we need more modern topics or problems.
Your book “1984 “ was a very popular book when it first came out. Although many people may have enjoyed it we hear felt it was boring and extremely hard to get through. I personally felt the book was just not interesting enough to continue reading once I had started it. This is just one of your works that show the same quality. We hear noticed that all of your works have the same quality, they’re dull, since you have received success in your writings we feel that it would be in your best interests to find another publishing company for your works.
Another reason your works will not be in next years literature textbook is because you write about topics that are too out of date. It seems as if you are stuck in the past when we are looking for more modern subjects that our readers will be able to relate from. We have another critic, Jerome Weeks, who agrees with me stating, “he is a great writer of the cold war, of totalitarianism, but since the world trade center fell, the world has vanished. It’s history, we’ve moved on”. This to me says that we aren’t the only ones who feel this way about your works.
For these reasons Mr. Orwell, we will not be publishing your works in next year’s literature books. I hope that you are able to use this as a learning experience and have better luck publishing your wok elsewhere, sincerely , Tom Egan
Throughout British Literature there are numerous stories having to do with superstition. Some of these popular authors include Shakespeare’s epic work Macbeth and Dickens The Signal Man. Each of these authors have used superstition in their works while not having very similar topics, these writers talk about many topics such as ghosts, spirits, and religion. Superstition is a very broad topic. The work dealing with superstition was Phronymos, by E.R. Morrough.
Phronymos is about a British explorer goes to a monastery in Egypt where he meets the man in charge of the monastery, referred to as father by the other monks, who is over 1400 years old named Phronymos. In this story the British explorer talks to the Phronymos and finds out that he has not died because he had devoted his life to Christianity and God has not let him die saying ”thy deeds for the Lord’s sake are regarded. Not hunger, nor thirst, nor heat, nor cold, nor fire, nor poison, nor violence should touch thee. As thou art, so shalt thou be”. This story strikes many suspicions about religion and the power of god in the twentieth century. I think this story gets us to believe in superstition mainly curses. A living for such a long time may seem desirable to some people but to Phronymos it was a curse and no matter how much he prayed for god to end his life he just would not die. Also, this story brings up the superstitious issue of supernatural events and how we are unable explain the reason for such events. This is shown when the explorer says, ”For only God knows why this man has lived thousands of years avoiding death”.
These superstitions tell us that the British people of the twentieth century very skeptical and did not know why some people lived for longer periods of time than normal. It also shows me that the British at this time said that events they themselves could not explain were Gods doing for reasons unknown to anyone. British people at that time seem to be very faithful in God because they believe that if you devote your life to God you will live forever. To me this shows a very strong belief in God and that most British people at this time were confident in their faith.
This work has not been taken seriously most likely because the story is not very believable because it seems like nobody would ever stumble upon a church in the middle of a desert that happens to have a 1400 year old man living their. To most people the whole idea of actually meeting a person who is that old is impossible. Despite these opinions this story may have some truth or a truthful message in it by saying that if you devote your life to a religion you will have eternal life. Although you have eternal life it may not be as great as you think it would be. It is portrayed in this story as a life of suffering and misery, showing that following God may not always be great or happy times. This story may be showing that if you obey god he will grant you eternal life that may not occur here on earth but in heaven.
The British explorer, Louis Jackson, has recorded data into a journal saying that he met a man named E.R Morrough in Niger. Although this does not give us much information about E.R Morrough, it does prove that he had been exploring Africa traveling from place to place telling me that he may have came up with this idea for a story on his travels. Overall, Morrough is not extremely well known but does use superstitious ideas combined with his African travels to make this story.
Many people become interested in certain cultures by first hearing the language being spoken. Language is one very important part of all cultures. Most of us as young kids become interested with foreign languages such as Chinese because we think it sounds funny to us. As we age we realize that it is not weird or funny, but a common language. Despite this, just hearing the language being spoken was what first caught our attention causing us to possibly study that culture later in life without language, the world would seem as if it as under one nations control forcing everyone to speak one language. Today the most dominant language seems to be English. Although it may not be the most popular it is taught and used all throughout the world. English seems to be a force taking over the world, making everyone speak one language. There are so many words in the English language that many of them aren't event used in other languages showing how they are truly useless to the world. One of these words is “bodacious.”
The word “bodacious” was originated in the United States, and made its first appearance in literature in the year 1845, in its original spelling “bowdacious.” “Bodacious” has a variety of meanings in the “American Heritage Dictionary” it is shown as an adjective to mean “remarkable; prodigious and audacious; gutsy.” As an adverb it mean completely; extremely and audaciously; boldly. “Bodacious” is in the On-line Medical Dictionary meaning distinguishable, extremely large. Another dictionary is Webster's Dictionary shows “bodacious' meaning uncontrollable, daring.
The “Oxford English Dictionary” shows the word “bodacious” as being originated in the United States dialect. It is shown as meaning complete through and arrant as an adjective. The “Oxford English dictionary” also has “bodacious' as being slang which means excellent, fabulous, great. Another definition from the “Oxford English Dictionary” has “bodacious” again being used as slang to mean sexually attractive.
It seems to me that “bodacious” is not a commonly used word today. I asked a few of my classmates what they thought “bodacious” meant and I received a variety of answers when I asked my parents my mother said “it means extremely large or huge, kind of fat” and my father said “it means very noticeable, something that would stand out”. While at school I asked a few of my fellow classmates what they thought “bodacious” meant. Paul Corcoran responded by saying “ uuuuuugh I don't know fat, maybe?” The three other kids sitting at that table, Brendan Guinanne, Anthony Fuergeson, and Mike Dermody all said “ yeah, fat that's I say too”. Another person I asked was O, he gave me the most straight forward answer saying” oh yeah, straight up it means a woman with a large chest, you know what I mean?”These examples here are enough to show you that words such as “bodacious” where people have so many different definitions of the word are useless to the English language and the entire world.
Although the word “bodacious” is not the most common or popular word, it has been used many times in literature. The first time “bodacious” was printed was in 1845, by W.T. Thompson in the Pineville Chronicle in the sentence “She's so bowdacious unreasonable when she's raised.” The second time “bodacious” was printed was in 1887, by 'C.E. Craddock' in Keedon Bluff's in the line “Air ye turned a bodacious idjit, Skimp?” the third time “bodacious” was recorded in print was in 1941, in Time, the magazine in the line “The “bodacious” blurt did him no good with his brother Navy men.” Despite the short history of “bodacious” seems to be a word alongside many other English words that seems to be unimportant and used very often. “Bodacious” is used mostly in magazines, newspapers and some songs. These works include one from was written by C. Whelton in CB Baby in the line “A couple of days and you'll be doing a bodacious job again, for sure.” “Bodacious” is even used as slang by some people, for example, its used by the Farmington Daily Times in 1979 in the line “Thank goodness fer them bodacious child-proof caps.” A different and more popular usage of “bodacious” was by the artist Nelly in his song hot in herrre in the line “good gracious a** is bodacious.” Some new uses of the word “bodacious” are also found in literature. Today “bodacious is being used in a variety of ways. People all over the world are coming up with new uses for the word in speech and literature. For example, John Golden of the Watertown Daily Times uses bodacious to mean a type of corn saying “The last ear Bill sold was a type called bodacious.” Another new usage of “bodacious” is by Deborah Solomon in the New York Times as an adjective describing a rule-breaking artist in the title of her article “Mr. Bodacious.” This just goes to show how words like “bodacious” have no real meaning, but are used to just sound good.
The world today does not need any more pointless words such as “bodacious” to clutter up peoples minds. Words like “bodacious” just go to show how one language may be so powerful that they have many pointless words that there is not many people who know all of the words in the language. I feel that bilingualism should be encouraged throughout homes in order to keep the world diverse. Words like “bodacious” are an example words people do not need to use, and would be better off not spoken by anyone.
1. C.E. Craddock, Keedon Bluff's 1887: 153.
2. Conneely, Mike. Personal interview April 25, 2005.
3. Corcoran, Paul. Personal interview April 25, 2005.
4. Dermody, Mike. Personal interview April 25, 2005.
5. Dimanche, Orphanson. Personal interview April 25, 2005.
6. Egan, Thomas Jr. Personal interview April 23, 2005.
7. Egan, Thomas Sr. Personal interview April 23, 2005.
8. Farmington Daily Times 28 May: 1979.
9. Golden, John. Watertown Daily Times, 21 September: 1999.
10. Guinaine, Brendan. Personal interview April 25, 2005.
11. Lopes, Cedric. Personal interview April 25, 2005.
12. McGonegal, Joe. Personal interview May 10, 2005.
13. O'Malley, Marjorie. Personal interview April 23, 2005.
14. “On-line Medical Dictionary.” Fri March 28, 2005, http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/omd/
15. Oxford American Dictionary. New York City: Avon Books inc., 1980 W.T. Thompson.
16. Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
17. Peters, Nick. Personal interview April 25, 2005.
18. Pineville Chronicle 18 June: 178
18. Solomon, Deborah. “Mr. Bodacious.” New York Times, 2 June: 2001
19. Time 1941 23 February: 45
20. Webster's New World Compact and Office Dictionary. New York City: A Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company, 1995.
21. Whelton, C. CB Baby 5 January: 1976