English 10: Writing Portfolio

Essay the first: Origins  
Essay the second: Literature  
  In this essay, you will read about my cousins who went to a funeral, this past June. They set out to a family friend’s funeral, but they mistakenly went on the wrong day. This story shows us how laughter can be enjoyed from the funny stories about everyday life and death.

This is a funny story because my cousins who went to a funeral for a family friend on the wrong day, are in the funeral business. My uncle is an undertaker who owns four funeral homes. He came home from work and told my cousins that he read in the paper that the wake of a family friend was that day. They tried to tell him that the wake was the next day, but he said that he saw in the news paper that it was that day. So on the hottest day in June. they went to a wake. They waited in a long line. They did not see anybody that they knew. Finally, when they got to the casket and one of my cousins kneeled down with my uncle, they looked at each other and realized it was not their friend in the casket. So they quietly left and grabbed the rest of their family and went straight for the car.

This story shows me that any family can make mistakes. It tells me even if you do own four funeral homes you can still make a mistake about a wake. That story tells me how embarrassing it must have been for my family, and how lucky they were that they did not see anyone they knew. This story tells you even if you go to many wakes you have to read the fine print in the news paper.

In conclusion you now know how my cousins made complete fools of themselves. If you did not already know, everybody can make a mistake.

















Dear, John Gardner

I have some unpleasant news to report to you. After reviewing your stories, I have decided that your work just doesn’t make the cut. I have come to a decision to not invite you back. I think your work is boring and hard to follow. I could barely stay awake as I was reading you book Grendel.

I think that a good textbook should be interesting, and make you feel that you just want to read more and more of it. I feel that your work is boring. (Chap 1 pg 1) “An ogre named Grendel lives in the nearby moors and takes exception to his neighbors’ excessive happiness.” I can barely keep my eyes open. I am always easily distracted while reading your books. We want our students to be enthused about reading books. We also want them to learn something about reading their books. This book has "no educational value.” Why would I want a bunch of students reading your books when they can barely keep their own eyes open themselves sometimes? Why would I want them to be reading a book were you can get easily distracted while reading books? Ken Donelson from English Journal says the book is "Too violent and graphic." “He has destroyed a tribe of giants, defeated sea monsters in night fight, and returned from battle covered with the blood of his enemies.” I thought some of your books were awful.

 The second reason is because your books do not teach us anything. It’s pointless for students to be reading one of your novels. Kids have enough trouble staying focused. Never mind reading one of your far-fetched books. A school board president said ten years ago, "We have a duty to the community and we must guard against the use of garbage being passed off as literature." I think he had you in mind.

In conclusion I am sorry to report this news to you. I hope this helps you to start writing stories that are interesting. Good luck.

Sincerely, Paul Troy




















The author that I found was L. Ker. This author wrote a poem called the Death of the Gods. This poem uses superstition in it. The author talks about Gods and their powers.

The poem discusses the wars they arte fighting within their different worlds. (“From the combat victorious returned”), (“To finish the battle I gave the command”). Then the poem goes on to describe their deaths, (“they are dead they are all gone”). A verse from the poem even mentions superstition. “For, fool superstition, their charms are all broken. I believe this author’s superstition is brought in from a religious standpoint.

In today’s British literature books we read about many author’s that use superstition in their works. For one example my author L. Ker uses superstition as we already know, but this other even mentions pieces of England in its work. “Sweet ladies of England, go, conquer without any charms but your own you will always be conquerors, conquest is sure. There are other examples as well we read about some of them in class. For instance William Shakespeare he wrote with Superstition in his work Macbeth. This story was written with witches who could tell the future. Lady Macbeth thought she could still see blood on her hands, and she thought she smelt it on her hands.

In my opinion I think that there really are some things to be superstitious about, but not everything. Some things I don’t think are true. I believe in some myths and some curses. Let me tell you most people who were around these past 86 years like my uncle and grandfather probably believed in curses, because they had to live through it. My uncle was the only one out of the two of them to see two World Series, but that probably makes it easier to believe in curses.

In conclusion there is things that really can be thought of as superstition in the world. An unknown author on Jstor in an article wrote that, some argue that superstition, springs from religious feelings that are misdirected or enlightened, which sometimes leads to rigor in religious opinions or practices, and in other cases to belief in extraordinary events or in charms, omens, and prognostics.


































In this essay, I am examining the use and the meaning of the word: “little”. Today in the use English of the language, many words maybe used differently than they used to be. Many words are used in different ways. Slang words are used everyday. Many words in dictionaries have more than one definition. For instance, my word, “little” has 4 different uses for it in the Old English Dictionary. This word is commonly used, today, to describe the size of something.

To help understand how the word “little” is understood today, I asked ten people for their definitions. My dad Paul Troy said that he thought the word meant small, or a few. My mom Kathy Troy said that it meant small. I said something that is small, or young. My sister Kaitlin Troy who works for a financial company said it meant a small amount. My sister Meghan Troy who is facing final college exams said it meant a short amount of time. Winnie Troy- Grandmother said it meant less important, my aunt Mary Troy said that is meant smaller value. Cousin- Kerri Connolly said it meant something small, cousin Colleen Connolly said it meant short. My friend Jack Doherty said that it meant the opposite of big. Mr. McGonegal said that it meant something cute like twins.

Three dictionaries definitions: Merriam Webster Dictionary-small in size of extent. The American Heritage Lowest in importance or rank. WordNet limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent. So this means that there are various ways to understand and use the word “little”. The Merriam Webster Dictionary seemed to have the best definition for the word little because that is how almost everyone else I asked for this essay defined it, which was small in size. Nobody used the definition as less important.

On www.oed.com the word “little” is defined as a noun and adjective. The word is defined as something that is less in size, as an adjective or the opposite of great of much and small in size, not large or big. As a noun, it is defined as to characterize the smaller or less important of two countries or places of the same name. The OED seemed to agree with the Merriam Webster Dictionary. The OED, the Merriam Webster Dictionary, and the ten people I spoke with seem to disagreed with the definitions found in The American Heritage, and WordNet.

 The recovered word “little” use in the English language was in c1000 by a man named Gram. It again appeared in a1225 document by Leg. Kath. She spelled the word like this “lutle”. In 1300 a writer named Cursor spelled it as litle. It was not until 1596 a that Shakespeare spelled it the way it is still spelt today, “little”. On the web site Ebsco, there were many descriptions of the use of the word little. The first one being British Heritage; Jul2005: “Marshall, a Scotsman, had landed at Ellis Island in 1927 at age 25 with little in his pockets.” Another author of a magazine Paul Stillwell, of the magazine Naval History; Jun2005, The article reports that in spring 1975, little more than two years after North Vietnam released its prisoners of war, the small remaining U.S. presence in South Vietnam came crashing down. The administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon was forced to play defense against increasingly serious charges of corruption, and little attention was left for bolstering Vietnamese allies.

In this following assignment we were to pick just one word out of the 100’s of thousands of words out there in the English language. To try to figure out if our language is multi lingual of if it is an official language. My essay about the word “little.” Reveals that people have different definitions of this word, and different understandings of its use. I believe that this reflects a flexibility of our language.










































Apoligies to Wordsworth

My trip to Bermuda was nice and warm. The boat rocked back and forth the wind blew strong. In Bermuda it was very hot and sunny. The people were very nice and generous. There was an assortment of different plants. Animals walked all over the island. The beaches were very nice and colorful. The water was clear as crystal and shinny. Fish swam all over and around the coral reefs. While others snorkeled around the coral. The villagers were always jumping off. With enjoying things to do at night.