Teaching someone to handle a Book

In cultures that have had little or no exposure to books, handling a book properly is a skill that must be learned.

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Book Review – A World Too Near

A World too nearBook Two of The Entire and The Rose

by Kay Kenyon

This is the second book in a series that features a brilliant SF setting that rivals Larry Niven’s Ringworld and Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld series for sheer invention, adventure, complexity, and a sense of wonder.

The storyline involves the Quinn family–it is Titus Quinn who breaches the divide between our universe and the Entire. It’s Titus who must go back to try to save his wife and battle his daughter, who found her way to the Entire in book one. In addition to the evolving family dynamic, there are wars going on between rival factions of alien species. Not to mention a continuing exploration of the strangeness that is the Entire.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Above the fortress the sky dimmed to lavender, a time that passed for night in this world. Here every creature knew by their internal clock what time of night or day it was, all but Johanna Quinn, a woman of Earth. Between this universe and the next only a thin wall intervened, a permanent storm that forbade contact between Earth and the Entire. Or so most believed.

Johanna hurried down deserted corridors following the heavy drumbeat of the engine just ahead, a bass thrumming that pounded in her ears and the hollow of her chest. Coming to a divide in the hall she took the left branch, remembering her partial and wholly inadequate map. This hall too was deserted, and she rushed on. She prayed not to be discovered, although she had her alibi, thin as it might be.

Crazy English

The national scramble to learn a new language before the Olympics.
“Conquer English to Make China Stronger!” Li Yang’s cosmology ties the ability to speak English to personal strength, and personal strength to national power. Photograph by Ian Teh.

“Conquer English to Make China Stronger!” Li Yang’s cosmology ties the ability to speak English to personal strength, and personal strength to national power. Photograph by Ian Teh.

Accompanied by his photographer and his personal assistant, Li Yang stepped into a Beijing classroom and shouted, “Hello, everyone!” The students applauded. Li, the founder, head teacher, and editor-in-chief of Li Yang Crazy English, wore a dove-gray turtleneck and a black car coat. His hair was set off by a faint silver streak. It was January, and Day Five of China’s first official English-language intensive-training camp for volunteers to the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Li was making the rounds. The classes were part of a campaign that is more ambitious than anything previous Olympic host cities have attempted. China intends to teach itself as much English as possible by the time the guests arrive, and Li has been brought in by the Beijing Organizing Committee to make that happen. He is China’s Elvis of English, perhaps the world’s only language teacher known to bring students to tears of excitement. He has built an empire out of his country’s deepening devotion to a language it once derided as the tongue of barbarians and capitalists. His philosophy, captured by one of his many slogans, is flamboyantly patriotic: “Conquer English to Make China Stronger!”


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Word Origins … and How We Know Them

Word origins: Etymology for Everyone

by Anatoly Liberman

From the Reviews

 “Word Origins is chock full of intriguing, accessible insights into how our language has evolved, mutated and otherwise morphed over thousands of years.”–Pulse

“The erudite and winsome Liberman explains his work as an etymologist, which includes historical cases to crack and tall tales to debunk.”–Chicago Tribune

“While Anatoly Liberman’s study of the English language covers such interesting topics as sound-imitative words, compounds, coinages, and borrowings, it does so in a way that actually manages to be dense and scholarly and tongue-in-cheek and amusing, all at the same time.”–Library Media Connection

“Those seriously interested in the origins of our language, who actively want to find out more about the way etymologists work, and who along the way don’t mind taking in some sobering guidance on the pitfalls of ferreting out word histories.”–World Wide Words

“As a sideline to his long ongoing work on a new etymological dictionary of English, Liberman enlightens general readers…about the challenges faced by etymologists in tracing word origins and evolved meanins. His explanations cover philosophical musings, historical debates in the field, and words imitating sounds.”–Reference and Research Book News

“It may sound simple, but etymology — the study of word origins — is in fact murky and tedious, if unfailingly fascinating. Liberman’s book is an examination of the process of determining how a word originated, and it shows how complex his craft can be.”–Chicago Tribune

“Millions of people want to know the origin of the words they use. Word columns in daily newspapers and numerous books attempt to satisfy their curiosity. Word histories are usually digested like pills: the user is interested in getting well, not in the chemistry of the prescribed medication.
Those who send letters to the Editor also want a straight answer without bothering about how “editors” come by their knowledge. Therefore, they fail to realize that etymologies are seldom definitive and that the science of etymology is intensely interesting. Perhaps if someone explained to them that, compared to the drama of words, Hamlet is a light farce, they might develop a more informed attitude toward philological research and become students of historical linguistics rather than gullible consumers of journalists’ pap.”–Anatoly Liberman

Word Origins is the only guide to the science and process of etymology for the layperson. This funny, charming, and conversational book not only tells the known origins of hundreds of words, but also shows how their origins were determined. Liberman, an internationally acclaimed etymologist, takes the reader by the hand and explains the many ways that English words can be made, and the many ways in which etymologists try to unearth the origins of words.

Part history, part how-to, and completely entertaining, Word Origins invites readers behind the scenes to watch an etymologist at work.

Lost “Love” rediscovered L’Engle novel arrives

Madeleine L’Engle, who passed away last September, a few months shy of her 89th birthday, published more than 60 books for adults and children, including numerous volumes of memoirs and spiritual writings. However, this spring there will be a new addition to her body of work: Farrar, Straus and Giroux is issuing L’Engle’s previously unpublished young adult novel, The Joys of Love.Originally written in 1942 as a short story entitled “Summer at the Sea” and rewritten as a novel in 1950, The Joys of Love is an old-fashioned coming-of-age/love story. It features an orphaned Smith College graduate, Elizabeth Jerrold, besotted with the theater, who lands an apprenticeship at a summer theater and falls in love with an arrogant young director. L’Engle was always forthcoming about how heavily her fiction drew on her own life, but this early work is perhaps the most directly autobiographical, according to Léna Roy, L’Engle’s granddaughter, who contributed a personal introduction to the book.”Elizabeth was as close to an autobiographical portrait as you could get,” Roy writes in her introduction. “Madeleine had spent two summers doing theatre in Nantucket and the setting for The Joys of Love is also at the ocean. Elizabeth, like Madeleine, went to Smith College and is impossibly well-read. Madeleine’s own father died when she was a teenager, and she describes Elizabeth repressing her grief, just as she had done.”  

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9 Tips To Help You Write More Powerful Emails

By Suzan St Maur

1. Make the effort to learn about the etiquette (these days known as “netiquette”) involved in writing emails. There are loads of good reference websites and books about the internet which will tell you the basics. I know it might seem a bit precious to attach so much importance to social niceties when the internet is basically very informal. However, whether we like it or not many people do take online etiquette very seriously. So if you’re writing emails for business, you should assume that your recipient may well be one of those…

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Prepositions – locators in time and space

[From Guide to Grammar and Writing]

A preposition describes a relationship between other words in a sentence. In itself, a word like “in” or “after” is rather meaningless and hard to define in mere words. For instance, when you do try to define a preposition like “in” or “between” or “on,” you invariably use your hands to show how something is situated in relationship to something else. Prepositions are nearly always combined with other words in structures called prepositional phrases. Prepositional phrases can be made up of a million different words, but they tend to be built the same: a preposition followed by a determiner and an adjective or two, followed by a pronoun or noun (called the object of the preposition). This whole phrase, in turn, takes on a modifying role, acting as an adjective or an adverb, locating something in time and space, modifying a noun, or telling when or where or under what conditions something happened.

Tokyopop Debuts line of Color Graphic Novels

OrangeNext year Tokyopop will launch a line of full-color manga by artists from around the world.
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