Friday, December 25, 2015

Redux 5: Remembrances of 10 Christmases Past

December 26, 2015

Dear Fellow Communicator,

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year!

In the spirit of the Christmas Season, and particularly for the benefit of members of Jose Carillo’s English Forum who joined us only after December 2014, I am reposting this special Christmas feature that first appeared in the Forum five years ago. In this retrospective, 10 Forum members from various parts of the world recall their most memorable Christmas experiences or share their most intimate thoughts about Christmas. Whether celebratory, affirming, or contrarian, their thoughts remain timely and timeless as ever—a veritable springboard for our own reflections about Christendom’s holiest of seasons.

THIS MONTH IN THE FORUM (December 2015):
·       My Thoughts Exactly: Redux 5: Remembrances of 10 Christmases Past (Forum members from various parts of the world reflect on Christendom’s holiest of seasons)
·       Readings on Language: Contemporary Discourse in English Gets Plagued with “Verbal Eczema” (British novelist bewails the rise of subtly insulting and patronizing English expressions)
·       Media English Watch: Frenzied Arrival Reporting for the APEC Dignitaries (News reporters wrack their brains for alternatives to the verb “arrive,” to no avail)
·       Badly Written, Badly Spoken: What Does a Sentence Need to Take the Perfect Tense  (A later event or point in time to show the completion of a prior action or event)
·       News and Commentary: French Expected To Be World’s Most Spoken Language By 2050  (This will be due to sub-Saharan Africa’s burgeoning francophone populations)
·       Use and Misuse: Can “People” and “Persons” Be Used Interchangeably? (Yes, but for the singular form, using “person” is the better, more flexible option)
·       You Asked Me This Question: “Deployment” is Lingua Franca For Sending of OFWs Abroad (This military term is now generic for spreading out people for a deliberate purpose)
·       The Finest in Language Humor: Christmas Q&A for English Buffs (Sampler – “Q: What do you call Santa’s helpers? A: Subordinate clauses.”)
·       Getting to Know English: The Perplexing Workings of the Double Possessive (The evident superfluity of this default usage does seem like grammatical overkill)
·       Time Out from English Grammar: Focusing on Three Things at Once is Courting Information Overload (When a point called “decision fatigue” is reached, it’s difficult to think straight)
·       Advice & Dissent: Two Free-Thinking Advocates Discuss God, Sundry Subjects (Now you can read online the 2011 interview that became a sensation when it first came out in print)
·       Advocacies: William Zinsser on Writing: “Short is Better Than Long. Simple is Good.” (Beloved advocate of clarity and brevity in English prose writes 30)
·       How Good is Your English?: Debatable Answer Choices in English Practice Test (They can confuse when too arithmetical, too arbitrary, and too culture-bound!)

See you at the Forum!

Sincerely yours,
Joe Carillo

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