LANGUAGE

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Bienvenue aux Français! Amusez-vous bien ici! Beaucoup d'idées pour organiser vos essais et vos discours. Appuyez sur le bouton ci-dessus Select Language (Sélectionnez la langue) pour traduire l'intégralité du blog en français.

Monday, September 30, 2019

TEMPLATE for WRITING IN ANY LANGUAGE

This is intended for experts who are getting - dare I? - stale, it is intended for those who find writing - anything - difficult and for busy people who want some fresh ideas for their blogpost, comment, local newsletter…It also works for schools, essays, writing for examinations and debating.

How do you start?
There is the computer staring at you waiting for your input.
So how do you start? How do you feed the hungry screen?

Most people use their favourite couple of arguments all the time. And they have their favourite ways of starting off too. And we don't realise we are doing it.

Change into something fresh for a change!

Here are some different approaches. Why not try a different one for once? Take your pick - then click!



OK.


Done that?


NB: This template is completely useless unless you have the links and some more explanation!
To provide these (free) I have designed a special website, with examples of how to use the resource.

All free to you – a fellow teacher. Go for it!



Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ad hominem

If you would like some more information on what it means, please click here.

It works!
Boris Johnson stands almost alone in his statement that we will leave the EU on 31st October this year. “Or I will die in a ditch.”

The complacent people who are very nicely off, thank you very much, are attacking him personally now.

It has all gone bad when arguments fail and personal attacks are used instead.

Dredging through his (rather successful and charming) tenure as Mayor of London, they have come up with a couple of kiss-and-tell stories. He put his hand right up my thigh and pinched it! When I mentioned this to the other lady sitting on his other side, she said he had done the same to her! And then there is the scandal of the Mayor paying money to a women who needed it to run her business. Was he in cahoots with her? And to what extent?
If you are the kind of person who likes dredging, the best place to look is here.

Meanwhile Philip Hammond points out the old Legatum theory. There is a club of business people, including Boris himself naturally, and several other people who stand to make a lot of money by short selling, by inflation and by disaster capitalism. They are pressurising him to cut short the negotiations and to do a cliff edge Brexit so that they can capitalise on the disaster. They all belong to a secret society called Legatum. (Note the date of the article which mentions the name – not the accusation – 6/18 – over a year ago.)

Spivs is what they used to be called in World War Two otherwise they were called Speculators. Boris, of course, is one of them too.

Ad hominem is a superb way to win when you are up against just one person.

And then there is Dominic Cummings – the Second Comings – to have a go at.


Simples! (God, how I hate that word!)

Friday, September 27, 2019

Middle Management.

This is based on the template which you can find below if you scroll down.

Start with a story.

It is the early 1990s. A young man, recently married, is looking for a job. So far he has had to battle for education because he is not really that clever. But he manages a third class degree from a minor university.
He lands a job during the North Sea oil boom. All night he sits watching the borehole, drilling down into the sea bed searching for black gold. He is actually on the rig as the Atlantic waves beat mercilessly against the steel which support him and the roustabouts in their bunks. He is far from home, bored, perhaps a little apprehensive. Some of his colleagues in Africa are actually in physical danger and, yes, he too will be sent there.

Fast forward to the 2020s. The young man now has two grown up children and he is at the top of his game. He is a Vice President of a major oil company. He lives in the Middle East and the Crown Prince calls him by his christian name. He attends dinners with the very top executives. He wears a suit and has expensive entertainment – F1, Mighty Trucks, Santana, Spurs. His children are both at University now after Roedean and Sherbourne.
There is a lot to lose. And he will fight to keep it. If anyone has earned it, believe me, he has.

Contrasts 1.(Found under Paragraphs in the Template)
Now take any MP. 

Diane Abbott is perhaps a good example. She is (rightly) proud of the fact that she was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She went to the local school and came from a family which was certainly not rich. She was also black skinned in a time when this was not so accepted as it is perhaps today.
By sheer hard work and steely determination, Diane worked her way through school and arrived at Cambridge where she says she felt isolated as a working class, black girl. But she survived.
Now she has the fruits of her early battles. Her children have been to public school. She is paid a good salary. She is a household name. Like the oil man, she mixes with celebrities daily and people think it is a privilege when she attends one of their events.

Contrasts 2.

The problem is that for many MPs - not just Diane Abbott – their public image contrasts sharply with their hard won reality.
The Labour Party, for example, is determined to abolish all independent schools. The Labour party says it stands for equality and for the working man. It is authentic, in that it sometimes uses foul language, is aggressive, angry, and down to earth. It stands up for the poor, the oppressed, the vulnerable, people who cannot cope, people who are kept under by the rich, the greedy, the arrogant.
Not the same as the reality at all. In no way. 

Contrasts 3.
Roll back in history to the year 1789. 
France had just won a spectacular war – the American War of Independence. The King was safe in his vast palace at Versailles and he was the heir to a long line of very successful and powerful monarchs. He stood at the very peak of European power politics. Round him, the aristocracy was cowed, rich, clad in silk and diamonds and, having fun. They had their own manners, their own snobbery.
It was as safe as Diane Abbott, as safe as the oil man.
Within ten years, the whole lot had been swept away when the people of France rebelled. 
Today the screaming parliament, the terrified MPs, the violent language of today, reflects the insecurity of middle management all over the world. They have a lot to lose.



Thursday, September 26, 2019

What do the audience want from you? Meet their need.


A couple of days ago, the Remainers threw our country into turmoil when the Supreme Court gave a judgement that the Prime Minister had given misleading advice to Her Majesty the Queen when he advised her to prorogue parliament. I think we need to consider what has happened.

The blame game.

Gina Miller is the person who brought this case to the Supreme Court.
Who is she? The daughter of an Attorney General in Guyana, Gina was well educated (Roedean) and studied at law school (London University) before dropping out. Since then, her career is rather obscure. Here is Wikipedia:
She owned a property photographic laboratory in 1987, before becoming a marketing and event manager at BMW Fleet Division in 1990. She started a specialist financial services marketing agency in 1992, and launched the Senate investment conference programme in 1996. She became a marketing consultant in 2006. In February 2009, Miller co-founded the investment firm SCM Private (now SCM Direct) with her husband Alan Miller. 
So how did she raise all that money for a case like this? Was it George Soros? In which case, it is interesting that he can again almost bring down the government. Gina herself insists that the lawyers were working pro bono publico (aka free) and that she will not discuss where the funding came from except to say that it was "crowd funded".

I am wondering what part the EU had in all this. They certainly brought about the crash of Greece under Janis Varoufakis, as he fully explains in his book Adults in the Room, working secretly and insidiously behind the scenes. Italy, too had Sgnr Berlusconi deposed and replaced by a very pro-EU personage.

Is Gina Miller just a tool of the EU? Who knows?


Peroration

This is the country which, just a century ago, ran the world. This is the parliament that just a century ago was still one of the few places where democracy was still cutting edge as the rest of the world turned to various dictatorships.
Now, humbled by a very suspiciously funded court case, we face total chaos as we move inexorably towards what the people in the London Bubble have always wanted: normal service to be resumed as soon as possible.
It stinks.

(I wrote this using my Template which is below in red! You can do the same when you write.)


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

How to reform the Supreme Court.

Written by our correspondent Jo Snootleigh-Toade.




Yesterday the Supreme Court made a unanimous ruling that the proroguing of Parliament was illegal. The Sovereign had prorogued the Parliament herself on the advice of the Prime Minister. So the Supreme Court has set itself above the Queen. She, they ruled, had acted illegally on the misinformation provided by her own Prime Minister.

Interesting times...

So who are these people who are more important than Her Majesty?

For a start there is a severe gender imbalance. Although Lady Hale, their President, is female, only Lady Black and Lady Arden are not old men.
Perhaps more important, they are all proud of their Oxbridge heritage. Lady Hale boasts of having been at Girton. The three exceptions are Lord Kerr, who is from Belfast; Lord Hodge, who is is from Scotland, and Lady Black, who went to Durham and Leeds. The rest are all from (strongly Remaining) Cambridge and Oxford. They are, finally, all white, and elderly.

If the Supreme Court wishes to start making political decisions, then perhaps it might be better made up if it were more diverse?

After the coming Labour victory in the polls, thanks to postal votes and the split between the Brexit party and the Conservatives, perhaps we might like to consider replacing the president of the Supreme Court with Sir Keir Starmer, a man whose impeccable political record speaks for itself. From a legal background, Sir Keir has a wide ranging experience of life outside the Courts of Law which is, sadly, not the case with the current incumbents.

Emily Thornberry, too, would make an excellent President with her wit and her legal background.

Diane Abbott was one of the first black women from a state school to enter Cambridge (Newnham 1973-76) and she was also the first black woman to become a parliamentary candidate. She has had a wide experience of race relations and initiating legislation and therefore understands the thinking behind law making. She would add greatly to the diversity of the Supreme Court.

At the moment, the House of Lords is over full. It has, frankly, become a retirement centre for politicians. What is so badly needed is a place where people of talent can be rewarded - and that is exactly why the membership of the Supreme Court should be increased from 12 to, say 25 people – roughly the size of the current Cabinet. It should be seen as a pool of talent rather than a lifelong privilege for an advantaged few. It is a good time to consider some rank outsiders for a change. Richard Ayoade or even Christopher Biggins could be appointed to a larger Supreme Court and perhaps lighten it up a bit.

In a democracy, the extraordinary is elitist - and elites, as de Tocqueville noted in his study of America, do not sit well in democratic societies. So perhaps it is time to to reform the pale, male and stale Supreme Court and to inject a blood transfusion of younger, more diverse and representative judges. A small exclusive club of old, white, men from elitist Universities is no way to run a country.


Disclaimer:The views expressed by Jo Snootleigh-Toade are not necessarily those of the host of this website.



Sunday, September 22, 2019



Humpty Dumpty


In the 1960s, I worked in the newly independent country of Sierra Leone, West Africa. It had a functioning parliament, a decent opposition and Siaka Stevens as the elected President. Although I lived in the most lawless part of the country, Kidu - the place where illicit diamond mining was rife, I could walk unarmed into town, buy stuff and come back safely. I taught in a Secondary School which was teaching boys and a few girls straight out of the local villages and sending them to University.

It worked.

And then it didn't. And the “didn't” took about five years.

The Headmaster of the local Catholic school, himself an ordained priest, showed me his gun. When a thief broke into his school dormitories, the boys left him for dead outside the school. We, too, were broken into. Coolly and calmly our front door was lifted off its hinges and, while I chased one of the perpetrators round the compound with my machete, they entered our house where my wife and two young children were cowering under the bed clutching the precious record player.

We left just before society completely broke down and the West Side Boys took over with their drugs, their violence and their fun.

From this I learned how very thin the crust of civilization can be.
Looking back, how many Russians would have believed in, say, 1904 that tiny Japan would defeat the mighty Russian Empire? Or that after the disaster of the first World War, the Ukraine – the bread basket of Russia – would actually be forced into starvation?

How many Germans, looking back, would have believed, in prosperous 1912, that in just a couple of years, their beloved Kaiser would flee to Holland and that their rich, hard working and disciplined country would commit the most atrocious acts in the whole of human history?

Even twenty years ago, I would never have believed that our British Chancellor, Sajid Javid, would be a Muslim. Or that the majority of Londoners would be either of African heritage, or Muslims or immigrants of some sort or other. Or that the immigrants themselves would produce new problems – massive knife crime based on the already fashionable drug trade, human trafficking (aka modern slavery) or that I would see Russians urinating in the streets of my country town, Wisbech?

The crust of our civilization is certainly wearing thin. Brexit hasn't helped. Language is getting coarser and more abusive. There are death threats. There are Twitter storms. People are taking sides.

Once the crust is broken, is is like Humpty Dumpty, impossible to reconstruct.


I wrote this using the template which you can find underneath if you scroll down.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Я, ви, українці, хочете написати щось українською у коментарях, будь ласка! У мене є переклад Google.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Anyone for an Essay?: Climate extinction rebellionLet me admit here and ...

Anyone for an Essay?: Climate extinction rebellion

Climate extinction rebellion

Let me admit here and now: I have absolutely no idea how serious the threat of global extinction through man made climate change really is. I do not have any ideas either.
But there are an awful lot of people who do know the answer.


Yup, there it is. Use the kids to spread the vital message. You know it makes sense. They are, after all, the future. Read the whole article here. 
Here are some of the ways the Union has decided you can disrupt the school for such an important issue.
  • In Doncaster the council have asked schools to set off fire alarms to illustrate the climate emergency. 
  • Get the whole school to take action for 30 minutes by demonstrating in the playground.

  • Drop the curriculum for the day or part of it and teach environmental and ecological issues.

  • Take an assembly on the climate emergency.

  • Encourage meetings of student eco-committees. 

  • Organise a live link with protests taking place in city centres.

  • Organise your own protest in the playground or at the school gates.  

  • Send a delegation to the climate change protests.

  • Hold inset days with focus on climate and an opportunity for staff to attend protests.

So who are the people making these demands?
The National Education Union is the largest education union in Europe, supporting and representing more than 450,000 members, including the majority of teachers. It is the renamed National Union of Teachers and Association of Teachers and Lecturers – two of the biggest Unions in teaching.
So what it says is important if you are a parent, a teacher or indeed just someone trying to get to work along streets where demos are taking place today.

What would the world be like if children, sometimes as young as eight or nine, were encouraged to show their displeasure on the streets whenever a fashionable cause presented itself?

I can remember, at the age of six, huddling under my Mum's bed as the Second World War ended, listening to, of all things, the Nuremburg Trials of prominent Nazis.
One by one the prisoners were pronounced guilty in a very stern voice.
Me? I was praying, “Oh God please don't let him die! Please don't let him die!”
Touching.

I also remember, when eight, rushing into my Aunt Bet and Uncle Frank shouting: “Good news! Mr Bevin has died!” Ernest Bevin was, of course, a Labour politician and we were all Conservatives! So I knew that I was quite right.

And, of course, we all believed, fervently, in the British Empire. Even after Suez.

I am so pleased that there is no record (apart from this article) of any of this on the web. I am so pleased that I was not outside the house shouting it in the street. What will the shouting, placard waving kids on the street today, encouraged by their own teachers, feel about their demonstrations in a few years' time, I wonder?

Real education is teaching children how to handle difficult topics by seeing both sides. Hitler was a non-smoker as well as a seriously bad politician in every sense. Stalin was a good father to Svetlana his daughter and a very down to earth, jolly Russian as well as the man who ordered the deaths by starvation of tens of millions of Ukranians. There is good and bad in everything. 
There are always two sides. Education is seeing the whole picture.
These oh so trendy, oh so clever political teachers are denying their pupils their rights to real education.
The very opposite of their sacred duty of handing on the flame.


(Written using this very blog. If you scroll down you can find the whole template - start, paragraphs,  triumphant finish.)

https://gourmetenglish.blogspot.com/2019/06/how-do-you-start-your-post-comment.html?spref=bl