English 11 AP
Summer Assignment - Essay Questions
Politics and the English Language
1. Orwell’s main point is that people use a few certain words way too much, and that people need to expand their vocabularies.
2. Orwell analyzes historical prose. The modern equivalents would be found in politics of today, such as quotations and speeches from political leaders.
3. In paragraph 14, Orwell is covered by his rule vi. He may have used the passive instead of the active, but what he said was intellectual and still well without the active.
4. In modern speeches today, like the speeches of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, mostly what Orwell says about repetitive words is true for both. Most politicians deliver the same, repetitive message, and this is no different for Obama and Clinton. They use a lot of the same words in their individual speeches, which is what Orwell says about people using the same words too often.
Russell Baker: American Fat
1. There are two examples of “lard” in Baker’s first paragraph. In the sentence “…and gasps for breath as it comes lumbering down upon some poor threadbare sentence like a sack of iron on a swayback horse.” The examples of lard in this sentence are lumbering and threadbare.
2. The ratio of long sentences to short sentences is 12 to 25. I feel that Baker does this to make his work seem choppy, to move from one topic to the next. If you were to read his work out loud, the short sentences are said quickly, while the long sentences may take more than one breath.
3. The main thing that accounts for our overdone, fancy language is educated. Education became more accessible and people have learned more and have become more intelligent. Therefore, language has improved and become more elaborate.
4. Both Baker and Orwell cover the ground of people using unnecessary amounts of words, and extreme language. While Orwell just covers words that people use a lot, Baker covers the whole idea of using fancy, elaborate words.
Coming to an Awareness of Language
Writing to Discover
My parents, and all of my teachers throughout the years have told me that it is important to have a good vocabulary. When this was told to me, I felt that it meant I should try to learn as many new words as possible, because broadening my horizons in the area of vocabulary would greatly benefit me later on. I feel that people believe vocabulary is important because there is no way to relate to different groups of people or clearly make a point without having a good range of words to choose from. I would say that I have a pretty good vocabulary, I feel that I know how to use a large array of words.
Focusing on Language
1. Slang is useful and appropriate in a few different situations. If someone is trying to get through a group of teenagers, using standard English is not the best route to go. Some teens will see that as being talked down to, and if there is a situation where someone is trying to relate to them, doing that will not be effective. If an adult is talking to a group of their peers, using standard English is far more appropriate than using slang. Slang is thought to be a street language and less intelligent than standard English.
2. An effective vocabulary, to me, is being able to use words correctly and know what they mean, while still being able to convey whatever message it is that you are trying to, or being able to uphold a conversation. I feel that Malcolm X’s vocabulary was very fitting to what he was trying to say, and I also feel that his vocabulary was intelligent, in most aspects, and not slang at all.
3. The freedom Malcolm X describes in the last sentence is freedom of education. Being able to read and comprehend what he was reading was the freedom he spoke of. It meant that he was able to write and read as he wanted, without the inability of doing so holding him back.
Making the Language-Writing Connection
1. The copying from the dictionary that Malcolm X did was anything but busy work. He had a desire to learn, and he was able to fulfill this desire through copying the definitions of tons of words. When I write something instead of read or talk about it, I experience different things. When I write about a topic, I am able to fully express my opinion on this topic on paper, without being challenged by people I may be talking to, or without having to read the opinions of others who I may not agree with.
2. The difference Malcolm X mentions is that being functional means you are barely able to understand and convey a message, but being articulate means you can describe said message with intelligence and ease. It is not acceptable to write exactly how we speak for when we speak, we do not speak in proper English. When we speak, we speak in slang, and slang is not acceptable for writing formal documents.
3. The first person is appropriate in this narrative because the reader gets the full effect of what he went through. The reader is able to understand that it is a personal topic, and that Malcolm X is speaking directly about his own experience. If he had written this in the third person, the reader would not be able to fully understand just how personal this experience was. The reader would not be able to understand that Malcolm X himself went through these experiences, and is now sharing them with others.
There were a number of amendments ratified in the 20th century. Three of these ratified amendments are the 18th, 19th, and 26th.
The 18th amendment, the banning of alcohol, was ratified on January 16th, 1919. This amendment was passed to prevent the affects of alcohol. The events in society that caused this amendment to be considered were the things that happened in saloons, like gambling, prostitution, and public drunkenness. Above any of these, though, was the so-called “Women’s War” which took place in 1873. Slowly but surely the movement grew into that of a more organized one, called the Anti-Saloon League, which was established in 1893. The goal of this group was national prohibition. It set up an office in Washington and even established its own publishing house in Ohio. The Anti-Saloon League polled people on their stand on the prohibition issue, and endorsed people who were for it. In the 1915 election, candidates sponsored but the Anti-Saloon League won the elections for Congress. On December 18, 1917, the 18th amendment was passed. It was adopted by the states fairly quickly, and was ratified in just over a year.
The 19th amendment, women’s suffrage, was ratified on August 18th, 1920. This amendment was passed because women were a very important asset to the developing country. The Constitution itself never made a direct mention of not allowing women the right to vote, but the idea was strongly implied by society, which was ruled by all males. The 14th amendment did not help in this area, because it only gave the suffrage right to men. In 1848 groups were formed to help further establish how to allow women’s suffrage, but the country was not yet ready to accept it. The groups, called suffragists, were donned immoral. Susan B. Anthony, an important leader in the fight for women’s rights used the 15th amendment as leverage to vote in a New York state election. Even though she was fined for doing so, it helped secure the eventual guarantee of women’s rights. In 1918, around half of the states had allowed at least partial voting rights to women. The role of females in the war effort and the temperance movement also helped to further assure women’s suffrage. Finally, on June 4th, 1919, the amendment was passed, and ratified a little over a year later.
The 26th amendment, the lowering of the voting age to 18, was ratified on July 1st, 1971. This amendment was passed because of the draft. The draft demanded that any male over the age of 18 join the armed services. People argued that if men were expected to join the armed services and fight, and possibly die for their country, they should be allowed to vote. While the 14th amendment guaranteed men the right to vote, it was understood that this applied to men solely over the age of 21. In 1970, Congress tried to rectify this wrong, and pass an addition to the 1965 Voting Right Act. However, Oregon objected and in a very divided Supreme Court, it was ruled that Congress had the right to establish a specific voting age for national elections, but not for state and local elections. This was decided on December 1st, 1970. In a few short months, Congress presented the text of the 26th amendment, which was passed, that specifically set a national voting age of 18, which was effective in both national and state elections. It was passed on March 23rd, 1971, and in just 100 days, on July 1st, 1971, it was ratified.
These amendments were some of the very many ratified in the 20th century.
Mount, Steve. "Notes on the Amendments." U.S. Constitution Online. 20 Aug 2008. 27Aug 2008 <http://www.usconstitution.net/constamnotes.html>.
US History II Pre-AP
Summer Assignment - Amendments Essay