It seems a Chrono13 Dancing Mad post haven’t been posted by me for a long time.
Why the italics? It’s simply because I’m trying to avoid taking responsibilities for my statement, I use the passive voice. The passive voice is a magic box that sucks away your dirty tracks on whatever that happened. Mistakes were made. It has been brought to light that a serious disaster has struck the community of Los Desperados due to failure of the municipal government to conduct periodical spot checks on slope stability. They just couldn’t afford to say, “The city council didn’t check the slopes regularly, so a landslide occurred.”
Due to English education in Malaysia gives more emphasis to English communication than grammar. For example, we are more often taught how to use English when we buy things, take the bus, and etc. My faintest recollection of learning grammar is a/an, who/what/where/which/when/how, and a smattering of past, present and future tense. I vaguely recall hearing weird terms of ‘past present’, ‘present continuous’ and all other sorts of combinations. In the UPSR up to SPM I’ve always relied on intuition, on whether my sentences ‘sounds’ right or not. Usually it doesn’t fail me due to my voracious reading which builds up my autocorrect system, but in exams such as the SAT the level simply doesn’t match up. That’s why I’m here today, reading on the ancient art of English grammar.
Writing is also an art. This book of mine quoted Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as a fine piece of writing. The author broke down and analyses each and every sentence in the speech, then predicts the meaning and psychological effect of some creatively structured sentences on the tired soldiers. Actually, I don’t even know where Gettysburg is, but I heard that they (Lincoln’s side – the Union) eventually won the war.
If I have the courage I might post some of my SAT essays up here. SAT test takers, English professors and most importantly SAT readers are welcome to
chop them the essays into a million pieces, then chew them until the juice run dry and dish out the comment.
Well then, good luck for the SAT!