Thursday, 30 May 2013

A bit of a disappointment

I got the result for my discourse analysis of the Boundary Mill postcard. 65. Absolutely in line with my average so far and a comfortable Merit level (60-69). But I tried so hard to do better. There is something lacking in my essays which I don't seem able to correct. Maybe the learning advisor can help when I see her in a couple of weeks time. I intend to go to campus for a whole day and also spend some time in the library. Maybe what I am lacking as a distance learner is constant hands-on access to a real-life library and current journals.

But this course is not my whole life. I have a serious retirement to organise and live. And a wardrobe to plan and buy.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Stylistics assessment

The question for the assessment has now been posted. Very straight-forward - a choice of 4 texts for stylistic analysis. I have chosen the flash fiction - a complete short story in 295 words. And I have to write 5,000 words about the language choices and effects. Am I making it difficult for myself? But I don't fancy any of the others and for discourse analysis I wrote 5,000 words about a marketing postcard - I don't have a mark yet.

I listened to an eye witness report on the radio today and the woman speaking made two classic language choices. 'I am standing there watching it happen' - the dramatic present  tense and 'At first I thought it was a car crash' - establishing herself as a trusted narrator whose thought patterns are just the same as everyone else's. I still find it slightly surprising when the theory they teach us can be observed in practice in such a classic way.

Hair cut and styled today and nails sparkly purple. Roll on summer!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Collision and Quince

So we are back home after a short trip to North Yorkshire. If anybody is interested in the details, I have started another blog about our travels:

I have done a bit of work for the course whilst we were away and kept an eye on the university web-site. There is not much activity there and everyone seems very behind with the work.

Not a good morning - we went to a shop which wasn't the usual one, didn't consult the list and forgot the chicken for our meal tonight. So we popped into out local Sainsbury's on the way back and on return to the car found that someone had run into it. She was very apologetic but its only a couple of weeks since it came back from the bodyshop from its last incident. Still, its only a car.

Back home, TSH is counting flowers on the quince to see if its better than last year, whilst I obsess about the washing mound on the kitchen floor.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Woman in Black

It is said that theatre is a collaboration between writer, actors, directors, technicians and audience. I have never seen as good an example of audience influencing an event as we had at the Lowry this afternoon. There were a lot of students and school children - normal for a matinee for a set text. And when there were screams they all joined in . And when it got Gothic, they all giggled. I couldn't tell the difference between the sound effects and the audience reaction. Seamless. I have no idea if audiences normally watch this straight but this audience turned it into a modern black comedy. Absolutely brilliant.

Monday, 6 May 2013


The learning advisor has read some of my work and sent good feedback. Overall, my work is 'scientific' and detached, without any wondering aloud. I think 'scientific' is an insult in these circles. I have spent over 40 years developing that style, starting with my maths degree and then in writing business reports. When I was an IT security advisor, I couldn't wonder aloud if people should do backups and have up-to-date virus control. I was expected to quote the relevant business standard and tell them to get on with it. So that style is my USP and I think I'll stick with it. After all, the study of language should be methodical and subject to the scientific process.

Some of her other comments about me not explaining all the details of my argument are very valid, though. Could do better. Will do better.

Today is warm - the first outing this year for cropped trousers and a linen top. Out of doors!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Best zoo - Chester

A day at Chester Zoo was our best day out in ages. Actually, the weather has been so awful it was our first day out in ages. Sunny warm(ish) weather so most of the animals were on view. Spectacled bears, baby giraffe, baby okapi, baby rhino. And we saw the elephants having their shower - well, some of them did. Some of them don't like water and they lurked well out of range. There were two baby elephants and we saw a group of females (communal young rearing) use herd persuasion to get one of the babies into the pool. And the most exciting bit was two jaguars fighting over a sack. The most dramatic bit of jaguar action we have ever seen. And TSH got a photo!!

Stylistics analysis is the scene in Atonement where Celia and Robbie are by the water. They struggle over an antique vase, break it and Celia strips off, goes in and retrieves the bits before stalking off. And then we get Bryony's version from an upper window. She thinks he's proposed!!  Fascinating comparison.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Ready for Summer

Nails done - purple with silver glitter. Summer clothes ready. But its not quite warm enough yet.

Have had lots of trouble with Talktalk broadband and TV. Our new talktalk plus package (iplayer on the TV plus a recording box thats really easy to use) was useless because the line kept dropping. I spoke to four people who all told me different things and kept saying 'I understand your concern' in a flat voice as they read it off the script. I am very unimpressed.

Heard an interview on the radio with a linguist who had studied Parliamentary language for politeness. He had compared Cameron and Brown. (Gordon B. was more polite). And I understood what he was talking about and knew that I could do a study like that. I love being a linguist