All you need is love!

All you need is love PM Noble Writes

Hi there,

Love it or hate it Valentine’s Day is here again!

Whether you are a romantic at heart or not, all you need is love!

Anyone, who has read my blogs here or on my website PM Noble Consultancy Services, knows that I am all about love. In business and in leisure I am always saying you should do what you love and love what you do!

Today I thought I would share the love with a few quotes, videos and sources of poetry, which I hope you will appreciate.

Quotes

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Videos

 

 

Poetry

Here is the Telegraph’s Top Ten Romantic Poems.

The Society of Classical Poetry’s 10 Greatest Love Poems Ever Written.

I hope that you enjoyed this whistle-stop Valentine-themed blog post.

As always,

Take Care

Tricia

 

…and the greatest of these is love.

 

 

 

 

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Poppies for the fallen?

Poppies for the Fallen

Hello there.

Today is Remembrance Day, so I thought I would put together articles looking at Armistice Day from different perspectives.

Before I start with all the information, I thought I’d  add What we Remember by the Royal British Legion.

Probably one of the most well-known poems used for Remembrance Day is For the Fallen by Robert Lawrence Binyon. Here’s a stanza from the poem,

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Whether we agree with war or not, no one can deny that those who have fought for their country and who still fight today are brave and should be remembered.

Let me begin with a piece which is in contrast to the other articles I have included. Simon Jenkins of The Guardian states the case against remembrance memorials, as he believes that it’s time to move on and leave this type of commemoration behind.

Now, let me throw something else in the mix – white poppies.  The Metro’s article Where can I buy a white poppy and what do they stand for? explains the history behind them.

What do you think? Is Remembrance Day on the way out? Should red poppies be replaced?

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In other news…

In an article in the Dailly Mail, we are given a glimpse of the end of World War 2 in photos; the sheer relief is apparent.

Up until recently, many soldiers from the Commonwealth were not given any type of recognition. These soldiers from the Caribbean, Asia and Africa fought for a country which many thought of as the ‘Motherland.’

Black History Month, Forces Network tells the history of African Caribbean Troops and the part they played in the World Wars.  We now know how much progress has been made when we realise that in June of this year, the heroic soldiers’ contribution was acknowledged with a War Memorial in Windrush Square in Brixton.

For further reading see:

BBC WW2 People’s War

The Commonwealth Contribution

The Telegraph, in ‘Foreign soldiers who fought alongside the British in the First World War,’acknowledge the contribution of overseas soldiers yet cause controversy with the use of the term ‘foreign.’ Many see these soldiers as British as they were citizens of the British Empire.

Thanks for reading.

Take care,

Tricia

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Bonjour mes amis!

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Hi there!  Hola!   Hallo!   Ciao! 

This week I thought I would look at the benefits of learning a new language.

I have always believed that learning new words and phrases when visiting a new country shows respect and helps you to experience the culture more.

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I  don’t think that we should assume that everyone speaks English or actually wants to speak English. Did you know that Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the World, Spanish is second, and English is third with 335 million speakers? See  Infoplease.com

So why brush up on your language skills? According toLingholic.com some of the benefits are:

  • It improves your brain power
  • It improves your employability
  • It helps you to develop confidence

These are really good reasons for an adult, so what about children? Anita Busby of Gold Medal Tuition recently carried out some research and found that teaching children a foreign language through songs and games from a young age actually helps with their own language skills.  This is backed up in an article in the Telegraph, see  Children should start learning languages at age three

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Now if you don’t want to pay out huge amounts of money, or you just want to learn the basics, here are a few websites to get you started.

Duolingo.com – I have been trying to top up my school book French with this site and it is okay if you have some prior knowledge.  It tells you how fluent you are at various stages.

FutureLearnRegular readers of this blog know how much I love Futurelearn courses. I recently started a Spanish course to top up with some prior knowledge I had.

BBC Languages and Alison are also good sources of help.

Lingua has some good articles about why you should learn a language, and of course, the site allows you to learn a variety of languages too.

With all this help around, there is no excuse for you not to start right away.   So my advice would be:

Fonce!

Ve a por ello!  Tu es!  Fallo! Go for it!

Tu es!  Fallo! Go for it!

Fallo! Go for it!

Go for it!

Take care,

 

Tricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Series – Part Three

 

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Hi there!

I hope you are enjoying this grammar series. Last week I mentioned how English grammar history has been influenced by Latin.  Seeing the journey that English language has taken it is easy to see why it is so complicated.  With this in mind, we will be looking at errors which have found their way into everyday language

. A good example of a word which is used incorrectly is Columbia. Apparently, the Colombians are tired of their country being spelt Columbia as opposed to Colombia. This is a common mistake and whilst the eagle-eyed will have realised that this has slipped into our vocabulary as an acceptable word, we have to ask how has this happened?

It could be said that over time, many words are now part of mainstream language due to the fact that they are commonly used.  All you have to do is look through an old dictionary from ten or fifteen years and compare it with one today and you will see the difference. Another theory can be found in an article in the Telegraph called ‘People can be too clever to spell’, where Jessica Salter raises some really interesting points about language and how we decipher and try to spell them according to what we know about them. Salter goes on to say,

Ian Brookes, the managing editor of dictionaries at Collins, said: “The real spelling problems occur when people have learnt the rules or have a bit of knowledge, but then make mistakes in how they apply this.”

For the full article see the Telegraph.

If this is the case it seems almost impossible to get things right unless you have a Masters in English and Linguistics.  Well, not necessarily. Whilst no one will ever get everything correct, there is a whole host of services and resources to help.

Firstly, use the spellchecker on your computer. Although not perfect as it is limited it what errors it finds, is a start. Next, letting a friend or family member cast their eye over the work is also helpful, as long as they have fairly good grammar skills. Thirdly, the humble home dictionary- either Collins or Oxford.

For a more than just spelling try one of the following: Online dictionary thesaurus     Online grammar resources like:

grammarbook.com

www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/english

https://www.grammarly.com

Or an article from Life hacker

Okay, so what are these errors that we inadvertently make all the time? There are words where a subtle change in the spelling makes all the difference. The words continuous and continual are prime examples.

For an explanation of these words and more excellent examples see Litreactor. Another example is in the use of the words affect and effect, which many seem to find difficult. For more about this and other grammar tips check Hubspot. I hope you have found this helpful. See you next time.

Take care,

Tricia

Grammar Series -Part Two

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Hi there,

If only English Grammar was as easy as ABC!  One possible reason why it is a complicated area can be found in its tradition. In this second part of the Grammar Series, we look at the history of English Grammar.  Hopefully, all you historians should enjoy this jaunt from the fifth century onwards.

According to Wikipedia:

‘The history of English grammars begins late in the sixteenth century with the Pamphlet for Grammar by William Bullokar. In the early works, the structure and rules of English grammar were contrasted with those of Latin. A more modern approach, incorporating phonology, was introduced in the nineteenth century.’  For more information, see Wikipedia.

 This would explain why there are so many words and phrases which are still in use today such as:

  • Carpe Diem –  enjoy the moment
  • Ad Hoc – for this or for this situation (for a particular purpose)
  • Bona Fide – genuine, real
  • Status Quo – existing state of affairs
  • Magnum Opus – great work

Check out these websites for more phrases:

Merriam Webster

English Club

In a paper by Christopher Mulvey called The Development of English Grammar, he looks further back and writes:

‘The story of the development of English grammar involves not only the history of the English language but also the history of England itself. The starting point of the English language is the language we call West Germanic, and the starting point of England is the arrival of West Germanic peoples in Britannia in the fifth century.’

I wanted to stay jargon-free but unfortunately, needs must. The following information is important in understanding how grammar works.  Mulvey continues to explain grammar with a quote by a linguist called Daniel Everett whose studies of the languages of the Amazonian Indians helped him to conclude that:

‘Whether we use gestures or sounds, we need more than just words to have a grammar. Since grammar is essential to human communication, speakers of all human languages organize words into larger units – phrases, sentences, stories, conversations, and so forth.

The cries of animals work by establishing a one-to-one relationship between a sound and a thing or a sound and an act………But it appears that only humans have the ability to move beyond the one-to-one relationship of word to think or act. Humans can create relationships between one word and another.

We do that in two ways: by changing the shapes of our words and by changing the order of our words. Grammarians call shape changing morphology. We can take a word ‘dog’ and change its shape by adding an ‘s’ to produce the word ‘dogs’. Grammarians call order changing syntax. We can say ‘The dog bit the man’ or ‘The man bit the dog’. Morphology and syntax together make up what we call grammar, and we can see, at once, that small changes in grammar can result in large changes in meaning.’

For the whole article see English Project

We can now begin to appreciate that it is not just our choice of words that matter, but the order in which we place them. This seems simple enough, yet we can all find these type of errors in everyday life.

I hope you can join me next week when I will looking at examples of some grammatical faux pas. See what I did there? Introduce some French into a Latin-themed article!

Take care,

 

Tricia

Grammar Series – Part One

 

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Hi there,

Do you recognise the book in the photo above? Well, I included it as I think that many of us have forgotten what a dictionary looks like. In the good old days, we would reach for a dictionary  and a thesaurus to look up words which were unfamiliar to us.

Now, with the internet and all sorts of gadgets available, the answers are at our fingertips. So why do we still make the same mistakes, time and time again and what can be done?

Well, I think we need to take a proper look at my favourite subject – English Grammar.

Let me start with some definitions. According to English Grammar for Dummies:

‘…grammar is the study of language specifically, how words are put together to create meaning.’

The Cambridge Dictionary defines grammar in British English as:

‘(the study or use of) the rules about how words change their form and combine with other words to make sentences.’

See, Cambridge Dictionary.

The Oxford Dictionary  says:

‘Grammar is the way in which words are put together to form proper sentences.’

The site also gives links to more detailed information, should you require it. I will not be talking about split infinitives. I promise no jargon.  This is not an A Level English lesson.

I have included these definitions, as I think that the more we understand the dynamics of grammar, the more we are able to use it effectively.

Over the next few weeks, I will be putting grammar under the microscope; looking at the correct and incorrect usage and finding examples from everyday life.

I hope that you can join me for the rest of the Grammar Series.

Take Care,

Tricia