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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Small Talk

Since September, I've been creating "small talk" dialogs for in-person adult ESL classes.  I've found that whether there are 2 people or 20 it's possible to create a flexible script where everyone involved can say one line, or sometimes two if they want, and keep up a pleasant babble of conversation.  

I've posted the link at the bottom of the Portfolio page, for now.  Here's the direct link.

New York, New York!

This Saturday I will fly to New York with my youngest granddaughter.  Back a week from tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to evesdropping on the famous New York accent.  According to googled information, Manhattan is not the best place to hear that accent because most people who live there are from somewhere else.  However, with any luck, Manhattan will host some New Yorkers from other boroughs visiting the sights on our "must see" list. 

Mostly, we plan to have a lot of fun just walking around looking at the fancy marquees, hotels and shops if it doesn't rain (or snow).  We're staying only a couple of blocks away from Central Park, where we  hope to spot Flaco the Owl, the famous escapee from the Central Park Zoo.

At the top of our indoor sightseeing list are: The American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Ice Cream.  Just about the only museum New York doesn't have is a museum of language.  I know -- I searched!

But that kind of museum does exist in other cities.  More about those places in a future blog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Onomatopoeia -- Finally, a poem

 I started this project back on January 22 based on Kathy Steinemann's List. Today it finally "jelled".


GREEN TEA – peep, beep, cheep

SILVER PIN – ping, ding, ca-ching

GRAY DAY – bay, bray, neigh

RED PEPPER – belch, bellow, squelch

BLACK CAT – bang, blat, clang

OLIVE SOCK – bong, bonk, gong

AUBURN DOG – honk, squawk, zonk

TURQUOISE TOY – boink, boing, doink

ORANGE DOOR – snore, snort, roar

ROSE BOAT – drone, crow, moan

WOODEN HOOK – poof, ploof, woof

BLUE MOON – coo, moo, achoo

A CUP OF MUSTARD – klunk, crunch, kerplunk

PURPLE SHIRT – burp, burble, chirp

BROWN COW – growl, meow, howl

WH[I]TE T[I]E – ch[i]me, gr[i]nd, wh[i]ne


Have fun with the sounds from zinggg to aaack

And praatice the colors to keep you on track.

Monday, February 20, 2023


On CNN, Sanjay Gupta is doing a podcast about the effect social media may be having on his daughters. He feels that learning to communicate with one's peers is crucial during the teen years; however he is worried about the effect that our current social media channels of communication may be having.  

When my son was a parent, he worried about the time my eldest grandson spent online playing interactive games with other people on the internet. Not that my son stayed away from these games, himself, even as an adult. 

When my children were little, parents worried about the amount of time their kids spent sitting mindlessly watching the TV screen.  (I do think playing video games or gossiping on Facebook is better than totally passive TV watching.)

When I was an adolescent, a typical cartoon of a teenage girl showed a kid yakking endlessly on the phone with her friends, monopolizing it at the expense of the entire family and sometimes also the neighbors who were on the same party line.  Not in my family.  I was restricted to a total of 10 phone minutes per day.  I spent the entire allotment on my boyfriend.

Did people communicate more (or less) skillfully during long-ago eras when all words were either face to face or via formal, well-thought-out, hand-written letters? Good question.

Still 3 words ...

Snapping Hip Syndrome.  But now I have lots of daily stretches and exercises to try to cure it. 

Still no "5 stories" have shown up.  What was my subconscious trying to tell me?

I meet with my physical therapist, again, a little later this morning. Maybe the stories will grow out of this effort.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Three Words, Five Stories

I kept dreaming that phrase last night. What are the 3 words? Maybe "snapping hip syndrome". I have my first physical therapy appointment this morning to try to do something about my right hip which keeps snapping. 

And how about the 5 stories? No idea. Maybe they are still to come.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Modal Poems

 I finally managed to write some poems around "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" and a couple of other modal verbs.  They're on a page with many kinds of Reductions.  They're in the form of dialogs.  When you read them don't say the people's names (in italics).

Here they are:

Bob: Didja gotatha store?

John: No, but I woulda.

Bob: How come? Why not?

John: It rained.

Bob: Well, ya coulda!
And we’re all outta milk.
So really, you shoulda.

Andy: I hafta go.

Judy: Too bad. Ya gotta?

Andy: My cat needs her dinner.
So, truly, -- I oughtta.

Sarah: She mighta said something 'bouta meeting!.

Louise: I thought you were taking notes!

Sarah: I musta missed some dates and stuff.
I only wrote down quotes.

© Copyright , Margaret R. Jones