Monthly Archives: November 2013

You Don’t Have To Memorize Grammar Rules To Write Clearly

As I have previously urged on this blog site, but it bears repeating, memorization of grammar rules is not a prerequisite to writing clearly. My book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” available on books and in print, breaks with the traditional approach to teaching English grammar in that it eschews memorization of rules.

This book takes the approach that memorization of grammar rules is of little use except to pass examinations. It has been my personal experience that as you train yourself to observe and appreciate good writing, you can likewise train yourself to develop and employ good writing habits in constructing sentences. This result cannot be accomplished by memorization of rules, which will have little effect on learning and understanding the context with which words are used. But when in doubt, look up the applicable rule.

The best expression of thoughts through good grammar can be learned by observing the association of the right word with the appropriate context in a sentence. The emphasis should be on training your eye to carefully observe how grammar is used in putting sentences together and to constantly practice what you have learned in your writing. The point was well made many years ago by the late Sherwin Cody, who authored several books and self study courses on writing and learning good English. Learn grammar by “original processes”, he wrote, “not by authorities and rules.” (See: New Art of Writing and Speaking The English Language, 59, Sherwin Cody, 1933, 1938).

Clear writing can be achieved even if you are unable to apply grammatical labels to the various parts of speech contained in a sentence. Even if you can’t diagram a sentence to break out the parts of speech or if you don’t know a pronoun from an adverb, you can still learn to write clearly.

Studying the logical relationship of words in a sentence as you read is most important in learning
the practical skills of word usage. In this way you need not concern yourself with the technical definition of, for example, weak or buried verbs, as long as your eye is practiced enough to pick them
out of a sentence.

This level of writing ability can only be achieved through dedicated study and the continued practice of writing. The secret is practice, practice, practice and, also, read extensively. Read books, magazines, and newspapers to see how experienced writers put words and sentences together. This will help you develop the right “feel” for your writing.

I urge you to follow this approach.

To all of my followers, best wishes for a happy and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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The Trouble With Obamacare – Is Obama

As any trial lawyer can tell you, there’s a jury instruction which can be given if any party or witness in a lawsuit is caught lying – “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.” In other words if the party or witness lies about one thing, the jury can believe that person lied about everything.

So it is with President Obama. His lies, “If you like your plan you can keep your plan. Period,” and “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Period,” are clearly false. So how can anything else uttered by this man be believed? The President has a serious credibility problem, a real one, and it will haunt him for the rest of his presidency and even thereafter.

But beyond the disastrous roll out of this ill-conceived plan lies an even more sinister question – is the plan part of a bigger scheme to turn the American healthcare system into a single payer plan where a government entity collects all premiums and pays out all claims? Is it in reality a huge wealth redistribution scheme? These suspicions are harbored by many and if true would mean socialized medicine for America. In fact, as reported on recently, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told a PBS tv program that Obamacare is really only a step towards nationalized health care. If true, Obamacare is a fraud on the American people because this intent was never publicly disclosed.

Is this what America wants? If this is true, where is the transparency? Where is the accountability? Instead of trying to foist a system on Americans they do not want, the country should have the right to reject any such plan and should not be forced to accept it, even if it has in fact been passed by a congress controlled by Democrats.

If the Affordable Care Act is really a step towards socialized medicine, and was/is intended as such from the beginning, don’t the American people have a right to know that? It brings to mind Nancy Pelosi’s now famous(or infamous) comment, that “We have to pass this bill to know what’s in it.” That’s about as irresponsible a comment as any legislator can make. But more than that, if it was intended by it’s size (over 2000 pages) and its complexity (thousands of pages of government regulations) to confuse and mislead the American people with the ultimate goal of ultimately imposing socialized medicine on the country, then this administration is guilty of mass fraud.

Legislators are supposed to be in office to pass laws which reflect the will of the American people. The ACA does not reflect this will. The President and those in Congress who have pushed it on the country will have to bear the consequences of their actions, which will show up in the mid-term congressional elections of 2014, as well as in the next presidential election.

The core issue in all of this is simply that Barack Obama was never qualified to be president in the first place. Being a community organizer together with less than a full term in the Senate is hardly enough. He never ran any organization nor governed any body of people. This is a flaw in American politics which needs to be fixed. The American people are now paying the price for this flaw.

Copyright 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Chris Christie Tips the Scale (No Pun Intended) In His Favor

Republican Governor Chris Christie’s recent overwhelming victory as Governor in New Jersey, one of the bluest of blue states, is a truly welcome event to behold. In trouncing his democratic challenger Barbara Buono by some thirty-odd points, Christie proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes.

With apologies for any unintended reference to Christie’s weight as an issue (it shouldn’t be), it appears to me that Christie tips the scale in his favor. That is, using the word SCALE as an acronym, he should be chosen as the Republican presidential candidate for 2016. Here’s how it breaks down:
S – strength
C – credibility
A – accomplishments
L – leadership
E – electability

Christie scores points in each category. He has a strong personality and is credible. His accomplishments as governor of New Jersey are manifold. By reaching out across the aisles to broker legislative reforms in the state, he has demonstrated needed leadership skills, lacking in Washington D.C. He is a staunch fiscal conservative, a strong critic of Obamacare, President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and has stood his ground against public employee unions. SCALE clearly shows that he is not only qualified to run for the office of president, but is electable, capable of winning. He has broad charismatic appeal not only to males but to women, blacks, and hispanics. In the recent election, he carried male voters by 63% and female voters by 57%.

Using the same acronym for Hillary Clinton, backed by the liberal media for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, she fails on several counts. Her credibility is lacking in view of her record as having lied when the occasion suits her, a matter of public record. Her accomplishments are questionable. Although having been elected to the U.S. Senate on the strength of the name of her husband, Bill Clinton, an impeached president, there is no record of legislative accomplishments in the Senate she can point to. As Secretary of State under President Obama, four Americans died on her watch in Benghazi, a matter for which there are still many unanswered questions. She lied after the Benghazi attack, as did President Obama, falsely attributing it to anger over a publication criticizing Muslims. In short, she has not shown her ability to govern anyone, and is hardly qualified to lead a country of some 300 million people.

As reported in the media recently, Christie’s election victory also reflects his capacity to appeal to independent voters as well as to those Democrats who are willing to cross party lines. These are the types of voters who are necessary to carry him to a presidential victory in 2016.

The question remains as to whether Republicans can stop quarreling among themselves long enough to back Christie as a moderate candidate who can clearly appeal to a broad swath of voters. Traditional ideological purity on issues such as abortion and gay rights may have to give way among conservative Republican supporters in favor of a more pragmatic approach, an approach that carries with it a path to victory in 2016.

Copyright 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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No Post Today

To my followers – there will be no post today. Please accept my regrets. Arnold G. Regardie.

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No Post Today

To all of my followers – There will be no post today. Please accept my apologies. Arnold G. Regardie.

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Filed under clear writing