An Education

These are my PR Writing Class posts

Arch Enemies of Good Writing

Write a brief (200-300 words) blog post about the one spelling or grammar hang-up that you have and can’t shake or that you find the most annoying in other people

I am by no means a grammar nazi, nor a grammar hound. I’m a grammar nothing.

All I know is that when I hear this used in conversation or see it in writing, I cringe. My brain screams, “Stop!”

My pet peeve stems around the misuse of Saw and Seen.

INCORRECT:

“Hey Maria! I seen you at Starbucks last night.”seen

“The last time I seen Jonny, he looked taller.”

“I seen the movie three times.”

CORRECT:

“Hey Maria! I saw you at Starbucks last night”

“The last I time I saw Jonny, he looked taller”

“I have seen the movie three times” or “I saw the movie three times”

Before I continue, allow me to confess that I did in fact have to Google the technical term for this grammatical error… Again, I’m no English scholar. I just inherently know when to say “seen” or “saw”.

I will admit to previously having little sympathy towards misusers of the word, but after my search yielded literally thousands of articles, forums, groups, Facebook pages and blogs dedicated to the shaming of those who just can’t grasp the concept, my heart was softened.

In fact, I even began to question if I was using seen and saw in the proper context.

Don’t worry though. You can take a quick quiz here and test your understanding of the English language.

If you got 100% like I did, congradulations. Lets be friends.

If not, then lets continue on.

My google search led me to a Grammar Guide blog. This blogger very kindly lays out the verb tense of saw/seen for a quick review.
PAST TENSE
I saw, you saw, he/she/it saw, we saw, you saw, they saw
 PRESENT PERFECT
I have seen, you have seen, he/she/it has seen, we have seen, you have seen, they have seen
 PAST PERFECT
I had seen, you had seen, he/she/it had seen, we had seen, you had seen, they had seen
 FUTURE PERFECT
I/you will have seen, he/she/it will have seen, we shall have seen, you will have seen, they will have seen

Personally, I wouldn’t get caught up in all the grammatical terminology.

To put it simply:

ALWAYS use “saw” in past tense (see above)

ONLY use “Seen” with “have,” “has,” or “had.

– MC

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Reader Profile

Pick a celebrity (or television/movie character) that you are familiar with and develop a reader profile for that person based on what you knowabout them. 

Jennifer-Lopez-maid-in-manhattan-16825258-418-612

In “Maid in Manhattan” Jennifer Lopez Lopez stars as Marisa Ventura.

Marisa is a 30 something year old Hispanic working as a maid in New York City. She is a single mother of a 10-year-old boy. She is a hard worker trying to make ends meet in ‘The Big Apple’.

Marisa attempts to balance work and family life to the best of her abilities. Her coworkers, son and mother make up her circle of influence and support. She can be described as a loving and attentive mom to her son, Ty. Throughout the movie, you see her supporting and encouraging Ty in his personal interests and education.

Jennifer-Lopez-maid-in-manhattan-16825270-979-653

Marisa is not sloppy, messy, or un-kept. Although her clothes may not be fashionable or trendy due to her limited budget, you can tell she puts effort into her appearance.

In the movie we see that Marissa takes a lot pride in her duties as a maid. It’s clear that Marissa is an independent and outside the box thinker, but she is pushed by her mom to stick to a more conventional culture role.

Eventually, Marisa takes a leap of faith and puts her insecurities aside for a better employment opportunity.

Obviously there are a lot of other elements going on in this romantic comedy, but in the end, what we see is a woman whose ambition and determination take her career to a whole other level. Her attempts at at management leads her to starting her own successful business.

08

– MC

Photos courtesy of http://www.hollywoodjesus.com

On becoming a better writer than I am today.

Writing is not one of my natural gifts or abilities. High school creative writing class was my hell. I managed it well. Drafts. Early submissions. Edits. Revisions.

Chicagoland Writing Centers, University of California San Diego

Chicagoland Writing Centers, University of California San Diego

When I went to college for Paralegal studies, I was happy to learn it was time to kick that style to the curb.

Facts only? You got it.

Short, concise and emotionally disconnected? No problem.

From passed legal and professional experience I know I can relay factual information and data to people, however I want to be able to deliver a more personal message.

In this program, I want to learn how to take ownership of what I have to say. Excuse the corny-ness… but I want to find my voice.

 I want to learn how to convey emotion and feeling in my writing. I want to express things in a way that resonates with readers. I want my words to have the power to encourage, to motivate and to connect people.

I know it’s possible for me to achieve the above.

But Ikeep-calm-and-write think with me, it’s a matter of just relaxing and taking a breath.

I get caught up in my head.

I over think the writing process.

My thoughts don’t make it to the pen or keyboard.

I compare my writing to others and I become extremely self-critical.

Here’s to learning, letting go, and gaining confidence.

– MC

 

The First of Many

Welcome to my blog. This is my first blog post ever.

243461_10150203612357895_3477794_oEver.

I’m oddly nervous. I’m sure i’ll be okay.

I have a tumultuous relationship with technology, so how long it will take for me to become comfortable with WordPress is yet to be determined. Please, bare with me 🙂

I’m currently in a post grad Public Relations program at Loyalist College. For now, what you’ll see here will be entries for my PR writing class.

I hope to carry on with this blog – highlighting my crazy life with my kids & friends in the Friendly City of Belleville, Ontario.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this journey!

– MC