“We are in a sort of remediation industrial complex.”Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences — Longreads
Merry minds and rosy cheeks,
Sparkling eyes and smiling lips.
The busy hands, the dancing feet;
Aromas wafting through the air,
Sends the message of love and care.
Chilly winds and frosty snow,
Christmas trees with lights aglow.
Merry carols that sweetly flow;
Happy hearts and wreaths on door.
Sends the signal clean and clear,
‘One must be kind and always share’
May the good Lord Jesus bless us all,
And guide our souls through the year.
I recently posted about the Bizarre Sleeping Habits of Famous People. The subject generated a lot of comments, so here’s a followup post on that. How can sleep help boost your writing? Many writers find themselves in a creative slump every now and then. When you’re looking for ways to be more productive, creative, and […]How Better Sleep Can Boost Your Writing — Nicholas C. Rossis
A Verb must agree with its Subject in Number and Person. A singular subject takes a singular verb; and a plural subject takes a plural verb.
Rules for Agreement of subject and verb:
1) Two or more singular subjects joined by ‘and’ usually take a plural verb.
E.g. – Raman and Harry work hard.
Air and water are necessary for survival.
Nancy and I were the hosts of the party.
The author and the publisher were in a meeting.
2) If two nouns suggest only one idea or refer to the same person or thing then it will take a singular verb.
E.g. Slow and steady wins the race.
Beans and rice is her favourite dish.
The horse and carriage is at the door.
Comfort and luxury has made him lazy.
Bread and butter is a wholesome breakfast.
Her hard work and dedication has paid off.
The author and publisher, Mr Charles is here amongst us.
3) Words joined to a singular subject by ‘with’ or ‘ as well as’, ‘together with’, ‘along with’ take a singular verb.
E.g. Alex as well as Sharon likes tea.
The house, with its furniture was burnt.
Vinn along with his friends is punished.
I as well as Shirley am going to the park.
Bren as well as his family is shifting to Texas.
The Captain, with all his men, was drowned.
The doctor with his interns has reached the O.T.
The teacher as well as her students is in the class.
The boy with his parents is waiting for the teacher.
Verna with her friends wants to participate in the competition.
The officer as well as his subordinates was present at the meeting.
4) When two or more subjects in the singular are joined by ‘or’, ‘nor’, ‘either or’, ‘ neither nor’– the verb used is singular.
E.g. Jack or Tom is to blame.
Either he or I am to blame.
Either Robert or Arnold was absent.
Neither Robert nor Arnold was present.
5) When two subjects of a sentence are joined by ‘not only’… ‘ but also…’, ‘ either or’, ‘neither nor’ the verb agrees with the latter subject.
E.g.- Neither Tom nor his friends have come.
Either my friend or I am going to buy this dress.
The farmer or his servants were responsible for the theft.
Not only your certificates but your marks also are important.
Neither Ritu nor her friends are willing to attend the function.
6) When a plural noun (in Prepositional Phrases) comes between a singular subject and its verb, the verb used is singular.
E.g. The quality of apples was not good.
A combination of colours charms the sky.
The bag of mangoes is too heavy for the child.
Much of the hard work of the farmers has been wasted due to drought.
7) ‘ Either’, ‘Neither’, ’Each’, ‘Every’, ‘Everyone’, ‘many a’, ‘one of the’, ‘little’, ‘less’ generally take a singular verb.
E.g. Either of the boys has done this.
Each of these boys is intelligent.
Neither of them was found guilty.
Each one of her paintings is fantastic.
Much of the homework is already done.
Every man, woman and child was happy.
Everyone, whom we invited, has turned up.
Only one of the five contestants is going to win.
Thanks to metro rail, less of my time is spent on commuting.
8) Some words can refer to amount/quantity as well as number. When, these words refer to amount/ quantity, they take a singular verb. When these words refer to number, they take a plural verb.
None, a lot of, a great deal of, plenty of, most of, etc, are some such words.
E.g. I] None of the work (amount) was complete.
None of the strategies (number) have worked.
II] A lot of energy was (amount) wasted on finding the treasure.
A lot of books have (number)been written.
III] A variety of music is (amount) available here.
A variety of music albums are (number) available here.
IV] Plenty of help has (amount) been offered to the poor family.
Plenty of trees were (number) planted by students.
9) A collective noun usually takes a singular verb.
E.g. This pair of scissors is very sharp.
A bunch of keys is kept on the table.
A large crowd makes me feel nervous.
A swarm of bees was buzzing around the tree.
However, collective nouns like – committee, assembly, jury, congress, team- may take a singular or plural verb depending on whether it is taken as singular or plural.
E.g. The committee was united in their opinion
The committee were divided in their opinion.
My new pair of socks is very tight.
My new socks are very tight.
The team has decided to follow the strategy.
The team were divided on following the strategy.
10) Some nouns, which are plural in form but singular in meaning, take singular verb.
E.g. No news is good news.
Measles is a contagious disease.
Mathematics is an interesting subject.
Billiards is fast becoming a popular game.
Physics is considered to be a difficult subject.
11) Some nouns are singular in form but plural in meaning. We use plural verbs with such nouns.
E.g. – The people are enjoying themselves.
The cattle were driven to the farm.
The children are playing in the park.
12) Class nouns like- cutlery, stationery, food, furniture take a singular verb.
E.g. The food here is quite good.
The cutlery was well arranged.
The new furniture is pretty expensive.
The stationary was available at a cheap price.
13) Weight, measure, time, distance take a singular verb.
E.g. Five years is a pretty long time.
A hundred rupees is not a big amount for him.
Ten kilos of milk was consumed by the players.
Only one-fourth of the police force was deployed.
14) When a plural noun is the name of one thing it takes a singular verb.
E.g. ‘ The Arabian Nights’ is a famous book.
‘ The United States’ has a big army.
15) When a sentence starts with ‘here‘, ‘there‘ the subject is placed after the verb and will take a singular or plural verb depending on the subject.
E.g. There is a tiger in the forest.
Here are the books that you ordered.
16) Verbs which appear before subjects in interrogative sentences (questions) will be singular or plural according to the subject.
E.g. Where are my keys?
Does she know the answer?
Have they solved the problem?
Is she the girl who won the Quiz?
16. Indefinite pronouns like ‘everyone’, ‘ ‘someone’, ‘nobody’, ‘anyone’ take a singular verb.
E.g. Someone is at the door.
Nobody is perfect.
Has anyone seen my book?
Something is better than nothing.
Everybody was present at the meeting.
Photo by Oleg Magni.
Greta Thunberg is a 5 ft, 16 year old girl with a mission. Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg born on 3rd January, 2003 has nothing exceptional in her, except for a steel will to save the coming generations from a miserable future. Greta has been chosen as the 2019 person of the year by TIME. She is a climate activist who intends to become a messiah of positive environmental change.
Global temperatures have risen by 1.5 degrees in the last century, and are still rising steadily. Every fraction of the rise in temperatures will have a disastrous effect on the environment.
Over 390 billion tons of glaciers are melting every year due to global warming. Since 1961 the world has lost 10.6 trillion tons of snow. It has been predicted that most of the mountain glaciers will have melted within 2050. The consequences of this will be drastic, as the major rivers that these glaciers feed will dry up. The absence of the major rivers will result in severe drought. The underground water which has already depleted will not be able to save the inhabitants of the Earth- including the trees.
It is the endangered species which will face extinction first. Everything on earth is inter-dependent; hence extinction of one species will set off a domino effect.
When Greta was a child, her primary school teacher taught her class about Global warming and climate change. The students were shown pictures of starving polar bears and other animals. While other students went on with their regular routine; Greta could not accept the fact that the adults, who were responsible for Global warming, were not bothered about the adverse effects which the next generations will have to face.
She was unable to eat, as she went into depression. Her condition worsened, and she had to be hospitalised. Her parents tried to bring her out of depression. Greta herself recalls feeling confused. “I couldn’t understand how that could exist, that existential threat, and yet we didn’t prioritise it,” she remarked.
Her father assured her, that everything is going to be fine. But Greta refused to acknowledge it. Her father too knew in his heart of hearts that everything was not all right. The entire family took up environment friendly measures and Greta gradually came out of her depressed state. They gave up meat and flying as part of their contributions towards being an environment friendly household. She started to feel better as she was doing her bit to resolve the problem.
The thing which amazed her, was the absolute mode of denial of the authorities of the world regarding Climate change. The response to the impending catastrophe was extremely feeble and disappointing. She therefore decided to call a school strike to get the attention of the Government. In August 2018 she called a school strike and sat down to protest before the Swedish parliament.
“My name is Greta, I am in ninth grade, and I am school-striking for the climate,” she wrote on each banner. “Since you adults don’t give a damn about my future, I won’t either.”
She had been diagnosed with the Asperger’s syndrome, OCD and selective mutism. She thinks it is a blessing for her. “I see the world in black and white, and I don’t like compromising,” she told during a school break earlier this year. “If I were like everyone else, I would have continued on and not seen this crisis.” If her brain worked differently, she explained, “I wouldn’t be able to sit for hours and read things I’m interested in.”
“Young people tend to have a fantastic impact in public opinion around the world- Governments follow.” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. The messages of various organisations often fell on deaf ears. People would just sort of say, ‘Ah yeah, but that’s not me,’ – having children say, ‘We have no future’ is far more effective. When children say something like that, adults feel very bad.
Greta’s speeches often cut straight. “You say you love your children above all else,” she said in her first big address at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poland last December. “And yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.” The world’s temperature rise has hit the 1.5°C mark—an eventuality that scientists warn will expose some 350 million additional people to drought and push roughly 120 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.
“I want you to panic,” she told the annual convention of CEOs and world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January. “I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
In September, speaking to heads of state during the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg pointed out: “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth,” she said. “How dare you.”
The awareness created by children is having some effect on the global outlook. Companies are feeling the pressure, employees as well as consumers are more aware than before and societies are expecting results. The smogs in the big cities are re-confirming the existential crisis.
“People are underestimating the force of angry kids,” she said. “We are angry and frustrated, and that is because of good reason. If they want us to stop being angry then maybe they should stop making us angry.”
Thunberg travelled from Europe to America in August 2019. She sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, England, to New York USA, in a 60 ft racing yacht equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. The trip was announced as a carbon-neutral transatlantic crossing serving as a demonstration of Thunberg’s declared beliefs of the importance of reducing emissions.
Greta travelled through USA and Canada creating mass protests against Climate change. She attended the UN Climate Action summit in New York City. She also led the biggest climate rally in Montreal, which the Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau attended.
She also planned to attend the COP 25 Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile. When the conference was shifted to Spain Greta tweeted, “As #COP25 has officially been moved from Santiago to Madrid I’ll need some help.” “Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November … If anyone could help me find transport I would be so grateful.”
Riley Whitelum, an Australian who has been sailing around the world with his wife, Elayna Caraus aboard La Vagabonde, offered her help. Though crossing the Atlantic in November amid storms is no mean feat for a sixteen year old. Greta has a point to make. “I’m not travelling like this because I want everyone to do so,” Thunberg told reporters after she walked, onto dry land for the first time in weeks. “I’m doing this to send a message that it is impossible to live sustainably today, and that needs to change.”
“One person stops flying doesn’t make much difference,” she says. “The thing we should look at is the emissions curve—it’s still rising. Of course something is happening, but basically nothing is happening.” It saddens her to think that in spite of the large scale protests by children whose future is at stake; nothing substantial is being achieved.
Many trolls, including world leaders have criticised her personality, her actions, her understanding about climate change and her mannerisms. No one is perfect, and it is not expected from children to find solutions to the problems created by adults. Children are contributing in their own way according to their understanding, and creating awareness about the impending problems. In doing so they are also psychologically conditioning their own generation to come up with solutions to the problem. Climate change did not happen overnight, nor is it expected to be resolved overnight. The awareness which is created by children will have a great impact in the years to come.
On Dec. 6, the tens of thousands of people flooded into Madrid to demonstrate for climate action on behalf of children. Above their heads, the wind carried furious messages—“Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear; You Will Die of Old Age, I Will Die of Climate Change.”
Greta’s message to the World authorities is clean and clear. “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!”
“We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow,” she says, “That is all we are saying.”
We children are doing this to wake adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis.We children are doing this because we want our dreams and hopes back.Greta Thunberg.
If I ever, ever get a boon;
To wish for what I like.
I’d really wish to visit the moon,
On a full moon night.
I’d sit there smiling all alone,
Watching the stars and sun.
Dear Earth would be emerald blue;
It all would be such fun.
Alone alone all alone,
Without an iota of sound.
It would be queer and creepy too,
To have a peak around.
Craters huge and mountains tall;
Would have secrets to tell.
So would calderas small enough,
To be on Earth a well.
I’d roam about for a long, long time;
Till it fills my soul.
I would skip and jump, and run around;
Happily from pole to pole.
Without a single sound or life,
I’m sure to be bored out soon.
I’d find it hard, and awfully sad;
To settle down on moon.
When silence becomes unbearable;
With plenteous solitude.
I’ll clap my hands, and in a wink,
Come back home for good.
This is a great post on developing a passion for writing in children by Nicholas C. Rossis.
Getting people — and kids, in particular — to read and write has long been a passion of mine. You may remember my post, Reading Tricks for Kids of Any Age, originally written for Mom’s Favorite Reads.
Well, I recently came across an article by Abigail Elijah of Knowledge Isle with 20 tips for developing your kid’s writing skills which inspired me to write up a new post, this one on the subject of getting your child to write. I hope you find these tips useful!
12 Ways to Develop your Kid’s Writing Skills
Seven out of ten children find writing particularly challenging. What can we do to support them and help develop their writing skills?
One of the most important things you can do for your kids’ writing skills, is to encourage and develop their passion for reading.
Writing is different than speaking. Abigail…
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Sentences can be divided into two primary groups – Affirmative or Positive, and Negative sentences.
An affirmative sentence simply states something. It is any declaration that is positive. An affirmative sentence expresses the validity of truth of an assertion.
Jane is a girl. – Is an example of an affirmative sentence.
Jane is not a boy. – Is an example of a negative sentence.
An affirmative or positive sentence means something is so, while a negative sentence – which is its polar opposite – means something is not so.
A sentence is usually made negative in English by placing the adverb ‘not’ after the finite verb. Such verbs are:
Be – (is/am/ are/ was/were)
Have – ( has/ had )
Can – (could )
Shall – (should)
Will – ( would)
May – (might)
How to make sentences negative:
- The verb ‘be’:
We put not after the various forms of the verb ‘be’.
Affirmative – He is working.
Negative – He is not working.
In case of ‘will be’ and ‘shall be’, we put ‘not’ after ‘will’ and ‘shall.’
Will be – will not be, shall be – shall not be.
- The verb ‘Have’ (has, had)
I have a pen. I have no pen.
I do not have a pen.
I don’t have a pen.
She has a pen. She has no pen.
She does not have a pen.
She doesn’t have a pen.
She had a pen. She had no pen
She did not have a pen.
She didn’t have a pen.
- Verb made of two or more words:
We put not after the first word.
She is painting. She is not painting.
He should take a break. He should not take a break.
- Simple Present Tense
We use either do not or does not with the root form of the verb.
I eat fruit daily. I do not eat fruit daily.
She eats fruit daily. She does not eat fruit daily.
[ he/ she / it – does] [ I/ you /we / they – do]
- Simple past tense
We use did not with the root form of the verb:
She played baseball. She did not play baseball.
They wrote essays. They did not write essays.
- Imperative sentences (commands)
We put do not (don’t) in the beginning of the sentence:
Close the door. Do not(don’t) close the door.
Give her the book. Do not (don’t) give her the book.
In spoken English the adverb ‘not’ is usually shortened to (n’t):
Unshortened form Shortened form
I am not I’m not
Is not Isn’t
Are not aren’t
Was not wasn’t
Have not haven’t
Has not hasn’t
Had not hadn’t
Do not don’t
Does not doesn’t
Did not didn’t
Could not couldn’t
Will not won’t
Would not wouldn’t
Shall not shan’t
Should not shouldn’t
Must not mustn’t
Ought not oughtn’t
Need not needn’t
Dare not daren’t
May not mayn’t
Might not mightn’t
I am a boy. I am (I’m) not a boy.
He is a doctor. He is not (isn’t) a doctor.
They are my friends. They are not (aren’t) my friends.
She was late yesterday. She was not wasn’t late yesterday.
He can speak French. He cannot (can’t) speak French.
She will go now. She will not (won’t) go now.
They may help us. They may not (mayn’t) help us.
It might cure her. It might not (mightn’t) cure her.
They ought to help her. They ought not (oughtn’t) help her.
Forming negatives using do (does) not and did not.
I like mangoes. I do not (don’t) like mangoes.
They live in London. They do not (don’t) live in London.
He speaks Spanish. He does not speak Spanish.
They tried hard. They did not try hard.
She bought a new pen. She did not buy a new pen.
Do it now. Do not (don’t) do it now.
Call everybody. Do not (don’t) call everybody.
The negative question or interrogative negative is formed by first making the interrogative sentence and then placing the adverb ‘not’ after the subject. If the shortened form of (n’t) is used then it is placed with the finite verb before the subject.
The interrogative form of ‘I am not’ is ain’t (colloquial) or ‘I am not’ (formal).
She went to college yesterday.
Did he not go to the college yesterday?
Didn’t she go to the college yesterday?
He has been to Paris.
Has she not been to Paris?
Hasn’t she been to Paris?
FOUR WAYS OF FORMING QUESTIONS
Is Sheena reading?
Isn’t Sheena reading?
Sheena is reading, isn’t she?
Sheena is not reading, is she?
These questions may be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
The last two Questions have been framed using Question tags.
Question tags are short questions added to the end of a sentence. A positive statement has a negative question tag and a negative statement has a positive question tag.
She is beautiful, isn’t she?
He is not playing, is he?
- Positive statement —– negative question tag.
- Negative statement —— positive question tag.
Eg. All these students will do well, won’t they?
He did not believe me, did he?
The new age is an age of oxymorons. There are contrasting views everywhere. The world is perhaps in its most confusing moments. The age old customs and traditions are under the radar and is changing rapidly. There is a complete overhaul of society and societal behaviour.
The strangest thing is the difference in thoughts , expectations and actions. People think something, expect something else and do something that is completely different in all respects.
We expect people to listen to us, accept us and do things which we like. Everything and everyone must cater to our needs, likes and dislikes. Anything apart from that makes us feel uneasy and we try to avoid such situations and people. Therein, lies the roots of alienation and isolation. The question is how far do we exert ourselves to accept others with their flaws?
People today, especially the younger generation, find it difficult to adjust. Adjust in the family, adjust with friends and in the workplace. Too much self indulgence in childhood makes it difficult for them to accept the fact, that the world will not cater to their needs throughout life.
Adapting does not mean permanent changes, it just means making small, quick adjustments.Hany Kubba
Divorce, which was a taboo in the past, is a norm today. While, being a taboo had its drawbacks, being a norm has its drawbacks too. Being in a marriage needs some adjustments, just as being in the family you were born does. Love needs time and care to bloom. Taking things for granted is one of the disasters that ruins the charm in a relationship. Be grateful for everything and adjust to small things. However, if things are too difficult, it is better to part in an amiable manner, which is good for the heart and mind.
Adjustment with the right people, is always better than arguments with wrong people.
It is a necessity to adjust in life, be it in the workplace or a relationship. If not here, then somewhere else, but we have to adjust if we are living in a society. It is therefore better to have a cheerful attitude and enjoy life’s journey without creating unnecessary hassles for our own selves. Assess the pros and cons meticulously, before giving up on anything.
This life is unique and beautiful. ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.’ We’ve got to love life to see its beauty. For that we need to adjust with life itself. A cheerful and patient attitude makes the journey of life a pleasurable one.
Isolation and alienation is a gradual phenomenon. First, we get alienated from the society, then workplace, then family and ultimately with our own selves leading to depression. So, we must try to keep ourselves engaged in the service of others. It is the only path towards happiness.
Be happy and keep others happy. Adjust as much as possible, but draw the line sharply if necessity arises. The trick is not to give up easily. Everything has a positive and a negative side. Focus on positivity, and positivity will surround you.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.Colin powel
A well adjusted person has a mature personality and can understand the needs and problems of others. It is a pleasure to be in the company of such people.
Change being the only constant, will continue. Accept it. Our endeavour, should be to acclimatise ourselves according to circumstances and bring about a positive change.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change;the realist adjusts the sails.William Arthur Ward
It is said in the Vedas;
That, whatever now we do.
Determines in the next life,
That who will be who.
The good deeds of life before,
Has earned us a human form.
Showering us with powers,
From the day we are born.
But the evil deeds of humanity,
Accumulations due to greed.
For what? We really know not,
Nor is there a real need.
This want for more is endless,
And is testing for mother earth.
Who provides things in abundance,
And never leaves a dearth.
In delusion of achievements,
We’re actually collecting sins.
Whose results we’ll get in next life,
And know what suffering means.
We’re paving a path for travelling,
A life without water or air.
Money and gold are useless,
When basic things are rare.
Polluted fumes shall abound,
In treeless barren land.
The dry, choking hot air;
Shall blow over scorching sand.
Drops of water will be diamonds,
Every fruit and leaf will be gold.
The noble souls shall get them;
To noble souls they’ll be sold.
Only the fit and poor will live,
For they have the true wealth.
The power to endure adversity,
With which they’ve always dealt.
The rich who gained mere money,
By exploiting nature to the core.
Will awaken and gradually realise,
That money has no value anymore.
The air , water and food;
That we take for granted everyday.
Are the real priceless things,
Whatever one might say.
So by planting trees and caring,
For whatever God gives for free.
Is the only path to salvation,
For the world, for you and me.