WOW #9: Threadbare

1. Threadbare

2. Source: The New York Times, link

3. A few times every day, the high-speed train between St. Petersburg and Moscow barrels through the threadbare town of Lyuban.

4. Threadbare: adj. (of cloth, clothing, or soft furnishings) becoming thin and tattered with age; (of a person, building, or room) poor or shabby in appearance; (of an argument, excuse, idea, etc.) used so often that it is no longer effective

5. The U.S. government’s threadbare excuses to go to war with every third-world nation began hurting the nation’s global credibility.


Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

 Z.Z. Packer uses various storytelling techniques in her book Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. She is constantly using figurative language, such as similes, metaphors, personification, and hyperboles. She personifies things like the sunset and leather in The Ant of the Self when she writes, “The sunset has ignited the bellies of the clouds,” and “He settles deeper into his car seat…the leather sighing and complaining under him,” (p. 73, 78). Packer uses an abundance of similes, such as “He…[looks] into the unlit burner as though staring into the future,” or “He’s banging words into the dash as if trying to get them through my thick skull” or “The birds could land anywhere on Lupita and she’d wear them like jewelry” (p. 73-74, 79). She uses italics and capital lettering to emphasize dialogue, such as, “Do you know who you’re talking to?” (p. 75) or “THAT’S RIGHT! YOU’RE TALKING TO RAY BIVENS JUNIOR!” Packer sets the scene with comparative description and more figurative speech, like “Indiana farmlands speed past in black and white. Beautiful,” and “It is completely dark and the road is revealing its secrets one at a time.” She paints her characters in a humorous light, even when the situation is serious. In The Ant of the Self, the deadbeat dad—Ray Bivens Junior—is seen as pesky and unproductive, who “sucks his teeth, making a noise that might as well be a curse,” (p. 81). When he speaks, he “starts up,” and he calls his son words like “pussy,” (p. 81, 84).

WC: 247

NPR Radio Interview Analysis

I listened to a story called Taken by the Taliban: A Doctor’s Story of Captivity, Rescue on October 12 on the program All Things Considered on NPR. Before beginning the actual interview, the interviewer got three to four quotes from the the interviewee, Dr. Dilip Joseph, to introduce him and give background on his career. Dr. Joseph then told the story of his tenth trip to Afghanistan, where he came face-to-face with the Taliban. The interview was presented as both a traditional interview, with bits of narration by the interviewer throughout the story. Rather than asking lots of questions or building up to questions, the interviewer seemed to have a step-by-step plan. He filled in information throughout the interview. It was almost like a performance, where the interviewer would tell listeners what happened while Dr. Joseph described each scene of the incident. The interview was definitely more organized than impromptu. There were few inadequate answers, if any at all, but if a response did not satisfy the interviewer, he encouraged Dr. Joseph to say more by commenting on his statements. The interviewer and interviewee’s relationship was formal. They did not directly speak to one another; instead they cohesively reported Dr. Joseph’s story. I learned that doing your research and knowing your subject is everything in an interview. This interview (like most NPR interviews) was so well-developed that the listener could listen with ease, without confusion, and with certainty that the interviewer knew his subject without question. The story was delivered with perfect timing and different aspects of the story were revealed at the right time (one soldier did die in the Taliban encounter, this was revealed in the last two minutes of the interview).

WC: 283

WOW #8: Quash

1. Quash

2. Source: NY Times, link

3. There is no evidence that Mr. Christie ordered the dismissal of the charges against Sheriff Trout. But his attorney general, Paula T. Dow, who had served as his counsel at the United States attorney’s office, supervised the quashing of the indictment and the ouster of the respected prosecutors.

4. Quash: v. reject or void, especially by legal procedure; put an end to; suppress

5. The rumors about the President’s affair were quashed by his wife at the press conference.

Copy Edit the World 2

These are screenshots of errors I’ve found. I’ve highlighted the errors in the screenshots as well.


This in-class assignment for our class has a typo in the title. The word “writing” is missing an i.

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 6.28.01 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 6.28.10 PM

The first screenshot has a critical error: the reporter spelled the woman’s name wrong. The second screenshot shows the same story on a different news site with the woman’s name spelled correctly. It is spelled “Veronica,” not “Vernica.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 6.54.20 PM

This flyer for San Jose State University’s PHEW (Peer Health Education Workshop) has a couple of errors in the green section. “Latecomers” is not hyphenated. It is one word. Changing the second sentence by adding the word up (“classes will fill up“) makes the sentence more cohesive.

WOW #7: Fulcrum

1. Fulcrum

2. Source: NY Times, link

3. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy remains the court’s ideological fulcrum.

4. Fulcrum: n. a thing that plays an essential role in an activity, event, or situation

5. My mother–who works full-time and still manages to feed us homemade meals every day–is the fulcrum of my family.

Mystery Character

As the lights dim, a loud trumpet chimes twice. The crowd begins to scream her name cohesively. “I love you!” I hear someone behind me shriek. She struts onto the stage in ten-inch heels with sheer confidence. She is accompanied by an all-female band cooing in the background along with her strong,  voice. They begin to harmonize as six back up dancers enter the stage, swinging their hips in synchrony. Her silhouette is the shape of an hourglass, framed by long waves of hair. She has on a nude-colored, shimmering lace leotard and her stockings sheer through her legs. Her presence is felt by every person in the room. She is?