DANCING WITH THE STARS News February 9, 2018...

DANCING WITH THE STARS News    February 9, 2018   Hi, Dancing with the Stars fans!   Are you making it through the winter okay?  Here’s a brief DWTS update to help you along.  I tried to post it numerous times earlier today but, for unknown reasons, could not get an Internet connection.   The DWTS “Light Up the Night” tour hit a dangerous and frightening snag last week.  During the snowstorm that plagued the Great Plains, the Midwest and beyond, their tour bus was involved in a multi-vehicle pileup on one of Iowa’s snowy highways.  The cast and crew were shaken up, and a few minor injuries were reported, but they’re okay.  In fact, after resting on the night of the accident, they continued onward and then wowed fans the next day as though nothing had happened.  The old showbiz mantra, “The show must go on,” is alive and well.  The tour will finish on March 18 in Los Angeles.  http://www.dancingwiththestarslivetickets.com/   http://www.etonline.com/maksim-val-chmerkovskiy-and-peta-murgatroyd-announce-new-dance-tour-featuring-baby-shai-exclusive Watch out!  The Chmerkovskiys from Dancing with the Stars are hitting the road to perform and promote Maks, Val & Peta Live on Tour: Confidential!   Maksim (Maks) and wife/pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd will have their one-year-old son Shai along on their tour bus, sure to...

WRITING: ANTECEDENTS January 28, 2018...

WRITING:     ANTECEDENTS                                January 28, 2018 In writing, correct words and punctuation marks serve as traffic signals on the road of life to tell readers where to go and how to interpret instructions.  These are critical for accurate comprehension and to avoid mistakes and accidents.   For example, readers always need to be sure whom we’re talking about or referring to.  A pronoun reference to a noun is known as an antecedent.  Webster defines “antecedent” in this way: “1. A noun, pronoun, phrase, or clause referred to by a personal or relative pronoun.” Now, I must also define personal and relative pronouns so that you can be on your way to understanding antecedents and how they meet their missions. Personal pronoun:  I, you, he, she, it, we, they Relative pronoun:  who, whom, that, which To keep this lesson simple today, we will discuss only personal pronouns as antecedents.   Repeating nouns many times makes sentences sound odd and sort of difficult to read: Mark is happy because Mark is playing golf. The use of personal pronouns as antecedents keeps writers from having to repeat the nouns:  Mark is happy because he is playing golf. Next, let’s put pronouns to use in both unclear and then clear references.   Unclear...

DANCING WITH THE STARS: EXCITING NEWS! 18 January 2018...

EXCITING DANCING WITH THE STARS NEWS   18 January 2018   Hello, Dancing with the Stars fans!   Time for lots of news!   Preparations for the holidays were intense and extremely time consuming, further encumbered by emergencies, illnesses, and other unexpected happenings while little actual dancing news seemed to be available.  Along the way I heard rumors and wondered what we truly should expect to happen for the spring season of Dancing with the Stars.  The wait has brought more real news and, just within the past day, what seems to be concrete, reliable information from the producers for the spring.  So, in my usual fashion, I am organizing info by topics below so that you can skim or read more easily.   SPRING SHOW FORMAT I just learned from TVGuide.com that during the fall 2017 finale Tom and Erin supposedly referenced the spring 2018 show format; if that’s true, I totally missed it and haven’t known anyone who did hear it.  You may recall that the original plan for this spring, which I mentioned a few times last summer/fall, was to have a Dancing With The Stars Junior edition.  I thought it was odd that I didn’t hear anymore about that after Season 25 ended.  Did you wonder? Well,...

WRITING: DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW January 16, 2018...

WRITING:  DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW             January 16, 2018 DASHES VS. COMMAS & PARENTHESES:  Part A  The Dash/Dashes In writing, correct punctuation marks are critical to readily clarify relationships and meanings for readers, thereby avoiding confusion that cannot readily be resolved.  Writing is normally more formal than speaking, where listeners can say they’re confused, ask for clarity and receive it on the spot. Dashes, commas, and parentheses can be used effectively to set off material that interrupts the main sentence.  Today, we will deal only with dashes to keep readers’ attention.  We will have lessons on commas and parentheses very soon. DASHES emphasize the interrupting material.  Like the white-gloved traffic cop whose raised palm tells you to stop, the first dash points to the interrupting material and announces, “Time out! Stop, look, and listen!” Then, like the traffic cop who points to you when you’re permitted to resume driving, the closing dash points toward the remainder of the core clause, saying, “And, now, back to our show.”   The irritable child–with her constant complaining and crying–causes much distress. Notice how a dash is typed: with two unspaced hyphens when the en dash or em dash* are not available, without spaces between them and the word that precedes or follows:  child–with her...

WRITING: TRANSITIONS January 2, 2018...

WRITING:  TRANSITIONS                                                January 2, 2018 When writing, we must create a road map of sorts for our readers to follow.   Readers need to be able to understand how and why our thoughts–phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and sections–are related to one another. To that end, our thoughts must be connected appropriately and clearly via the use of transitions–specifically, sentence adverbs and transitional phrases–to make reading and comprehension fluid and easy. As you will see, a sentence adverb and a transitional phrase relate and connect the second sentence with the first.   Example: Without sentence adverb: I had planned to go to the movies last night.   After a hard day at work I went home and slept all evening. With sentence adverb: I had planned to go to the movies last night.   However, after a hard day at work I went home and slept all evening. With transitional phrase: I had planned to go to the movies last night.   Surprising to no one, after a hard day at work I went home and slept all evening. See the difference?  The first set of two sentences has a choppy sound to them because they are not connected by a sentence adverb; conversely, the other sets flow smoothly because...

WRITING: PARALLELISM December 4, 2017...

WRITING:  PARALLELISM                                                December 4, 2017 Our writing should flow well for our readers. When we write parts of the sentence in parallel fashion, we keep things logical, clear, and easy to read. Parallelism gives the sentence a sense of coordination and unity, rhythm and power. One of the best examples of parallelism came from President Abraham Lincoln: “. . . that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” Now, compare the following examples: Nonparallel: I’ve spent the past week reading, some writing, and I took long walks. That sentence jolts readers, causing them to pause and think between the two independent clauses.   They think, “Wait a second. I have to read this again. What’s the writer talking about? Is a word or two missing? It feels weird. Shouldn’t it be worded in a different way?” Now, look at how the next sentence differs. Parallel: I’ve spent the past week reading, writing, and taking long walks. By contrast, the second sentence–one independent clause–flows smoothly because of the use of parallelism in the gerunds “reading,” “writing,” and “taking.” The sentence is parallel and easy to read within an economy of words. In this lesson we have given you...

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