martes, 15 de mayo de 2012

Writing better

Writing is often a difficult task since we have to think beforehand. 

There are a lot of strategies to follow. For instance, plan and write notes before you write, choose your best ideas and decide the information to include in each paragraph. In addition to this, we should bear in mind who are we writing to and what for so that we can adapt our language to the correct degree of formality or informality. You all know this because we have discussed it in class. But today, I want to remind you how important punctuation is. The use of capital letters, commas, apostrophes, ... give sense to what we write.

Your classmate Antonio has been working on the lack of punctuation and how this can affect to the understanding of a text. This is the situation:

A really handsome traveller, after having stopped at an inn for a night and having received a lot of attentions from the innkeeper's ready-to-marry daughters, decides to leave the following note for them. (You're lucky because this time the text is in Spanish!)

Tres bellas que bellas son
me han exigido las tres
que diga de ellas cual es
la que ama mi corazón
si obedecer es razón
digo que amo a Soledad
no a Julia cuya bondad
persona humana no tiene
no aspira mi amor a Irene
que no es poca su beldad

The following morning, when the three daughters read the note, confusion was all around. One by one, the daughters started asking their father the meaning of what the traveller wrote. The wise father, afraid of his three daughters, and considering the lack of punctuation, read them the note in such a way that each time, the traveller chose one of the daughters. So, who do you think is loved by this handsome traveller -Soledad, Julia or Irene?

Can you see now how important punctuation is? Don't forget to use it when you write and you will avoid misunderstandings as the one above.

1 comentario:

  1. As well as handsome, the traveller was intelligent. He also knew the rules of language. I think the note was a clever way to escape from the inn, which had become a dangerous place for him. Whatever he did, whatever he chose, he would be on trouble with the not chosen girls and, of course, with their father.
    The father, as well as all the fathers in the world, didn't like the traveller for his daughters. In fact, fathers never like the suitors for their daughters.
    The father, in order to make a bad impression of the traveller on his daughters, read the note this way:

    Tres bellas, ¡qué bellas son!,
    me han exigido las tres
    que diga de ellas cual es
    la que ama mi corazón.
    Si obedecer es razón,
    ¿digo que amo a Soledad?
    ¡No! ¿A Julia, cuya bondad
    persona humana no tiene?
    ¡No! ¿Aspira mi amor a Irene?
    ¡Que no! ¡Es poca su beldad!

    This way, the father got his daughters to forget the traveller.

    Thanks very much, Antonio, for sharing your knowledge, for showing us the richness of language and for making us think and reflect about the accuracy of language.

    Diving the Internet, I found another funny example of the importance of punctuation:

    Si el hombre supiera realmente el valor que tiene la mujer andaría a cuatro patas en su búsqueda.

    Where would you place the comma? If you are a man, be careful where you place the comma to avoid getting into troubles with female classmates.

    Best regards.