Angus Wilson

I chose Wilson’s sentence because it is just fun.  This is another sentence that paints a whole scene, putting the reader right in the middle of the action.

“She looked mad, absolutely round the bend, standing in a filthy bare hall on ragged linoleum under the dismal light of one feeble, fly-brown, naked bulb, casually dispensing thousands of pounds.”  Angus Wilson, No Laughing Matter, 401

The sentence is another from Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences, page 34.  She explains that “linking-verb kernels, too, may be held intact, as in the opening clause of the following [above] right-branching sentence.”

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Right-branching sentences start with the main sentence, in this case: “She looked mad.”  The following information describing said sentence then follows: “absolutely round the bend, standing in a filthy bare hall on ragged linoleum under the dismal light of one feeble, fly-brown, naked bulb, casually dispensing thousands of pounds.”

If you are interested in learning more about linking verbs, the following link is pretty comprehensive. 

Linking verbs:

  • Show a relationship between the subject and the sentence complement, the part of the sentence following the verb
  • Connect or link the subject with more information – words that further identify or describe the subject
  • Identify a relationship or existing condition

This site provides a whole list of linking verbs.  https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/verbs/linking-verbs.html

Kernel Sentence: a sentence (such as “John is big” or “John has a book”) exemplifying in a language one of a very small group of the grammatically simplest sentence types or patterns (such as noun phrase + be + adjective phrase or noun phrase + verb + noun phrase) which in transformational grammar are the basic stock from which all sentences in that language are derived and in terms of which they can all ultimately be described (Webster’s Unabridged).

or

Kernel Sentence Patterns: noun-verb, noun-verb-noun, noun-verb-noun-noun, noun linking-verb noun, and noun linking-verb adjective (Dechant).

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Works cited:

Dechant, Emerald. Understanding and Teaching Reading: An Interactive Model. Routledge. 1991.

 “Kernel Sentence.” Merriam-Webster Unabridged. 2019.  https://www.merriam-webster.com/help/citing-the-dictionary

“Linking Verbs.” Your Dictionary. Love to Know, Corp. 2019.

Tufte, Virginia. Artful Sentences. Graphics Press, LLC.  2006

Wilson, Angus. No Laughing Matter.  Faber & Faber.  2012.

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Gore Vidal

Favorite Passage

From Artful Sentences by Virginia Tufte – page 28.

This sentence has so much emotion tied into it that it almost feels like I have watched the movie already.  The first part of the sentence has such strong movement, rhythm, pacing, created by the confusion, the rain, the lightning—and then, it stopped. 

The juxtaposition of the semicolon here commands the stop.  It also allows the movement to carry on in a related, yet different thread.  Maybe the reality isn’t reality at all.  Maybe the man is dreaming? 

And, then he is brought out of his misshapen, perceived reality, brought back into the present moment with the confirmation of his suspicions brought forth by a lover’s moan.

The point of this sentence is to show how a short intransitive verb can drive a point home after a long passage with force and conviction.  He fled.

“He stood in the rain, unable to move, not knowing if the lovers were real or simply creations of the lightning and when it stopped, they stopped; unless of course he was dreaming one of those dreams from which he would awaken in that pain which is also sharpest pleasure, having loved in sleep. But the cold rain was real; so was the sudden soft moan from the poolhouse door. He fled.” (Gore Vidal, Washington, D.C.)

Tufte, Virginia. Artful Sentences. Graphics Press. 2007

Vidal, Gore. Washington D.C., Vintage Books. 2000

Baldwin, James

Of all the sentences I have read, these remain my favorite (despite the punctuation problems).

From “Sonny’s Blues”

 “These boys, now, were living as we’d been living then, they were growing up with a rush and their heads bumped abruptly against the low ceiling of their actual possibilities.”

2016 – James Baldwin’s short story Sonny’s Blues represents a time in America where getting a decent job was really difficult for African Americans. 

Baldwin, James. “Sonny’s Blues.” The Oxford Book of American Short Stories. Ed. Joyce Carol Oates. The Ontario Review: New York, 2013 Google Books 482-514 Web. 8 Mar 2016.

Consumer Reports Speaks Up About Hearing Loss

The Consumer Reports’ article “No More Suffering in Silence” is a welcome addition to the hearing-loss community, the staff at lessersoundapp.com believes.  As many of us know, the resources for the average H.I.P* and

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons File: Vintage Beltone Mono-Pac, Model M “Melody” Hearing Aid, Vacuum Tubed Unit, Circa 1950 (8638884782).jpg

H.A.R.P.* are greatly unattainable for most in the U.S. — the number one resource being lack of information.  There just isn’t enough quality information out there.

Wayne Lesser, creator of the lessersound app, knows firsthand that hearing loss isn’t a self-contained problem.  As a young twelve-year-old boy, he watched as his sister was fitted with her first hearing aids: “a large ugly thing, about the size of a deck of cards with wires connecting the ear buds.  She was profoundly hearing impaired.”  At the time, no one thought to check his hearing.  He did the best he could throughout his education at school, struggling to hear, faking it a lot of the time.  (See Wayne’s Story.)  He knows how it can affect family members, loved ones, coworkers, and everyone else who tries to communicate with a H.I.P or H.A.R.P. person.  It contributes to a person’s happiness and well-being to be able to hear well.  Consumer Reports’ writer Julie Calderone has concerns about this as well.  “This widespread problem [hearing loss] is associated with depression, isolation, and possibly, dementia.  We report on affordable solutions and what’s being done to give everyone access to treatment.”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports, “. . . about 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids.”  Consumer Reports surveyed their subscribers to see how the numbers fell.  “Almost half of the 131,686 Consumer Reports subscribers surveyed for our 2015 Annual Fall Questionnaire reported having trouble hearing in noisy environments, yet only 25 percent had their hearing checked in the previous year.  And according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, just 14 percent of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them.”  Lesser agrees.  “There is a risk of hearing loss for everyone through exposure to loud sound who is not already hearing impaired.  People don’t understand or appreciate the substantial hazard of exposure to dangerous sound levels in their environment that causes the tiny hair cells in the ears to die.”

Calderone explains why the numbers are so high for people who need their hearing checked and haven’t bothered.  “A common one, according to National Academies of Science (NAS), President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and others, is that they can’t afford it.  NAS reports that hearing aids cost an average of $4,700 per pair in 2013 and can climb to almost twice that price.”  That’s not taking into consideration the cost of the doctor’s visits or that hearing aids are generally not covered by insurance or Medicare.

A lower-cost alternative to hearing aids is becoming more popular in personal sound amplification products (PSAPs).  These devices can be bought over the counter without a prescription.  The cost range is anywhere from around $18 to $740.  Working similarly to the concept of a Bluetooth device, the unit fits around the ear and amplifies sound.  Unlike hearing aids, they don’t perform well in lowering feedback noise.  Consumer Reports tested four of these units with three volunteers who had mild-to-moderate hearing loss.  “We found that the higher-end PSAPs helped some of our volunteers hear better, especially while watching TV.”  (Get details on the results of our tests at “Are OTC Hearing Helpers Any Good?”)

Avoidance of loud noises is still a strong preventative measure in protecting your hearing.  The question is how loud is too loud?  With the lessersound app at lessersoundapp.com (nominated as one of the top three finalists in the 2016 Appy Awards — medical category) you won’t have to wonder if the TV is too loud or all the chatter at the local restaurant is causing your hearing to fail.  A quick, simple download to your smartphone and you’ll be ready to test the safe-to-dangerous decibels levels and see the exposure time that leads to hearing loss anywhere you go.

*H.I.P. – hearing-impaired person
*H.A.R.P. – hearing-at-risk person

 

 

 

 

 

Lessersound and the Power of Woof

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Basset Hound, Wikipedia .com

Did you know that both the bark of a dog and the noise of a subway have equal decibel ratings of 101?  Who would have thought a barking dog could harm your hearing?  What about falling asleep in front of the TV with the volume turned up?  Did you ever wonder about traffic, trains, or construction sites?

Wayne Lesser did.  As a child, he watched his little sister get fitted for state-of-the art hearing aids in the mid-1950s.  He claimed it was an ugly and scary thing about the size of a deck of cards with two wires leading to her ears.  It left a strong impression on him.  So did her huge smile—the moment they turned the unit on—she could actually hear the water running from the faucet that he was turning on and off .  It was a life-changing event in the family.

Dealing with his own hearing loss while growing up was challenging for him.  He wondered why people couldn’t do more to protect their hearing.  He wondered why no one was doing anything to educate people on how to protect the hearing they had and what the dangers were that everyone lives with every single day.

As years passed, still little has happened in society to educate people on how hearing loss occurs. He decided that someone had to start making a change in people’s lives to help them understand the importance of hearing health, and he might as well be the one to do it.  And, he did—with the lessersound app and the “Color of Sound” technology—making it to one of the top three final nominations for the 2016 Appy Awards for new medical technology. Take a look at his video.

WAFA’s Tina Lindgreen at Seeds&Chips Summit 2016

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There’s more exciting news at WAFA!  Tina Lindgreen is honoured to be invited as keynote guest speaker at the Seeds&Chips-2016 summit (11-14 May) at Milan, Italy, on Saturday, 14 May 2016. The summit will host hundreds of exhibitors and guest speakers from across Europe and the US. The discussions will cover all aspects of food from the time it goes into the ground until it is put on the plate. Some of the topics will include climate change, environmental factors, lack of available resource, growing, processing, distribution, innovative new strategies, and many more ideas and conversations will be presented.

WAFA’s founder Tina Lindgreen along with Paul Vincent, co-founder and CEO of EnSo, and Ayrton Cable, founder and ambassador of WAF Youth Awards, will be introducing the opening of WAFA’s “call for applications” for the . . . (Read More Here)