WR 6. The metaphors we live by: learning is a flight WR 6.1. The write stuff. GOAL.

To learn ways of finding an angle to your composition. WARM UP.

4-5 levels 4-5 levels 15-20min

TASK1. Read the following text, where a successful writer gives some clues to focus your texts. Underline them. The write stuff - By Josh Freed in The Gazette (Montreal)/ oct-2001

Writing is also a way to entertain readers, and the same time to enlighten them. I think a strong opening, lively imagery, humour and good writing are critical elements of good text , because they encourage the reader to read your story. And most texts should be aimed at an audience. Finding a good angle Half of every story is the spin you give it, a fresh angle that makes you see an old subject in a new and interesting way. If you’ve got a good subject, or a good angle, the writing and telling is always easier. Why not be a bit more creative? All you really need is an original thought or a catchy line that grabs the audience’s attention. Imagery helps, too. Metaphors and similes take work to find, but they’re usually worth it because they let readers involve their own imagination in the story. Tiny, telling details are part of what makes good writing.

Josh Freed is a free-lance journalist in Canada. Best columnist in 1977 and 2002 [source: http://www.Wednesday-Night.com/JoshFreed.htm ]

TASK2. Which is the most difficult for you? From 1 (the least) to 10 (the most) answer below.

 my texts should be aimed at an audience.  my writing is a way to entertain readers,  I try to enlighten my readers.  To me it is hard to think of a good subject,  I fight to find a good angle  write a strong opening/ending,  express yourself with lively imagery,  add a pinch of humour

……. …….. ……. …….. ……… …..… …..… …..…

 add a couple of telling details to sharp my story …....

LANGUAGE PRACTICE TASK3. Read the title of one of his humourous, but serious, columns. Answer the questions below. WE'RE LIVING IN A REALLY SCARY WORLD - IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME, READ THE LABEL

Q1. The text starts with “Everywhere I went I saw warning labels telling me I was at risk”. Where could you see those labels? Guess?

 "Beware! Floor may be uneven!"  "Danger! Contents are hot."

…………………………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………………..

 "This product is not intended for use as a dental drill," ……………………………………………………..  "Do not iron clothes on your body."  "Do not put any person in this washer."
…………………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………………..

 "This Spiderman cape does not enable wearer to fly!"  "Do not immerse in water."

…………………………………………………………………….. …………………………………………………………..

 "Place on solid ground and unfold before using."

Q2. In a Warning labels contest, which one would be the winner? ........................................................... Framing the essay/column. TASK4. Read the first lines of his serious column. Answer the questions below.

WARNING: This column contains humorous material that could result in sudden laughter. Please note that sarcasm, hyperbole and other cheap literary devices are employed. The reader accepts these risks and the dangers. Q1. How does the opening paragraph express something surprising about the subject?
.....................................................................................................................................................................

Q2. Does it succeed in getting your attention? How? ................................ ..................................................
TASK4. Read the last lines of his column. Answer the questions below. NOTE: If you are experiencing nausea or fatigue STOP READING immediately and consult a physician. These may be symptoms of column overdose. BE ADVISED that no animals were killed or mistreated during the writing of this column.

Q1. How does it summarizes the topic or makes his point about the subject? ................................................................................................................................................................... Q2. Which do you like most: opening or ending? ............................. ...............................
TASK5. Enjoy the abridged text (30%) in annex 1 and underline all the vocabulary related to law. FOLLOW UP.

Observe how he places his message with a storyline (a visit to L.A.’s amusement park), contrasts Americans with Canadians and includes all his ideas on he topic passing form the personal (my son…) to the general (use of we / you).

ANNEX1. WE'RE LIVING IN A REALLY SCARY WORLD - IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME, READ THE LABEL WARNING: This column contains humorous material that could result in sudden laughter. Please note that sarcasm, hyperbole and other cheap literary devices are employed. The reader accepts these risks and the dangers thereto, hereunder, whereupon and furthermore. I'm just back from 10 days in Los Angeles and it's a miracle that I survived, given all the dangers that surrounded me. Everywhere I went I saw warning labels telling me I was at risk. It started the instant I stepped off my plane and saw a sign saying "Beware! Floor may be uneven!" It continued through endless warnings on every coffee cup and pizza container saying "Danger! Contents are hot." When we visited Universal Studios, my son's amusement rides posted so many warnings that I should have brought a lawyer. For instance, the Jurassic Park water ride warned visitors not to "experience this attraction" if they had any of a dozen conditions including: "Heart problems, abnormal blood pressure, or if you have experienced motion sickness, dizziness or claustrophobia." Even the escalators sounded scary with warnings that said: "Caution: step onto centre of step, while facing forward. Do not sit. Do not face backward!" It's a wonder anyone gets off them alive. Behind all this caution is the fear of frivolous lawsuits that are launched every day by armies of U.S. lawyers who sue first and ask questions later. They sue doctors for wrong diagnoses or restaurants for food that's too spicy. The growing warning mania also fits right into our modern paranoia about the dangers lurking behind everything from toys to playgrounds. The result is an epidemic of labels that treats us all like we're idiots - from sleeping pill bottles that warn "MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS" to fishing lures that say "HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED." Many of these weird warnings can be viewed on a website run by the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch.Last week the organizers announced the 2006 winner: a washing machine label that warns: "DO NOT PUT ANY PERSON IN THIS WASHER." Among my favourites are an electric drill that warns: "This product is not intended for use as a dental drill," and an iron that says "Do not iron clothes on your body." Also, a Superman kids' costume that says: "This cape does not enable wearer to fly!" Canada doesn't have as many lawsuits but warning label mania is rapidly spilling over our border anyway. Every electronic product I buy, from my shaver to my camera now says stuff like "Do not immerse in water." Even your basic ladder now comes with more warnings than steps, starting with "Place on solid ground and unfold before using." Frankly, I don't think the world is getting any safer as we label it with more warnings. If anything, it's getting more dangerous as we all tune all these warnings out. At L.A.'s amusement park, everything sounded lethal, from the escalators to the "fog effects," so I just I ignored all the warnings. The fact is when everything is dangerous, nothing is dangerous - because the word itself becomes meaningless. So no one is better off, except for lawyers. NOTE: If you are experiencing nausea or fatigue STOP READING immediately and consult a physician. These may be symptoms of column overdose. BE ADVISED that no animals were killed or mistreated during the writing of this column. Nonetheless, do not swallow this column or attempt to drink it - especially if you are sensitive to fog effects. [Full text at

http://www.joshfreed.ca/columns/scaryworld.html]

Annex 2. The write stuff (By Josh Freed - The Gazette / oct-2001)
The following is adapted from Journalism in the New Millennium (Sing Tao School of Journalism,’98).

WARNING: This essay contains irony, honesty other cheap literary devices. The reader accepts these risks and the danger of irritation therein. 100% SMOKE FREE. THERE ARE TWO REASONS for the above paragraph. First, it’s true and you might as well know it. Two, it’s a way of getting you to start this essay by letting you know it could be fun. Writing is also a way to entertain readers, and the same time to enlighten them. I think a strong opening, lively imagery, humour and good writing are critical elements of good text whatever medium you work in, because they encourage the reader to read your story. And most texts should be aimed at an audience, not at posterity. Much as we’d like to think the reader has an obligation to read our story given the time, thought and serious research we put into it, "serious" doesn’t count for much these days. In fact, it counts for less and less as people have more choice over what they read and watch. But you don’t necessarily have to be agreat writer to liven your stories up. For me, the best stories combine style and content – giving the reader something to reflect on in a way that’s enjoyable to read. I think what’s often forgotten in teaching the five W’s is that they can be helped out with a sixth. Along with who, what, where, when and why, it’s nice to say, "Wow! This is a great read!" good writing is critical – the backbone to any good story.

Finding a good angle Half of every story is the spin you give it, a fresh angle that makes you see an old subject in a new and interesting way. If you’ve got a good subject, or a good angle, the writing and telling is always easier. The art of the opening A good story is a bit like a seduction in which you slowly pull readers in with your wit and charm –they might be a little more tolerant of your flaws. Every journalist knows the process starts with the "lead," the crucial few words, sentences or images that get a reader hooked. Why not be a bit more creative? All you really need is an original thought or a catchy line that grabs the audience’s attention. Writing to be read Just because you’ve captured the readers’ attention doesn’t guarantee they’ll stick around. Even after a sizzling lead, many stories get thick and hard to get through, filled with dense sentences. The simplest way to get your point across is with simple sentences. They’re easy to read. They encourage you to get to the point. Most important, they force you to separate your ideas and figure out what you’re trying to say. A long sentence can be a fine literary thing, but it requires you to know what you want to say and think through your sentence structure in advance, so your point doesn’t get lost in your sentence’s long, tantalizing striptease; the longer the sentence, the more likely you are to get to the end and forget what you were saying when you

began, and by that time you’re often too rushed by deadline to go back and figure it out and, well, you get my point. Imagery helps, too. Metaphors and similes take work to find, but they’re usually worth it because they let readers involve their own imagination in the story. Tiny, telling details are part of what makes good journalistic writing. You need to use your senses to see, hear and sense small things that reveal personality and make up a scene: the photographs on someone’s desk that show him posing with important people, the books on the wall, the framed letter from Mom. Humour helps I hesitate to talk about because it can kill the magic as surely as a magician explaining his tricks. No matter what medium you work in, a smile is a wonderful way to help readers/viewers keep going. But a little humour can give readers a break that allows them to keep reading. I’ve always thought a smile is worth 100 words: it gives people renewed energy to keep watching another minute, or reading another two paragraphs. The nice part of journalism is you don’t even have to be amusing; you can let your subject be amusing for you. Much has been written about the art of the tough question, but some of the nicest moments in interviews are the small spontaneous times when a person lights up with a smile or shares an infectious laugh that makes you join in.

The finish line One of the most disappointing things in a good story is to get all the way to the end and suddenly be cut off in mid-stride by an abrupt or lazy ending – to be left stranded in emotional midair. In fiction it’s an accepted rule that you close dramatically, then give a little time for the readers/viewers to let it all sink in. The same should be true for journalism. A skillful closing adds a finishing touch to any good story. It should cast light on everything you’ve read, make you think, or sigh, or just smile. Yet while most journalists are obsessed with the lead, they sometimes give little thought to the closing. There are many reasons for this: journalists who are used to editors who cut from the end of a story; journalists who have just run out of time. Or energy. Or ideas. A good ending is to a journalist what a good dessert is to a chef. It’s the last thing your customers will remember. If you’ve put a lot of effort into your appetizers and the entrèe, why not leave your patrons dreaming about the next meal instead of disappointed by an unfinished flan? The above suggestions are ones that have worked for me and some other journalists and cannot be guaranteed. There is, I repeat, no formula for How to Become a Great Writer. But if you do come across one, please send it to me via the publisher and I’ll send you three payments of $29.95 (plus shipping and handling costs). I’m always looking for new tricks.

PS: In 1995, Freed won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, one of Canada’s most prestigious awards, for Fear of Frying and other Fax of Life, a published collection of his columns in The Gazette. http://www.Wednesday-Night.com/JoshFreed.htm

WR 6.2. The rite of writing right: Fear of flying?

4-5 levels

35-40min

GOAL. To be aware of the uses of the metaphors of flying in a learner’s report (Have a nice flight!). WARM UP. TASK 1. You need to imagine a way to give shape at your piece of writing. Do questions below. Q1. Which metaphor would you use for a report on your learning at the EOI?

 A return-ticket race to Stratford-upon-Avon
 Cruising unmapped lands

 The making of Sorrows, tears and (tons of) videotapes
Q2. Read these three opening paragraphs and assign its would-be titles from the three above. Copy them at A) B) C).
A. B. C.

text one. As June opens its
doors, I feel the urge of taking my ballpen and leave testimony of the amazing expedition

the year report, I was sure that a pencil in my hands would be more alike to a mass destruction weapon than a poetry tool. I see the course as a film. A tragic one where one couldn’t be left out. We had a great storyline, we had great actors, well-rehearsed studios and proper resources.

a journey with a final destination: a pass to fifth set a level. up roadmap The and to longevery Dakar. the course contest had been contender was left with Many were those who first joined enterprise but the toll took half of us.

through the English jungle. All who joined the voyage knew that it was not an easy one as we had to explore of the the

uncharted

country

Three. I stopped my Ford

fourth level in the wild lands of the EOI continent.
TEXT two. When our teacher asked us why not write a end-of-

in the newly painted carpark at EOI. It was strange to think that I was ready to set out on

TASK 2. Imagine you are asked to write an end-of-the-year report. Answer the questions below. Q1. Which of these openings would you choose or a report on your learning at EOI? Why? ................................................................................................................................... Q2. Who would you say gives a negative impression of the course? Why? ...................................................................................................................................

LANGUAGE PRACTICE. TASK 3. How successful would it be this first paragraph? Why? We were seating in front of the class that morning at 9 oclock to start our new course in the EOI, the fourth level, with new classmates and new teacher. I always feel nervous and excited when I take up new courses. When the door was open i entered the nice classroom and took a free seat near the window. Then I studied those mates near me. At that moment the teacher lay the books on his table, introduced himself and gave us the program.

................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................

TASK4. To avoid sounding flat, try to edit the paragraph with your own words rephrasing full sentences while you add some brushes of good writing. For instance: Feelings: how nervous? Why? Use the senses (sound, light, touch) Uncertainty: wasn’t sure I could cope with this new experience telling details: I was thinking to myself “I hope to get a nice seat”. .......................................................................... .................................................................................. .................................................................................................... ........................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................. .................................................................................................................................... ......................... ............................................................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................................................. TASK 5. Fina decided to use some Metaphors of flight: course = flight, students card =
boarding card, timetable = plane code. How successful would it be now this first paragraph after her

edition?

In the first week I was given a boarding card whose flight number was 4B/9 to 11. While I was waiting that morning on the departure lounge I felt a kind of nervousness and excitement because I wasn’t sure I could cope with this new experience as I am not used to fly. As we were asked to get into the plane I was thinking to myself “I hope to get a nice seat”. While the engines were roaring outside I was wondering who among the passengers was going to get the seat next to me. Once we managed to get a free seat by the aisle the captain introduced himself.
...................................................................................................................................

TIP. See Collocations in use (CUP) -units 12, 43, 44 & 45- to help you at this point.

TASK6. Observe and compare the part of the report were she describes some minor problems she had to face. Write the alternatives below: First version> This report will help me to summarise, as honest as I can, my experience in class. I sincerely say we had to overcome some study problems, I missed one month classes, I didn’t meet my writing deadlines in February. Before Easter twice I was thinking of quitting and go back next September. But we overcame these problems and we happily took our final exam last week in May.

put into words, as honest as I can, my flying experience. I can sincerely state that turbulence moments we had a few as we all are afraid of flying. Sometimes we heard the aircraft cracking, other times thought we were going to crash. Even though I knew where the parachutes were, and I was tempted twice to take the same flight next year, I may assure you that our airplane was landing safe and sound on EOI airfield the last week of May.

Edited > So here I am, trying to do my best -like anyone else-, and

a) This report will help me to summarise my experience in class
...................................................................................................................................

b) we had to overcome some study problems
...................................................................................................................................

c) twice I was thinking of quitting and go back next September
...................................................................................................................................

d) we happily took our final exam
................................................................................................................................... TASK7. Besides the vocabulary field she activates (turbulence, aircraft, airfield, landing), mention three improvements you see in content: ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... ................................................................................................................................... TASK8. Read the authentic report on annex 1 and give marks on the features below. Score from

1 (the least) to 7 (the most).The text I read:

 

entertains readers,

…….. ……..

ends with a balanced sentence expresses herself with lively imagery adds a pinch of humour offers a couple of telling details

……. …..… …..… …..…

tries to enlighten other learners. shows a strong opening be a successful piece

……... ………

FOLLOW UP. Write your own version for the course you are enrolled in with particular emphasis on the angle you can bring to the composition. Length aprox 400 words
Annex1. Report on my learning experience in our Language school

Have a nice flight!!!!

In

the

first

week

of

seat by the aisle, the captain himself. Taking off is the most difficult, and dangerous part, in a flight. Thank heavens everything went fine. there noticed with We most were But after a few hours in our plane I felt was something that this weird about it. I also ‘something’ was shared passengers. ordered our to seatbelts introduced

another that no-one was very When pleased you by fly his longknow time remark either. distance, made, you this

October, I was given a boarding to 11. card While I whose was flight number was 4B/9 waiting that morning on the departure lounge I felt a kind because of and I nervousness excitement

where the stop-overs are but everybody was at a loss, or perhaps being in the muddle. I can well state that this was due to the way that’s that the the aircraft reason was we being piloted. At least, blamed our captain at moment, more when we heard through the loud-speakers “you are going to become a great team”. We were used to being painstakingly intructed what to do (and when to do things), and for the time being it seemed a very unlikely thing to happen.

wasn’t sure I could cope with this new experience as I am not used to flying. As we were asked to get into the plane to I was “I thinking myself

unfasten

and move around the aircraft. I can still picture our captain snapping (and I hated him for that) “I remind you civilians are not allowed to remain on the same seat throughout the trip”. I guessed by the way we were staring at one

hope to get a nice seat”. While the engines were roaring outside, I was wondering who among the passengers was going to get the seat next to me. Once we managed to get a free

The good thing about that was that none of the team was forced to do anything, as much as you rolled your sleeves up to perform the tasks (unobstru-sively supervised, may I add) and you took whatever came out of it. Time went by, and most of us seemed to get used to our facilities, except three of us who took their parachutes. Our captain didn’t allow us to get bored so we were engrossed into different activities throughout the trip. I’ll mention briefly some oustanding features of the four life skills we practised daily in flight. Firstly, gast it write. Taking notes, composing and this stuff of writing was oddly organised to my view. I was not very keen on my job when we had to become

journalists, to interview each other and on top of that to write our own magazine. quite Secondly, I enjoyed the

channels to listen to the tracks any other time or even rewind some parts at our own whim. Last, but galaxies away not least, the art of conversation. Speaking

reading pastimes when we were given sundry texts. I didn’t like them all but was fond of some of them (“Who is crazy?”, “Hooked on a quiet cup of caffeine” “Desirable work” or “A sharing pleasure”) and specially the fables. At the books plane (even library I browsed some useful

was what we enjoyed the most because, without being aware of it, we were who improving we turned into getting the to know other were, our a the

passengers

communicative skills and proficient English’ team. became ‘Only

grammar

ones!) and some English mags with CD (Think in English or Hot English) that could be bought. Thirdly, some other times we had the chance to listen to some of the audio-programs captain enjoyed the –I

norm, nobody bothered at all if we had other languages at hand (in the end we were glad to have compied to this rule). I admit sometimes we drifted away from our initial topic of discussion and we moved smoothly towards small talk. We knew that talking was what really counted.

confess that most audio tasks were hard to follow indeed. The good thing is that most of the times we could use the radio-

Glad to be announced our we destination, learnt in we a a had we to wiped our smiles off and hand with final report He

afraid

of

flying.

passengers.

The

lucky

Sometimes we heard the aircraft cracking, other times thought we were going to crash. Even and I though I knew where the parachutes were, was tempted twice to take the same flight next year, I that may assure you airplane was our

ones will probably meet on next year’s flight 5B/9 to 11/ which I will book as early as possible. See you there. PS: Fina, cost Our is passenger, currently at

assignment:

metaphors.

whispered – “yes, with metaphors, personal imaginery, if you touch

flying with our lowcompany 5A/16 to 18/. We are truly pleased to have her flier as a of frequent and

like, you heard it right”. So here I am, trying to do my best -like anyone else-, can, sincerely and my I state put into flying can that words, as honest as I

landing safe and sound on EOI airfield the last week of May. I’d rather enjoyed my time there, I especially had of the the because with

takes

advantage

experience.

our discount scheme with mile bonus fare.

turbulence moments we had a few, as we all are

chance to get on well most

by Fina V.

(Edited version)

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