Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Old yet Gold!

   Err!! Too much of something is good for nothing. So let's kick aside grammar for a while and talk about something interesting.
    Something which is most talked about. Well the most talked about thing these days are the elections! But I would prefer to draw your attention towards a very interesting election process which I came across reading a book last week.Not Indian elections of course. Its one of the oldest election process to survive! Yes it's the "Papal Elections".
   This form of election is one of the most complex one and explaining it in total would take a lot of time so i would suffice you with an outline.
   Also known as the "Papal Conclave" it was first started with basic rules in 1059(almost 950 years ago!!). Going through innumerable changes in rules the basic framework is more or less the same.
   The process starts after 15-20 days of the death of the Pope (yes! They hold the Office till their death. Except 3 to 4 times since 1059) Cardinals chosen by the Pope and who are below 80 at the time of Conclave arrives at Rome. They are barred from any contact from outside world. The election takes place in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City. At the time of elections the college of Cardinals are sealed in the Chapel, thus preventing them from any contact from outsiders. Once in, the complex process starts. After some secret rituals the balloting takes place in which each Cardinal must write the name of the member they wish to elect as Pope on a ballot and submit it to the dean (or the leader). To be elected as a Pope ,the candidate should require 2/3 of the votes.4 ballots takes place in one day and it goes on untill the next pope is elected

   Just for the fact,the biggest conclave ever recorded is the one in 1268. It went on from Nov 1268 to Sep 1271. Yes! Almost 3 years ( 3 cardinals actually died during the conclave). It has a very interesting story behind it but that can be awaited for now.

   Coming to the point , in modern times rules have been modified to make the election process a lot quicker. After the balloting is done and no one attains a majority, the ballots are burned with a chemical that emits black smoke outside the chimney. It notifies the world that no Pope is elected and they have to wait. And if a cardinal attains majority of votes then the ballots are burnt with a chemical that produces white smoke. Which notifies that the wait has ended, new Pope is elected! Once elected he becomes the leader of a billion Catholics around the world! Isn't that an interesting procedure!
   Now before leaving, just imagine this, In the upcoming PM elections in India ,on the election day ,all the PM probables (Mr.Modi,Mr.Gandhi,etc) are sealed in the parliament house and are subjected to Conclave procedure! Ha! The results would surely be lot entertaining than seeing John Cena, Batista, and The Undertaker inside a sealed Cage!

P.S.- Nothing mentioned in the last paragraph is going to happen, so a request for people above 18. "Do Vote" !

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Pieces of a Cake!

"Thanks guys .. Enjoyment a lot ..bestest day ever" And after this the one who posted this was brutally attacked by Grammar Nazis in the comment box! And just for your information the one who posted this as a status got 190/200 in English!
So what does this imply? It can be said that many people do find English taught at school boring. By memorising Essays,Author's name, Grammar exercises one may become an English topper but he may be weak when it comes to practical usage. You might have seen people speaking fluent English despite their low grades in schools. And their secret? Well they actually help themselves with some little treasures lot more useful than textbooks, and following them is just a piece of a cake! And if you are actually trying to get your usage right , I hope these will help you out.

#1- Textbooks
                 Yes I know I mentioned that teaching in schools might be boring but flip your textbook to a section marked as 'Prose'. Its a great thing for people who love movies. These are just movies in writing. With easy and simple language along with a story its a great tool for improvement of English!

#2 - Novels
         May it be science fiction or an autobiography, a love story or a classic, novels are a treat for someone looking out for language improvement. And if chosen the right book one can learn about various aspects of language like the first person (or the narrator), new words invented by author (Shakespeare rules here!), author's point of view, etc.

#3 - Movies!
         Yes! Movies! Go for a movie! An English movie with subtitles. As said by many this is one of the most effective and entertaining method to improve a language! Well i think this is why the ones who prefer movies to studies speak better English than ones who get 190/200.

#4 - Commentary
    Everyone loves watching sports. So use this fanaticism to your advantage. Listen! There is so much of English going on behind whilst you are busy cheering for a great goal or someone who just hit 6 sixes. Commentators can play a very influencing role in your improvisation. May it be old Geoff Boycott's "Corridor of uncertainty" or Jon Champion's "Coaches often say to players:
treat the ball as a friend!" Almost every famous quote by them was in English!

#5 - Magazines
             Huh! Another reading material! But this one is lot more interesting and fun. Because you have a wide choice here. There are magazines for almost every interest imaginable. Be it films,music,fashion,sports,and well..you know what I mean ;). And even these will help you the same way! In
improvisation.

The above points are for those who actually want improvement (even i) and for those who wants to be an English professor without any effort then may Google help you!  -_-

P.S. - 168/200 (My English score)

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Peaceful Nazis!!

Oh I know what you must be thinking..A Peaceful Nazi!! Sounds like an oxymoron isn't it?? But I'm not talking about those Nazis who practiced Nazism , I'm not talking about those who did genocide, I'm not talking about those violent army regiments. But I'm talking about those who feels happy that they are about to correct someone who wrote 'tution' instead of 'tuition', I'm talking those who feel sad when they see their nation's leading media personnel write 'arguement' instead of argument,I'm talking about those  who gets an uneasy feeling every time they see a word misspelt in public. Some of you might have already guessed the Nazis I'm talking about. Yes they are the proud community of "Grammar Nazis".
First lets get familiarized with the term(for those who've never heard it)  one of the websites has inappropriately described Grammar Nazi as "Someone who believes it's
their duty to attempt to
correct any grammar or
spelling mistakes they
observe." Now does these characteristics strike any bells? I'm sure everyone must have come across someone of this nature,maybe someone commenting on your post the right spelling which you misspelt or maybe someone in your friend circle,or maybe you!(Ha! Lucky!).
And according to what I have observed, the world has labeled such people as 'irritating' 'annoying' etc. Come on now! That's not fair! Let's agree many do use short forms to communicate faster or even because of restrictions of letters on many sites and correcting them actually sounds dumb! But then there are people who see a style statement in writing 'my' as 'mah' (it's mah life!) or write 'you' as 'eue' or 'is' as 'iz'. Now let's be honest,who are more irritating! One may say they use short forms to communicate faster and then they feel that by writing 'B' instead of 'Be' would take them off their schedule . And people say these Grammar Nazis are annoying just because they corrected their 'wierd' to 'weird'. And even according to the latest stats 63% of the people on social sites misspell some common words which they use regularly.Now even after knowing this if you think Grammar Nazis are more irritating than those people who think modifying words is cool then "May Shakespeare haunt you"!
'So aftr reading mah articl it iz clear ho iz more irrtAtin!' Now that was annoying wasn't it??
P.S. - I am a Grammar Nazi!!