Blog Prompt #5

Finally, here is the prompt for the fifth blog post. I meant to post this before break, but the web site has been down. Slowly but surely, I am getting it back to normal.

Anyway, the fifth blog post is essentially the first portion of the proposal:

Identify a specific topic and a working title for your final Research Paper and include the following information:

  • A justification of the topic
  • A specific research question
  • If the research question is a good one, the answer to that question can serve as a preliminary thesis.
  • Some main ideas you want to develop and/or a scratch outline

Active and Passive Voice

Okay. Because you all seem to think that Grammar Girl is all smart and sassy and her explanation of active and passive voice was so much better than mine, here you go. Take your Grammar Girl; I don’t care.

By the way, I fixed the link to the handout that I wanted to discuss during class . . . not that it matters . . . nobody cares, anyway . . . :-((


Can You Tell One Rogue from Another?

Not all vagabonds are created equal. Some travel in pairs, some steal horses, some steal from the disabled. Fortunately, British writer Thomas Harman studied vagabond-ology back in the mid 1500’s and provided us a with a list of the various types of vagabonds.

In the spirit of our discussion of voice and, perhaps, our occasional references to precision, I present a portion of the list to you:

1. Rufflers (thieving beggars, apprentice uprightment)
2. Uprightmen (leaders of robber bands)
3. Hookers or anglers (thieves who steal through windows with hooks)
4. Rogues (rank-and-file vagabonds)
5. Wild rogues (those born of rogues)
6. Priggers of prancers (horse thieves)
7. Palliards (male and female beggars, traveling in pairs)
8. Fraters (sham proctors, pretending to beg for hospitals, etc.)
9. Abrams (feined lunatics)
10. Fresh-water mariners or whipjacks (beggars pretending shipwreck)
11. Dummerers (sham deaf-mutes)
12. Drunken tinkers (thieves using the trade as a cover)
13. Swadders or peddlers (thieves pretending to be peddlers)
14. Jarkmen (forgers of licenses) or patricoes (hedge priests)

These are just the male vagabonds, of course. If you want the rest of the list, including the female vagabonds, you will have to visit the web site below.

Find more at Lists of Note: The 23 Types of Vagabond.

This might could be a nice database.

Some folks over at that short-named campus in Columbia—the University of South Carolina, or something like that—have compiled what is probably the definitive online database of research and study on the multiple modal. I suspect that some of you native southerners may ought to check it out.

Naifeh and Smith on Van Gogh

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here is my gift to you.

Two weeks from tonight, Pulitzer Prize winning authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith will read and discuss their work in the Etherredge Center as part of the Oswald Distinguished Writer’s Series. In that spirit, here is Part I of the 60 Minutes episode devoted to their new biography of Vincent Van Gogh.

When you’re done with that, you can check out Part II and some web-only content.

Let’s Get All Cohesive!

Comment below by revising the following passages to make them more cohesive:

  • The Gateway Arch at the edge of the Mississippi river in St. Louis is the world’s tallest monument. Eero Saarinen designed the stainless steel structure that commemorates the Westward Movement.
  • The relentless heat of California’s great Central Valley make the summer almost unbearable at times. Over 110Ëš is not an unusual temperature reading from June through September. Bakersfield often records the hottest temperature in the valley.
  • The federal-witness protection service began in 1968. The U.S. Marshal Service directs the program. Over four thousand people have been relocated under the program. New identities are created for people in the program. The people are in extreme danger because they have testified against criminals.


For Thursday, February 16, choose your favorite revisions for numbers two (Great Central Valley) and three (federal witness protection program) above, click on reply after that comment, and explain why you chose that revision is your favorite.