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Exercise 1 In the following passage put the correct punctuation marks in the spaces underlined. Also add CAPITAL LETTERS where necessary.

the first of the great civic universities established in england _ manchester is today the largest unitary university in the united kingdom and an internationally famous centre of learning and research _ it is well _ endowed with resources and facilities _ the university library _ for instance _ is one of the four big academic libraries in the country _ and the university has its own modern theatre _ television studios _ art gallery _ museum _ shopping centre _ and _ of course _ extensive sports facilities _

(R.R. Jordan, Academic Writing Course, Collins: London and Glasgow, 1989, pp. 7981.)

Exercise 2 Copy out the passage below putting in the correct punctuation marks. Remember to use CAPITAL LETTERS where appropriate.

mr brown had been teaching english abroad for a number of years he had forgotten how cold it could be in england in the winter it was often dull and grey in november but it could be really cold in december january and february even in the spring it could snow mr brown looked out of the window as the train crossed the river avon he remembered the weather forecast that he had heard on the bbc at 9 oclock that tuesday morning it had said that it would be wet and windy in the north west manchester where he was now travelling to was unfortunately in the north west

(Idem, p. 14.)

Do the same for Exercises 3 to 8 below:

Exercise 3

one us industry the film industry has for many years practiced a form of self censorship in the 1920s responding to public demands for strong controls the motion picture association of america imposed on its constituents a production act compliance with its standards gave a movie a seal of approval a system of film classification was begun in 1968 and has been revised several times since then films are given ratings as follows g general audiences pg parental guidance advised pg 13 may not be suitable for preteens r persons under age 17 not admitted unless accompanied by parent or adult guardian and nc 17 persons under age 17 not

admitted replaced the x rating in 1990 for the television and radio industries the federal communications commission fcc has generally promulgated vague rules about program content containing an implied threat that a license can be revoked for repeated poor judgment involving program content in 1987 however the fcc responded to public complaints by adopting measures to restrict the use of explicit language about sex and bodily functions from the broadcasting media another code designed by the national association of broadcasters is voluntarily adhered to by station operators the major networks also have their own self regulating system the columbia broadcasting system cbs for example has a staff of people who review scripts and watch everything that is aired on cbs tv including commercials every contract with a producer provides that the project is subject to approval under this system

in the 20th century as in all previous history freedom from censorship has been the exception in the world the rule has been and continues to be repression suppression and oppression it may however be considered a sign of political and social progress that everywhere in the world at least lip service is paid to the ideal of liberty and that no country brazenly admits that it is committed to a policy of religious intellectual artistic or political censorship this is apparent in the many covenants and declarations that have been passed in support of freedom and human rights these include the un charter 1945 the un declaration of human rights 1948 the un covenants on civil and political rights 1966 and on economic social and cultural rights 1966 the european convention on human rights 1953 the helsinki final act 1975 and the american western hemisphere convention on human rights


taken from censorship microsoft® encarta® encyclopedia 2000

Exercise 4

dictionaries have probably played an important role in establishing the conventions of english spelling dr johnson has received much credit for this though he differed very little from his predecessors he used the spelling smoak in the early part of his dictionary but when he came to the entry itself he changed it to smoke and this has prevailed noah webster introduced some simplifications that have become accepted in american anglish american dictionaries usually label the distinctive british spellings such as centre and its class honour and its class connexion gaol kerb tyre waggon and a few others the desire for uniformity is so great that popular variants are not welcomed the very common alright is not yet approved nor is the widespread miniscule for minuscule the oed is exceptional in listing the early variant spellings showing that a common word like good has been spelled in 13 different ways with seven more from scottish usage when the spelling reform movement was at its height from the 1880s to about 1910 the dictionaries included the new forms but in recent years these have been expunged the graphic dress of the language is now so sacrosanct that dictionaries are used as authoritarian style manuals in matters of spelling hyphenation and syllabification

Exercise 5

alphabetic writing is not and cannot be an exact representation of the sequence of sounds or even of the sequence of distinctive sounds in the spoken forms of words and sentences consonant and vowel mean different things when applied to letters and to sounds though there is of course much overlap the y at the beginning of yet stands for a consonant sound at the end of jetty it stands for a vowel sound in thick and thin the sequence th represents a single sound not a t sound followed by an h sound In kite the e represents no sound directly but distinguishes the vowel between k and t from the vowel in kit these disharmonies arise from a number of causes economy in the use of letters is one factor In addition spoken forms are always changing over the centuries whereas writing particularly since the invention of printing is very conservative at one time the e at the end of words such as kite did stand for a vowel sound this sound was lost between the 14th and 16th centuries a time when other changes in the pronunciation of such words also occurred the notorious ough spellings in english standing for different sounds and sound sequences in rough cough dough plough ought and other such words have arisen from historical changes that have driven spelling and pronunciation further apart this of course does not mean that spelling reforms are out of the question spelling reform has been talked of in relation to english for many centuries without much effect but in some countries for example norway and holland official action has prescribed certain reforms to be made and these have then been taught in school and have gradually found their way into printed works the sheer volume of printed matter preserved for use and consultation in the modern world adds much weight against the convenience otherwise accruing from reforms designed to correct the historically produced disharmonies between spelling and pronunciation moreover it is not always most useful for spellings to represent exactly the sound sequences in a word and nothing else this is the task for which phoneticians have devised transcriptions as far as the sounds themselves are concerned the plural signs of cats dogs and horses are different the final sound of cats is like the initial sound of sink that of dogs like the initial sound of zinc and the plural of horse is indicated by a sound sequence rather like that in is but they are all indicated in writing by one and the same letter and always have been because only one grammatical distinction that of singular as against plural is involved and at this point in the language the actual differences in the sounds important elsewhere are irrelevant letters insofar as they stand for sounds stand for consonants and vowels but other sound features are involved in languages in english words the location of the stress is important and the words import as a noun and import as a verb are distinguished by this alone all languages make use of sequences of rises and falls in pitch called intonation as part of spoken communication these phenomena are unrepresented in orthography except for certain punctuation marks such as and and sometimes by italicization and underlining this is not a weakness in orthography writing is normally intended to be read and when necessary read aloud by people who already know the language and are therefore able to supply from their own competence the required detail for specific purposes such as foreign language teaching as well as for the specific study of pronunciation and speech sounds in phonetics and phonology various forms of

transcription have been devised to indicate unambiguously by written signs the precise form of the spoken utterance without regard to other considerations

Exercise 6

spelling bee also called spelling match or spelldown contest or game in which players attempt to spell correctly and aloud words assigned them by an impartial judge competition may be individual with players eliminated when they misspell a word and the last remaining player being the winner or between teams the winner being the team with the most players remaining at the close of the contest the spelling bee is an old custom that was revived in schools in the united states in the late 19th century and enjoyed a great vogue there and in great britain in the united states local regional and national competitions continue to be held annually

Exercise 7

speedwriting shorthand system using the letters of the alphabet and punctuation marks the name is a registered trademark for the system devised in the united states by emma dearborn about 1924 in speedwriting words are written as they sound and only long vowels are expressed thus you is written u and file is fil some letters are modified for speed eg the i is not dotted the system also uses abbreviations and flourishes one flourish is the underscoring of a final letter to express ing speedwriting is considered easier to learn but not as rapid as the pitman or gregg shorthand systems which use symbols rather than longhand letters the system is taught in several languages including german afrikaans spanish and italian in 28 countries

Exercise 8

taxonomy in a broad sense the science of classification but more strictly the classification of living and extinct organisms ie biological classification the term is derived from the greek taxis arrangement and nomos law taxonomy is therefore the methodology and principles of systematic botany and zoology and sets up arrangements of the kinds of plants and animals in hierarchies of superior and subordinate groups popularly classifications of living organisms arise according to need and are often superficial anglo saxon terms such as worm and fish have been used to refer respectively to any creeping thing snake earthworm intestinal parasite or dragon and to any swimming or aquatic thing although the term fish is common to the

names shellfish crayfish and starfish there are more anatomical differences between a shellfish and a starfish than there are between a bony fish and a man vernacular names vary widely the american robin turdus migratorius for example is not the english robin erithacus rubecula and the mountain ash sorbus has only a superficial resemblance to a true ash biologists however have attempted to view all living organisms with equal thoroughness and thus have devised a formal classification a formal classification provides the basis for a relatively uniform and internationally understood nomenclature thereby simplifying cross referencing and retrieval of information the usage of the terms taxonomy and systematics with regard to biological classification varies greatly american evolutionist ernst mayr has stated that taxonomy is the theory and practice of classifying organisms and systematics is the science of the diversity of organisms the latter in such a sense therefore has considerable interrelations with evolution ecology genetics behaviour and comparative physiology that taxonomy need not have

Other punctuation exercises:


psychometric theories have generally sought to understand the structure of intelligence what form does it take and what are its parts if any such theories have generally been based on and tested by the use of data obtained from paper and pencil tests of mental abilities that include analogies eg lawyer client doctor classifications eg which word does not belong with the others robin sparrow chicken bluejay and series completions eg what number comes next in the following series 3 6 10 15 21 underlying the psychometric theories is a psychological model according to which intelligence is a composite of abilities measured by mental tests this model is often quantified by assuming that each test score is a weighted linear composite of scores on the underlying abilities for example performance on a number series test might be a weighted composite of number reasoning and possibly memory abilities for a complex series because the mathematical model is additive it assumes that less of one ability can be compensated for by more of another ability in test performance for instance two people could gain equivalent scores on a number series test if a deficiency in number ability in the one person relative to the other was compensated for by superiority in reasoning ability from theories of intelligence psychometric theories encyclopædia britannica inc 1994 2001


the stanford binet test and others like it have traditionally yielded at the very least an overall score referred to as an intelligence quotient or iq some tests such as the wechsler adult intelligence scale revised and the wechsler intelligence scale for children revised yield an overall iq as well as separate iqs for verbal and performance subtests an example of a verbal subtest would be vocabulary whereas an example of a performance subtest would be picture arrangement the latter requiring an examinee to arrange a set of pictures into a sequence so that they tell a comprehensible story iq was originally computed as the ratio of mental age to chronological physical age multiplied by 100 thus if a child of 10 had a mental age of 12 that is performed on the test at the level of an average 12 year old the child was assigned an iq of 12 10 100 or 120 if the 10 year old had a mental age of eight the childs iq would be 8 10 100 or 80 a score of 100 where the mental age equals the chronological age is average as discussed above the concept of mental age has fallen into disrepute and few tests continue to involve the computation of mental ages many tests still yield an iq but they are most often computed on the basis of statistical distributions the scores are assigned on the basis of what percentage of people of a given group would be expected to have a certain iq see psychological testing from intelligence the iq test encyclopædia britannica inc 1994 2001


the other component is grammar there is more to language than sounds and words are not to be regarded as merely sequences of syllables the concept of the word is a grammatical concept in speech words are not separated by pauses but they are recognized as recurrent units that make up sentences very generally grammar is concerned with the relations between words in sentences classes of words or parts of speech as they are often called are distinguished because they occupy different places in sentence structure and in most languages some of them appear in different forms according to their function english man men walk walked i me and so on languages differ in the extent to which word form variation is used in their grammar classical chinese had almost none english does not have much and latin and greek had quite a lot conversely english makes much more use of word order in grammar than did latin or greek traditionally grammar has been divided into syntax and morphology syntax dealing with the relations between words in sentence structure morphology with the internal grammatical structure of words the relation between boy and boys and the relationship irregular between man and men would be part of morphology the relation of concord between the boy or man is here and the boys or men are here would be part of syntax it must however be emphasized that the distinction between the two is not as clear cut as this brief illustration might suggest this is a matter for debate among linguists of different persuasions some would deny the relevance of distinguishing morphology from syntax at all referring to grammatical structure as a whole under the term syntax

grammar is different from phonology though the word grammar is often used comprehensively to cover both aspects of language structure categories such as plural past tense and genitive case are not phonological categories in spoken language they are like everything else expressed in speech sounds but within a language these may be very different for one and the same category in english noun plurals the added s in cats the vowel changes in man men and in goose geese and the en in oxen are quite different phonologically from language grammar encyclopædia britannica inc 1994 2001


so are the past tense formatives such as ed in guarded t in burnt vowel change in take took and vowel and consonant change in bring brought in latin the genitive case can be represented in singular nouns by i is ae us and ei the phonological difference does not matter provided only that the category distinction is somehow expressed the same is true of the orthographic representation of grammatical differences and the examples just given illustrate both cases this is why the grammar of written language can be dealt with separately in the case of dead languages known with certainty only in their written forms this must necessarily be done insofar as the somewhat different grammar of their spoken forms made use of sound features not represented in writing eg stress differences this can at best only be inferred or reconstructed grammatical forms and grammatical structures are part of the communicative apparatus of languages and along with vocabulary or lexicon the stock of individual words in a language they serve to express all the meanings required spoken language has in addition resources such as emphatic stressing and intonation this is not to say however that grammatical categories can be everywhere directly related to specific meanings plural and past tense are fairly clear as regards meaning in english but even here there are difficulties in if i knew his address i would tell you the past tense form knew refers not to the past but to an unfulfilled condition in the present in some other languages greater problems arise the gender distinctions of french german and latin are very much part of the grammar of these languages but only in a small number of words do masculine feminine and neuter genders correspond with differences of sex or with any other category of meaning in relation to the external world see also linguistics from language grammar encyclopædia britannica inc 1994 2001