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English Detective, #4, Steve Jobs & T. Edison
January 13, 2013

Your First Clue: Vocabulary we’ll Emphasize in this Issue

Week 1: approach, concept, documents, dramatic, encountered, external, features, focus, generation, internal, label, notion, period, proportion, publication, publish, refine, release, vision

Week 2: assistant, colleagues, components, contribution, cooperative, coordination, corporations, devices, impact, incorporated, individual, innovation, legal, maintained, partnership, project, team

If you already know most of the words, work on the ones you aren’t so sure of, or just enjoy the readings.

Readings and Practice Activities:(I’ve suggested days for each activity, so you can do a little each day. Feel free to do each activity when it’s best for you.)

There’s a lot of reading this week. I hope you will find it as interesting and inspiring as I do. Monday gives some background for Steve Job’s commencement speech on Tuesday. Wednesday you can learn a little more about the Academic Word List words in that speech (plus a couple of related words from the Edison readings).

Thursday test your skill in understanding complex sentences and the use of the subordinate conjunctions that explain the relationship between clauses. (These are used a lot to explain complicated ideas, so it is important to understand what each means!)

Friday of week 1 is a word search puzzle with all this issue’s words. You’ll see some of those words again in the readings on Edison, and in the word practice Tuesday.

(1st Monday): Some background information, vocabulary, and idioms to help with reading Steve Job’s speech.

(Tuesday) Steve Job’s Stanford Commencement Address 2005: Doing What You Love.

(Wednesday): Product Design Vocabulary

(Thursday): Adverb Clause and Complex Sentence Practice.

(Friday): Suggestions for using a word search puzzle to learn vocabulary:

1. Left click this word search to read it online; right click to download to your computer and print it. Circle this issue’s words as you find them. (This is optional-- if you don’t like word searches, go on to the next suggestion.) 2. Mark any of the words you don’t recognize. (Some were in last Tuesday’s reading and Wednesday’s practice; others will be in Monday and Wednesday’s readings.) You might come back to this list on Thursday and see if there are any you still don’t understand.

If you really want to learn them, you could re-read the stories or practice pages to see if you can understand the word in its context. You could also look it up, and consider making a flash card or an entry in your vocabulary notebook. (Suggested entry: the word, a simple definition, and one or two sentences using it from the reading or dictionary-- or try making one up!)
(Right) click here for Teamwork and Design Word Search

and here for the answers.

2nd week: Reading about Edison & Practcing Technology-rlated Vocabulary

(Monday): Click here for Voice of America on Thomas Edison.

(Tuesday) Practice with Teamwork and Cooperation Vocabulary here. (This page has been altered, and two definitions were omitted.) They are here:

Abstract, adj.-- mental categories or concepts that can’t be touched or seen: time, justice, mankind. It has another meaning as a noun: a brief summary of a technical article in an academic journal.

Tape, n. or v.- a roll of a thin flexible material, either with sticky adhesive (to attach something to paper or skin), or with special qualities that enable it to record and replay sounds in a “tape recorder.” Such tapes were common in the second half of the 20th century. They replaced records, and later CDs and DVDs replaced them. Tape can also be used as a verb meaning to apply sticky tape or to record sounds on the acoustic tape.

Click here for another look at Thomas Edison

(Thursday): I was thinking about personality traits, attitudes, and work habits that Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, J.K. Rowling & many other successful inventors, scientists, artists, & entrepreneurs have in common. A little internet searching found several interesting blogs and videos about that. This one is very short and clear. It suggests 8 traits at the heart of success: passion, work, focus, push (yourself), ideas, (self) improvement, service, and persistence.

Did you notice that both Jobs and Rowling emphasized many of these same ideas? Passion-- do what you love; persistence (like the old English proverb: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”), imagination & good ideas, and concern for others. Both demonstrated, as did Edison, self-discipline-- pushing oneself-- and “good, old-fashioned hard work.”
Here's the 8 Traits for Success video.
Click here for the Technology Vocabulary Quiz.

Coming January 28: the roots of English (and of western civilization) in classical Greece and Rome. (The following two issues will trace more of those roots in early and medieval English history, and then in the Renaissance, Shakespeare, & the peak of English power in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In case you missed these: There are several more interesting observations on success and failure in the December 31 issue of English Detective. You can check them out with the link to the back issues page below.
-- Cathy

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