Recently, as I was walking along a not- so- busy road in the city, small bits of paper strewn around attracted me. So curious was I, picked up one to read, “ Cash first, ticket next.” A spot flash reminded me about our bureaucrats, government officials including the lowest strata- not to speak of our elected representatives, who sport an unwritten obnoxious message on their face, “ Cash (corruption) first, service(if possible) next.
Recently, as I walked along a not-so-busy road in the city, small bits of paper strewn around attracted my eye. Curious, I picked up one and read, “Cash first, ticket next.” An image of our bureaucrats and, to be honest, our elected representatives flashed to mind. It often seems these government officials sport an unwritten, obnoxious message on their face, “Cash (corruption) first, service (if possible) next."
I hope I haven't changed your meaning, Sanjay. I tried to make it stronger (by removing the passive "tobe verbs"). I also reworded the middle for clarity.
|link||answered Jun 26 '12 at 18:17 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
I believe that it is possible to distinguish between native English-speaker (NES) and English as a Second Language (ESL) writing -- at least until the ESL student has developed a practiced fluency with writing. Before proceeding with this discussion, it should be understood that NES writers do not spring fully formed from the womb. Many of the grammar "errors" made by ESL writers are also made by by NES students, even NES high school students.
That said, I find the most common ESL errors are missing articles (a, an, the), inappropriate preposition use (or missing prepositions), verb ending errors in complex sentences with multiple verbs, inappropriate use of idiomatic phrases, and selecting overly complex words when a simple choice would suffice. In persuasive writing (you see this on this forum often), the writer's stance may not be clear.
ESL writing also uses too many prepositional phrases strung together and overly complex run-on sentences -- but these flaws are also true of young NES writers trying to sound educated.
Do not despair, Sanjay. Your writing has improved, and continues to improve. There are posts where your fluency approaches that of a native speaker. At the same time, be aware that “the acquisition of a second language and second-language literacy is a time-consuming process that will continue through students’ academic careers and beyond ...." (College Composition and Communications Committee on Second Language Writing, 2001)
To improve your writing further, I would focus on the following:
1. Reduce the number of passive "to be" verbs (am, are, be, is, was) you use. For instance, "was walking" can be replaced with "walked".
2. Reduce the number of pronouns you use. When you use a pronoun, make sure that it follows its antecedent so the reader understand the reference. As Patty told you recently, use the character's name more frequently -- don't always say "my friend" and "she".
3. Be more descriptive. Use your own words and don't rely on cliches.
4. Don't worry about misusing idiomatic phrases. Until you intuitively understand the idioms, that will happen. We all learn from our mistakes.
5. Edit your own writing. Check to make sure you've said it clearly. This is a phrase that you should look at closely -- "bureaucrats, government officials including the lowest strata- not to speak of our elected representatives". The phrase is more train of thought than it is composed. It is missing a few elements that would make your meaning clearer.
6. Keep writing.
I hope this helps.
|link||answered Jun 26 '12 at 19:28 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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