If you remember back to when you had to do English Composition at school, you’ll have heard that what makes something more memorable is to use describing words. Those of you who have worked in food sales were probably taught that when using “suggestive selling,” you don’t say “Would you like some of our apple pie” but “Would you like some of our hot, delicious apple-pie?” Or rather than the simple “Would you like some coffee” you should offer “Would you like some of our fresh, smooth coffee?”
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Star Wars Day by using the Realize Language tool to take a peek at the vocabulary of the Jedi master Yoda. If you ever wanted to become a Jedi master, then you could use that vocabulary list to talk like a Jedi! But what if you wanted to become something more realistic such as, say, the President of the United States of America? What sort of words do you think would make you sound “presidential?” Using Realize to analyze and track the progress of users of AAC devices is fun but so is looking at how people who don’t use AAC devices use vocabulary! Using a special Excel file available to Paul and I that allows us to turn ANY text into Realize-Ready files, here’s how Donald Trump fared with his recent acceptance speech at the Republican National Congress.
Many times when we are talking about people, places, and things, we need to say where they are in relation to something else. So I might say that “My cat is in the kitchen,” “Just leave that book on the table” or perhaps “Carlos has gone to school.” The words we use to talk about places in space and time are called prepositions.
When teaching prepositions, one way to explain them is to say that they are words to describe anything a plane can do to a cloud. So a plane can fly under a cloud, over a cloud, through a cloud, around a cloud, and so on. In fact, you can also talk about going up to a cloud and coming down from a cloud, where you teach two prepositions at once!
The world is full of things. Balls, babies, cups, tables, socks, houses, horses, bananas, trees, spoons, and so on and so on. In language studies, things are called nouns and there are thousands upon thousands of them in English. But a more important group of words is those that tell us about how nouns can be used, or how they relate to other nouns, and these are called verbs. In fact, a sentence without a verb is not a sentence! That’s how important verbs are.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to read about the lives of other people, you probably have a few biographies and autobiographies on your bookshelf – or for younger folks your eReader device. My favorite biography is The Life and Works of Sigmund Freud, written by one of his colleagues, Ernest Jones, and one of my recommendations for autobiography is Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain.
Both biographies and autobiographies tell us about what people have done and how they went about doing things, but for those of us fascinated by vocabulary, there is a really interesting difference in the type of words used. In biographies, you find lots of examples of words such as he, she, and they, which contrasts sharply with autobiographies that contain more instances of I, me, and my. In terms of Parts-of-Speech, these sorts of words are called pronouns, and in relation to all the possible words you can use in the English language, pronouns are used an awful lot! Continue reading “Don’t Be Scared By Parts of Speech: Part 2 – Between You and Me: Pronouns”
For many people, the phrase “Parts of Speech” brings up memories of the Grammar Rock videos, or diagramming sentences in high school, or perhaps Linguistics 101 at college. For some, the very mention of words like conjunction, preposition, or adverb might remind them of schooldays they’d rather forget! But for users of the Realize Language website, Parts of Speech (POS) are much easier because the software does all the hard work.
Today is the 4th of May, which as many of you may know is unofficially known as “Star Wars Day,” based on the phrase “May the Force (fourth) be with you.” To offer a special Realize Language spin on this, I imagined what we might have seen if Jedi master Yoda had used a speech-generating device that was Realize Ready. To do this, I collected a set of his quotes from the various Star Wars movies and turned them into a data log file. I had to use our own version of “The Force” to mock up such a file but it can be done. So here is the very first Realize analysis of Yoda’s language based on a sample of just over 500 words. Continue reading “Star Wars Day and the Official Launch of the Realize Language Blog”
If you’re using a iPad® with either the LAMP Words for Life® software or TouchChat HD™ app, you might have come across the issue of not being able to upload a data log file. You know it’s not uploading because you get a message saying “File contains zero valid LAM events.” Yet if you save the data to your computer using iTunes, you see the file and when you open it it’s full of data. So what’s going on?
Users of the Realize Language system may have noticed that the word out appears as an adverb and not, as some might imagine, a preposition. At the same time, the word in, the opposite of out, is treated as a preposition, which feels right.
Turn on Data Logging in your Words For Life app
People who use the LAMP Words For Life app on the iPad can turn on data logging. You do it by selecting the “Menu” button and then scrolling down to the “Enable Logging” slider: slide it to ON. Here’s a video showing how to do that: