Bad words

What makes a bad word bad ? There is something that gives those words such an ‘oomph’ when used, like using a highlighter upon a sentence to bring to more emphasis. There’s a difference between ” She was blocking up the whole traffic in the aisle” and  “She was blocking up the whole g0d@mn traffic in the aisle”. ( Catcher in the Rye, pg 87). Heck, most of Holden’s thoughts are littered with swear words such as “D@mn”, “h3ll” and “God@m” which makes him seem like he’s done with the whole world. Even though it’s easy to describe how swear words can change the tone of a piece of literature, speech, and etc, it’s harder to explain what makes a bad word bad. According to Wikipedia, originally  ” Profanity refers to offensive words  or religious words, used in a way that shows you do not respect God or holy things or behavior showing similar disrespect.” While that applies to some swear words, it doesn’t apply to all of them.  In the video “Why are Bad words Bad?” by Vsauce, Michael Stevens ( the host of the show) mentioned a man named Steven Pinker who categorized profanity into five categories. The first category is “Abusive swearing” in which the swear words are created or use with the intent to hurt others. The second category is ” Emphatic swearing” in which a very taboo word you wouldn’t usually use becomes practical in expressing your emotions despite social norms. The third category is “Dysphemism swearing” in which you use a certain swear word instead of its less rude synonyms because not only does it refer to the item we are speaking about, it gives off a sense of how we feel about the object. The fourth category is ” Idiomatic swearing” in which there is noting being emphasis and instead it is a ‘casual’ kind of swearing. The fifth category is “Cathartic swearing.” in which swearing gives us a sense of relief from what we are experiencing such as physical pain . I feel that these categories are true for all five can be seen when observing social interactions between people.The most common form of swearing I tend to hear most in class is idiomatic swearing and that itself is not that bad despite the word “class” and “swearing” being seen together. In my opinion, Idiomatic swearing is the mildest form of swearing seeing as the usage of itself is not meant to hurt or offend anyone. Sure people might get irked for hearing profanity be toss around like salad, but idiomatic swearing itself is not meant to use to irk people. For “Catcher in the Rye” I think Holden uses emphatic swearing the most for he tends to swear when he’s trying to express his feelings about someone or something which happens a lot in the book.He also has some tendencies to fall into abusive swearing especially when interacting with people who dislike. Holden might even been using a bit of idiomatic swearing to Phoebe (who mind you didn’t appreciate it).

If you’re interested in watching the video I mention, here we go :

He goes into much further detail about bad words then I did, going into the history of how words become classified into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and more.

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Reflection

reflection cat

This week I listened to an interview with Seth Godin about his opinions on marketing. However, it wasn’t the typical talk on how he got successful nor a lesson on how to get successful quick. Instead Godin gave valuable advice that not only contributes to marketing itself, but can also be applied to life. Early on in the interview, Godin confidently stated that he wouldn’t want to forget the memories of his failures. It sounded strange until he explained the failures were a learning experience on what will work and because of that, one shouldn’t become discouraged by them and give up. Looking back, I admit that remaining diligent when the times got rough wasn’t really my strong suit. Because of that, I would like to work on building up that thick skin and awareness so that the next time I receive a poor score on a essay or morpheme test, I accept for what it is and  use that experience as a tool so that my test essay or test score will be better. Later on in the interview , Godin states that the era of specialized artists is over for in this time and age, anyone can be an artist who produces a product that could be shared with the community. I find this statement highly interesting because from what I can see, his statement is becoming true all around me. Animators, such as ShazamBlast on Youtube, make beautiful and noticed animations without having to work in animation companies such as Disney. Meanwhile, webcomic writers/artists such as Veronica “ Taeshi” Vera have created their own stories that have fan bases without having to join comic companies such as Dark Horse Comics.Even independent video game makers such as  Markus “Notch” Persson have created some of the most loved video games out there without having to join a video game developing company such as Rockstar. Halfway in the interview, Godin began to explain what his definition of a modern tribe is, a group of people with similarities such as same interests. I suppose in a way, my strenght in my english class is that I am an easygoing ‘tribe member’. I helped out one of my classmates with some minor computer issues a few times and to the extend of my knowledge, I seem work well with the other ’tribe members’ to get tasks done. Near the end of the interview Godin states that those who raise their hands to ask a question during a meeting,lesson, etc. prove to themselves that they have good judgement to make a good question so hopefully someday I can train my sense of judgement to point where I can tell if the question formulating in my mind is a good one or not. I agree with most of the things Godin said in the interview but one thing I disagree with is his definition on who counts as an artist.  In his opinion, inventors and innovators are also artists because if their plan fails, it is because of their fundamental structure was flawed, similar to how a drawer will produce a bad drawing if their sketch was horrid. In my opinion, an artist is a person who creates a product that is not necessary in everyday life yet brings spice to it, such as music or paintings. You don’t need music or paintings to survive perse but they make great additions to everyday. Inventors and innovators on the other hand create products that people essentially need like alternative light sources or straws that filter water as one drinks .

Hmmm?

How can a community affect an individual ? In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the characters Dimmesdale and Hester are greatly affected by the community in different ways . At the beginning of the book, Dimmesdale is a young and healthy minister who is seemingly stable both in the mind and body. Yet as time passes on, the community began to affected him. Burden by the guilt from hiding his sin from the rest of the community, he slowly withers away in a shell of his former himself.In Chapter 11, there is a list/description of the various ways he punish himself, including vicious whipping and extreme fasting, causing his health to detoriate. Chapter 12 described him as if he was losing his grip with reality,pulled into a twisted fantasy where he is caught standing on the scaffold of sin, a desperate cry for relief of the storm within his mind. Chapter 17 has him blatantly say that he is torn to know that the whole community looks up to him when in reality he is no better than they are. What should be noted is that Dimmesdale is never directly affected by the community. Never once did the community lash out at him. In fact, they  praise and adore him. It was Dimmesdale himself , who ripped himself apart. The reason ? Simply because he was sicken  by his relationship with his community.

Meanwhile, Hester was also greatly affected by the community. At the beginning of the book, Hester was described as beautiful and feminine. However, because she committed a grave sin, she is separated from the community and look down upon. Over time, due to the insults, remarks and treatment she received, her physical appearance has become bland and her personality more aggressive. It is assumed that she became more modest looking over the years for in chapter 18, it was described that after she removed the scarlet letter, “ the whole richness of her beauty, came back from what men call the irrevocable past”. In chapter 13 , her personality was described that “ all the light and graceful foliage of her character had been withered up by this red-hot brand, and had long ago fallen away, leaving a bare and harsh outline which might have been repulsive.” Her change is different from Dimmesdale’s however because Hester was directly affected by it, the scorn of the townspeople turning her into the woman she is now. Dimmesdale and Hester both demonstrate that the community can affect individuals in different ways, directly and indirectly.

scarlet A

 

The Birmingham Jail Letter by Martin Luther King Jr. also demonstrates how community affects individuals. In the letter, Martin Luther King Jr. explains his reasoning for advocating civil rights for.He describes that the community violently abuses colored people and  make colored children feel inferior through segregation laws. In this example, the community is directly affecting Martin Luther King Jr. though harming/hurting the people he loves/cares for, such as his children and his people. By witnessing this injustice caused by the community with his own eyes , it inspired him to becoming a civil rights leader . Had the community been different in the way that everyone was treated fairly, Martin Luther king might have never been a civil rights leader .

 

Aria , by Richard Rodriguez, is another example on how community affects individuals . In the essay, Richard describes his troubles growing up in an american community when his ‘true community’ was Hispanic. Due to his his limited understand of English as a child and because of his Hispanic heritage, Rodriguez felt unconnected from the american community he was surrounded in. This cause him to be be a quite and shy individual in school who only opened up at home. Later on, he describes that further on in his life , when his siblings and he became accustom to English,  how that changed his parents. Through joining the american community and inadvertently leaving the Hispanic community, Rodriguez and his siblings weakened ties with their parents, affecting on how they both acted. Their mother became restless, fishing for any opportunity to hear more of her children talking while their father on the other hand,eventually became silent.

 

As you can see, communities can affect individuals in different ways, some directly and some indirectly.

This ain’t no place for a hero

Borderlands 2 is one of the best games ever.

Why you ask ? Simply because the game is so well made. First of all, Pandora, the setting of the game is huge and diverse . Don’t believe me ? Just take a look :

Look ma ! No hands ! 

I don’t think Santa’s here…

Is this Springfield’s nuclear power plant ?

Each section of Pandora has a large about of detail and care given into it.  And what’s even better? You are able to free roam throughout all of  it and enjoy the scenery  at your own pace.

 The setting is nice and all but what would a video game be if it didn’t have its protagonists ? Unlike most first person shooters where you are basically given a single character to use, Borderlands 2 allows you to choose 4 unique and quirky characters to be your instrument of death (not including the 2 DLC characters).

It’s time to chew gum and kick butt. And we’re all out of gum.

Each character have their own different strengthens and weakness as well as a special ability. In addition, they all have their own personality and backgrounds, thus setting them apart from each other even more . To make sure you survive the dangerous lands of Pandora you can upgrade your character through a skill tree to become the ultimate killing machine while customizing them to look they way you see fit. The amount of engagement you can put into your character is splendid.

” You talkin’ to me ? “

As much as how awesome the protagonists are, every protagonist needs an antagonists to keep things spicy. You don’t have to look any further than Handsome Jack. Unlike where most antagonists who stay quite or you don’t meet them until the end of the game, Handsome Jack is always there, insulting you , taunting you and annoying you. This makes the game very amusing and actually kinda gives you (the player) a reason to fight to where he is and shut him up.

“I’m rackin’ my brain trying to think of a name for that diamond-pony i bought. I was gonna’ call it ‘piss-for-brains’ in honor of you, but that just feels immature. Maybe… ‘Butt-Stallion’? Nah that’s even worse. I tell ya’ what though, i’ll give it some more thought.” -Handsome Jack ( This is from the actual game. I’m not making this up. He’s that rude.)

However, before you can actually wring your hands around Jack’s neck, you have to face through the dangerous lands of Pandora first. Why is it dangerous you ask ?  There are bandits, beasts, and robots roaming everywhere and they’re out for your blood, There is such a large amount of unique enemies that fill up the world that Pandora  that it’ll take a long time before the fighting gets stale.( Let’s not forget the ‘upgraded’ enemies who are basically pumped up versions of their comrades to keep you on your tippy-toes )

Are you telling me that this is just a small clip from the actual poster of all the enemies ? Oh my….

Do you know what a lot of enemies mean ? A lot of guns needed to dispose of all these baddies. Have no fear, for Borderlands 2 provides these needs with 6 types of guns ( pistols, sub-machine guns, etc.) and 8 gun manufacturers.  The 8 gun manufacturers give a real twist on the combat for each manufacturer have their own specialty that drastically changes the guns and thus the strategy of a battle . For example, Tediore guns are disposable. Instead of reloading and re-using the gun, the gun must be thrown away for it will explode like a grenade.  Another example would be the Bandit guns. Bandit guns have a large large magazine( meaning that you can shoot longer before you have to reload) but have very low stats ( such as long reloads and low damage). In addition,  Borderlands 2 uses a procedural algorithm that combines parts  to create a large amount of guns that differ from one another.

Where am I suppose to keep all of this !? 

As you can see, Borderlands 2 is already a jam-packed first person shooter.  However,it’d get really bland if all you do is go after Jack right ? Don’t worry ! Besides from just going after Jack you actually have ‘friends’ who have tasks for you to do with rewards! That way, you can take a break from the main quest and go explore the various places the side missions send you to and live through the mini-stories that each side mission holds. In addition, many of the side missions have some quirky humor inserted into it to keep you amused ( and distract you from how bleak, depressing and horrible Pandora can be). Oh, did I also mention that these ‘friends’ are not just any other regular npc that you’ll quickly forget after completing the mission but actual memorable, interesting side characters that actually stand apart from one another? Just take a look :

This must be the next old spice man.

That’s not Siri.

Hey !  You’re from the first game ! Whatcha doing here !?

All of this is great and all but what really takes the bakery is its multi-player. I’m not talking  about the generic multi-player of first person shooters where basically you going into teams and shoot each other for laughs. The multi-player of Borderlands 2 allows you and up to three other friends to travel through out Pandora together as you hunt down for Jack. ( Did I mention that besides the online multi-player there’s actual local co-op so you and your bud can sit on the couch together and play ? ) It’s a very refreshing change and actually gives you a desire to work together. ( Unlike the generic fps multi-player where its more like every man for himself even if it’s a team based event). Because of each character having their own special ability ( as mentioned earlier) you and your friends can form strategies to defeat even the most dangerous of enemies.

A real friend would shoot some bandits who are charging at you while you use your magical powers to trap a thing into an alter-dimension bubble. Like a real friend.

These are the reasons why I think Borderlands 2 is one of the best games out there.  From a beautiful world to explore in, to unique and memorable characters, to diversity of weapons to engaging multi-player, it’s a very appealing game. You may disagree but in my opinion Borderlands 2 rocks.

Fun for the whole family !

( Please don’t take this as a review. It’s more of a little silly post on why I like the game. If you’re looking for a post about the strengths and weaknesses of the game to see if you should buy the game, I think that might be on the other side of the internet)

The pictures do not belong to me. They belong to their respective owners.

Borderlands 2 belongs to 2K Games.

The only thing that belongs to me is the writing( besides the 3 quotes ) and my opinion on Borderlands 2.

Dear Fellow Bloggers, *week * 21

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What happen to 20 ?  ….. (it’s somewhere over the rainbows)

Last week was pretty fun. I got into another B.R.A.W.L  and it was prettying interesting. Questions were being shot forward and forth and various answers were being thrown around. Something I noticed is the way questions are answered by various people. Usually when a person is answering the same question someone has already answered, the answer given is very similar but has a different ‘flair’ to it. The wording might be different, the tone might be different, something might be added on but deep down  it’s the same message. In a way, it’s kinda similar to movies about fairy tales. For example, let’s take the fairy tale ” Beauty and the Beast”. Many companies made a movie out of the fairy tale however each are quite different. From different character designs, to contrasting voice acting, each and every movie is not the same. However it is still telling the same tale . I guess you can tell the same like the others but still have a little bit of style to it.

Dear Fellow Bloggers, *week 19*

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*sneaks in from the air vents* Sssshhh hw is looking for me. It’s hot on my trail.

Well besides from that, last week I participated * well sort of* in this awesome, modified Socratic Seminar known as B.R.A.W.L *no, there was no actual fighting involved*. There were several teams competing against each other to give the most spectacular and thoughtful answers. Each team has a representative who has three “go’s” to do answer well. Compare to the normal Socratic Seminar , B.R.A.W.L is much more interesting,fun and easier. Instead of having to figure out answers and make questions by yourself , you have your team mates to help you out when your mind starts farting. In addition, the B.R.A.W.L is set up in a way in which eventually everyone will have a turn to speak so no one will be left sitting at their table either too shy to speak or bored to death. Also, the three chances to speak makes it much more challenging and competitive because now, students are compelled to only answer  if they’re very sure their answer is going to be best they have. In fact B.R.A.W.L almost seems like a  relay team game. Because of all of this, I’m actually looking forward to the next B.R.A.W.L. 

Dear Fellow Bloggers *week 18*

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*sneaks in from the back door*. Ssshh , I’m hiding from my homework to type this. Don’t give me away .

Well besides from that, last,last week I read more of ” Count of Monte Cristo”. It’s getting really exciting with so many plot twists . Something that was eye catching in that book was Count Monte Cristo’s personality. The mysterious count is one full of tricks of his sleeves and his personality changes on a dime. He can appear sincere and caring for a moment and once the people he wishes to manipulate are away his truth devilish side is shown. For example, he forced one of his servants to buy the horses of the wife of one of his “friends” so that tension would rise when the wife found out. When the moment came and the wife was furious at her husband the Count had a stoic and calm look on his face, not troubled at all at what he caused. This reminds me of another character  from a different book who also has an unstable personality. Can you guess who it is ?

Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde !

( For those who guessed right , give yourself a pat on the back ! For those who guess wrong, give yourself a pat on the back ! For those who didn’t guess at all , …… you get a pat on the back from yourself.)

“Er…. how are they similar ? One’s a handsome,mysterious count *possible vampire*, while the other is a innocent doctor cursed to be the avatar of human sin.* Discorded anyone?* Well , simple. Their personality changes drastically when a certain thing is introduced or is taken away. For example, when Monte Cristo is with people he is plotting against, he becomes a kind gentleman. However once his targets have gone somewhere else, Monte Cristo becomes more impatient, snappy and darker especially towards his servants. On the other hand, when Dr.Jekyll doesn’t take his mystical potion he is a gentle man who is in no way a fiend.  The moment he sips from the vile liquid he transforms into a cruel and horrifying monster who is very violent. It is clear that the two men can switch between the two personalities on a flip of a coin.  Interestingly enough from what I can remember, The Count himself has admitted to using a variety of medication/potions that he had created himself including a strange red liquid that is taken via mouth that awakes a person from any type of unconsciousness . Meanwhile Dr.Jekyll also created his potion by himself as well but instead of “waking” him up, it instead pulls him into a deep “slumber” allowing Mr.Hyde to awaken. From those two observations, I would say Count of Monte Cristo and Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde have a decent amount of similarities .