Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Am I Little Joe? (Revision 2)


With special thanks to Wes who helped me edit this story.
This is the revision 2 of the story, with the kind helps of Wes, I’ve corrected more than 25 language usage mistakes appeared in first edition so far and the story is now greatly improved; But I’m sure that it’s still different from one if a native English speaker wanted to write this story instead of me. I’d really love to see how it would be…
Thanks again Wes.

Joe was so tired, he just came back from the magazine office after several hours of hard work. It was the fifth day that he was coming back home like this; so tired, without smiling at his wife like he usually did. That’s why his wife popped in on him and asked “What’s wrong with you Joe? It's been days since you've been your normal self”. Joe said: “Everything is OK honey, don’t be worried about that, everything will be good as it used to be soon.”
They were living in Pandora, a very beautiful town in northern Canbera. The town had very beautiful natural scenes and panoramas. Joe was brought up in a big house in the suburb beside a lake that was adjacent to a forest. When he was a child he always had a habit of going to the lake, every afternoon, usually with his bicycle, holding his diary notebook and sitting there and writing a diary. He always wanted to become a big writer and author of the most fascinating books in the world and that was why he was always starting his diary with the words “Joe is sitting beside the lake and is writing another diary.” With the feeling of a big, famous Joe that is writing.
Several days passed and Joe was still coming home sad. One day he came back soon and went to the room slapping the door back without noticing his wife. After a few minutes he went out, looking happy with a sports cloth, like the days when he was a child. He went to his wife and said loudly: “We are so prosperous. We can travel all over the world visiting fabulous spots of the world, go on safaris and explore… because I don’t have a job anymore.” and went out with his bicycle.
His wife knew where he was going, because he still had the habit of going to his childhood spot beside the lake whenever he was sad and sometimes he even liked to write the articles for the magazine there. So she changed clothes and got on her bicycle drove to the lake. She noticed him from the back sitting at his place and thinking. She parked her bike next to his and sat close to him and asked: “Honey, are you thinking about the office?” He said nothing and they were quiet for several minutes. She tried again to open a conversation and said: “don’t worry, you can find another job, maybe you find the job that you always had dreamed of soon.” Joe said: “Yes, I’m so hopeful. Now that I think about it, the loss of my job was a gift to me. They never honored me, understood my abilities. I’m now happy that I don’t spend my time there anymore. I think it’s the time to start writing the story that I always wanted to write, the story that the little Joe wished to write, the story that the busy Joe never had time to put on it. Yes, this is where Joe always starts. I’m sure that my story will begin to sell Millions of copies worldwide as soon as I publish it. Big Joe is sitting beside the lake and …”
Joe is now finished his story and he is going to make a contract with a well-known publisher. He said to the publication manager to keep his first royalty payment check because he wants to buy their publication for 20% more than it’s worth. Will he successful? Can he sell millions of copies and reach his goals?

6 comments:

Ahmad said...

Also the MS word document of the story:
Download

Wes said...

Hello again Ahmad,

I just noticed this latest revision. I haven't yet read through it, but I will (though it may be tomorrow before I have a chance to really give it a careful read). If you'd like, I can write up my own version of the story so you can see how that would look. In fact, if there is anything else I can do that would help you out let me know. I'm not at all experienced with giving advice to non-native speakers, so it's entirely possible I'm not going about it in the most efficient way.

Speaking of native speakers: When you use the phrase "Native American" at the top of the post, it's entirely clear that you mean a native speaker of American English, just as you'd expect based on the words. However, it's kind of unusual to see it phrased that way, as the phrase has a specific and totally unrelated meaning in common usage in the US. "Native American" is often used to refer to the people who lived on the American continent prior to the colonization and settlement by the Europeans, and to the descendants of those people living today. It was originally coined to replace "Indian" which had been applied as a result of the historical mistaken identity of the "new" continent. Wikipedia has a halfway-decent summary of some of the controversy surrounding this issue here. The latest thing I've noticed is the use of the phrase "First Americans" which I assume is because of the confusing nature of "Native American"--which obviously should technically refer to anyone who was born and raised in America, even a descendant of Europeans such as myself. "First Americans" is still relatively new, and the first time I saw it was just last week when I was looking through the site of presidential hopeful Barack Obama--it's the term he uses on his page relating to such people. I kind of like this and will probably start using it myself.

Ahmad said...

Nice tip Wes,
Yes, “Native Americans” refers specially to people who lived on the American continent in old times. As I read through my text (After reading your comment), I realized that It would be better to use something like “Native English speakers” instead of “Native Americans” and of course I did this replacement.
About rewriting the story, as I told, I’d really love to see the differences if a native English speaker wanted to write the story instead of me. But writing the whole story can be a very time consuming task and take a lot of your time. Though it’s really appreciated if you even write a piece or a paragraph of the story depending on your choice. Thanks a lot.
Speaking of the write of stories, I’ve already posted a story in this blog called “Friends Forever” that I really love the plot of the story. I wrote that story when I used to go to English Classes in more than one year ago and our teacher asked us that time to write a story and bring it to the class. I remember that I spent several hours to write this story and after giving her the story, she corrected many mistakes on the paper. But the text on the blog is not the corrected version. If I had chances to find those papers, I will apply her corrections on the story.

Wes said...

Hi Ahmad!

The "Friends Forever" story is quite good, and what's especially striking to me is how much you seem to have improved since then! The selection of words in your more recent story is much more in line with a native speaker's.

It took me way longer than I'd intended, but I took a shot at rewriting your story. Part of the reason it took a while was just me being busy and trying to find a good time to do it, but another part was trying to figure out the best or most helpful way to rewrite it. I initially didn't want to just go through and do a sentence-by-sentence paraphrase, but that's largely what ended up happening. As a result it's not quite what I would write if I had never read yours and instead thought of the plot myself.

If you have any questions about the different way I wrote something I can explain why I did, although in some cases there's no hard-and-fast rule or reason and it was just a case of my own personal preferences in terms of phrasing a given sentence. Oh, and I should note that I haven't had anyone else proofread this or anything, so if something looks really peculiar to you it may just be a typo or other error.
-----
Joe arrived home exhausted. He'd been putting in long hours at the magazine office for the last five days, and by the time he came home he was too tired to even smile at his wife like he usually did. She was concerned, so she popped in on him to ask, "What's wrong, Joe? It's been days since you've been your normal self." Joe said, "Everything is OK, honey, don't be worried about that. Everything will be as good as it used to be soon."

They were living in Pandora, a picturesque town in northern Canbera with beautiful scenery and breathtaking panoramas. Joe grew up in a big house in a suburb next to a lake and a forest. As a child he had a habit of going to the lake every afternoon, usually on his bicycle. At the lake he would sit and write in his diary. Joe dreamed of becoming a big writer and author of the most fascinating books in the world, and he would start each diary entry with the words "Joe is sitting beside the lake and writing another diary," with the feeling of a big, famous Joe writing.

Several days passed and Joe was still coming home sad. One day he came home early and went into the room, slamming the door back without even noticing his wife. After a few minutes he came back out, looking happy and holding a sports cloth, like the days when he was a child. He went to his wife and exclaimed, "We are so prosperous! We can travel all over the world, visiting fabulous places, we can go on safaris and explore... because I don't have a job anymore." With that he went out with his bicycle.

His wife knew where he was going; he still had the habit of visiting his childhood spot beside the lake whenever he was sad, and sometimes he even liked to write articles for the magazine there. So she changed clothes and rode her bicycle down to the lake. She noticed him from behind, sitting at his place and thinking. She parked her bike next to his, sat close to him, and asked, "Honey, are you thinking about the office?" He said nothing and they were silent for several minutes. Again she tried to start a conversation, saying, "Don't worry, you can find another job. Maybe you'll find the job that you always had dreamed of soon." Joe replied, "Yes, I'm so hopeful. Now that I think about it, the loss of my job was a gift to me. They never honored me, never understood my abilities. I'm happy that I don't spend my time there anymore. I think it's time to start writing the story that I always wanted to write, the story that the little Joe wished to write, the story that the busy Joe never had time to work on. Yes, this is where Joe always starts. I'm sure my story will begin to sell millions of copies worldwide as soon as I publish it. Big Joe is sitting beside the lake and ..."

Joe has now finished his story, and he's going to sign a contract with a well-known publisher. He told the publication manager to keep the first royalty check--he wants to buy their publication for 20% more than it's worth! Will he be successful? Can he sell millions of copies and reach his goals?

Ahmad said...

Thanks alot Wes,
I only can skim through what you wrote now as I'm on vacation right now and writing from a cafenet.
I will read your rewritten story carefuly and have an in depth comparison between mine and yours.
I'll be back in saturday.

matja said...

Hello,

My name is Matthias Koch. I`m a nineteen year old student from Switzerland. Two years ago I traveled with my family through Iran and we visited Teheran, Yazd, Shiraz, Kerman, Esfahan and Bam. Thats why I`m interested in Iran.
Actually I`m writing on an exposition about the life of young people in Iran. And for that reason I woud like to get in touch with young iranish people. I found your blog on the web and would like to get in touch with you. I would be pleased if you answer.

Matthias