Thursday, December 27, 2007

Put your vocabulary to work...

...and donate free rice to feed hungry people.

from the FAQ...

If FreeRice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?

FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

Does FreeRice make any money from this?

No, it does not. FreeRice runs the site at no profit.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Conjugations of Bush

George W, everyone's favorite murderer of the English language (as I'm sure he would be of other languages if he bothered to learn any) recently proved that he knows the very simple forms of the verb "to be," for which I applaud him. In a boring, ponderous speech strangely reminiscent of the ones he gave before the invasion of Iraq, he informed the American public that "Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous." For his next trick, I'd like him to diagram the last verse of the song, "In the hole in the bottom of the sea." (The grammar geeks on this site would likely love that activity, wouldn't we?)

On a side note, I've always been frustrated with the way grammar is taught in the US, as I'm sure most grammarians are. When I first learned a foreign language, the concepts of conjugating verbs and declining nouns were ... well, foreign. And difficult. It took me years to realize this was partly because I was never taught the concepts for English. And, although English isn't quite as predictable as some languages (like German) in its grammar rules, that doesn't mean they have to be taught, or understood, in such a sloppy fashion. Surely there's a simple, methodical way of teaching the public how to use English correctly? Even George Bush, it seems is capable of learning the basics.