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By JUNE CASAGRANDE | September 17, 2008
People send me free books. And, frankly, I feel just terrible about it. You see, the reason people send me free books is that I write this column. A few publishers of grammar and language-related books have me on their ?send her one and maybe she?ll write about it? lists. It?s not an honor. Publishers are ? well, let?s just say they can be a little promiscuous about this stuff. They print the copies on the cheap, pay a little postage and send out as many copies as possible. I?m just another notch on their media lists.
June 4, 2005
Rosette Gonzales The teacher began the second day of class Wednesday by telling her eager students that they would learn how to compose an informal letter. "The kind you would write to a friend, a relative ... " Joy Friedkin said, before she was interrupted by a student. "Your lover?" Javier Krudki, 32, asked. Everyone, including the teacher, laughed. Though writing a friendly letter is something children learn in elementary school, it's also a skill taught to adults learning English at Burbank Adult School.
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | July 18, 2007
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who were taught clear, specific rules for making possessives of singular words ending with "s" and those who weren't. And, hands down, the luckier ones are in the latter group. That's because, contrary to what many teachers and even style books will tell you, there are no clear, specific rules for forming possessives of words like "boss," "Thomas" and "Jesus." This is something that Barbara in Burbank has just learned the hard way. "One that drives me crazy is the Los Angeles Times's (NOT The Los Angeles Times')
By Bryan Mahoney | April 16, 2013
Helen Lopez could get the words out. However, when it came time to deliver a speech, the president of Burbank Kiwanis' Aktion Club had trouble lifting them off the page. That all changed this past December, when an appointment with the Burbank City Library's literacy program began helping Lopez raise her reading level and her spirits. “Now, I read all kinds of stuff,” said Lopez, 66. “(The program) has helped me read better, and I enjoy it.” Lopez and more than 2,000 others have learned to read through the city's literacy program.
By Patrick Caneday | March 13, 2010
When I went to film school at Cal State Northridge in the previous century, before the great quake that brought much-needed renovation and finances to the facilities, we had a professor older than dirt who taught directing to a group of eager young fortune seekers each semester. In film school, students believe they already know everything. So, when this wizened man, Sid Salkow, doled out the wisdom he’d gathered over his highly successful career directing movies and TV shows in the generation before we were born, he didn’t always get our rapt attention.
By Liana Aghajanian | October 6, 2009
William Shakespeare’s beautifully written tragedy about Richard III, the sinister duke of Gloucester who kills his way to the crown, was a close to perfect performance to launch A Noise Within’s 2009-10 season, and certainly the full house who gave it a roaring applause seemed to think so. Starring Steve Weingartner as Richard, Deborah Strange as Margaret, Lenne Klingaman as Lady Anne and Susan Angelo as Queen Elizabeth, the cast...
By Joyce Rudolph | March 7, 2009
David Willardson’s acrylic art pieces have been known to stop traffic along California Avenue. In particular the 4-foot by 5-foot painting of Elvis in plain view from the plate glass window of his gallery between Orange Street and Brand Boulevard. The king of rock ’n’ roll is decked out in a blazing red jacket and royal blue jeans cast against a vibrant yellow and orange background. It’s called “6340,” which was Elvis’ number in the movie “Jailhouse Rock,” Willardson said.
September 18, 2002
When it comes to sports, there aren't too many realms where an individual's name is more important -- or more scrutinized. From programs and rosters bearing athletes' names, to announcers and commentators belting out their monikers, to uniforms spelling out their surnames, male and female sports figures are often judged and defined by their names. There was a time when you didn't have to be a linguist or wordsmith to pronounce most of the first names of the athletes.
May 16, 2007
The productions at A Noise Within are typically luminous — hypnotic, even. They create a magical world in which to escape for a few hours. Therefore it is highly unusual to come across an adaptation of an outstanding script that is uneven and slightly uncomfortable to watch. Nonetheless, there are a few good laughs in this black farce. "Loot" opens in the parlor of Mr. McLeavy, an older, working class, Catholic Brit who is mourning the recent death of his wife. Her loyal nurse, Fay, tends to him and, in the span of 10 minutes, has convinced him to propose to her. We then discover she's been married seven times and each husband has met a mysterious end. McLeavy's son, Hal, is a bisexual and a bank robber with the handicap of being unable to lie, which is very unfortunate for a criminal.
By JUNE CASAGRANDE | January 28, 2009
Is it ?I have drunk my coffee? or ?I have drank my coffee?? Do you dissociate from something, or dissociate with it? Does ?scallop? rhyme with ?gallop? or with ?trollop?? Most people find questions like these downright terrifying. Not only don?t they know the answers, but they have no clue how to find them. When posed with such questions, an intimidated English speaker might assume this is stuff he really should know but doesn?t ? that there?s a terrible gap in his education that will never be corrected.
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