Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Death penalty

Formal text:

Death penalty is a punishment that has been use for a long time. As long as we can remember, death penalty has been a method to punish criminals. However, over the past century, many countries has abolished death penalty, and today only a few still practice it. Most of them are in Africa and Asia, but also USA still practice death penalty. In America, 33 out of 50 states still have death penalty. Every year around 30 to 50 persons are executed in USA, and even more are sitting on “death row”, the prison where prisoners sentenced to death are imprisoned. Over thousand prisoners are sitting in death row for many years, just waiting to die. 
The most common method of execution is lethal injections. This is considered to be the most human way of doing it. Other methods that is used is electrocution, hanging and shooting.
There are enormous debates about this form of punishment. Many organizations work hard towards abolishing death penalty. One of the arguments that is most used, is that death penalty is against the human rights.  They mean that even though a person has killed someone, we should not do the same to him/her, because we know better. It is also widely debated for death penalty, because it prevents and scares people from committing crime. However, it is not proven that countries with death penalty has lower crime rates than others.

Informal text:

Death penalty used to be a normal way of punishing criminals before. Today, most country do not use death as a penalty, but some still do. In USA, around 30 to 50 people are executed every year, and this is very many persons! This is truly a horrible way of punishment. And even worse, over thousands of people are sitting in death row, the prison where the criminals sentenced to death are. They are siting there, year after year, just waiting to be killed! I can’t even imagine how terrible is must be, locked inside a room, waiting to be killed.
Luckily, there are many organizations working against this, such as Amnesty and DPIC. They are working hard with telling people about why we shouldn't have death penalty in our modern society, and collect signatures as a demonstration against it. On their websites, they also have a lot information about this topic, which scares me to read. I read that a man was hanged in 1996. This is only 16 years ago! I thought that hanging was an old-fashioned way of execution, that no one any longer did, something that we hear about in old tales.
I hope that soon we will not have death penalty anywhere in the world!

These two texts shows the differences between informal and formal texts. The formal one, number 1  is written with full words and long sentences. It is objective, just presenting facts about death penalty. I have used words like "however" and "this is considered" instead of writing "I think that" so that it is objective.   The second one, the informal, is written with an easier language. Easier words, and shorter sentences. I also presented my own opinion in this text, I wrote things like " I can’t even imagine how terrible is must be", showing my feelings about this subject. In the informal text, I also used some abbreviations and contractions in the informal text, I wrote "can't" and "won't", but in the formal text I wrote "can not".

You can read more about this here:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Today, we have compared different newspapers to eachother. We chose papers from USA, Jamaica and Poland.
Jamaica Observer, New York Times and the Polish newspaper Wyborcza, are three different newspapers, from three different countries. All three papers are big newspapers in their countries, and they write a lot about foreign news, especially when it comes to the presidential election I the US. Wyborcza writes a lot about Syria, and writes about how the rebels are doing etc. The New York Times also writes about Syria, but they are quite obsessed about themselves in foreign news, and don’t have a neutral point of view.
The Jamaican observer however, doesn’t write anything about Syria or other conflicts. But they do write about more local foreign news, like criminals in New York, and sports. When it comes to local news, the polish newspaper writes a lot about the government, and the prime minister, while the Jamaican newspaper are more obsessed with local criminality and culture. The New York Times are more focused with (as mentioned) the presidential election, school police, the jobless rate, and local “drama” between lawyers and politicians etc.

We found out that the newspapers are quite different, especially when it comes to foreign news. And while Wyborcza looks to be the most neutral, and most informative newspaper. The New York Times are obsessed with US-related news, and Jamaican observer focuses more on Jamaican news, and foreign local news.

Here are the links to the papers we used!
The New York times from USA: http://www.nytimes.com/
The Jamaican Observer from Jamaica: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/
Wyborcza from Poland: http://www.wyborcza.pl/

WHat is the most important news in your country?

Two Kinds & Lamb to the Slaughter

Today we have read two short stories, Two Kinds by Amy Tan and Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl. They were both very good short stories, even though they were a bit sad.  Me and my friends Ewa (visit her blog here: www.englishewa.blogspot.com ) and Amalie (www.amaliepaasandvika.blogspot.com ) worked together, and we decided to try to compare these stories to each other. This is what we discovered:

  • ·         First of all, the main characters in both the stories are females. In Two Kinds the main character is a young Chinese girl, and in Lamb to the Slaughter it is a woman, Mary Maloney, who seems to be a bit mad.

  • ·         The setting in both of the stories takes place in the family, in their homes. Only the family is included in the plot. This is typical for short stories, there are often few people.

  • ·         The point of view is from the main character.

  • ·         Poor communication can be found in both stories. The mother and daughter in Two Kinds have problems with communicating with each other, and agree on what is the best for the daughter’s future. Mary and her husband Charlie in the other story can’t communicate on their relationship, and this result in Mary killing him.

  • ·         We discovered that the conflicts in the stories both came as a result of the poor communication. The reason why the mother and daughter had such a conflict was because they had different opinions and had problems with communicating about this with each other. The conflict in Lamb to the Slaughter is that Mary kills her husband, and this wouldn’t have happened if they could communicate.

  • ·         The solution of the conflicts ends with death and killing. Mary feels like she has to kill her husband because she wants to leave him, and by that, he is not leaving her, at least kind of. The conflict in Two Kinds only ends when the mother dies, only then is the daughter able to forgive her, and see that she did what she did because she loved her.

  • ·         The theme in both stories is love. In Two Kinds it is about the love between mother and daughter, the mother wants her daughter to be famous because she wants her to have a bright future. In Lamb to the Slaughter it is about the love between wife and husband. When Charlie doesn’t love her anymore, Mary feels like she has to kill him, because he is her only love.

You can read the stories here!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Unexpected ending, typical Roald Dahl

I have just read a short story by Roald Dahl, called “The Landlady”. The story is about the 17 years old Billy Weaver. When he arrives in the little town Bath, he has to find a place to stay. He ends up knocking on the door to an old lady, who offers him a room for a very cheap price. Everything seems perfectly fine, and the lady is very sweet and pleasant. Billy even gets the whole 2. Floor for himself! But, as we all know, looks can be deceiving. After some time everything seem a bit weirder. Billy discovers that the two only earlier guests came for more for more than two years ago, and he remember that he must have seen these names somewhere before. When Billy asks when the earlier guests left, the landlady answers that they never left and that they live on the third floor. Slowly Billy remembers that they both disappeared when they were out travelling. When he asks about her stuffed animals she smiles at him and says that she always stuffs her pets when they pass away. The story ends with Billy drinking tea with the lady, and he thinks that it tastes a bit funny.

It is pretty obvious to all of us that the old lady never was a sweet and pleasant woman. It is very unexpected, because in the start of the story it seems to be about an old, sweet lady, but in the end it turns out to be about something very different! We also saw the movie-version of this short story in class, and there it seems pretty obvious that the landlady killed her earlier guests. In the end you can even see that Billy dies from drinking his tea! 

I liked both the movie and the short story. The story is very well written, and has a very open ending, but the movie shows very clearly what happens. I believe that they are both good, and if you haven’t read or seen it before, I recommend you do it now!

And here is a link for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSgNs8CvSVI