I am a student from Germany. I had to write a text about The Simpsons (but that doesn't matter at all). I am pretty sure, I did lots of mistakes in the text.
I would be so happy if anyone could correct my mistakes (especially in grammar).
That's the text:
"The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening. The series is about a typical American family, who consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in a fictional city called Springfield. The series parodies the 'American Way of Life' (fast food, television, religion, politics, etc.).
The Simpsons contains 441 episodes.
James L. Brooks, an American producer, wanted Groening to invent a series of animated shorts. In a period of 15 minutes he drew The Simpsons and named them after his own family members, except for 'Bart' in exchange for his own name. The Simpson family first appeared at shorts in The Tracy Ulman Show on April 19th, 1987. In 1989 The Simpsons became a half-hour series for the Fox Broadcasting Company.
The main characters in the series are Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.
They are a typical American family. Homer, the father of the family, works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He is lazy, thick, and often drunk. Marge is a stereotypical housewife and mother. Bart is ten years old and a troublemaker; Lisa is a precocious eight-year-old activist. Both of them attend the Springfield Elementary School. Maggie is the baby. She sucks on a pacifier all the time. The family owns a cat called Snowball, and a dog called Santa's Little Helper.
There are lots of other characters in The Simpsons like Patty and Selma Bouvier - they are twins and the sisters of Marge -, Abraham Simpson - the father of Homer -, and the Flanders - the neighbors of the Simpsons. None of them age in the series. Almost all of them have a yellow skin color and four fingers."
I'm not done yet. I'll write down the rest tomorrow.
Thanks a lot!
It looks ok so far.
Originally Posted by Please_Help_Me
typical - do you mean typical or stereotypical? Or a parody of a typical/stereI'm sure there are a lot of Americans who will argue that the Simpsons do not represent a typical American family and would be offended by the idea... or maybe that's just where I grew up?
Originally Posted by Please_Help_Me
 - Rather than having a list of examples in parenthesis, I'd like to see you incorporate it into the sentence. The series parodies the 'American Way of Life' [dealing with issues? focusing on aspects?] such as fast food, television, religion, and politics. Think, what is the list and then decide how best to frame it for the reader.
contains - this word choice seems a bit awkward. Since (I believe) the show is still running, you might want to say, "The show has already completed 441 episodes and is on its 20th season." We might also say: the show ran (or has run if it's still going) for 441 episodes.
 - as above, the use of typical here doesn't seem quite accurate, especially as its followed by a description of a very negative stereotype. As far as I know, the typical American man does not work at a nuclear power plant. A car factory might have been more typical, although with the recent layoffs the group of people for whom that was typical are now typically out of work. ;) There certainly is a stereotype of a "thick, lazy and often drunk" American man, but again I hope that this does not represent the typical family, and there are other stereotypes of American men who are industrious, inventive and independent. The Simpsons is, as you point out, a parody; it takes a very cynical point of view and plays with it to make us laugh. While there is generally a grain of truth behind it, please keep in mind that humor often takes things (stereotypes, flaws) to the extreme. I'm afraid sometimes people who have not lived in the U.S. don't understand that a lot of stuff on American television is not actually a typical or common way for people to behave in their daily lives.
activist - the meaning here is not very clear to me. There are many different types of activist, but the 8-year-old kind is not one I'm familiar with... Usually we include a descriptive term: environmental activist, liberal activist, etc.
 - this is a bit of an awkward construction. You might want to break the list down into separate sentences or simply do away with the names. Unless you're going to talk about the specific characters in more detail, it's really not necessary. You could just say, "including Marge's twin sisters, Homer's father, and a neighboring family of religious conservatives."
 - consider "Most" or "The majority of them have yellow skin and four fingers."
When refering to the television show, "The Simpsons" should be in quotes. When refering to the family, it's the Simpsons (don't capitalize "the" unless at the beginning of a sentence).
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