Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6,948

    The prime minister on the bus, part one

    I imagined the prime minister taking a bus one early morning, and this text is the result of that thought. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    The internet nowadays abounds with rumours and fake news, but the pictures and videos showing the prime minister travelling by the bus caused great consternation and outrage among the public and in the media. On the videos which are spreading like wildfire through social media, the prime minister can be seen standing in the overcrowded bus and holding onto the strap with his one hand, and with another, his black briefcase. It is still not known what caused this strange behaviour, but it did not go well either with his colleagues or ordinary people. Within minutes of the posting of the incriminating pictures, Twitter and other social sites went into overdrive.

    Many celebrities and politicians are the target of abuse on the internet, but the amount of abuse heaped this time on the leader of the country was exceptional. People wished him to go to hell, drown in lava, be devoured by crocodiles, and get all kinds of illnesses, which would eat him up from inside slowly and painfully. The leader of the opposition, Mr Foot, called the prime minister’s behaviour unacceptable and demanded an apology. Other politicians went further and questioned his sanity, and asked him to undergo a series of psychological examinations to prove he was mentally fit for his job.

    Journalists didn’t waste any time and went searching for the witnesses. They found a few people willing to tell them their experiences of that fateful ride. Maria, 35- year- old cleaner said, “I’ve been using this line for about ten years. I had in the past some unpleasant incidents with drunks and men who groped me and whispered some obscenities into my ears, but today’s experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I went on the bus around seven. Ten minutes later, a gentleman in a dark suit came abroad. He was well-groomed and clean-shaven. At first, I thought he was one of the office workers you see every morning, always dizzy from the lack of sleep, but I felt uneasiness as soon as I saw him. I was so close to him that I smelled his expensive aftershave, which probably cost more than my monthly wage. I looked at him in profile, and it hit me, “It’s him,” I shouted inside myself, “the man who caused so much pain and was indifferent to the suffering of the working-class. What does he do here, without his bodyguards? How dares he? Why doesn’t he travel by his tank of a car which can resist any attack? Why does he try to provoke people by jostling with them? I had to suppress the urge to punch him in the face, and I got off two stops earlier because the anger boiling inside me caused me breathing difficulties as if someone had sucked the air out from the bus. I definitely wouldn’t be able to travel on the same bus with him again.”

    Samantha, 27-year-old nurse said, “I got on the bus as usual, and had to stand because there is never a vacant seat at this time of the day. Suddenly, I smelt a scent I never smelt before. I could hardly move in the crush, and when I turned my head, I saw a large head of a man I remembered from somewhere. His gray eyes were expressionless, his smooth-shaven face like an impenetrable mask, his brown hair slicked back. It was when he raked his fingers through his hair that I recognized him. Every time when he comes up to the dispatch box, he makes that gesture before making fun of the leader of the opposition. So this is how “Butcher” looks like, I thought. At my job, we call him Butcher because of his resistance to raise our salaries in the last few years. We went on our knees begging him for just one percent rise, but he was impervious. He laughed in our faces, reducing us to tears. Nurses started to leave in droves. They moved to Australia, Middle East and the US, where they can earn much more. We who stayed are now struggling to cope with the increased workload, and we are at the end of our tether.

    As the bus made its way through the congested traffic, I felt my stomach tighten. I had to get off at the next stop or risk throwing up. When I found myself in the street, I leaned on the light post and breathed in deeply to compose myself. I watched the bus disappear into the distance and was relieved I was no longer on it. If I ever see him on the bus again, I am sure I’ll have a nervous breakdown.”

    Gary, 58-year-old carpenter said, “Yes, I definitely saw him getting on the bus. At first, I believed it was his lookalike, but then I intuitively knew it was him, which was confirmed later in the news. I saw by the way he was standing and holding onto the strap that he was not an ordinary man. I can sense a statesman, even in the largest crowd. I thought how brave he was. Here was my prime minister taking a bus ride in the crowded bus and doing the right thing. I voted for his party in the previous election, and I knew he would deliver what he promised. When times are difficult you’re with your people. You’re right in the middle of the crowd, you breath their sweat and you share with them good and bad things because you one of them. I hope to see him many times on the bus. If I get an opportunity, I’ll shake hands with him and offer to buy him a beer in a pub. I know he’ll not turn me down. We have so many things to talk about.”
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. #2
    Lynxear's Avatar
    Lynxear is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    492

    Re: The prime minister on the bus, part one

    I tried to post my whole response in 2 parts and failed. This is my second attempt (thank goodness I saved it first). I will do it in two parts as you will see.

    ************************************************** ************************************************** **************

    The internet nowadays abounds with rumours and fake news, but the pictures and videos showing the prime minister travelling by the bus caused great consternation and outrage among the public and in the media. On the videos which are spreading like wildfire through social media, the prime minister can be seen standing in the overcrowded bus and holding onto the strap with his one hand, and with another, his black briefcase.(1) It is still not known what caused this strange behaviour, but it did not go well either with his colleagues or ordinary people. Within minutes of the posting of the incriminating pictures, Twitter and other social sites went into overdrive.

    Many celebrities and politicians are the target of abuse on the internet, but the amount of abuse heaped this time on the leader of the country was exceptional. People wished him to go to hell, drown in lava, be devoured by crocodiles, and get all kinds of illnesses, which would eat him up from inside slowly and painfully. The leader of the opposition, Mr Foot, called the prime minister’s behaviour unacceptable and demanded an apology. Other politicians went further and questioned (2) his sanity, and asked him to undergo a series of psychological examinations to prove he was mentally fit for his job.

    Journalists didn’t waste any time and went searching for the witnesses. They found a few people willing to tell them their experiences of that fateful ride. Maria, 35- year- old cleaner said, (3) “I’ve been using this line for about ten years. I had in the past some unpleasant incidents with drunks and men who groped me and whispered some obscenities into my ears, but today’s experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I went on the bus around seven. Ten minutes later, a gentleman in a dark suit came abroad. He was well-groomed and clean-shaven. At first, I thought he was one of the office workers you see every morning, always dizzy from the lack of sleep, but I felt uneasiness as soon as I saw him. I was so close to him that I smelled his expensive aftershave, which probably cost more than my monthly wage. I looked at him in profile, and it hit me, “It’s him,” I shouted inside myself, “the man who caused so much pain and was indifferent to the suffering of the working-class. What does he do here, without his bodyguards? How dares he? Why doesn’t he travel by his tank of a car which can resist any attack? Why does he try to provoke people by jostling with them? I had to suppress the urge to punch him in the face, and I got off two stops earlier because the anger boiling inside me caused me breathing difficulties as if someone had sucked the air out from the bus. I definitely wouldn’t be able to travel on the same bus with him again.”

    Samantha, 27-year-old nurse said (3) , “I got on the bus as usual, and had to stand because there is never a vacant seat at this time of the day. Suddenly, I smelt a scent I never smelt before. I could hardly move in the crush, and when I turned my head, I saw a large head of a man (4) I remembered from somewhere. His gray eyes were expressionless, (5) his smooth-shaven face (6) like an impenetrable mask, (5) his brown hair (6)slicked back. It was when he raked his fingers through his hair that I recognized him. Every time when he comes up to the dispatch box, he makes that gesture before making fun of the leader of the opposition. So this is how (7) “Butcher” looks like, I thought. At my job, we call him "Butcher" because of his resistance to raise our salaries in the last few years. We went on our knees begging him for just one percent rise, but he was impervious. He laughed in our faces, reducing us to tears. Nurses started to leave in droves. They moved to Australia, Middle East and the US, where they can earn much more. We who stayed are now struggling to cope with the increased workload, and we are at the end of our tether.

    As the bus made its way through the congested traffic, I felt my stomach tighten. I had to get off at the next stop or risk throwing up. When I found myself in the street, I leaned on the light post and breathed in deeply to compose myself. I watched the bus disappear into the distance and was relieved I was no longer on it. If I ever see him on the bus again, I am sure I’ll have a nervous breakdown.”

    Gary, 58-year-old carpenter said,(3) “Yes, I definitely saw him getting on the bus. At first, I believed it was his lookalike, but then I intuitively knew it was him which was confirmed later in the news. I saw by the way he was standing and holding onto the strap that he was not an ordinary man. I can sense a statesman, even in the largest crowd. I thought how brave he was. Here was my prime minister taking a bus ride in the crowded bus and doing the right thing. I voted for his party in the previous election, and I knew he would deliver what he promised. When times are difficult you’re (8) with your people. You’re (8) right in the middle of the crowd, you breath (9) their sweat and you share with them good and bad things because you one of them. I hope to see him many times on the bus. If I get an opportunity, I’ll shake hands with him and offer to buy him a beer in a pub. I know he’ll not turn me down. We have so many things to talk about.”
    Experience is recognizing a mistake the second time you make it.
    You don't go to an Englishman when you want good pierogi.

    - Wisdom from my father

  3. #3
    Lynxear's Avatar
    Lynxear is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    492

    Re: The prime minister on the bus, part one

    Now the critique follows.

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *************

    Well I am impressed. When I first looked at this writing, I thought to myself, "He copied it from somewhere." You may not know it but English teachers think that way when the writing seems too perfect and is above the level of their student. Yes, yes, you are not my student and I don't know you well. However, the thought crossed my mind and English teachers have tools to discover copying, but I found no evidence of it in your case.

    I don't normally analyze writing of this length, but I found this selection interesting and well written with very minor errors for the most part.

    The things I would change (not all are grammatical errors) are listed below with references to the red text above:

    1. On the videos which are spreading like wildfire through social media, the prime minister can be seen standing in the overcrowded bus and holding onto the strap with his one hand, and with another, his black briefcase.

    This sentence is too long and has several different ideas in it. I would redo this sentence breaking it down into two or more sentences. I am not going to tell you how to do it. You should be able to figure that out and I won't insult you by telling you what to do.

    2. and questioned his sanity

    Here is the whole sentence that you wrote:

    Other politicians went further and questioned his sanity, and asked him to undergo a series of psychological examinations to prove he was mentally fit for his job.

    This would be better if you used the participle form of "to question". Also, using "and" twice in a row like that is not good.

    Other politicians went further questioning his sanity, and they asked him to undergo a series of psychological examinations to prove he was mentally fit for his job.

    See how the sentence flows so much better as well as being grammatically correct. I also added a "they" to make the second clause independent.

    3. Maria, 35- year- old cleaner said,

    This form for writing the age of a person may be ok in British English, and if it is ignore this part of the criticism.

    In American/Canadian English we would write it this way: "35 year old" (no dashes)

    In addition, you require an article before each time you mention the person's age as well as a comma after his/her occupation. For example:

    Maria, a 35 year old cleaner, said....

    4. saw a large head of a man

    I would use the article "the" here instead of "a". The reason is she is referring to a specific head of someone she knew.

    I saw the large head of a man I remembered from somewhere.


    ... to be continued
    Last edited by Lynxear; 22-Jul-2017 at 19:31.
    Experience is recognizing a mistake the second time you make it.
    You don't go to an Englishman when you want good pierogi.

    - Wisdom from my father

  4. #4
    Lynxear's Avatar
    Lynxear is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    492

    Re: The prime minister on the bus, part one

    5/6. His gray eyes were expressionless, (5) his smooth-shaven face (6) like an impenetrable mask, (5) his brown hair (6)slicked back.

    You are not describing just his eyes in this passage. You are describing several features of the man's face. I believe they should be linked by semicolons (5) and the other descriptions converted to sentence by adding a verb (I added "was"). The sentences are linked this was since they have some commonality being features of the person. I am personally not great at using semicolons so maybe connecting the three this way is wrong (I am sure that this will be pointed out by others)

    His gray eyes were expressionless; his smooth-shaven face was like an impenetrable mask; his brown hair was slicked back.

    Perhaps another way would be like this:

    His gray eyes were expressionless; his smooth-shaven face was like an impenetrable mask with his brown hair slicked back.

    This is another alternative:

    His gray eyes were expressionless. His smooth-shaven face was like an impenetrable mask and his brown hair was slicked back.

    I think I like the last one the best.

    7. So this is how “Butcher” looks like

    "How" should be replace by "what" and add the article "the".

    So this is what the “Butcher” looks like...

    8. When times are difficult you’re with your people. You’re right in the middle of the crowd,

    This is not a grammatical error. However, I would not use the contraction "you're" in these sentences. Why? It is because the sentence lack a "punch" using them. They are bland in my opinion. I think the sentence are more powerful this way.

    When times are difficult you are with your people. You are right in the middle of the crowd,.....

    9. you breath their sweat

    "Breath" is noun. "Breathe" is the verb.

    You breathe their sweat...

    ************************************************** ********************************************

    There, I am finally finished. It took me a over 45 minutes to write this critique, but it was worth it. I won't do this every time as this takes too much of my time. However, you caught me when I did not have much to do.

    Bravo! This is interesting and well written except for the minor errors. I was impressed as well by the twist at the end where you gave the opinion of a person who liked the Prime Minister. This balanced out the piece very nicely.
    Experience is recognizing a mistake the second time you make it.
    You don't go to an Englishman when you want good pierogi.

    - Wisdom from my father

  5. #5
    Bassim is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6,948

    Re: The prime minister on the bus, part one

    Lynxear,

    Thank you for your corrections and advice, which I really appreciate. I have to tell you that I never copy anything from anyone. All what I post here is my own work. If I tried to copy anything, I would feel as if I am betraying myself. All my short stories, texts and sentences are just exercises. I post them here hoping to see them corrected so that I know where I make the mistakes and on what parts of grammar I should work to better my English.

    I am wondering if I could break down my sentence you numbered as 1. like this:

    On the videos which are spreading like wildfire through social media, the prime minister can be seen standing in the overcrowded bus. He is holding onto the strap with his one hand, and with another, his black briefcase.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •