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Mar 7, 2012

Today we will analyze part of a newspaper article in depth.

 Wukan, China - The Chinese fishing village that went into open revolt(1) against government control last year held elections on Saturday, an event that(2) some local people said was the first time they'd been able to elect their leaders. After years of resentment(3) about real estate(4) deals (5)between local leaders and businessmen, villagers staged a series of demonstrations. "We will solve the land issue (6)step-by-step," said Lin, the newly elected chief of the village. If those efforts to reclaim land come up short(8), then the experience will have been an empty one, many said.

1. Open revolt is when people demonstrate, express disagreement, rally together, and do so in a very public and obvious way.

Ex: After the votes were counted, the people went to the town hall in open revolt at the result.

    There has been open revolt in Greece over the government's plans to raise taxes and cut public spending.

2. The arrangement of (2) 'the event that' is a good stylistic way of adding more information about the elections. Many nouns that describe times or events can be reviewed and have more detail added to them. The arrangement of words, reflecting on the event, avoids having to make two sentences out of one, or one that doesn't sound as well crafted:

The Chinese fishing village ..........held elections on Saturday, which some local people said was the first time..... .

Or it could have been written:

The Chinese fishing village........held elections on Saturday. Some local people said that this was the first time...... .

The sentence structure in the article is much better than these two:

The Chinese fishing village ........held elections on Saturday, an event that some local people said was the first time ...... .

Let's see some other examples of this structure, and how it improves the flow of a sentence:

Exs: The ball was a magical occasion, a special moment in time that Cinderella would never forget.

This sentence flows nicely because of its second part. It could have been split into 2 sentences:

Either: The ball was a magical occasion. It was a special moment in time that Cinderella would never forget.

Or       The ball was a magical occasion, and was a special moment in time that Cinderella would never forget.

Let me give you a few more examples of sentences using the more successful format:

a. They bought the company in 1902, a decision that changed their lives completely.

b. She sang "We'll meet again", a rendition that had everyone standing and applauding.

c. He will analyse the book for a class, a job that most people would hate.

d. We left town in winter of 1988, a season no one will ever forget because of the record snowfall.

e. Their private conversation was not quiet enough, a mistake that caused a lot of embarrassment.

3. Resentment is similar to anger, or holding a grudge, or not letting an offense be forgiven or forgotten.

Exs: He didn't get the promotion, so he was full of resentment.

     The teacher was unfair, and that caused resentment among the students.

4. Real estate is property in the form of land or buildings

Exs: She bought good real estate at just the right time; now it is worth ten times as much money.

     The real estate market is slow at the moment, a sign that the economy isn't healthy yet.

5. Deal is both a verb and a noun. To deal is to hand out cards in a card game. You can also 'deal a blow' which basically means to punch. That expression is used figuratively as in this example:

The financial crisis dealt a blow to the car companies.         It sounds old fashioned to use this expression when talking about punching someone; it's best to use 'punch'.

A deal is a business or personal arrangement, some kind of agreement:

Exs: The banks made a deal.  The buyers made a successful deal with the sellers.

Note that the word 'dealings' has a sense of something illegal or secret, or unpleasant:

Exs: The govenor's dealings with oil companies were exposed.     I don't want to talk about his dealings with the mafia.

6. Issue is an emotional or psychological problem. It can also be an important topic, or a disagreement with something.

Exs: The issue of raising taxes always causes a lot of discussion and emotion.

      He disrupts the class, is rude, and doesn't do any work. I think that he has serious issues.

     I have an issue with the way he talks to people. I don't like it, and I think he needs a different approach.


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