Homework #5 for March 12:
Read "Prudence or Cruelty" by Nicholas Kristof and write a 3-paragraph essay that explains 3 supports Kristof uses to support his defense of food stamps. Use at least 3 signal phrases.
Study Questions from Part 1 (previous lesson that we didn't have time for)
One. What revelation does Thomas, the Buddhist Monk, make as he finds how to crack the koan codes (word puzzles) and become an enlightened Buddhist practitioner?
He followed his passion, to pursue Buddhism to the extreme, and he felt empty, he felt he was the same person he was before, he felt the same urge to find meaning.
His passion had betrayed him.
Cal Newport juxtaposes Thomas’ failed quest with an obsession that Newport has had for a long time, the very obsession that provides impetus for this book we’re reading: Why do some people end up loving what they do while others fail to be happy and feel empty and wasted in their efforts?
Trying to find a professor job in a struggling economy in 2010, Newport’s prospects were bleak. How could he find happiness in such bleak circumstances?
As Newport embarked on his quest to discover why some people find happiness in their work while others do not, he concluded that passion was overrated.
In fact, he ended up rejecting the Passion Hypothesis, the idea that we find happiness by following our passion. “Follow your bliss” is a false path, a canard, a dangerous cliché.
Two. What common thread holds Newport’s book together?
The importance of developing a high-quality ability that cannot be easily replicated so that one is not easily replaceable is one of the dominant themes of this book.
How to develop such an ability is another theme.
Rule #1: Don’t Follow Your Passion
Steve Jobs, as we know him, is a myth.
Not only is Steve Jobs a myth, he perpetuated a myth: “The only way to be great at your work is to love what you do. Don’t settle. Keep searching until you find your passion.”
“Follow your passion. Life is for the living.”
“Passion is the engine to living a life.”
Steve Jobs’ words are a disingenuous, empty clichés; they are false; they are fatuous; they are dangerous; and he didn’t even apply those words to his life, his real life, not the mythical one people have been led to believe about him.
Steve Jobs is a perpetrator of the Passion Hypothesis, which says the following: The key to occupational happiness is to first figure out what you’re passionate about and then to find a job that matches this passion.
Three. What is the real Steve Jobs story?
He never followed his passion to create Apple computer. Before Apple, he was living as a hippy on a commune and doing work with Atari. He travelled as a sort of nomad or vagabond, dabbling in Zen Buddhism, but really he lived the life of a dilettante, doing casual work here and there.
But then he needed money, and he Steve Wozinak who helped Steve Jobs sell model-kit computers at $500 a piece. Steve Jobs had no passion and no vision for some giant company that would take over the world. He wanted quick cash. That was it.
Once he saw an opportunity to make even bigger money, Steve Jobs busted his butt doing deep work to make himself competitive against the other people trying to make money in the same computer space.
Had Steve Jobs followed his passion, to be a lazy Buddhist monk living in Zen communes and travelling here and there, he would have never been able to compete against the burgeoning computer engineers.
He would have floundered.
He would have been a nobody.
He would have been a professional bum.
He would have been an annoying quasi-spiritual Zen-cliché-larded mountebank.
Steve Jobs Became Successful Because He Didn’t Follow His Passion
Steve Jobs didn’t follow his passion. He followed an opportunity and delivered by developing in himself a unique ability that made him valuable to others.
Following your passion is a lie.
Following your passion is canard.
Following your passion is the kiss of death.
Following your passion is an empty cliché spewed by sanctimonious, brain-dead mediocrities.
Cal Newport points out that Steve Jobs became passionate AFTER he mastered his craft, AFTER he honed his talent, AFTER he developed unique skills that allowed him to navigate a world-dominating computer company.
Three. What is famous radio broadcaster Ira Glass’ advice on becoming successful?
Much to the disappointment of the interviewers who wanted Glass to pontificate on the notion of “following your bliss,” Glass gives some sobering advice:
First, you’re going to suck at what you do. You have to go through the drudgery and mental strain of moving through your suck at it phase and reach a point of mastery.
It’s the endurance and drive to move past your “I suck at it” phase and reach a higher level of expertise that accounts for success and happiness.
Cal Newport goes on to explain that we can’t know what our passion is in the beginning. It’s rare that people have a clearly defined passion at a young age.
I can only think of one exception: George Carlin, the famous comedian, told Terry Gross on Fresh Air that he knew he was going to be a comedian when he was in the fifth grade.
But that is the exception, not the rule.
We should live by the general rule.
Complex Career Origin Principle
Cal Newport writes: “Compelling careers often have complex origins that reject the single idea that all you have to do is follow your passion.”
Real Passion Principle: Time and Mastery
“Passion takes time.” You have to cultivate it with deep work, undistracted focus on your craft.
To support the above, Yale researcher Amy Wizesniwski wanted to look at job happiness. She divided jobs in 3 ways:
One. A job is a way to pay the bills.
Two. A career is a path toward increasingly better work.
Three. A calling is work that is an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity.
Having a “dream job” wasn’t the key to happiness, AW found. She found that it was time spent on the job and mastery of the job.
Her findings contradict the lame Passion Hypothesis, that childish, infantile myth that all you have to do is find your passion and as soon as you get the job you are instantly happy. “You followed your bliss! Oh happy you!”
“Passion is a side effect of mastery.”
Develop your mastery first. Then the passion comes as a natural result.
This reminds me of something Viktor Frankl writes: Don’t aim to be happy. Aim for a life of purpose and meaning and then happiness will be an unintentional byproduct.
Newport Continued Part 2
A CAREER MANIFESTO
Career advice has fallen into a terribly simplistic rut. Figure out what you’re passionate about, then follow that passion: this idea provides the foundation for just about every guide to improving your working life.
The Career Craftsman rejects this reductionist drivel.
The Career Craftsman understands that “follow your passion and all will be happy” is a children’s tale. Most people don’t have pre-existing passions waiting to be unearthed. Happiness requires more than solving a simple matching problem.
The Career Craftsman knows there’s no magical “right job” waiting out there for you. Any number of pursuits can provide the foundation for an engaging life.
The Career Craftsman believes that compelling careers are not courageously pursued or serendipitously discovered, but are instead systematically crafted.
The Career Craftsman believes this process of career crafting always begins with the mastery of something rare and valuable. The traits that define great work (autonomy, creativity, impact, recognition) are rare and valuable themselves, and you need something to offer in return. Put another way: no one owes you a fulfilling job; you have to earn it.
The Career Craftsman believes that mastery is just the first step in crafting work you love. Once you have the leverage of a rare and valuable skill, you need to apply this leverage strategically to make your working life increasingly fulfulling. It is then — and only then — that you should expect a feeling of passion for your work to truly take hold.
The Career Craftsman thinks the idea that “societal expectations” are trying to hold you down in a safe but boring career path is a boogeyman invented to sell eBooks. You don’t need courage to create a cool life. You need the type of valuable skills that let you write your own ticket.
The Career Craftsman never expects to love an entry level job (or to stay in that job long before moving up).
The Career Craftsman thinks “is this my calling?” is a stupid question.
The Career Craftsman is data-driven. Admire someone’s career? Work out exactly how they made it happen. The answers you’ll find will be less romantic but more actionable than you might expect.
The Career Craftsman believes the color of your parachute is irrelevant if you take the time to get good at flying the damn plane in the first place.
“Drivel” of the Passion Mindset
Or if you reject the craftsman mindset, you can have the passion mindset, which asks how much value your job is offering you.
Newport argues it is only by producing the craftsman mindset that you can create work that you love.
In terms of maturity, the craftsman mindset is the approach of a mature, fully realized human being.
In contrast, a passion mindset is the approach of a naïve, immature, lazy narcissist.
Seven. What is the pre-existing passion principle and why does Cal Newport reject it?
There are some who argue that musician Jordan Tice and comedian Steve Martin, both referenced in Newport’s book, are master craftsman who work hard because they are doing so in the service of something they love, in work they are passionate about.
Newport rejects this argument. In the entertainment business, “the tape doesn’t lie.” Both performers work super hard because they want to improve their performance.
They both actually have doubt about their vocations as musician and comedian respectively.
What they are sure about is that if they are going to be good they are going to have to engage in deep work.
Both Jordan Tice and Steve Martin have developed consistent habits of hard work as the foundation of improving their craft.
They have developed a craftsman mindset.
Eight. Why does a craftsman mindset produce a great job?
Only by creating a great craft, bringing great product to the job, does a person have a great job, which Newport observes is distinguished by three ingredients:
Creativity: Ira Glass reinvented radio.
Impact: Steve Jobs affected the way the world uses technology.
Control: Craftsman are not micromanaged by their bosses because of the value they bring to the job.
Nine. What is career capital?
One, great work, which is rare and valuable.
Two, great workers, who have rare and valuable skills.
Three, craftsman mindset, which is determined to be so great they can’t ignore you.
Always Know How Much Career Capital You Have Before Making Career Change
On Cal Newport’s blog, he elaborates on the life of Lisa Feuer, who is featured in his book:
The Courage Fallacy
In 2005, Lisa Feuer quit her marketing job. She had held this same position throughout her 30s before deciding, at the age of 38, that it was time for something different.
As the New York Times reported in an article from last summer, she wanted the same independence and flexibility that her ex-husband, an entrepreneur, enjoyed. Bolstered by this new resolve, Lisa invested in a $4000 yoga instruction course and started Karma Kids Yoga — a yoga practice focused on young children and pregnant women.
Lisa’s story provides a pristine example of what I call the choice-centric approach to building an interesting life. This philosophy emphasizes the importance of choosing better work. Having the courage to leave your boring but dangerously comfortable job — to borrow a phrase from Tim Ferriss — and instead follow your “passion,” has become the treasure map guiding this philosophy’s adherents.
But there’s a problem: the endings are not always so happy…
The Economics of Remarkable Lives
As the recession hit, Lisa’s business struggled. One of the gyms where she taught closed. Two classes offered at a local public high school were dropped due to under-enrollment. The demand for private lessons diminished.
In 2009, she’s on track to make on $15,000 — not nearly enough to cover her expenses.
This, of course, is the problem with the choice-centric approach to life: it assumes that a much better job is out there waiting for you. The reality, however, is often more Darwinian: much better jobs are out there, but they’re only available to people with much better skills than most of their peers.
As I’ve argued before, the traits that make a remarkable life remarkable — flexibility, engagement, recognition, and reward — are highly desirable. Therefore, to land a job (or start a business) that returns these rewards, you must have a skill to offer that’s both rare and valuable.
It’s simple economics.
Lisa didn’t have a skill that was rare or valuable. She did receive professional Yoga training, but the barrier to entry for this training was the ability to write a tuition check and take a few weeks worth of classes. This skill wasn’t rare or valuable enough to guarantee her the traits she admired in the lives of successful entrepreneurs, and as soon as the economy hiccuped she experienced this reality.
Her courage to follow her “passion” was not enough, in isolation, to improve her life.
The Value of Nerves
This brings me back to the (perhaps) controversial title of this post. If you’re in a job that’s boring but tolerable, and you feel nervous about quitting, you might consider trusting this instinct. Your mind might be honing in on the economic truth that you don’t have a skill rare and valuable enough to earn you a substantially better deal somewhere else. Because of this, your mind understandably reacts to your career day dreams with jitters.
On the other hand, those who have built up highly desirable skills rarely feel much nervousness about the prospect of switching jobs. They’ve probably had other job offers, or can name a half-a-dozen clients that would pay handsomely for their consulting services.
Tens of thousands of bored cubicle dwellers fantasize about building their own companies. (Writers have built lucrative careers around pitching this message.) Most of these workers, however, are nervous about this idea due to the very real possibility that their business ventures will fold, leaving them, like Lisa, broke, without health insurance, and worse off than before.
By contrast, earlier this year I received a call from a head hunter trying to recruit me to work at a Manhattan-based start-up incubator that would, in essence, pay me to think up and try out business ideas. (Jeff Bezos was in a similar position at D.E. Shaw when he came up with the idea for Amazon.com.)
My point is that if I wanted to start my own company (which I don’t), I wouldn’t feel nervous. The reason is clear: By earning a PhD in computer science at MIT I developed a skill that’s rare and valuable to this particular economic segment. The market has made this value clear to me; ergo, no nerves.
The Hard Focus-Centric Approach
Though I’m not nervous about the idea of starting my own company, I am, at this point in my career, nervous about the path that most interests me: becoming a professor at a quality research university.
Instead of paralyzing me, however, these nerves provide wonderful clarity. My goal during my postdoc years now centers on eliminating this nervousness. To do so, I need to make myself unambiguously one of the top candidates in the computer science academic job market. This, in turn, requires incredibly high-quality research that promises to push my research sub-fields forward. This specific goal has trickled down into concrete changes in my day to day work habits. Most notably, I’ve recently rebuilt my schedule around hard focus, and I spend much more time reading the research literature and thinking about the long-term direction of my short-term work.
In other words, nervousness can provide more than just sober-minded warning. It can also help guide you in your efforts to build a remarkable life. Instead of grappling with vague worry — “Am I stupid for wanting to try this new career path?” — you can focus your energy toward a clear metric: building up a valuable skill until you’ve eliminated this nervousness.
Newport Study Questions
One. What is one of the strongest advantages of the craftsman mindset over the passion-centric mindset?
Finding the right or ultimate job is a myth. In fact, we’re constantly agnostic about our job. We don’t know if our job is ideal or not. What we do know is we have to improve our craft.
Improving our craft makes us passionate about what we do, not the job, so we have more flexibility over what kind of job we do.
However, there are 3 Disqualifiers for Some Jobs
One, the job offers you few opportunities to distinguish yourself with rare and valuable work.
Two, the job makes you focus on useless or morally wrong activities.
Three, the job forces you to work with people you don’t like.
Two. Why did Jordan Tice excel in guitar in ways that Cal Newport did not in spite of their equal years of playing time?
“Discomfort with mental discomfort is a liability in the performance world.”
You must work through the discomfort to reach higher limits of your talent. Only then can you achieve breakthroughs and develop a skill that is rare and valuable.
Jordan practiced, and this meant a lot of repetitious tedium.
In addition to doing deep work, Jordan got instant feedback.
We learn that deep work is most effective when a teacher or mentor figure gives us feedback as we make our progress.
In contrast, Cal played casually. Jordan became a professional. Cal became a guitar-playing dilettante.
Three. What is the 10,000-Hour Rule?
Excellence at performing a complex task requires a minimum of hours to accomplish. We’re not just talking any hours. We’re talking deep work hours, that is undistracted focus entailing a lot of mental discomfort.
Being willing to do 10,000 hours of deep work is a trait we see in people who labeled as geniuses like Mozart and Bill Gates.
Genius does not exist without deep work.
Talent without deep work is a flop, a dud, and a waste.
Four. Is hard work enough to reach a level of mastery?
No. Deep work leads to deliberate practice, which requires feedback. Without deliberate practice and feedback, even a talented hard-working person will hit a plateau.
Five. What are the Five Habits of a Craftsman?
1: Decide what capital market you are in. There are 2 kinds of markets –
Winner-take-all: One killer skills with a few winners all over the world (e.g. Hollywood script writer)
Auction: Diverse collection of skills. Here, there are many different types of career capital and each person might generate their own unique collection (e.g. CEO of a Fortune 500 company)
2: Identify your capital type. Ignore this if you are in a winner-take-all market as there’s only one type of capital. (i.e. be amongst the top 10 script writers in the world to make it in Hollywood)
For an auction market, however, seek open gates i.e. opportunities to build capital that are already open to you. Open gates get us farther faster. Skill acquisition is like a freight train: Getting it started requires a huge application of effort, but changing its track once it’s moving is easy. (e.g. keep moving upwards in an organization and then laterally instead of trying to move laterally and start from scratch)
3: Define “good.” Set clear goals. For a script writer, the definition of “good” is clear – his scripts being taken seriously.
4: Stretch and destroy. Deliberate practice – that uncomfortable sensation in our heads that feels like physical strain, as if neurons are physically re-forming into new configurations.
5: Be patient. Look years into the future for the payoff. It’s less about paying attention to your main pursuit, and more about your willingness to ignore other pursuits that pop up along the way to distract you.
Six. What is the power of control and how does control result in job happiness?
Giving people more control at work increases their happiness, fulfillment, and engagement.
But you cannot earn safe control without career capital. Think of the lady who quit her job to run yoga studios. She had to go on food stamps.
Sentence Fragment Review
No main verb
An essay with a clear thesis and organization.
An essay with a clear thesis and organization has a stronger probability of succeeding.
An education system based on standardized tests with no flexible interpretation of those tests
An education system based on standardized tests with no flexible interpretation of those tests will inevitably discriminate against non-native speakers.
No main subject
With too much emphasis on standardized tests targeting upper class Anglo students
With too much emphasis on standardized tests targeting upper class Anglo students, No Child Left Behind remains a form of discrimination.
With my fish tacos overloaded with mango salsa and Manchego cheese
With my fish tacos overloaded with mango salsa and Manchego cheese, they fell apart upon the first bite.
Until you learn to not overload your fish tacos
Until you learn to not overload your fish tacos, your tacos will fall apart.
Examples of Student Fragments
People are never happy with what they have. Always trying to be something they're not.
Star Trek predicted what the future would be like. A world where an abundant supply of technology helps the human race.
Since being drawn to social media, we're together now more than ever. Not communicating with conversation but only connecting.
Don’t allow gerunds and participles to stand alone.
Having Facebook friends whose GoFundMe accounts that are always asking for money.
Babbling about the Presidential election.
Stuffing my mouth with cream cheese and bagels.
Examining the reasons for staying in college.
Running toward the buffet table.
Running toward the buffet table is dangerous. (gerund noun phrase)
Running toward the buffet table, Mo tripped and broke his wrist. (participle phrase modifies Mo, so it’s also called an adjective phrase)
Eating bucket-fulls of cashew and walnut pesto larded with Parmesan cheese.
Eating bucket-fulls of cashew and walnut pesto larded with Parmesan cheese can lead to a heart attack. (gerund noun phrase)
Eating bucket-fulls of cashew and walnut pesto larded with Parmesan cheese, Augustine was oblivious of his girlfriend who sat across from him at the table looking at his exhibition of gluttony with horror and disgust. (participle phrase that modifies Augustine).
Augustine dreams of eating a ricotta pound cake smothered with whipped cream and strawberries. (gerund noun phrase is the object of the sentence)
Elliot was a vulgar philistine. Evidenced by a love of gold and sequin-encrusted toilets.
Elliot was a vulgar philistine evidenced by a love of gold and sequin-encrusted toilets.
Don’t let prepositional phrases stand alone.
A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition.
Under the bridge, the Red Hot Chili Peppers rock star contemplated the emptiness of his life and wrote “Under the Bridge.”
In "Growing Up Tethered" by Sherry Turkle is talking about why more teens are more focused on their phones than real people.
In the above, get rid of the preposition "In."
I enjoyed my run. In spite of your choice to abandon me and leave me to run alone in the rain. (prepositional phrase can’t stand alone)
I enjoyed my run in spite of your choice to abandon me and leave me to run alone in the rain.
Don’t let an appositional phrase stand alone.
An appositional phrase is a the use of phrase to rename a noun.
My father, a military man, speaks in a loud, bombastic voice.
I listen to the loud voice of my father, a military man.
Bo Jackson, the most freakish physical specimen of the last century, suffered a career-stopping hip injury. That sent his fans into mourning.
Bo Jackson, the most freakish physical specimen of the last century, suffered a career-stopping hip injury, which sent his fans into mourning.
My favorite athlete is Bo Jackson. The most freakish specimen of the last century.
My favorite athlete is Bo Jackson, the most freakish specimen of the last century.
I dreamed last night that I was sitting behind the wheel of a Lexus GS350. One of the greatest cars ever built.
I dreamed last night that I was sitting behind the wheel of a Lexus GS350, one of the greatest cars ever built.
In 1969, I swooned over my third-grade classmate Patty Wilson. A pulchritudinous goddess from another planet.
In 1969, I swooned over my third-grade classmate Patty Wilson, a pulchritudinous goddess from another planet.
Don’t let an infinitive phrase stand alone. An infinitive phrase is a “to verb,” which is not a real verb.
To know me is to love me.
Working in his lab for ten years, Dr. Kragen was obsessed with creating a new type of Greek yogurt. To see if he could create a yogurt with 100 grams of protein per cup.
Working in his lab for ten years, Dr. Kragen was obsessed with creating a new type of Greek yogurt to see if he could create a yogurt with 100 grams of protein per cup.
Don’t let an adjective clause stand alone.
An adjective clause is that or which followed by a subject and a verb.
I like cars that feel like they’ve been built with care and precision.
Spotify, which I joined last year, has kept me from spending money on iTunes.
I spend most of my listening time on Spotify. Which costs me ten dollars a month and saves me from spending up to $100 a month on iTunes.
I spend most of my listening time on Spotify, which costs me ten dollars a month and saves me from spending up to $100 a month on iTunes.
People who lard their salads with candied nuts.
People who lard their salads with candied nuts have to admit they can only eat salad if they make it taste like pecan pie.
People who cut you off and then drive really slowly as if they're trying to enrage you on purpose.
People who cut you off and then drive really slowly as if they're trying to enrage you on purpose are passive-aggressive miscreants.
People who sign up for community college classes and then ignore the syllabus.
People who sign up for community college classes and then ignore the syllabus are more in love with the idea of going to college than actually going to college.
People who think marriage will cure them of their immaturity and give them instant status as winners in society.
People who think marriage will cure them of their immaturity and give them instant status as winners in society are delusional charlatans who are on the road to divorce.
Don’t let an adverbial clause stand alone.
An adverbial clause modifies a verb.
I like to do my kettlebell workouts when my twins are in school.
When it’s too hot to exercise, I slog through my kettlebell workouts.
I tend to inhale gallons of rocky road chocolate chip ice cream. As a depressive reaction to “Lonely Night Saturdays.”
I tend to inhale gallons of rocky road chocolate chip ice cream as a depressive reaction to “Lonely Night Saturdays.”
Don’t let any long phrase or clause be confused with a complete sentence.
Although I studied herpetology and kinesiology during my stay in the Peruvian mountains while keeping warm in the hides of Alpaca and other mountain-dwelling bovine creatures.
Although I studied herpetology and kinesiology during my stay in the Peruvian mountains while keeping warm in the hides of Alpaca and other mountain-dwelling bovine creatures, I feel I didn’t retain much information during my two-year stay there.
Find Fragments and Comma Splices
The other night I consumed a tub of Greek yogurt with peanut butter and honey so I'd have enough energy to watch a documentary about world hunger.
I wasn't really hungry, I was anxious. Whenever I get anxious; which is all the time, I eat like a demon.
Anxiety propels me to stuff my face even when I’m not hungry. The mechanical act of eating. Using my greedy hands to lift food to my mouth and then hearing my mandibles and molars crunch the food matter into mush, has a soothing effect on my anxieties—like giving a teething biscuit to a baby.
Anxiety compels me to engage in the practice of “preemptive eating.” The idea that even though I’m not hungry at this moment, I might be “on the road” inside my car far away from nutritional resources so I had better fill up while I can. In truth, I’m not “on the road” that often evidenced by the fact that my nine-year-old car has only 33 thousand miles on the odometer. Clearly, then, my impulse for preemptive eating is indefensible.
But you see, my anxieties exaggerate the circumstances so that I have ample food reserves in my car—cases of high-protein chocolate peanut butter bars and a case of bottled water. All that unnecessary weight in the trunk compromises my gas mileage, but my anxieties are a cruel tyrant.
Anxiety is the reason that, in spite of my hardcore kettlebell workouts, I am a good twenty pounds overweight. Being twenty pounds overweight makes me anxious, and these anxieties, in turn, make me want to eat more.
Contemplating this vicious cycle is making me extremely anxious.
Good food makes me anxious.
Just thinking about good food can make me so anxious I’ll obsess over it in bed, so I’ll toss and turn all night. Like a heroin addict.
When I was in my early twenties, I ate donuts that were so good I wanted to drop out of college, give up on relationships, and hole myself up in my mother’s basement. Where I’d spend the rest of my life eating donuts.
I suffer from food insomnia. Meaning that fixating at night on a certain delicious meal I once had can prevent me from falling asleep.
There’s one food in particular that keeps me up at night—chocolate brownies.
Chocolate brownies are the best delivery system for sending an explosion of chocolate into the brain’s pleasure centers. Chocolate brownies saturate my brain with so much dopamine that after eating a brownie platter it’s not safe for me to drive or to operate heavy mechanical equipment. When I was a kid, I took cough medicine laced with codeine, and there was a warning label on the back: “Not safe to drive or to operate heavy mechanical equipment.” Chocolate brownie mix should have the same warning on the back of the box.
The best brownies mix I’ve ever had are Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Chip Brownies from Costco. I’ve purchased the same brand from other stores, but the Costco version is the best. Costco apparently uses its special powers to have Ghirardelli make an exclusive proprietary formula that is far superior to other versions, this fact has been corroborated by conversations I’ve had with Orange County housewives.
I don’t live in Orange County, and I don’t normally have conversations with housewives. That I talked with them about the superior quality of the exclusive Costco version of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Chip Brownies mix attests to the severity of my unhealthy dependence on food.
Costco does a good job of making you think about food. Before you even walk inside Costco, you smell the freshly baked cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, and cream Danish. The smell makes you run inside the store.
Chronologically speaking, I am supposed to be an adult, but like a kid, I’m running toward the Costco entrance while pushing an empty shopping cart. I must be a scary sight. This 240-pound middle-aged bald guy aggressively pushing his battering ram into a giant food larder. Where he will pillage the spoils. I’m like an Old Testament warlord about to ransack a defeated city.
A comma splice is joining two sentences with a comma when you should separate them with a period or a semicolon.
People love Facebook, however, they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
People love Facebook. However, they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
Though people love Facebook, they fail to realize Facebook is sucking all their energy.
Patience is difficult to cultivate, it grows steadily only if we make it a priority.
Patience is difficult to cultivate. It grows steadily only if we make it a priority.
Because patience grows within us so slowly, patience is extremely difficult to cultivate.
You can use a comma between two complete sentences when you join them with a FANBOYS word or coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
People love Facebook, but they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
Student Comma Splices Part One (the second sentence feels like a continuation of thought from the first sentence, which it is, but it still requires a period before it)
- My department decided to set up another office for me to do my work, I was no longer sitting out front like the permanent receptionist.
- The permanent receptionist never spoke to anyone in the offices, he just answered phones.
- He said, “You have a few choices, they need a coordinator at the new jobsite or working the business side as a coordinator.”
- I was lucky, many opportunities came to me and now I had the required experience to get the job I wanted.
- There was no stopping me, all my achievements were completed on my own.
- I was promoted quickly, I went from coordinator to senior executive within a few months.
- The drug dealing lifestyle was insatiable to Jeff Henderson, he believed he could elude the feds.
- Our methods paralleled, my method was legal, his was illegal.
- Jeff Henderson rose to the top of his game, he had established his fortune.
10. Jeff Henderson had no choice, it was either work or stay confined in his prison cell.
11. She was going to marry her high school sweetheart, what better way to spend the rest of your life in bliss?
12. He asked me to marry him, he was a Marine after all stationed in Japan.
13. Her life was finally beginning, she could leave Los Angeles.
14. This was her life, she did what she wanted.
15. Now she had nothing, she had given up her job to move overseas.
16. Life was too much of a challenge, she accepted that fact.
Jerry ate ten pizzas a week. Nonetheless, he remained skinny.
Jerry ate ten pizzas a week, but he remained skinny.
Barbara didn't buy the BMW. Instead, she bought the Acura.
Barbara didn't buy the BMW, yet she did buy the Acura.
Steve wasn't interested in college. Moreover, he didn't want to work full-time.
Steve wasn't interested in college, and he didn't want to work full-time.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me. However, I do want you to help me do my taxes.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me, but I do want you to help me do my taxes.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me, but I do, however, want you to help me do my taxes.
I feel that our relationship has become stale, stagnant, and turgid. Consequently, I think we should break up.
I feel that our relationship has become stale, stagnant, and turgid, so I think we should break up.
Students hate reading. Therefore, they must be tested with closed-book reading exams.
Students hate reading, so they must be tested with closed-book reading exams.
Avoiding Comma Splices and Run-Ons
Fused (run-on) sentence
Klee's paintings seem simple, they are very sophisticated.
She doubted the value of medication she decided to try it once.
A fused sentence (also called a run-on) joins clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence with no punctuation or words to link them. Fused sentences must be either divided into separate sentences or joined by adding words or punctuation.
I was strongly attracted to her, she was beautiful and funny.
We hated the meat loaf, the cafeteria served it every Friday.
A comma splice occurs when only a comma separates clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence. To correct a comma splice, you can insert a semicolon or period, connect the clauses with a word such as and or because, or restructure the sentence.
After each sentence, put a “C” for Correct or a “CS” for Comma Splice. If the sentence is a comma splice, rewrite it so that it is correct.
One. Bailey used to eat ten pizzas a day, now he eats a spinach salad for lunch and dinner.
Two. Marco no longer runs on the treadmill, instead he opts for the less injury-causing elliptical trainer.
Three. Running can cause shin splints, which can cause excruciating pain.
Four. Running in the incorrect form can wreak havoc on the knees, slowing down can often correct the problem.
Five. While we live in a society where 1,500-calorie cheeseburgers are on the rise, the reading of books, sad to say, is on the decline.
Six. Facebook is a haven for narcissists, it encourages showing off with selfies and other mundane activities that are ways of showing how great and amazing our lives our, what a sham.
Seven. We live in a society where more and more Americans are consuming 1,500-calorie cheeseburgers, however, those same Americans are reading less and less books.
Eight. Love is a virus from outer space, it tends to become most contagious during April and May.
Nine. The tarantula causes horror in many people, moreover there is a species of tarantula in Brazil, the wandering banana spider, that is the most venomous spider in the world.
Ten. Even though spiders cause many people to recoil with horror, most species are harmless.
Eleven. The high repair costs of European luxury vehicles repelled Amanda from buying such a car, instead she opted for a Japanese-made Lexus.
Twelve. Amanda got a job at the Lexus dealership, now she’s trying to get me a job in the same office.
Thirteen. While consuming several cinnamon buns, a twelve-egg cheese omelet, ten slices of French toast slathered in maple syrup, and a tray of Swedish loganberry crepes topped with a dollop of blueberry jam, I contemplated the very grave possibility that I might be eating my way to a heart attack.
Fourteen. Even though I rank marijuana far less dangerous than most pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, and other commonly used intoxicants, I find marijuana unappealing for a host of reasons, not the least of which is its potential for radically degrading brain cells, its enormous effect on stimulating the appetite, resulting in obesity, and its capacity for over-relaxing many people so that they lose significant motivation to achieve their primary goals, opting instead for a life of sloth and intractable indolence.
Correct the faulty parallelism by rewriting the sentences below.
One. Parenting toddlers is difficult for many reasons, not the least of which is that toddlers contradict everything you ask them to do; they have giant mood swings and all-night tantrums.
Parenting toddlers is difficult for many reasons, not the least of which is that toddlers contradict everything you ask them to do, they have giant mood swings, and they have all-night tantrums.
Two. You should avoid all-you-can-eat buffets: They encourage gluttony; they feature fatty, over-salted foods and high sugar content.
You should avoid all-you-can-eat buffets: They encourage gluttony, they feature fatty, over-salted foods, and the lard everything with sugar.
Three. I prefer kettlebell training at home than the gym because of the increased privacy, the absence of loud “gym” music, and I’m able to concentrate more.
I prefer kettlebell training at home than the gym because of the increased privacy, the absent gym music, and the improved concentration.
Four. To write a successful research paper you must adhere to the exact MLA format, employ a variety of paragraph transitions, and writing an intellectually rigorous thesis.
To write a successful research paper you must adhere to the exact MLA format, employ a variety of paragraph transitions, and write an intellectually rigorous thesis.
Five. The difficulty of adhering to the MLA format is that the rules are frequently being updated, the sheer abundance of rules you have to follow, and to integrate your research into your essay.
The difficulty of adhering to the MLA format is that the rules are frequently being updated, the rules are hard to follow, and the MLA in-text citations are difficult to master.
Six. You should avoid watching “reality shows” on TV because they encourage a depraved form of voyeurism; they distract you from your own problems and their brain-dumbing effects.
You should avoid watching "reality shows" because they encourage a depraved form of voyeurism, they distract you from your own problems, and they dumb you down.
Seven. I’m still fat even though I’ve tried the low-carb diet, the Paleo diet, the Rock-in-the-Mouth diet, and fasting every other day.
I'm still fat even though I've tried the low-carb diet, the Paleo diet, the Rock-in-the-Mouth diet, and the fasting diet.
Eight. To write a successful thesis, you must have a compelling topic, a sophisticated take on that topic, and developing a thesis that elevates the reader’s consciousness to a higher level.
To write a successful thesis, you must have a compelling topic, a sophisticated take on that topic, and a thesis that elevates the reader's consciousness to a higher level.
Nine. Getting enough sleep, exercising daily, and the importance of a positive attitude are essential for academic success.
Getting enough sleep, exercising daily, and maintaining a positive attitude are essential for academic success.
Ten. My children never react to my calm commands or when I beg them to do things.
My children never react to my calm commands or my lugubrious supplications.