ENG 099 Conversational American English (Dec. 2012) Atom 4: Christmas Short Story 1 of 10

ENG 099 Conversational American English (Dec. 2012) Atom 4:

Christmas Short Story 1 of 10

Librivox Recording of The Gift of the Magi Art Cover design by Janette  Brown. This design is in the public domain.

Students and teacher read this short story “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry. It is a Christmas story and given this is a December course it’s especially appropriate. O. Henry is a famous American author from the early 20th century.

O. Henry Portrait

Vocabulary

  • Please study these vocabulary words before doing the reading and video watching below.
  • magi n. pl. IPA: /meɪˈd͡ʒaɪ/ plural form of mage, or magician; “wise men or philosophers of the East” (Webster’s 1828).
  • imputation n. IPA: /ˌɪm.pjʊˈteɪ.ʃən/ a charge, saying someone did something bad; an accustion, the act of imputing or charging; attribution; ascription; also, anything imputed or charged.
  • parsimony n. IPA: /ˈpɑr səˌmoʊ ni/ not spending a lot of money; cheap; thrifty; closeness or sparingness in the expenditure of money.
  • shabby adj. IPA: /ˈʃæb.i/ old and dirty place or thing; poor; ragged.
  • flat n. IPA: /flæt/ apartment, floor, loft, or story in a building; especially, a floor of a house, which forms a complete residence in itself.

“The Gift of the Magi” 1 of 10 Text

  • Please read the text below twice and take notes.

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

“The Gift of the Magi” 1 of 10 Audio

Now listen and take notes on this recording from the beginning to 1:22 to hear this lecture’s text of the short story. We will read all of it over the course of the 10 lessons.

Video

  • Please watch and take notes on the video below from 29:05 to 37:30 [4 minutes 50 seconds] to see “Language Talk 1” explained by Mr. Danoff.
  • If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it on YouTube.

Exercise

  • In the comments below answer the following 3 questions:
    • Did you like the text, yes or no?
    • Why?
    • Why do you think Della is not happy?
  • Please leave your answer in the comments, or via FacebookP2PU and/or Wikiversity.

Copyright Notes

  • Please respect the copyright plus terms and conditions of all links and media not by Charlie Danoff.
Text
  • Atom Text Copyright © 2012 by Charlie Danoff. Rights given a CC Zero 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
  • Christmas Short Story 1 of 10 adapted from “The Gift of the Magi,” part of O. Henry’s 1906 collection of  Short Stories “The Four Million.” Public Domain in the US, because it  was published in the US before 1923 and therefore is in the public  domain due to copyright expiration.
Video
Audio
Images
  • Librivox Recording of The Gift of the Magi Album Art Cover design by Janette  Brown. This design is in the public domain per the PDF.
  • Portrait of Porter from frontispiece in his collection of short stories, Waifs and Strays. O. Henry. “William Sydney Porter, Wiafs and Strays frontispiece” via Wikimedia Commons. By unattributed (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library). The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. This media file is in the public domain in the United States.

Sources

Revision History:

ENG 099 Conversational American English (Dec. 2012) Atom 3: Language Talk 1 of 10

ENG 099 Conversational American English (Dec. 2012) Atom 3:

Language Talk 1 of 10

Vocabulary

  • Please study these vocabulary words before doing the reading and video watching below.
  • bud, n. IPA: /bʌd/ a small bump on a plant stem; a future leaf or flower.Atom 3: Language Talk 1 Figure 1 - Bud Vocabulary Picture Example
  • signn. IPA: /saɪn/ that by which anything is made known or represented; that which shows evidence; a mark; a token; an indication; a proof.Atom 3: Language Talk 1 Figure 2 -  Signs Vocabulary Picture Example
    • The pictures of animals are signs of the creature names above.
  • mental, adj. IPA: /mɛntəl/ to do with the mind; intellectual.
  • idea, n. IPA: /aɪˈdiə/ a picture in your mind; a future plan: an image formed in the mind of something you may not see in front of you; a notion.Atom 3: Language Talk 1 Figure 3 - Idea Vocabulary Picture Example

Language Talk Dialogue 1 of 10

  • These “Language Talks” are designed to give you a useful way to think about English. Read the dialogue below twice and write down your answers to the teacher’s questions.
  • Teacher— I will pronounce these three sounds very slowly and distinctly, thus: b-u-d. Notice, it is the power, or sound, of the letter, and not its name, that I give. What did you hear?
  • T.— I will bold these words, so that you can see them, three letters—b-u-d. Are these letters, taken separately, signs to you of anything?
  • T.— What then do these letters, taken separately, picture to your eye?
  • Student.— They picture the sounds that came to my ear.
  • T.— Letters then are the signs of what?
  • S.— Letters are the signs of sounds.
  • T.— I will pronounce the same three sounds more rapidly, uniting them more closely: bud. These sounds, so united, form a spoken word. Of what do you think when you hear the word bud?
  • S.— I think of a little round thing that grows to be a leafy branch or a flower.
  • T.— Did you see the thing when you were thinking of it?
  • S.— No.
  • T.— Then you must have had a picture of it in your mind. We call this mental picture an idea. What called up this idea?
  • S.— It was called up by the word bud, which I heard.
  • T.— A spoken word then is the sign of what? 

Video

  • Please watch and take notes on the video below from 23:30 to 28:20 [4 minutes 50 seconds] to see “Language Talk 1” explained by Mr. Danoff.
  • If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it on YouTube.

  • Now that you have watched the video, look back at your answers to the questions asked by the teacher in the dialogue. Think deeply about your answers again, and change them if you have a better idea.
  • After that, read the full version of this dialogue here under “Language Talk.” 

Exercise

  • In the comments below write 2 to 4 sentences explaining the differences and similarities between your original answers and those in the linked full text. What were the differences? Or, were they the same?
  • Please leave your answer in the comments, or via FacebookP2PU and/or Wikiversity.

Copyright Notes

  • Please respect the copyright plus terms and conditions of all links and media not by Charlie Danoff.
Text
Video
Audio
Images
  • Atom 3: Language Talk 1 Figure 1 – Bud Vocabulary Picture Example via PDPhoto.org. “Some flowers at Balboa Park” Copyright © 2002 by PDPhoto.org. Rights dedicated to the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Public Domain Certification.
  • Atom 3: Language Talk 1 Figure 2 –  Signs Vocabulary Picture Example via Wikimedia Commons. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
  • Atom 3: Language Talk 1 Figure 3 – Idea Vocabulary Picture Example via Wikimedia CommonsThe School of Athens (Raphael detail). Fresco, Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

Sources

Revision History:

ENG 099 Conversational American English (Dec. 2012) Atom 2: Friendly American English Greeting

ENG 099 Conversational American English (Dec. 2012) Atom 2: Friendly American English Greeting

Vocabulary

  • Yo = Hello
  • What’s up? = How are you?
  • Not much = I’m fine. = Fine, thank you.
  • You? = And you? (as a response to an earlier What’s up?)

Video

  • Please watch and take notes on the video below from 6:52 to 11:25 [4 minutes 33 seconds] to see the “Friendly American English Greeting” explained by Mr. Danoff.
  • Pay close attention when he discusses appropriate and inappropriate times to use this greeting. It is not appropriate for formal settings, e.g. work; with your teachers and/or when talking to the government.
  • If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it on YouTube.

Slides

  • Please click through the 3 slides below in the gallery and read the captions below to go over the Friendly American English Greeting again.
  • A: “Yo.”
  • B: “Yo.”
  • A: “What’s up?”
  • B: “Not much. You?”
  • A: “Not much.”

Exercise

  • For the following 3 people, please say which greeting is appropriate: “International English” or “Friendly American English.”
    • Your Math teacher
    • Your boss at work
    • Your American college roommate
  • Please leave your answer in the comments, or via FacebookP2PU and/or Wikiversity.

Copyright Notes

Revision History:

Call for Educators: Remix ENG 099 Lectures

Dear Educator:

Please remix, improve and/or re-imagine my lectures. The text is licensed Public Domain and the majority of the content is OER to try and make it easier for you to work with; if you would like to discuss any of this please e-mail contact@mr.danoff.org.

Charlie Danoff – Chicago – 12 Dec. 2012

Revision History: