samedi 27 janvier 2007

Pratical English Usage

a) What are the most important differences between British English and American English?

The most important differences are in spelling and vocabulary. Words ending with -or in American are generally ending with -our in British and Canadian English.

Examples: favor-favour, honor-honour

b) What is standard English?

Standard English is grammatically correct English. No slang words or expressions or syntax (gonna, wanna etc.), no contractions (don't, won't etc.)

c) What is a dialect?

A dialect is a variant of a language that uses different syntax or expressions and is generally pronounced differently. Dialects are variants of a language that are not the ''prestige dialect''. For English, the prestige dialect is either American English or British. Its dialects are Southern American English, African-American English, South African English and Australian English.

d) What are the characteristics of formal English as opposed to informal or spoken English?

Formal English as opposed to informal and spoken English is universally understood and agreed upon by all the English speakers around the world. It is the English set by conventions of standard English.

e) Do languages change over time?

Yes they do. Old English sounds nothing like Modern English. English has been influenced by Danish (during the Viking invasion), by Latin (at the time of christianization), by Norman French (Norman conquest of 1066) just to name a few. There was also the Great Vowel Shift which changed the pronounciation. Languages change over time for multiple reasons that are generally linked to the culture's ties with other cultures.

Research Proposal

Why does Nazism still exist in Russia and Germany?

Russia and Germany have suffered deeply from Nazism and totalitarianism. One can rightfully wonder why it is in those two countries that neo-nazi demonstrations are the most common and that the political support for Far Right nationalists are in the strongest recorded on earth. My research will examine and analyze why such a situation exists in those two countries by taking into account the background of both countries, the political context, their respective cultures and what those organizations actually propose to attract such a strong support in countries that should know better. I believe that a thorough and unbiased understanding of this movement is not only necessary for Germany and Russia but also for other countries such as Canada, Hungary, France, the United States of America and Italy. History taught us what these organizations are capable of and should not be regarded as marginal. This critical mistake has been done once already.

Part 1
The first step will include the compilation of information such as statistics (economy, unemployment rate, ethnicity etc.) regarding Russia and Germany. I will also look into the historical background of those two countries (past totalitarian regimes, the arrival of Jewish immigrants in those two countries etc.)

Part 2
The second step will include analyzing the situation of both countries with what the neo-fascist and neo-nazi movements actually promote and why it actually attracts this sort of mass support. I will look more into the political programmes of these organizations.

Part 3
The third step will focus more on the redaction of the research paper and putting all the facts and analyses together.

samedi 20 janvier 2007


In my research, I would like to find out the extent of modern fascist movements in two particular countries even if this phenomenon can be witnessed around the globe. Those two countries are Germany and Russia. I selected those two not only because of my knowledge of their respective official language, which can help in my research, but also because they are the most relevant areas for a research about the state of fascism today. Nazi movements in Germany have never really disappeared. They lost popularity since World War II but since the reunification, anti-immigration and ultranationalist parties in Germany gained support and neo-nazi demonstrations can be seen on a more frequent basis. As for Russia, this country is known for its centuries old antisemitism and its weak traditions for democracy. My research will also take into account that not every anti-semitic movement are fascist and not every fascist movement are anti-semitic. This research will focus on far right nationalist movements and not on anarchist and communist groups that have authoritarian and anti-semitic ideologies.

mercredi 10 janvier 2007

First Entry

This will be my academic blog for Written Communication II. I am in my sixth and final semester of ''International Studies'' and I study English, Russian and politics. I have a few ideas for the research topic but I am not sure if they are any good or if this is what Prof. Saint-Yves is looking for.

Those ideas include:

A research about the state of fascism today.
A research about the issues regarding the future of Somalia.
A research about global organized crime (or maybe about the state of local mafias in the 21st century and how they deal with the arrival of new technologies and advanced aggressive anti-mafia investigations)
A research about the state of democracy in Russia (or maybe a research about Russia's relationship with hostile countries such as North Korea and Iran)
Stability in the Balkans (for exemple: about the future of Kosovo, the Serbian Radical Party (who may win this month's parliamentary election) or about the state of Macedonia)