Monday, March 28, 2011
- A human language is always slowly morphing into another one.
- Sounds often change to become more like the ones before or after them. Vowels shift around in the mouth, consonants soften, and the ends of words tend to fall off.
- The first language has now morphed into 6,000 languages worldwide.
- In language an expression that began as a colorful one (peach keen!) dillutes into normality or disappears altogether and is replaced by a new colorful expression.
- Semantics shift over time. For example, silly originally meant "blessed," but over centuries the meaning gradually drifted until it eventually came to mean "silly."
- Languages of the Indo-European family are spoken throughout most of Europe, as well as in India and Iran. According to linguists, the language most likely began in the southern steppes of modern Russia in about 4,000 B.C. Linguists assume it did not begin in the Mediterranean because there are no common words for "palm tree" or "vine". They probably did not originate in Europe either because there is no common word for "oak".
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The themes of the lesson were perseverance and determination, which Heber J. Grant exemplified. For example, he wished to obtain employment at the Wells Fargo and Company Bank, but his penmanship was far too sloppy. He practiced and practiced, using "carloads of paper," until his handwriting was so beautiful that he was frequently called upon to write greeting cards, insurance policies, and legal documents. He was even asked to teach penmanship at the University of Deseret.
On a similar note, he was downright awful at baseball, lacking the strength and coordination to bat the ball or to run from base to base. In fact, when he had the ball, his teammates would yell, "Throw it here, Sissy!" Heber decided that he was going to learn to play baseball and vowed to be a member of the team that won the state championship. He worked hard to earn a dollar to buy a baseball, then spent hours throwing it against his bishop's barn. Through great determination and hard work, he eventually became a member of the baseball team that won the championship in California, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Like baseball and penmanship, vocal skills did not come easily to Heber. His mother tried to teach him to sing, but eventually gave up because he couldn't learn to carry a tune. He joined a singing group, but sang so poorly that the professor told him that he could never in this world learn to sing. However, a friend told him that anybody could sing if they practiced enough. So practice he did, and eventally learned to carry a tune.
I think the lesson on Heber J. Grant stood out to me because I could relate to it. Few skills come easily to me, and usually only through hard work and determination do I become successful at anything. Over the years, I have reflected many times upon the lesson and it's message and gained strength to ovecome my weaknesses.
Heber J. Grant often quoted the following words by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do,
not that the nature of the thing has changed,
but that our power to do so is increased."How perfectly these words seem to reflect the man he was and the values he held dear!!