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Main areas of knowledge/competency are related to hearing impairment and linguistics.

I also forage a fair bit, and like to play "WikiRoulette" (called the Random Page (http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/special:RandomPage) link - *grin*).

Dramatis Temporae:

My father was born just outside of the town of Leipzig, Germany in 1940.

My mother was born in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia) in 1944.

My parents crossed paths in childhood during the WWII Allies' bombing of Dresden. My father was awakened by his parents to see the orange glow in the sky resulting from the bombing. My mother's family, her included, were on a train en route to Bavaria. That train stopped about an hour outside of Dresden, soon after which the bombing raid began. However, they did not actually meet until their late teens, after each of their families had moved to the area of Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

My brother (in 1969) and I (in 1974) were born in Frankfurt am Main. My partner was born in 1957, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. We all live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

My father passed away unexpectedly in 1989, just weeks before the Berlin Wall fell.

I spent 1990 as an exchange student[?] in Auckland, New Zealand.

I attended Grinnell (http://www.grinnell.edu) college, starting in 1992. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree[?] in Anthropology in December of 1995.

I now work in the Information Technology field at the largest family violence resource center in the USA ([1] (http://www.tubmanfamilyalliance.org)). My primary contributions, outside of the predictable computer-related things, include gentle advocacy of greater outreach to battered men and work on digital divide issues.

My mother and I were in Germany on September 11, 2001.

In addition to the English language and German, I either speak or have studied American Sign Language, French, Mandarin Chinese, Modern Greek, plus smatterings of many other langauges. I'm also picking up a little Spanish at work, where many of my clients are Hispanic.

Latest pet project: Use web translators and Google (http://www.google.com) to look up non-roman native-language names for countries and their capitals, and add them the the CIA World Fact Book dumps into Wikipedia. Initially, I seem to be concentrating on Arabic and other Middle-Eastern place names. I'll also list links I've found useful here, for my own reference and others'. Feel free to add your own suggestions.

My Links

Others' Suggested Links

  • none yet...

Grammatical and Orthographic Pet Peeves
I have been known to edit an article simply for any one of these mistakes, particularly when they compromise clarity.

  • Confusing it’s and its. it’s = "it is", its = possessive form of "it".
  • Confusing who’s and whose. See above.
  • "It is I" is incorrect. The correct form is "It is me." (After all, you'd never say "It's I!") Compare with "It is him/her": Your choices are "I/He/She/It/You (verb) me/him/her/it/you." See English grammar for a chart of all pronoun declensions.
  • And just to mark myself as a bad example, try to avoid confusing "who" and "whom". A quick test: replace who/whom with he/him. Use "who" if "he" sounds natural, and use "whom" if "him" sounds right.
  • Affect is a cause, effect is a result. Also, insure : ensure :: protect : make sure.
  • Principal is the head of a school, or a noun meaning "chief, main, primary"; Principle is an ideal or a general rule.
    • The principal of the school was the principal advocate for the principle of fairness for all students.

Peeving right back at you: "It is I" is not incorrect, it's formal and/or archaic. "It is I, Arthur King of the Britons." "It is I, Big Billy Goat Gruff." While we're at it, "affect" is only a noun in a very limited and technical sense, and the "insure/ensure" stuff is partly UK/UK. Vicki Rosenzweig, Friday, July 5, 2002

Hi Vicki... Actually, I was referring to the use of "affect" and "effect" as verbs. As a noun, "affect" is pronounced /} fEkt/, and is rarely misspelled. As a verb, it's pronounced /@ fEkt/. I pronounce "effect" /i fEkt/ or /E fEkt/, but I often hear /@ fEkt/. Regardless, most people don't seem to realize that they are two distinct words with distinct meanings: His behavior affected the effects of the law. The problem is that the distinction is subtle enough that it's hard to encapsulate in a short "rule of thumb".
As for "It is I"... I wasn't aware of the formal/archaic use. I just thought it was wrong, based on the "incorrect" declension of the pronoun. Though I've always been willing, based on common usage, to accept it as an emphatic form (grammatical deviation for emphasis). Thanks for the correction/info!

I believe that the theory goes that, since the subject and the object of the verb to be are referring to the same thing, they take the same case (the nominative). If you use your own argument about who and whom, and use whom where him would go in the sentence it is him, then you come out with whom are you? which is unnatural at best and ear-grating at worst. :) thefamouseccles 23:17 GMT, 05-06-03

Yes, but isn't the Wh-word in your *whom are you example actually the subject of the verb? cf. "he is you", "they are you", therefore "who are you". It's important to use the parallel construction! In your example, the actual Wh-word replacement would be it is whom? This is a case where many English speakers exhibit ergativity by using "it is who" and "it is he" instead of the more correct "it is whom" and "it is him". :-) pgdudda 04:11 9 Jun 2003 (UTC)

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