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Sunday, Nov. 5, 2000
Diagnosis is key to curing the English patient
By AMY CHAVEZ
My English writing students always say they want me to correct them. But, I've decided to stop giving out correct answers. Instead, I'm going to give out prescriptions. The ESL doctor is IN.
Patient: The title of my essay is "The Death of a Pet can be berry Painful." Diagnosis: You have Hepatitis B. Your body can develop antibodies to fight it, but you should take doses of "V" every morning, evening and before English class.
Patient: I attend a women's university. My best friend is Keiko. I like she. I always send her e-male. Diagnosis: You have gender-identity disorder. Review your spelling and rehabilitate your pronouns.
Patient: I like peach. I eat many peach. Diagnosis: You are allergic to "S." Get an injection of plurals for immediate relief. In addition, take 200 units of "S" daily in capsule form.
Patient: I went to bank and post office before I met my friend at popular Japanese restaurant. Diagnosis: You have an article deficiency. Take extra vitamin "A." "The" is best fed into the body through article transfusions.
Patient: First, our plane landed in the London. Then we drove the car and spent the five glorious days in the Paris. Diagnosis: You have clogged articles that are preventing a smooth flow to the heart of your essay. I recommend an angioplasty to clear the blockage. Consider donating articles to the article bank so they can be injected into article deficient people through transfusions.
Patient: When I was glowing up, I learned to play the piano. Diagnosis: You have either been affected by radiation or you've been watching too many episodes of The Simpsons. Cut down your TV time and see what happens.
Patient: Driving a car is very danger. Diagnosis: You have a form of adjectival cancer. Self-awareness and monitored adjective use will help the condition from progressing to other parts of speech. You may find it helpful to join a support group.
Patient: My essay is about: baseball. My favorite player is: Ichiro. Diagnosis: You may have colon cancer. See a specialist immediately.
Patient: As I have not studied English very long, I am not as confident in my ability as others are as they may have studied English for as many as 10 years. Diagnosis: You have asthma. When you feel an attack of "as" coming on, steady your breathing, calm yourself and try to cough up alternatives like "because" and "since."
Patient: We wanted to go to the party but wouldn't go if she couldn't didn't went soon. Diagnosis: You have a metabolism problem. Try not to digest so much grammar at once. Go on a strict English diet and use only simple, easy to understand grammar.
Patient: My English is no good. I have been studying English for many years, but I have no confidence. Diagnosis: You are either psychosomatic or you have a mild case of paranoia. Your overuse of "no" is counterproductive. As a general ESL doctor, I can't help you. However, I can recommend a good psychiatrist.
Patient: Why do I fail all my English tests? Diagnosis: Perhaps you have an intestinal disease. Limit your intake of tests and see what happens.
Patient: I went abroad for the first time last summer. I went to California for homestay. I love California, especially Disney Land! I want to go to California again. Diagnosis: You have prostate disease. The world is big. Try going to England and Canada as well.
Patient: I could not see clearly. However, my eye became red and my eyesight blurry. Diagnosis: You have conjunctivitis, an advanced form of grammar translation disease. It can be cured through grammar review. In addition, try hot compresses in the morning and evening.
Patient: My essay addresses world hunger, discrimination and animal behavior. Diagnosis: You have a topical disease. Focus on only one topic instead of a rash of topics. Use this medicated lotion on your skin twice a day. If further rashes occur, come back and see me.
Some advice for all English patients. Prevention is the best cure for the English disease. Avoid problems later in life by getting the daily recommended amount of articles, pronouns and verbs. Double your intake of vitamin A. It is a good idea to take extra supplements of "and," "but" and "for." And lastly, no healthy English study is complete without plenty of exercises.