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Emotional tone

Jack’s funeral is over, and the NDP, according to one of the papers, is already squabbling about the future. Let’s pray that an iota of the past week’s stunning idealism and brotherhood remains in us all.

A linguist called Pennebaker has just published a book about pronouns, and the New York Times mentioned a previous article of his, doing a linguistic analysis of Beatles’ songs. As you can imagine, I am so there. Here are the terms he sets for analyzing the works of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Lennon-McCartney, in the early days when their writing was truly intertwined:

Words per song Emotional tone

Positive emotion Negative emotion Sexual words

Social/identity Social processes First person singular First person plural Cognitive processes Cognitive mechanisms Words �� 6 letters Articles

Making distinctionsb Time orientation

Past tense Present tense Future tense Immediacy

Oh those racy linguists, they sure know how to have a good time. I’ll let you know what he discovers when (if) I manage to plow through. Or else you can read it for yourself:

At Carol’s class today, we ran on the roof of the Y, in the wild grass garden they’ve planted there. Marvellous, thumping around to music on a soft grey day with a breeze, on the roof. My own garden is starting to look patchy and tired, and I’m picking new growth from the tomato plants, hoping just to harvest the ones growing now. It’s ending, folks, this lovely summer. But we’ve got a lot of good eatin’ to do yet. Yesterday, at the local farmer’s market – two baskets of peaches for $10! “The last of the season,” she said. I shall be immersed in peaches for days to come. Paradise.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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