(SFT #6 & #7) Smiley Face Trick #6 Humor ~Mary Ellen Ledbetter
Humor Professional writers know the value of laughter; even subtle humor can help turn a “boring” paper into one that can raise someone’s spirits.
EXAMPLES: “He laughed? I’m nothing. I’m the rear end of nothing, and the devil himself smiled at me” (Andrew). “And you—yes, you Justin!—were the guilty party who, after I took off my shoes to enjoy the hot pavement in early spring, put a frog in them. Of course, I didn’t look at the shoes when I put them back on; it was the squish that gave your prank away” (Liz).
After I had finished all the ten million things I had to do, I decided to go on a bike ride. I straddled the banana seat of my ten speed blue-and-silver Shwinn and set off. The wind kissed my face and blew back my hair. Halfway to Taryn’s house I realized just where I was going: to Taryn’s house. I decided to keep going and then I could confront her about Brett. As I turned the corner, what I saw next was the most terrifying thing that has happened to me (Ponder, Danielle, “Taryn’s House”).
Now find the Humor in the following excerpt from this published author. “Man, I got problems.” “You think you got problems. Yesterday my sisters brings her I-wish-I-had-better-weaves friends by the house. They be like actin’ like you gotta do whatever they say. Then they lose their mind.” “They done already lost they mind, what you talkin’ about?” “I mean all sudden like they wanna take they shoe off, like they all had on one big shoe or somethin’.” “So man, they just wanna be all comfortable like.” “Yeah, but they feet smell like year-old ham or gym socks on Thursday, you know just waitin’ for Saturday wash. Then they act like it’s they house and they go try to fix themselves a meal in your kitchen. They eat your macaroni and cheese, your newly baked cornbread, and drink your Kool-Aid.” “Not your Kool-Aid, brother!” “See, told you I got problems.” “I mean if I was you, and they was my sisters. I’d been movin like yesterday” (Disu, Taiwo, “I got Problems”).
Smiley Face Trick #7 Hyphenated Modifiers ~Mary Ellen Ledbetter
Hyphenated Modifiers Connecting words that modify something with hyphens. Sometimes a new way of saying something can make all the difference; hyphenated adjectives often cause the reader to sit up and take notice.
EXAMPLES: Dad’s nose thing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already noticed some of those Grand-Canyon-like pores and those unsightly black hairs creeping out like Shirley Temple’s tendrils or something. Just last week when my parents were both late getting home from work for the third time, I was minding my own business watching cartoons when I hear her high-pitched “I-am-the-boss-of-you” voice tell me to turn off the TV and vacuum the floor. Yesterday my sisters brings her I-wish-I-had- better-weaves friends by the house.
Now find the hyphenated modifiers in the following excerpts from published authors. “She’s got this blonde hair, with dark highlights, parted in the middle, down past her shoulders, and straight as a preacher. She’s got big green eyes that all guys admire and all girls envy, and this I’m-so-beautiful-and-I-know-it body, you know, like every other super model” (Ileana). My worst enemy, my brother Alex, was making his way to my destination. He had a bad reputation of taking long showers and leaving the room with the lingering scent of awful cologne. I looked at him, and he stared right back. It was like an old Western cowboy movie. Suddenly he shot me his don’t-even-think-about-it look. So of course I retaliated with my world-famous-make-me look (Mescall, Meagan, “My Worst Enemy”).
The tables are turned now. Write a vignette (a small illustrative sketch—using words to portray a scene that shows who characters are) persuading the reader to feel sorry for Leah McKay using Smiley-Face Tricks #6 AND #7: HUMOR & HYPHENATED MODIFYER Leah McKay swished her hips as she was walking by my desk today. I know that doesn’t sound strange, but I can’t stand it when she does that. I mean I do not see why every guy in the world drools over her. So she has beautiful blonde hair, bouncy curls, buys her clothes from stores that I can’t even pronounce, and was voted most popular at a school across town she doesn’t even go to. “Excuse me, but, Dena what is the answer to number six?” “Excuse me, but Leah, my name isn’t Dena. It’s Serena, and if you can’t get the answer to number six, that’s your problem.” … (YOUR STORY BEGINS HERE)