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Cecil's Questionnaire
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 Patti's Answers


1)  People.  Every kind of person, all different.


2)  MY American way of life is wonderful!  And it's my belief that it can be

for any Americans if he is willing to think and work and act with integrity

and honor; to take responsibility for his actions; to be compassionate and

helpful to others; to believe in one's own self and worth; to NEVER give up;

and to always maintain a sense of humor!


3)  There is no "best" for me.  I just love being an American even the less

pleasant aspects of our lives, which I think should be viewed as

opportunities for improvement.   As Colin Powell says: "Perpetual optimism is

a force enhancer."  We can do anything we set our minds to as long as we

believe it. 


4)  Nothing that I would describe as "American."  The human aspects of living

can be difficult at times no matter what one's nationality, and I am

conditioned to dealing with them, day to day.


5)  The freedom.  Having lived for a number of years in an Arab country, I

speak from the experience of seeing the inside (more or less) of a culture

which often seems so restricting, it appears to lock up people's minds and

throw away the key!   The basic philosophies of the Arab culture seem the

total antithesis of ours.  American culture encourages--almost

worships--individuality.  Freedom of thought, freedom of choice, freedom of

opportunity to achieve as we are able.  Or not.


6)  A kind of unconscious arrogance, a tendancy to expect the rest of the

world to understand our culture and respect it.  That, of course, is pretty

much universal in the world.  We all react from our own familiar experience.


7)  I don't like English.  I LOVE it with a passion! 


8)  Nothing.  Robert MacNeil says "English is a language without frontiers." 

That is what I love.  It is a language that continually changes and grows

with the need of it's users to express clearly, precisely, explicitly

anything under the sun: scientific,  technological, emotional,

instructional--you name it! 


9)  The abundance of our vocabulary, our many words having similar but

slightly different specific meanings, our sound-alike words, our infatuation

with slang, which  also lends vigor and color to English.


10)  Yes, very.  I have always been something of an Anglophil and have spent

some time in Britain.  The differences between British and American English

are part of my fascination with the language.  But differences exist within

each country also, and can change with demographic groups of all kinds:

geographical, cultural (cultures within cultures), financial,

professional--again, you name it!  The intonations (louder, faster) vary in

the same way, within each country and between them.  English is constantly

being adapted to its users' needs.  A lovely language!


11) Buff (big and strong), fender-bender, freaky, gig, groovy, artsy-fartsy

(pompous), sawbuck (ten dollar bill), crumb-bum (worthless person),

fuzzmobile (police car).  That's enough.  You didn't ask for a dictionary! 

Or even a glossary!


12)  I am not sure if you mean a stereotypical person or word.  But in either

case, because of our love of individuality, I would have to say that there

cannot be one specific example of either one.   And because of our "melting

pot" society we have "types" of every nationality represented.  Run your

finger down a page in a telephone book and you will find dozens of



Good luck, Cecil.  This was fun.  I am in my eightieth year of life and have

adored the English language the whole time, so you touched a responsive place

in my heart!  Do let me know how you do.  Maybe we will meet someday.  I'd

like that!


Sincerely and affectionately,  Patti Livingston


P S  I have a nineteen-year-old granddaughter who is in the US Army and is

doing great--getting her education for a future career in criminal

investigation as well as practical experience.   I do love being in touch

with the

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