Author Topic: This week, the Forum marks its third year in cyberspace  (Read 11948 times)

Joe Carillo

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This week, the Forum marks its third year in cyberspace
« on: April 29, 2012, 07:43:15 AM »
This week, Jose Carillo’s English Forum marks its third anniversary. It made its first appearance on the web during the first week of May in 2009—a 24/7 virtual extension of sorts of my weekly English-usage column in The Manila Times, “English Plain and Simple,” which by then had been running for seven years in both the print and Internet editions of the paper. From that time onwards, the Forum has been doing a two-fold function: providing users and learners of the English language anywhere in the world with a freely available interactive venue for discussing English grammar and usage, and doing the role of a constructive grammar police against blatant or grievous public misuses of English.

Yesterday, in the April 28, 2012 issue of The Manila Times, I wrote “Matters about English that interest people the most,” a commemorative essay in my weekly column taking stock of what the Forum has achieved during its first three years. I am taking this opportunity to post that essay here to share my thoughts on the occasion with Forum members and guests. (April 29, 20112)

Matters about English that interest people the most

By June “English Plain and Simple,”  which used to come out six times a week during its first two years, will have been running for 10 years. Its primary aim is to promote good English usage in everyday life—at home, at school, in the workplace, in public platforms, in the mass media, in books, and most everywhere else where English is used. To date, it has logged nearly 900 columns in all about things English, in the process spawning three English-usage books* and—even more far-reaching—also giving birth three years ago this week to Jose Carillo’s English Forum, an interactive website for discussing problems in English grammar and usage and for enhancing appreciation of English as a global language.

On this its third anniversary, I would like to take stock of what the Forum has achieved in its attempt to create a virtual classroom for English grammar and usage, to build a continually expanding repository of knowledge and instruction about English, and to host a lively symposium about English and about language and learning in general.

Let me begin this appraisal by citing that as of today, the Forum now has over 24,000 registered members not only from the Philippines but from many parts of the world, such as the United States, China, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, South Korea, and Thailand. The growth of its membership is fanned largely by the power of the social media. My pageload tracker has recorded over 137,000 visits to the Forum to date, but I don’t put too much store on that figure because it records only the visitors who actually go inside the Forum’s discussion boards; it is unable to track those who read or skim only the Forum’s weekly updates upfront of the website (which should account for an even larger number of visitors). 

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that of much greater interest and importance are the topics presented or discussed in the Forum that have commanded the highest readership since their posting. So, irrespective of when they were posted, I am listing below the top 20 topics in the Forum based on the number of times they have been read as of midnight of April 25:

1. Lesson #8 – “Specific Rules for Preposition Usage” (read 32,627 times); 2. Lesson #3 – “The Matter of Case in English” (26,814 times); 3. “TOEIC Practice Test #1, Reading Comprehension – Part VII” (26,476 times); 4. Link to the short-story “Summer Solstice” by Nick Joaquin (23,830 times); 5. “Subject-Verb Agreement” (23,062 times);

6. “Usage: ‘I hope you’d get well soon’ or ‘I hope you’ll get well soon’?” (19,441 times); 7. Link to the short-story “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez Benitez (15,505 times); 8. “TOEIC Practice Test #1 - Error Recognition” (10,901 times); 9. “Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers” (10,855 times); 10. Link to “Copernicus’ heliocentric theory as the mother of all paradigm shifts” (10,805 times);

11. My essay on “Reducing adjective clauses to adjective phrases” (10,407 times); 12. A Forum member’s “Advocacy for Formal Language Instruction” (9,275 times); 13. “TOEFL Practice Test – Reading Comprehension #1” (8,275 times); 14. Discussion thread: “Did Rizal ever speak and write in English?” (4,713 times); 15. Discussion thread: “Thoughts on Education” (4,033 times);

16. “Learning to use the relative pronouns confidently” (3,537 times); 17. “Measuring up to the human body’s perfection,” link to excerpt and review of Toby Lester’s Da Vinci’s Ghost (3,529 times); 18. “Lost in the English translation” (2,990 times); 19. “Two viewpoints on academic research in the Philippines” (2,968 times); and 20. Discussion thread: “What’s correct: ‘privilege speech’ or ‘privileged speech’?” (2,692 times).

These are the top-rating topics about English that have interested visitors the most in the Forum during the past three years. Check them out for the instruction and insights about English that they might hold also for you. (April 28, 2012)

From the weekly column “English Plain and Simple” by Jose A. Carillo in The Manila Times, April 28, 2012 issue © 2012 by The Manila Times. All rights reserved.
*The three books are, in the order of their publication, English Plain and Simple: No-Nonsense Ways To Learn Today’s Global Language (2004), The 10 Most Annoying English Grammar Errors (2008), and Give Your English the Winning Edge (2009). For details about these books, click this link to the Forum’s Bookshop.


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Re: This week, the Forum marks its third year in cyberspace
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 01:18:44 PM »
Wow, Kudos! You made it in the chaotic cyber world.


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Re: This week, the Forum marks its third year in cyberspace
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 12:01:09 PM »
Wow, Kudos! You made it in the chaotic cyber fios internet world.
nice article..