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CONSTRUCTING RELATIVE CLAUSES
I. A. Paleontologists who believe birds are descended from dinosaurs
were excited to discover the fossil of a feathered dinosaur in Mongolia.
B. Andrew Fischer, who auctioned off advertising space on his face for
over $37,000 sported a temporary tattoo for a sleep remedy on his
C. The Chinese eat a diet that contains one-third less fat than the American
D. Fans of TV’s Law and Order and its three spin-offs, who cannot get
enough to their favorite series, can satisfy their craving for the police
dramas by watching over 600 one-hour episodes on at least four different
TV broadcast and cable networks.
E. El Niño, which brings with it an unusual shift in the southwest Pacific
wind that changes ocean currents, can cause droughts in Australia and
flooding rains in North America
II. F. Groups concerned with family values which sent email petitions to
the video manufacturer of Panty Raider, objecting to the depiction of
women as sex toys and men as violent denied that they are humorless
G. Bold and beautiful, Mata Hari, who is the most renowned female spy in
history, insolently blew a kiss to the firing squad that executed her.
Bold and beautiful, Mata Hari, who insolently blew a kiss to the firing
squad that executed her, is the most renowned female spy in history,
H. J.K. Rowling, who was divorced and living on public assistance in
Edinburgh, wrote Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at a table in a café
during her baby’s naps.
I. Wearers of Snap-On Smiles, which are a thin, resin shell of perfect
teeth that snap over a user’s actual teeth like a retainer, can now grin away
like their favorite Hollywood celebrities.
J. The French Impressionist painter Renoir, who suffered great pain from
arthritis, painted with a brush strapped to his hand.
The French Impressionist painter Renoir, who painted with a brush
strapped to his hand, suffered great pain from arthritis.
SIX MILLION PAPER CLIPS
How long would it take to collect 6 million paper clips? Why would
anyone want to? In 1998 students in Whitwell, Tennessee, who learned
about the 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazis, were studying the
Holocaust. Because it is hard to imagine a number that large, they decided
to collect 6 million paper clips to make the number seem more real. It
seemed appropriate. Paper clips, which were invented by a Norwegian Jew
named Johann Valer in 1899, were worn by Norwegians during World
War II as a symbol of defiance of their Nazi occupiers. For three years the
students collected paper clips but finally reached only 100,000. They grew
discouraged. However, after a news story about their project appeared in
the Washington Post and on NBC Nightly News, their mail was soon
overflowing with 34 million paper clips. The paper clips, which came
from celebrities, everyday people, and even Holocaust survivors, arrived
from all 50 states and six continents. [Or The paper clips, which arrived
from all 50 states and six continents, came from everyday people,
celebrities, and even Holocaust survivors.] A movie called Paper Clips
was made about the Whitwell project. The movie, which shows the
symbolic power of ordinary paper clips, memorably helps viewers to
comprehend the almost-incomprehensibly large number of victims of the
THE MYSTERY OF TEARS
Revise the sentences below into a brief explanatory paragraph that
speculates on the causes of emotional tears. Use relative clauses whenever
possible. Not every sentence will contain a relative clause.
1. Tears are nature’s way to keep our eyes wet and cleansed.
2. They are actually drops of saline fluid secreted by a gland.
3. We cry as a reaction to eye irritation.
4. Chopping onions causes irritation.
5. Soap or dust in the eye causes irritation.
6. But why do we shed tears when we are happy?
7. And why do we shed tears when we are sad?
8. Why do we shed tears in pleasure and pain?
9. Why do we shed tears in victory and defeat?
10. Emotional tears have long been a mystery.
11. Such tears are unique to human beings.
12. Some doctors now speculate [this].
13. Through tears our body eliminates certain chemicals.
14. These chemicals build up in response to stress.
15. They create a chemical imbalance in the body.
16. Crying is supposed to make us “feel better.”
17. It restores chemical balance to the body.
Tears, which are actually drops of saline fluid secreted by a gland, are
nature’s way to keep our eyes wet and cleansed. We cry as a reaction to
irritations such as those caused by chopping onions or getting soap or dust
in our eyes. But why do we shed tears when we are happy or sad-in
pleasure or pain, in victory and defeat? Emotional tears, which are unique
to human beings, have long been a mystery. Some scientists now
speculate that through tears our body eliminates certain chemicals, which
build up in response to stress and create a chemical imbalance. Crying is
supposed to make us “feel better” because it restores chemical balance in
MAKING RELATIVE CLAUSES IN CONTEXT
A. Staying in bed to write and think, which our Puritan ancestors
convinced generations of Americans was a sign of moral and physical
decay, has long been an accepted practice in Europe. In fact, Winston
Churchill did much of the strategic planning for World War II propped up
in bed with a glass of brandy close at hand.
B. According to university researchers, redheads, who it turns out have
more of the gene that inhibits pain, can withstand up to 25% more pain
than blonds and brunets. Scientists are now attempting to reproduce the
gene and help kill pain for those not already blessed with red hair.
C. In Spanish, querencia means a place in which you know you are safe.
Animals feel querencia instinctively. Salmon spawn in protective rivers.
Robins build nests out of harm’s way. And bears hibernate in sheltered
D. Chewing gum, which has been commercially popular in the United
States for more than 200 years, was made from the resin of spruce bark
and paraffin wax but is now manufactured from chicle, the latex or fluid
from sapodilla plants. Today, Americans chew 300 sticks of gum
annually, on the average.
E. The new electronic faucet in development, which uses lighting to color
code the temperature of water, turns hot water red and cold water blue.
Developers hope that the faucet will help prevent accidental scalding by
children because any kid knows what the color code for temperature
AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE
How American is the American Language? It’s about as American as
jazz, whose European and African roots reverberate in the reedy whine of
the saxophone and in the rhythmic beat of the drums. It’s as American as
Levi’s–made by Levi Strauss, a German immigrant, for miners in the 1849
gold rush. Of course, the central core of our language comes from
languages as diverse as Hebrew, Tahitian, Chinese, and Navaho. Spanish
gave us hundreds of words, including barbecue, patio and alligator, while
Yiddish, spoken by Jews in Eastern Europe, gave us bagel, chutzpah, and
kosher. African Americans, who contributed verbal rhythms and rap to
the language, contributed such distinctive American words as OK and
Yankee as well. We have to thank the Native Americans for most of our
place names, such as Mississippi, Ohio, and Chicago. Every ethnic and
national group which has blended into the fabric of our country has left
evidence of itself in our language. How American is the American
language? Plenty American.
USING RELATIVE CLAUSES TO CONTROL
A. Jet lag is apparently worse when you travel eastward, against the sun.
The body seems to adjust more easily to a longer day, which occurs when
you travel westward, than to a shorter one. Morning light coming six
hours early on your way to Europe apparently upsets your body’s natural
rhythm more than six hours added to a day when you head toward Asia.
B. If your medicine chest doesn’t contain an aloe vera plant, it’s not wellstocked. The aloe vera, which looks like a cactus, contains a sap that
Native Americans long used as a treatment for minor burns. Squeezed on
a burn, the sap cools the skin and prevents blisters.
C. In 1966, artist John Latham, who Latham often used books as materials
to create art, invited his students to join him in making a work of art. The
class chewed up pages of a book Latham had withdrawn from the school
library. They spat the pulp into a chemical beaker and mixed it with
sulfuric acid, baking soda, and yeast. When several months later the
library sent Latham an overdue notice for the book, he turned in a glass
flask filled with “book brew.” Latham lost his job, but his written
description of his experiment, from his lesson plans for making the
“beverage” to the letter firing him, is now part of the permanent
collection at the Museum of Modern Art.
ELLIS ISLAND: DREAM AND NIGHTMARE
In the Atlantic, off the shores of Brooklyn and New Jersey, sits Ellis
Island, which was the first stop in the United States for 16 million
European immigrants between 1892 and 1924. Most of these immigrants,
who composed quite a diverse group, were craftspeople, farmers,
tradespeople, laborers, intellectuals. Many were political exiles trying to
escape persecution, and a few were revolutionaries. But they all shared a
dream of a new life in a new world.
In 1891, the Bureau of Immigration began to restrict entry to the country,
barring immigrants with mental problems, disease, and criminal records.
Because the immigration officials wanted to determine the eligibility of
the arriving immigrants, they conducted many rigorous exams. They
administered a thorough physical, tested for English literacy, and
investigated political beliefs. And they rejected over 4 million applicants
who were sent back to Europe.
However, there was an appeals process that required the immigrants to be
detained in dormitories on Ellis Island. The detainees slept in double- or
triple-deck beds, separated from their spouses; they washed in bathhouses
that could handle 200 people at a time. More than 3,000 rejected
detainees committed suicide, preferring to die rather than return to their
homelands. Their dreams of a new life turned into a nightmare.