terça-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2010

Building a sentence

A sentence is a group of words which starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop (.), question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!). A sentence contains or implies a predicate and a subject.
Sentences contain clauses.

Simple sentences have one clause.
Compound sentences and complex sentences have two or more clauses.
Sentences can contain subjects and objects.

The subject in a sentence is generally the person or thing carrying out an action. The object in a sentence is involved in an action but does not carry it out, the object comes after the verb.
For example: The boy climbed a tree.
If you want to say more about the subject (the boy) or the object (the tree), you can add an adjective.
For example: The young boy climbed a tall tree.
If you want to say more about how he climbed the tree you can use an adverb.
For example: The young boy quickly climbed a tall tree.
The sentence becomes more interesting as it gives the reader or listener more information.

What makes a complete sentence?

If it helps you, think about a sentence as if it were a skeleton, the skeleton contains various bones and these bones are put together to form different parts of the body. So are sentences formed by words, the words are the bones and they are put together in different ways to form sentences.

1. Simple Sentences
A simple sentence contains a single subject and predicate. It describes only one thing, idea or question, and has only one verb - it contains only an independent (main) clause.
Any independent clause can stand alone as a sentence. It has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.
For example: Jill reads.
Even the addition of adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to a simple sentence does not change it into a complex sentence.
For example: The brown dog with the red collar always barks loudly.
Even if you join several nouns with a conjunction, or several verbs with a conjunction, it remains a simple sentence.
For example: The dog barked and growled loudly.

2. Compound Sentences
Compound sentences are made up of two or more simple sentences combined using a conjunction such as and, or or but. They are made up of more than one independent clause joined together with a co-ordinating conjunction.
For example: "The sun was setting in the west and the moon was just rising."
Each clause can stand alone as a sentence.
For example: "The sun was setting in the west. The moon was just rising."
Every clause is like a sentence with a subject and a verb. A coordinating conjunction goes in the middle of the sentence, it is the word that joins the two clauses together, the most common are (and, or, but)
For example:
• I walked to the shops, but my husband drove.
• I might watch the film, or I might visit my friends.
• My friend enjoyed the film, but she didn't like the actor.

3. Complex Sentences
Complex sentences describe more than one thing or idea and have more than one verb in them. They are made up of more than one clause, an independent clause (that can stand by itself) and a dependent (subordinate) clause (which cannot stand by itself).
For example: "My mother likes dogs that don't bark."

The anatomy of a sentence

The Verb
The verb is the fundamental part of the sentence. The rest of the sentence, with the exception of the subject, depends very much on the verb. It is important to have a good knowledge of the forms used after each verb (verb patterns), for example: to tell [someone] TO DO [something]
Here we can see that the verb to tell is followed immediately by a person (the indirect object, explained later), an infinitive with 'to', and, possibly, an object for the verb you substitute for DO.
Verbs also show a state of being. Such verbs, called BE VERBS or LINKING VERBS, include words such as: am, is, are, was, were, be, been, being, became, seem, appear, and sometimes verbs of the senses like tastes, feels, looks, hears, and smells.
For example:
• "Beer and wine are my favourite drinks." The verb "are" is a linking (be) verb.
Fortunately, there are only a limited number of different verb patterns. Verbs can describe the action (something the subject actually does) or state (something that is true of the subject) of the subject.
For example:
• ACTION: I play football twice a week.
• STATE: I've got a car.

Some verbs can represent both actions and states, depending on the context.
For example work:
• ACTION: David's working in the bank.
• STATE: David works in a bank.

Finding the Verb
When you analyze a sentence, first identify the verb. The verb names and asserts the action or state of the sentence.
For example:
• "Working at the computer all day made David's head ache."
The main verb of the sentence is "made", not working.

Verbs identify our activity or state.
For example:
• eat, sleep, run, jump, study, think, digest, shout, walk ....

The Subject
The subject is the person or thing the sentence is 'about'. Often (but not always) it will be the first part of the sentence. The subject will usually be a noun phrase (a noun and the words, such as adjectives, that modify it) followed by a verb.

Finding the Subject
Once you determine the verb, ask a wh...? question of the verb. This will locate the subject(s).
For example:
• David works hard.
o Who "works hard"? = David does=the subject.
• Beer and wine are my favourite drinks.
o What "are my favourite drinks"? Beer and wine are=the subjects.

The Predicate
Once you have identified the subject, the remainder of the sentence tells us what the subject does or did. This part of the sentence is the predicate of the sentence.
The predicate always includes the verb and the words which come after the verb. For example:
• Michael Schumaker drove the race car.
"Michael Schumaker" is the subject; "drove the race car" is the predicate.

More Advanced Terminology

The Object
Some verbs have an object (always a noun or pronoun). The object is the person or thing affected by the action described in the verb.
Objects come in two types, direct and indirect.
The direct object refers to a person or thing affected by the action of the verb.
For example:
• "He opened the door. "- here the door is the direct object as it is the thing being affected by the verb to open.
The indirect object refers to a person or thing who receives the direct object.
For example:
• " I gave him the book." - here him (he)is the indirect object as he is the beneficiary of the action.

An 'adverbial' or 'adverbial phrase' is a word or expression in the sentence that does the same job as an adverb; that is, it tells you something about how the action in the verb was done.
For example:
• I sometimes have trouble with adverbs.
• He spoke very quietly.
• I've read that book three times.
The first tells us the frequency of the action (sometimes), the second how he carried out the action (quietly), and the third how many times the action has happened (three).
To remember the form of such verbs use your notebooks to write down the different forms.
For example:
• to go [somewhere]
• to put [something][somewhere]
This information is also useful when deciding the order of adverbials in a sentence. Unlike the previous parts of the sentence, a sentence can contain an indefinite number of adverbials, although in practice it's a good idea to keep them few in number.

segunda-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2010

Writing Effective E-Mail: Top 10 Tips

Original version by by Jessica Bauer (UWEC student); revised and maintained by Dennis G. Jerz

Some professionals get scores of e-mails a day. Follow these tips in order to give your recipients the information they need in order to act on your message sooner rather than later.
1.Write a meaningful subject line.
2.Keep the message focused and readable.
3.Avoid attachments.
4.Identify yourself clearly.
5.Be kind -- don't flame.
7.Don't assume privacy.
8.Distinguish between formal and informal situations.
9.Respond Promptly.
10.Show Respect and Restraint.

To read more about this subject, go:

Source: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/e-text/e-mail.htm

domingo, 14 de fevereiro de 2010

St. Valentine's Story

Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn't like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn't the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.

Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. I thought it was preposterous! I certainly wasn't going to support that law!

Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favourite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can't be beaten!

Source: http://www.pictureframes.co.uk/Saint-Valentine.aspx

sexta-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2010


The most important Jewish writer since Kafka may have also been a part-time beauty columnist with a penchant for Chanel suits. Benjamin Moser describes his fascination with Clarice Lispector ...


In September 1994, when I walked into a faux colonial building in Providence, Rhode Island, I had no idea that the modest trip from my dormitory marked the start of a journey that would take me to the graveyards of Ukraine, the apartments of Copacabana, the libraries of Manhattan and the suburbs of Manchester, on the trail of a glamorous and elusive artist.

I had gone to university determined to study Chinese. But after a few weeks of grunting despairingly in the language lab, where the professor told us that the most dutiful among us could hope to read a Chinese newspaper in a decade, I concluded that I needed something easier, something with an alphabet. As it was so late in the semester, the more popular languages were booked, so I found myself turning up for my first Portuguese class.

That unexpected encounter brought me friends I never would have met and took me to places I never would have seen. Yes, the same would have been true with Russian or Arabic or Greek: every new culture brings its food, its music, its beaches. But what Portuguese gave me that nothing else could have was Brazil’s great mystic writer, Clarice Lispector, a person so dazzling that she was reputed to be that rare woman who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf.

There were no faux colonial buildings in her background: despite her alluring reputation, she was born in a Ukrainian shtetl, a tiny town where people shat in ditches, even in good times. 1920, the year of her birth, was not a good time. In the aftermath of the first world war and the Russian Revolution, the country was starving. The Red Cross reported that people commonly ate their dead relatives and Jews were being massacred in a devastating, and today nearly entirely forgotten, wave of pogroms. Against incredible odds (her mother was raped in one of those pogroms) her parents managed to reach Brazil when Clarice was just over a year old.

She grew up in the Jewish neighbourhood of Recife, where she lost her beloved mother when she was nine. As a teenager Lispector migrated with her father and sisters to Rio de Janeiro. By the time she reached university she was already renowned as one of the most beautiful women in Brazil, and when she published her first book, "Near to the Wild Heart", at age 23, it was acclaimed as the greatest novel a woman had ever written in the Portuguese language. The judgment would still hold if Clarice Lispector had not continually surpassed her first book with her own subsequent works.

One of those was "The Passion According to G.H.", a novel I picked up during a lengthy backpacking trip I took as a student on my first visit to Brazil. The weeks-long journey took me through four countries; Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay in addition to Brazil; but of everything I saw on that trip--the boulevards of Buenos Aires, the Uruguayan pampas, the ruined Jesuit missions of Paraguay, the thunderous waterfalls of Iguau--the most thunderous impression of all came from reading "G.H.", the shocking story of a well-to-do woman who, at the height of a mystic crisis, puts a dying roach into her mouth.

The roach is not the only echo of Kafka in Clarice Lispector’s work. If for many Brazilians she is an icon of their national literature, for me she is the most important Jewish writer since Kafka. She is a woman who asked, and answered, all the essentially Jewish questions: about the beauty and absurdity of a world in which God is dead, and the mad people who are determined to seek Him out anyway.

This great figure is duly celebrated in Brazil and throughout Latin America. Her arresting face adorns postage stamps. Her name lends class to luxury condominiums. Her works are sold in subway vending machines. One Spanish admirer wrote that educated Brazilians of a certain age all knew her, had been to her house and have some anecdote to tell about her, much in the way Argentines do with Borges. At the very least they went to her funeral in 1977.

Outside Latin America, I found to my dismay very few people knew her, and I long wondered why. Was it because she wrote in Portuguese, a language whose literary productions were so invisible outside its own territory that it was once nicknamed "the tomb of thought"? Was it because nobody expects the greatest Jewish writer since Kafka to be a part-time beauty columnist whose Chanel suits and wraparound sunglasses made her look more like a Rio socialite than a mystic genius?

Or was it precisely because she was a Jewish woman in a literary economy that expects a Latin American writer to be a mustachioed chronicler of jungles and slums? Whatever the reason that the man on the street does not know Clarice Lispector, I started discovering, once I embarked on the half-decade project of writing her biography, "Why This World", that Clarice was a secret passion that many people, often prominent writers, had cherished for years. Members of this hidden fraternity would pop up all over the world. And they got the same crazed glint in their eye that I got when speaking of her. Colm Tóibín, at a wedding in Italy, rushed up to me to proclaim his love for her, and said he would do "anything anything!" to get more people to read her. Orhan Pamuk, who had read "The Passion According to G.H." in Turkish, confessed at breakfast in Stockholm one morning that he had been fascinated by her ever since. Guillermo Arriaga, a famous Mexican novelist and screenwriter, said that you can’t read Clarice Lispector without falling in love with her.

And that is exactly what I hoped I could make happen by writing "Why This World": to get more people, not just the literati, but everyone who cares about art and literature, to fall in love with her. Not simply because she brought the old Jewish mystical tradition of Eastern Europe into a wild new world. Not just because, as Elizabeth Bishop wrote Robert Lowell, she was a greater writer than Borges. But because readers might, as I did, find in her expressive genius a mirror of their own souls. After all, she was right when she wrote at the end of her life that "I am all of yourselves".

(Benjamin Moser is the author of "Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector". Clarice Lispector’s fourth novel, "The Apple in the Dark", will be reissued in Britain in October.)

quinta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2010



It was 25 years they take that man away
Há 25 anos eles prenderam aquele homem
Now the freedom moves in closer every day
Agora a liberdade se aproxima a cada dia
Wipe the tears down from your saddened eyes
Enxugue as lágrimas dos seus olhos entristecidos
They say Mandela's free so step outside
Eles dizem que Mandela está livre, então pise lá fora
Oh oh oh oh Mandela day
Oh oh oh oh Dia de Mandela
Oh oh oh oh Mandela's free
Oh oh oh oh Mandela está livre

It was 25 years ago this very day
Há 25 anos nesse mesmo dia
Held behind four walls all through night and day
Preso entre 4 paredes durante noite e dia
Still the children know the story of that man
As crianças ainda sabem a história daquele homem
And I know what's going on right through your land
E eu sei o que está acontecendo bem na sua terra

25 years ago
25 anos atrás
Na na na na Mandela day
Na na na na o Dia de Mandela
Oh oh oh Mandela's free
Oh oh oh o Mandela está livre

If the tears are flowing wipe them from your face
Se as lágrimas estão fluindo, enxugue-as de seu rosto
I can feel his heartbeat moving deep inside
Eu posso sentir a batida do coração dele movendo bem fundo
It was 25 years they took that man away
Há 25 anos eles levaram embora aquele homem
And now the world come down say Nelson Mandela's free
E agora o mundo desce e diz "Nelson Mandela está livre"

Oh oh oh oh Mandela's free
Oh oh oh oh o Mandela está livre

The rising suns sets Mandela on his way
O sol nascente guia Mandela em seu caminho
Its been 25 years around this very day
Faz 25 anos nesse mesmo dia
From the one outside to the ones inside we say
Desde o dia livre até os dias presos, nós dizemos
Oh oh oh oh Mandela's free
Oh oh oh oh o Mandela é livre
Oh oh oh set Mandela free
Oh oh oh o Mandela é livre

Na na na na Mandela day
Na na na na o Dia de Mandela
Na na na na Mandela's free
Na na na na o Mandela é livre

25 years ago
25 anos atrás
What's going on
O que está acontecendo?
And we know what's going on
E nós sabemos o que está acontecendo
Cos we know what's going on
Porque nós sabemos o que está acontecendo

Notes: Song specially written for the Free Nelson Mandela Concert held in Wembley in 1988, the song reached number 1 in UK in Feb 1989, as a B-Side to Belfast Child.

quinta-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2010

Punctuating Dialogue

by Marg Gilks

Think about it: there's a pretty boggling array of punctuation marks at our disposal -- not just your run-of-the-mill sentence-enders like periods, question marks, and exclamation points, but slashes and dashes and dots of various sorts. I just used six of them in that first sentence, alone. No wonder some writers think of the whole mess as though it were Dorothy's lions and tigers and bears (oh my!).

Like it or not, punctuation is something you have to master. Think of all those odd marks as your guideposts for your readers. Punctuation marks tell readers to pause or stop when you intend them to; in partnership with the words you choose, they add meter and rhythm to your writing and make it dance off the page; they help convey emotion (...don't they? You bet!); they clarify your meaning. (What's your first reaction to this sentence?: "While we were eating the cat on the table jumped down." While we were eating the cat?! What a difference a comma makes!: "While we were eating, the cat on the table jumped down.")

Punctuation in dialog can be particularly intimidating. Now you're constructing sentences in which characters are speaking sentences of their own! Where do all those punctuation marks go?

If your character utters a complete sentence, should you punctuate it as such? Only if that's all there is to it:

Mark pointed at the sky. "It's going to rain."
Here there are two separate actions, treated as two separate sentences. So you punctuate them as such, the only difference being that Mark's speech is indicated by being enclosed in quotation marks.

Dialogue Tags
What if you want to make sure the reader knows Mark is speaking by including a dialog tag? If you're adding a straightforward tag like "he said," "Mark whispered," or "shouted Mark," that's part of the sentence, so you include it in the sentence with a comma:

"It's going to rain," Mark said.
Mark pointed at the sky and whispered, "It's going to rain."

Two mental tricks that may help: think of Mark's speech as something you're relating to a friend. You wouldn't say, "Then Mark said. It was going to rain." You'd say, "Mark said it was going to rain."

Or, try taking the quotation marks out and punctuating the sentence as a normal sentence:

It's going to rain, shouted Mark.
Then put in the quotation marks when you've got that sorted out:

"It's going to rain," shouted Mark.
Shouting implies that Mark is a bit more excited about all of this rain than a mere comma indicates, however. Perhaps an exclamation point would better signal his excitement to the reader. But an ! is ending punctuation, and you'd really like to make sure the reader knows Mark's the one getting excited. You can do this in two ways. You can avoid the whole issue of comma vs. exclamation mark by inverting the sentence and letting the exclamation mark fill its end-punctuation role:

Mark pointed at the sky and shouted, "It's going to rain!"
Or, you can take advantage of the double standard sometimes offered by quotation marks by treating them -- and what they enclose -- as something of a parenthetical element within the sentence. Just as you may enclose a comment in brackets (the proper term for these brackets is parentheses), you can think of anything within quotation marks as something a little separate from the rest of the sentence. In cases where you want to convey excitement or confusion, the comma can safely be replaced by an exclamation point or a question mark:

"It's going to rain!" Mark shouted.
"What do we do now?" asked Cindy.

Perhaps Cindy doesn't come right out and ask Mark what they should do, but only thinks this. There's a question involved, even if it's not spoken out loud. Where does the question mark fall?

Again, you could avoid the whole issue. You could fall back on exposition:

Cindy wondered what they would do now.
But you lose the immediacy by stepping out of your character's head and telling the reader what she's thinking. You don't want that.

It's perfectly all right to treat Cindy's internal dialog as though she'd spoken it:

What do we do now? Cindy wondered.

Note that, in character dialog, whether internal or spoken, the question mark always falls after the actual question, not after the dialog tag at the end of the sentence. That's because you're relaying Cindy's thoughts, complete with the guideposts that will make them clear to the reader, not actually wondering yourself what the characters will do now -- one hopes.

Punctuation Within Dialogue
You have noticed by now that all end punctuation falls inside the closing quotation mark, right?

Correct: "It's going to rain," said Mark.
Incorrect: "It's going to rain", said Mark.

Okay, so what if you're writing a sentence in which your character is quoting what someone else said? How do you punctuate that so the reader can sort it all out? Simple. Just as you treat character dialog as a parenthetical element within a sentence and flag it as dialog by enclosing it within quotation marks, you treat the quote as parenthetical within the character's spoken sentence and flag it with single quotation marks:

"I don't like Cindy," Mark said. "I told her it was about to rain, but she turned to Biff and asked him, 'What do we do now?' instead of asking me."

Multi-Paragraph Quotes
Perhaps Mark has more to say about Cindy; maybe he goes on for several paragraphs, complaining about every little thing about her that annoys him. How to punctuate that? Well, he's still speaking, even though he's speaking so much, it needs to be broken into paragraphs. So, you start out with your opening quotation marks to signal to the reader that somebody's speaking. But when you reach the end of the first paragraph in Mark's tirade, you don't end that paragraph with closing quotation marks. By leaving the closing quotes out, you're telling the reader that Mark has more to say; drop your eyes down to the next paragraph, reader, and you'll read what more there is.

And when they do, there they find another set of opening quotation marks at the beginning of that paragraph, assuring them that yes, Mark's still speaking. And so on and so on, for as many paragraphs that Mark may speak, until the end of the last paragraph of his tirade, where he finally shuts up and you tell the reader so by inserting those long-awaited closing quotation marks:

"I don't like Cindy," Mark said. "I told her it was about to rain, but she turned to Biff and asked him, 'What do we do now?' instead of asking me.

"Now, if you ask me, Cindy's a bit snooty. She thinks she's too good for me, that I don't know anything except that it's going to rain. Well, let me tell you, I know a lot more than that!

"I know, for instance, that if it had happened in Antarctica, that rain would have been snow!"

What if Biff had been standing there listening, and didn't agree with what Mark was saying? What if he'd interrupted to say so? You signal the dialog of each new speaker with its own quotation marks, and you make it even clearer to the reader that someone else is talking by giving the new speaker their own paragraph for their action:

"I don't like Cindy," Mark said. "I told her it was about to rain, but she turned to Biff and asked him, 'What do we do now?' instead of asking me.

"Now, if you ask me, Cindy's a bit snooty. She thinks she's too good for me, that I don't know anything except that it's going to rain."

"She's not snooty," Biff said. "She asked me because you don't know anything except when it's going to rain."

"Well, let me tell you, I know a lot more than that!" Mark retorted. "I know, for instance, that if it had happened in Antarctica, that rain would have been snow!

"I also know that you and Cindy are having an affair, and -- "

"Oh, shut up," growled Biff.

Just as you break a big project down into smaller parts to make it more manageable, if you break your dialog sentences down into their separate sections, punctuation isn't so scary, after all.

Copyright © 2001 Marg Gilks

Source: http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/dialogue.shtml

Marg Gilks' short stories, poetry, and articles have been appearing in newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and e-zines since 1977. She considers writing fiction, especially sf/f, the ultimate form of escapism -- in what other field can you create your own universe? Contact her with feedback and queries through Scripta Word Services, her freelance editing business: http://www.scripta-word-services.com/.

terça-feira, 2 de fevereiro de 2010

Yemaya Assessu

Yemaya Assessu,
Assessu yemaya
Yemaya olodo,
Olodo yemaya

The chant celebrates the joining of river to sea and the Goddess of the Ocean, Yemaya.

A literal translation from the Yoruba language:
Yemanja is the Gush of the Spring.
The Gush of the Spring is Yemanja.
The Mother of the Children of Fishes is the Owner of Rivers.
The Owner of Rivers is the Mother of the Children of Fishes.

segunda-feira, 1 de fevereiro de 2010

Beyonce takes 6 Grammys, makes history

By DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press Writer David Bauder

It's a tribute to the Grammys' success at becoming more a musical spectacle than an awards show that on the night she made history, Beyonce was just another face in the crowd.

Pop's reigning diva earned six Grammys on Sunday, more than any woman on a single night of the 52-year-old awards show. Her anthem "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" was song of the year. But she didn't come onstage to accept that — her collaborators said she was prepping for a performance — and four of her other awards came during the non-televised pre-show.

The Grammys' four biggest awards were split four ways: 20-year-old country chanteuse Taylor Swift won album of the year; family rockers Kings of Leon won record of the year for "Use Somebody"; and the Zac Brown Band was named best new artist.

The Grammys in recent years have tried to emphasize the music more than the awards, particularly by pairing younger performers with veterans. This year, producers nailed it, with a double album's worth of memorable performances.

Among the best were the Black Eyed Peas, who sang "I Gotta Feeling" with a stage filled with what looked like dancing tomatoes and robots. Lady Gaga was predictably over the top, singing "Poker Face" and getting tossed into a bucket of fire before emerging singed and combining forces with an equally dirtied and bemused Elton John.

Green Day turned its "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" into a soaring beauty by joining the cast of a new musical based on its "American Idiot" album. Opera singer Andrea Bocelli held his own with a powerful, and heart-breaking rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," done for the benefit of Haitian earthquake victims.

An acrobatic Pink turned her "Glitter in the Air" into a Cirque de Soleil-like performance, hanging suspended over the audience as she sang. "That was amazing," an impressed Keith Urban said after she was done.

Memorable pairings included the white-haired, white-bearded and white-hatted Leon Russell joining the Zac Brown Band; Maxwell and Robert Flack singing a silky-smooth "Where is the Love"; and Stevie Nicks, looking like a protective mom, joining Swift on her "You Belong With Me" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon."

An arresting performance of "Forever" and "Drop the World" with rappers Lil' Wayne, Drake and Eminem was rendered virtually incomprehensible by craters of silence inserted by CBS censors. And the 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson proved overrated, with Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Smokey Robinson and Carrie Underwood looking like they'd joined a production number from "American Idol."

Swift, who won four Grammys, was the night's most visible winner. She beamed during her duet with Nicks, and seemed thrilled in her two acceptance speeches — while staying poised enough to thank her record company for letting her write her own songs, and express pride at bringing the album of the year prize to Nashville.

"This is for my dad," she said. "Thank you for all the times you said I could do whatever I wanted to do."

Beyonce was low-key during her one time onstage to accept her sixth trophy of he night, for best female pop vocal on the ballad "Halo." She offered thanks to her fans for their support.

Stagecraft was smooth; Lady Antebellum singer Hillary Scott, hit in the head by a falling curtain, calmly brushed it aside without missing a note.

Host Stephen Colbert followed the new model of awards show hosts: coming out in the beginning for a handful of jokes then disappearing — except to accept a Grammy of his own, for his surrealistic Christmas musical.

He bemoaned the absence of Susan Boyle from Grammy night.

"You may be the coolest people in the world," Colbert said, a barely amused Jay-Z looking on, "but this year your industry was saved by a 48-year-old Scottish cat lady in sensible shoes."


On the Net:

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100201/ap_on_en_mu/us_grammys