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1. Poetry: Warning by Jenny Joseph (1992)

Favorite Sentence: "I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
                                And pick flowers in other people's gardens
                                And learn to spit.
"

—Picked by Kiana Shin (Aspiring comedian, Class of 2021)


2. Essay: Coronavirus Diaries: Laughter is the Best Medicine by John Tregoning (2021)

Favorite Sentence: "Finding funny things scratches the itch, but jokes are better shared."

—Picked by Abby Hester (Improv comedian, Class of 2022)


3. Fiction: Jeeves in the Springtime by P. G. Wodehouse (1921)

Favorite Sentence: "As I have frequently had occasion to observe, he is a bird of the ripest intellect, full of bright ideas."

—Picked by Sophie LaCava (Former improv comedian, Class of 2022)
 
Michigan Sentences: Here is an article from JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) by Professor David Fessell, a radiologist who directs the Leadership Curriculum for the University of Michigan Medical School and is a graduate of the Second City Improv Conservatory. 
Syllabus Sentences: Here is a short video I give to students when we are working on our public speaking skills and learning to emulate the strategic pauses of skilled stand-up comedians.
Note: Similar material is covered in Chapter 1 of Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting.
 
Book Recommendations:
Nuance Spotlight: Don Quixote

 
Here's a sample of some of our Notes on Nuance moves that show up in an English translation of the 17th-century comic masterpiece Don Quixote, a novel that received more votes than any other title when 100 well-known authors from 54 countries were asked back in 2002 to name the best book of all time.


Chiasmus (January 2020)

“In all this time Don Diego de Miranda had not said a word but was careful to observe and note the actions and words of Don Quixote, who seemed to him a sane man gone mad and a madman edging toward sanity.”

—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605)


"Not Without" (October 2020)

“Don Quixote, who was not in the habit of dismounting without someone to hold the stirrup for him, and thinking that Sancho had already come to do that, went flying off Rocinante and pulled the saddle after him, for its cinches must have been loose, and he and the saddle both fell to the ground, not without great embarrassment to him and a good number of curses that he muttered between his teeth against the luckless Sancho, whose foot was still trammeled.”

—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605)


"Much Less" (September 2021)

"That is true," said Samson; "and if it be God’s will, there will not be any want of a thousand islands, much less one, for Sancho to govern."

—Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605)
 
Additional Resources
                                              
Online Courses

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting
Good with Words: Writing and Editing
Books   

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting
Good with Words: Writing and Editing  
Notes on Nuance                                                    
The Syntax of Sports: Class 1 
The Syntax of Sports: Class 2
Humor Quiz
Humor Typology Quiz (from Humor, Seriously by Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, 2021)
 
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Copyright © Patrick Barry, All rights reserved.



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barrypj@umich.edu

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