7 Patterns of Sentence Structure

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Sentence structure can be categorized into seven patterns: one simple, three compound, two complex, and one compound-complex. Here are examples of each pattern with accompanying formulas, all to help you think of how to craft sentences in a greater variety of syntax:
1. Simple sentence (independent clause): “I went for a walk.”
(An independent clause is set of words that includes a subject and a predicate. It can be a sentence or part of one. A dependent, or subordinate, clause is one that cannot stand on its own but provides additional information to supplement an independent clause.)
2. Compound sentence, IC+CC+IC (independent clause plus coordinating conjunction plus independent clause): “I went for a walk, and I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
(Coordinating conjunctions are words that link one independent clause to another to form a compound sentence. These words can be recalled with the mnemonic FANBOYS and include for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.)
3. Compound sentence, IC+S+IC (independent clause plus semicolon plus independent clause): “I went for a walk; I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
4. Compound sentence, IC+AC+IC (independent clause plus adverbial conjunction plus independent clause): “I went for a walk; consequently, I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
(Adverbial conjunctions are adverbs that serve, when following a semicolon, to link independent clauses. They include consequently, however, moreover, nevertheless, therefore, and thus.)
5. Complex sentence, DM+C+IC (dependent marker plus clause plus independent clause): “Because I hoped to be soothed by the gentle night air, I went for a walk.”
(Dependent markers are words that provide a relative context for a subordinate clause. They include after, although, as, “as if,” because, before, if, since, though, until, when, where, whether, and while.)
6. Complex sentence, RP+C (relative pronoun plus clause): “Whatever doubts I had about taking a walk dissipated when I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
(Relative pronouns are pronouns that relate a subordinate clause to the noun it modifies. They include who, whom, whose, whoever, whosoever, whomever, which, what, whatever, and sometimes that.)
7. Compound-complex sentence, DC+IC+CC+IC (dependent clause plus independent clause plus coordinating conjunction plus independent clause): “As I headed out for a walk, my doubts about doing so dissipated, and I was soothed by the gentle night air.”
There are, of course, many variations to these patterns; even a simple sentence, for instance, can begin with the object in the example converted to the subject of another simple sentence: “A walk was my next order of business.”

How To Maintain Healthy Habits When Traveling

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How To Maintain Healthy Habits When Traveling


When I learned that Jay White, the founder of Dumb Little Man, frequently travels in his sales career, this immediately brought back memories of my own business travels during my years in pharmaceutical sales. I was traveling 25% to 50% of my time on overnight trips, sometimes for an entire work week.

Although there are great health tips on this awesome blog, I’m sure that for those of you who travel on business and even for everyone else who has gone somewhere on vacatiomns, you will agree that it’s often quite a challenge to maintain healthy habits while away from home. Many people end up either gaining weight or losing weight after their trips and I’m not talking about desired weight changes either.

So here are some tips that I’ve learned to adopt during my travels to help you stay healthy while away from home.

Get Proper Nutrition
While it’s much easier to follow a healthy balanced diet with home cooking, it’s often very challenging if you have to eat out for all of you daily meals during travel. Here are some ideas that may seem obvious, but I'd challenge you to think back to your last business trip. How many of these did you really follow?
  • Avoid hotel breakfasts loaded with fat and salt (sausages, bacon, pastries, fried potatoes)
  • Start your day with fresh fruit, yogurt and cereals
  • Definitely pass on fast food breakfasts but don’t skip a healthy one
  • Stay with lighter fare lunches especially if attending conferences all day
  • Find good salads and lower fat, whole-wheat sandwiches for lunch
  • Don’t overeat at dinner, especially at buffets (or you’ll feel it back in your hotel room)
  • Minimize the amount of fried, fatty foods at restaurants
  • Drink lots of water with your meals and limit alcohol (hangovers during travel are no fun)
  • Don’t overdo the trips to the coffee shops during the day
  • Avoid junk snacks - pick up some fresh fruit at local grocers instead
  • Pack enough multivitamins to last your entire trip as inexpensive diet insurance
Exercise On The Road
As I remember all the big meetings and conferences I’ve attended, it’s incredible just how few travelers stay active on the road. With overeating and inactivity, it’s no wonder why many travelers end up gaining weight. So here are some tips to stay active on the road.
  • Use the hotel/cruise ship gym as even 20 minutes on a cardio machine will help prevent travel weight gain
  • Do laps in the hotel pool if there is one (always pack your swimwear)
  • Use the hotel gym weights even if you have to modify some usual exercises
  • If the neighborhood around the hotel is nice and safe (ask the concierge), take a brisk walk outside
  • If no gym, do basic calisthenics plus low impact cardio inside your hotel room
  • Although tempting to socialize into the wee hours, get adequate sleep
It’s Possible To Keep Healthy During Travel
So it is indeed possible to keep healthy during your travels. Although you may have to take some extra efforts to get the proper nutrition and enough exercise in during your time away from home, much of the challenge comes from the fact that you have to do what most other travelers will not be doing. You will be among a minority who do eat healthy and take time in the gym. But don’t worry about what others are doing as it is your own health that matters.

I am slow

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Kodak moment

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film at eleven

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A Simple Strategy for Simplifying

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‘It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.’ ~Bertrand Russell

What do you do if you can’t let go of something you own?
How do you deal with the “just in case” syndrome, or the “it has meaning” syndrome?
There’s no easy answer for letting go of the emotional attachments we put into our objects, nor for letting go of the fear of what we might need in the future. But for me, the answer has been to change how I look at ownership.
Ownership, for me, is more fluid and less concrete.
We don’t own something for life — that’s wasteful, because most of our lives we don’t need or use something. We “own” something just for as long as we need it, and then pass it on.
Think of ownership like a public library — we check things out when we need them, and then return them when we’re done, so that others can use them. If we ever need something again, we can always check it out again.
In practice, for me, this has meant passing books and clothes and other things on to friends and relatives when I don’t need them. It means giving things away to Goodwill and other charities. It means getting things from Goodwill, used book stores, thrift shops, Craigslist, Freecycle, friends and family. And yes, sometimes buying things that I owned years before.
This means sometimes spending a little more, but it also means I’m giving away a lot of value, and others benefit from things I think are great. It means things pass through my life, into the lives of others, and I don’t try to hold onto anything. It means no object holds much emotional meaning for me, and so the meaning is instead put into experiences, relationships, conversations, the moment.

Some examples from a reader who is moving and has trouble parting with some possessions:
1. The baby’s things. She (the reader) says, “We don’t know if we want to have another baby in a few years. It’s hard to look at all of our daughter’s outgrown clothes and toys and items and think of selling them/giving them away when there is a chance we might have another baby. Seems wasteful. But then again, it seems stupid to ship a whole huge hoard of stuff simply to safeguard ‘in case’, when the reality is we may go through all that effort and never have another anyway.”
Just In Case is the reason we hold onto a lot of things. The vast majority of the time, we don’t need them. But we’re afraid we might, so we hoard. It wards off insecurities about the future. I beat this by actual facts: I let go and see what happens, and in the six years I’ve been trying this, I’ve never regretted it once. Experience trumps fear.
If you need something, you can get it again. If you aren’t using something, let someone else use it who might need it. And you’ll save yourself a lot of expenses: moving the stuff, storing it, caring for it, mentally remembering everything you have, fixing things that get broken, cleaning things, stressing over how many things you have.
2. My books. She says, “I have an ereader now, and that will be a godsend down south. But I also have a bunch of nice books here, that I’d hate to part with. I have already paired my collection down to: only the novels that I plan to read again multiple times + reference type books + cookbooks. This still makes for a huge pile, and my mum pointed out that most of them will probably mould in the humidity anyway. Do I just leave them all here and replace them in eformat when/if I feel like reading them? Seems like more money down the drain.”
Yes, give them to someone who would like them. You’ve read them, and you won’t read them again (at least for awhile). If you need the info, it’s probably online. If not, you can borrow the book from a library, or find it used online, or swap with someone online. It’s not money down the drain if you enjoyed the books, and if you let someone else enjoy them.
3. Decorative things. She writes, “Picture frames, candle holders, woven baskets, all the little things that sneak up on you over the years… Seems silly to get rid of everything when we don’t know what we’ll need at the new place, and could end up buying some of it all again.”
I’ve found that only a few pictures is all I need for decorating. We used to have a lot of candle holders and other decorative things, but when we got rid of them, it was liberating. Our house became emptier, but I found that I actually liked the emptiness. It means we have space to fill it with conversation, laughter, play, and silence. Whereas when we fill our house with stuff, we are doing it to stave off the void, to avoid having to fill it with experiences and silence.
There is almost nothing in my life that’s irreplaceable, other than people. Sure, I love books, but there are so many others out there in the library and thrift shops and friends’ homes that I will never miss the ones I give away. Sure, I would miss photographs if I lost them, but I put them all online now anyway, and more importantly, my life isn’t in the photos but is happening now. Sure, I would need a laptop and a few clothes if my house burned down, but those things are easily replaceable.
I’d miss my blog if I lost it, but not because of the lost words … I’d miss the readers.
And in the end, you learn that the people and the moment are all that matter. Everything else comes and goes.
‘As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions.’ ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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