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Knee Howdy: Challenge Chinese Vocabulary to a Duel and Bury it 'Six Feet Under' inside your Brain!


webmagnets
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I am pretty proud of myself to have been able to work Miss Piggy into a discussion of Chinese.

I wouldn't say you worked it in. More slammed it in. And you seem to have missed the point. The joke was her BAD pronunciation.

But I guess you have to be proud of something.

Duh!

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I've just looked at the Muppets clip (which I hadn't realized was so short). I must say that Miss Piggy's pronunciation of "moiself" is quite masterful, and there probably aren't any other examples to compare hers (a doubtless unique coinage) to. :lol::D

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I have uploaded a new pdf sample of chapter one.

Knee_Howdy_Sample.pdf

There are a few changes, the most notable being that I changed the "Sounds Like" section to "A proxy mate's hound". The meaning is explained near the beginning of the book.

I haven't addressed all of the concerns mentioned above, but I will continue refining.

Thank you again.

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I just caught your video [

on YouTube and realized this is something you are taking quite seriously - there is a lot of effort that went into producing the teaser video, at least. A few opinions:
  • It's unclear what the value added is here over other books or even free resources online. Mnenomics are nothing new and there are many many established compendiums that people swear by already.
  • Cost - $20 for a book that provides "over 100" words is highly questionable. Especially considering these are probably the 100 most frequent words, which in my opinion are the least likely to require those type of learning methods.
  • Tone - I just find the tone of the whole project patronizing and anti-intellectual. The book title and subtitle make me cringe. The text within the first chapter varies, but in many cases is also cringe-worthy. I get the strong feeling you're catering to an extremely extremely low capacity student. I don't demand that my books treat me as sophisticated, but there are reasonable limits on simplifying things or pandering to an anti-intellectual crowd. Think FoxNews teaches Chinese.
  • Some of the novel terminology aims to be cute but is downright confusing. "A proxy mate's hound"?!

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It's unclear what the value added is here over other books or even free resources online. Mnenomics are nothing new and there are many many established compendiums that people swear by already.

I haven't found one single book on Amazon that extensively teaches, by example, how to use mnemonics to remember the tones of spoken Chinese.

Cost - $20 for a book that provides "over 100" words is highly questionable. Especially considering these are probably the 100 most frequent words, which in my opinion are the least likely to require those type of learning methods.

For a beginner who wants to learn Chinese, but isn't an intellectual and isn't really even sure he/she can succeed, learning even beginner words is a major task. Especially learning and remembering the proper tone.

Tone - I just find the tone of the whole project patronizing and anti-intellectual. The book title and subtitle make me cringe. The text within the first chapter varies, but in many cases is also cringe-worthy. I get the strong feeling you're catering to an extremely extremely low capacity student. I don't demand that my books treat me as sophisticated, but there are reasonable limits on simplifying things or pandering to an anti-intellectual crowd. Think FoxNews teaches Chinese.

I definitely want this book to be anti-intellectual. The title is designed to "jump off the shelf". Once I hire an illustrator to make drawings for all of the mnemonic stories, I think the intent will be clearer.

Some of the novel terminology is downright confusing. "A proxy mate's hound"?!

I quote from the book: "I call this an 'a proxy mate’s hound' because it isn’t a perfect representation of the Chinese sound, but is an 'approximate sound'. (To learn to pronounce these words properly, you need to learn how to pronounce pinyin.)"

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Fair enough on your responses. Like I said, it's just my opinion.

I quote from the book: "I call this an 'a proxy mate’s hound' because it isn’t a perfect representation of the Chinese sound, but is an 'approximate sound'. (To learn to pronounce these words properly, you need to learn how to pronounce pinyin.)"

I find it laborious, as with many of the other mnemonics in the book.

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I haven't found one single book on Amazon that extensively teaches, by example, how to use mnemonics to remember the tones of spoken Chinese.

I don't see that yours does either. Instead it complicates the issue rather than enlightens.

I definitely want this book to be anti-intellectual.

Well you certainly managed that!

The title is designed to "jump off the shelf".

Less sure about that. Like your examples, it is tortured, cringe-worthy and patronising.

"A proxy mate's hound" is just silly beyond words.

You seem determined to ignore every piece of advice you have been given here. Your updated 'sample' is still full of basic errors. It is unprofessional at best. Or perhaps you don' t really want advice and this is just more spam to promote your vanity publishing project.

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Yes! "Silly!" You finally got it! This isn't dry learning. Its supposed to be fun.

I am concerned about the basic errors you mentioned though. Can you highlight a few? Definitely don't want that.

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Yes! "Silly!" You finally got it!* This isn't dry learning. Its supposed to be fun.

There is a big difference between silly and stupid. Learning should be fun, yes. However, I expect most people are laughing for reasons other than those you are thinking.

I am concerned about the basic errors you mentioned though. Can you highlight a few? Definitely don't want that.

Read this thread again. They have been mentioned before. Basic English spelling and grammar for a start and 'poxy mates' which are nowhere near the correct pronunciation. But then if you insist on taking examples from satirical television shows as somehow being accurate pronunciation then you really are showing your lack of qualifications.

*Don't patronise.

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I definitely don't expect you to proofread this thing for free, but could you please point out one or two spelling or grammar errors so I can know what you are talking about?

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I can come to no other conclusion than that you have no interest in our comments, and just wanted an opportunity to promote your book. Otherwise you wouldn't be taking people's criticisms and twisting them around. Example:

"This is patronizing, cringe-inducing, and silly."

"Yes, silly! You see? Fun!"

That's obviously not what was meant, and you know it. If you want criticism, take it. If you're just here to promote the book, then be forthcoming about it.

Edited by OneEye
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If it weren't for the spam I received before it was mentioned here, and for the patronising arrogance, I would have thought that this whole thing was a satire.

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I haven't found one single book on Amazon that extensively teaches, by example, how to use mnemonics to remember the tones of spoken Chinese.

I appreciate that you may not have been familiar with the Matthewses' book prior to starting your own, Webmagnets, but theirs is certainly one such work dealing with tones (among other things), and IIRC pretty much 'by example'. To be unaware of or ignore the current market, competitors etc wouldn't get you far with submitting a proposal to a genuine (for-profit) publisher, but as it very much appears to be a vanity press thing that you're writing, this probably won't really matter to you (assuming you have the money to burn!).

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I for one would never use mnemonics that others have made for me. Mnemonics are by nature idosyncratic. If I had to use someone else's, I'd have to learn the mnemonics along with the word, and that seems to defeat the purpose of the whole thing. Maybe some people disagree, but to those people I'd imagine a text about mnemonics fails when the mnemonics are so contrived you might as well just memorize the word. WATCH OUt? 窝巢? 我插?

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Fortunately for the author, ebooks don't sell on the quality of their content, they sell on the quality of their marketing. Wrap this up with a well-targeted Adwords campaign and a quality landing page, and it might actually sell.

But a genuine word of advice - I honestly don't think there's much money in these ventures unless they'd done very professionally (and I mean in terms of marketing and lead conversion, not content). You are not doing this very professionally. Look at that bunch of affiliate marketing links on the 'buy the book' page. That screams 'desperate' to all but the least savvy.

it reminds me of some of the more revolting qualities of one of our more famous Irish members

Do me a favour and rein that in. You want to take potshots at Benny, I'm sure you can find his email address and do it directly. You want to criticise this guy, name those revolting qualities directly.

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"Hate" is too strong. "Wouldn't want to pay $20 for it" seems fair though: as others have pointed out, there's more bang for your buck with existing resources, and it's not like mnemonics (incl. those for tone) weren't well-known already, or wouldn't've occured to anyone to invent/create individually themselves. Your book would've been better therefore as just a "little hobby" of yours, and ultimately as a freebie to give away (to those interested in freebies - and who isn't! "It's not just cheapskates...").

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