Thursday, March 1, 2007

The World Is Flat

This year, the University of Maryland's First Year Book is The World Is Flat by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. This book concerns the way certain political events (such as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989) combined with new technologies (such as the internet and the World Wide Web) and new practices (such as supply-chaining) to enable people all over the globe to compete with people in the "developed nations" for jobs and wealth. Friedman lists 10 "flatteners"--events, technologies and practices that have contributed to these changes. The sections on "outsourcing" and "offshoring" seemed particularly relevant to what we had been studying in class in our chapter on the global economy, so we read a little about outsourcing today in class. Then I had the students analyze the uses of to on two pages of the text. The students worked in groups of three to determine in each case whether to was used as an infinitive or a preposition. It isn't always easy to figure out exactly how to is used in each case!

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