The Beatles and Advanced Punctuation

English 151

Newsletter #4: the Beatles and Advanced Punctuation

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Musically, we are now firmly in the 1960s.  Phil Spector and Berry Gordy have a new force with which to contend: the British Invasion—and in the vanguard of this musical assault are the Beatles, a group comprised of four working-class (well, John was considered middle class) young men (Boughton) who conquered the world with their unique approach to creating pop music (with a little help from their friends).

The Beatles in 1963 (PA Images)

Musically, they tout more successes than most other musicians: including holding the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1964 (Green); having three spots (#s 24, 11, 5 in the top twenty-five albums of all time (Rolling Stone); and holding the top spot in most certified albums sold—with no artist even coming close to their claim (Clark).

Culturally, their collective image and individual personalities redefined the rock star, including creating “’[. . .] a newly feminized, distinctly friendlier form of manhood [. . . ]’” (Schloss, Starr, et al., 113) and being the harbingers of the World Music scene to the Western world (Schloss, Starr, et al., 115).

Economically, the Beatles’ members had great successes and some serious failures: from one perspective, they (and the Rolling Stones) were a band who marketed themselves in a way to maximize album sales (q.v.) by using their teen sensation image and irreverent attitudes to achieve this far more capitalist goal (the Guardian); from another, they failed because of bad publishing deals early in their careers (Utton); and from another perspective, each of the Beatles (or their estates) is wealthy beyond most of our wildest dreams: the lowest being $350 million (Starr) and the highest being $1.2 billion (McCartney) (Barone).

An image from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Many scholars and musical enthusiasts divide the Beatles career into three distinct periods; see below each period’s characteristics, with links to songs which highlight these phases:

1962 – 1964: Boy band; almost overnight pop stardom; dance songs; respectable, clean-cut, charming HOMOGENEITY; defined roles; personalities; songs about puppy love and girls; John/ Paul—principal songwriters.

Love Me Do” (1962)

I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)

Please Please Me” (1963)

1965 – 1967: Serious musicians/ composers/ lyricists; withdraw from pop spotlight, focusing on innovative and mature songwriting; dressing and physical image expresses individuality of each member, as each EMERGES as a unique songwriter; collectively they create Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—considered the most popular British album of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine; Brian Epstein commits suicide and throws Beatles’ finances into disarray.

Yesterday” (1965)

Eleanor Rigby” (1966)

Tomorrow Never Knows” (1966)

A Day in the Life” (1967)

1968 – 1970: Issues with drugs/ egos/ women/ financial woes strain the band; Yoko One and Linda Eastman cause issues in the band; each member becomes SELF-INDULGENT with his songwriting; music becomes experimental to the extreme—moving away just writing hits to trying new techniques and sound effects; work with Phil Spector on an album; popular rumor develops that Paul has died (on November 9, 1966) and was replaced with an imposter—a doppelganger!

Revolution 9”  (1968)… …and played backwards (WARNING: do not listen to this while alone!)

Helter Skelter” (1968) (Many consider this the beginning of proto-heavy metal.  Compare this with their work from 1962 – 1964.)

Let It Be” (1970) (Phil Spector produced this song and album.)

This is the tip of the iceberg; your exploration continues in Paper/ Project #3.



Essential Question: Are the Beatles the most influential and/ or successful Western musical artists of all time?

FORMAT: Choose one of the following:

  • Four – six page paper, with all of the standard pieces detailed in the course syllabus, including a Works Cited
  • A 500 – 750 word periodical-style article, with a Works Cited/ End Notes
  • A PowerPoint/ Google Slides presentation, detailing your position, with a Works Cited as the final slide
  • An oral/ video presentation, with clips of music or video added to argue your position, with a Works Cited presented at the end

Choose one of the following, then be ready to submit and/ or present from Friday, November 20 – Tuesday, November 24.  Your presentation can be done in a Zoom session for classmates, or can be done privately to me.  Written/ slide submissions can be sent to my CSI email (but remember, if you have audio for a slide presentation, your audio files will not transfer, to try to use YouTube links for such).

I will certainly answer any questions you have about this project.  My hope is that adding a creative aspect lets you branch off into other types of research-based presentations and hones these skills, as well as your written ability.



A lesson from YouTube

A written lesson

Shows possession: The man’s coat; the girl’s car; the door’s handle.

If a word ends with “S,” simply add an apostrophe after the “S.”

e.g., Ramos’ class; the class’ scheduled meeting time; the phallus’ place in masculine identity


If you have a plural word (boys; smiles; lawyers; buses), follow the same rule as words ending in “S.”


Apostrophes are also used for contractions: it’s (it is); they’re (they are); don’t (do not); doesn’t (does not); can’t (can not); haven’t (have not); o’er (over); ‘s blood (there is blood); et hoc genus omne (et cetera).


  • Kenneth is a lawyer, working for a judge at Edgewater Plaza. He drives a brand-new Acura.  “Hey, whose Acura is that?”  It is the lawyers Acura.
  • Four lawyers—Kenneth, Mike, Ralph, and Betim—have agreed to open a swanky, pretentious restaurant in partnership; they name it pLace (little “p,” big “L”). It is the lawyers “pLace.”
  • For opening a restaurant with such a pretentious name, these four lawyers have proven to be real jerks; therefore, “pLace” is the jerks restaurant.
  • Kanyes performance on Saturday Night Live (produced by Lorne Michaels) was incredible!  Heres whats even more incredible: its Kanyes performance, but Lorne Michaels show.  (Find five of them!)
  • They are leaving for Cancun in the morning, if Alexas piece of shit car is able to get them to the airport.
  • Their going to sue us: we need a lawyer! Dont hesitate to call that one from the TV advertisement!
  • Donald Trumps tie was most certainly Burberry: with a price tag of $550.

Ellipses  Formally written as [. . .], but also used as …

A tutorial

Video tutorial

An ellipsis (plural: ellipses) indicate an omission in a quotation.  It makes up for a missing piece of text:

“To be or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ‘tis Nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune,

Or to take arms against a Sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them [. . .] With this regard

Their currents turn awry,

And lose the name of action [. . .]”


The Fourth Amendment

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated …”


“The right of the people to be secure … against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated …”


  • Pause in dialogue: He stammered, “I’m not sure what to do …”
  • Pause in narrative: “His hope was lost … crestfallen (disappointed) and disconsolate (unhappy) … love lost … the epitome of what the Portuguese call “Saudade.”
  • Trailing off (because the end is vague): He fired the pistol—and all went dark …
  • My favorite candidate is winning the… election? Uh… (You notice the popular vote does not match with the Electoral College votes.)








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