Tag Archives: language

Random babble redux

+  \o/ for the Senate voting to repeal DADT

+  Check out this interesting discussion about whether language shapes thought.

+  Every time I’ve gone to B&N lately, I’ve bought things other than books.  When I look at books, I end up putting them on my wishlist or downloading a Kindle sample to decide if I really want the book or not.  Obviously B&N is still making some money off me as a consumer — bought Elf on the Shelf, a puzzle, a Moleskin notebook, holiday cards, etc. — but if I’m not buying their books, what does it say about their success in their primary market?

+  I’m contemplating writing fan fiction for the first time ever.  There’s a plot bunny bouncing around my head and it just won’t die.  Not even an emailed exchange with my sister got it out of my system.   I blame this tumblr.

+  Mailed a package to Texas today, and it should arrive in plenty of time for the holidays.  The line to mail packages?  Only three people long.  The line to pick up packages at the other window?  Wound around the waiting room and out the door.  Fortunately for me, all the packages I ordered were delivered by UPS and my neighbor signed for them (he’s retired, and takes deliveries for several neighbors).  

+  Saw an intriguing recipe for potato chip cookies, must find it again and experiment tomorrow.  Must also go get one last gift — a gift card to a restaurant, because I’m stumped for a better gift for my brother and SIL; I did send them doggie cupcakes from here, but wanted to give them something more.

+  I’ve been pretty good about not buying paper books, or any books except pre-orders done pre-holidays, but I broke down and finally ordered a copy of Yo, Juan de Austria from Abebooks.  I should have bought a copy when I first saw the book more than a year ago, when I was in Madrid, but I assumed it would become available sooner or later in the US and didn’t want to add it to my luggage.  Mistake.  Still not available in the US yet or translated. (TBH, I doubt it will be translated, since I’m not sure that Juan of Austria commands a great deal of attention from English speakers/readers.)  So I ordered a copy from a Spanish bookseller online.  The shipping…is ridiculous.  My own fault.


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My kingdom for a horse

+ Have I ever mentioned that my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays are Much Ado About Nothing and Richard III?  Yesterday I received a notice that Richard III is going to be playing at The Old Vic next summer, and presale tickets are available beginning in January to friends/members.  I don’t have the cash to spare for that, but I would so love to see Kevin Spacey as Richard.

+ The holiday shopping is finished but for a stop at the chocolate shop.  Now to address cards and bake.  But that’s for tomorrow and next weekend.  Must grocery shop in preparation for the baking.  And go to the post office for stamps and to drop a package.

+ More holiday greeting cards in the mail today.  I learned that some of my friends from college never learned to distinguish between plural and possessive, as demonstrated in the return address label, which lists their family name as "The Friend’s" rather than "The Friends".  I would cringe, except I don’t think they realize the error.

+ When is The King’s Speech going into wider release?  Would love to see it.


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Directionally challenged

Dear fan fiction author:

There is no "driving down to Baltimore" from Washington, DC.  Baltimore is NORTH EAST of Washington.  And elevation-wise, there’s no difference, so no "down" in that sense either.  

Please look at a map.  Except, wait, you obviously did for other bits of your fic, which makes this blunder (used twice) even more peculiar.
Dear other FF author:

Having a character be shocked and complain about an attempted robbery "within a five mile radius of the White House" — dude, seriously, do you know how big a five mile radius is?  No crime in that area?  Good luck.  Having an otherwise security-conscious character say that is just naive bordering on ridiculous.

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Overusing labels

Lisa de Moraes in the WaPo TV chat today said that NBC would hold on to Undercovers for a bit longer, despite low ratings, because its main characters are African American and NBC wants to tout its multiculturalism.

While I understand what she means, in fact, only one of the leads is AA. The other is English.

It is fascinating & disturbing to observe the indiscriminate use of “African American” as a label.


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Notes from the road plus some other things

Last week was relaxing: I sat on the beach.  Read.  People watched.  Listened to the waves when they weren’t being drowned out by real New Jersey housewives.  [Seriously, two women settled down way too close to my chair and umbrella and proceeded to discuss their plastic surgeries and their husbands and it was TMI.]  

Things I noticed while driving to/from the beach, or while at the beach:

  • So many election placards.  Everywhere.  Do I forget between election cycles, or have the economy and widening rift between right and left generated more candidates and fiercer primaries?
  • One "BATEMAN for Sheriff" sign along Ritchie Highway was defaced to read "BAT MAN for Sheriff".  😀  Who wouldn’t want the Caped Crusader as their local crime fighter? 
  • Kipke for Delegates…my first thought was how would he handle that with SPN? Except wait, Kipke isn’t Kripke.  Nevermind.
  • This week was Bike Week.  Motorcycles EVERYWHERE.  Which was fine (shiny! pretty!) when it wasn’t irritating to watch motorcyclists ride up the shoulder or between cars in the back up on Rtes 404 & 50.  Yesterday’s Darwin Award nominee:  the Harley rider without a helmet who was busy talking on his cell phone and driving with one hand.  :sigh: 
  • As built up as Rehoboth is today in comparison to my childhood memories, it is nothing compared to the mess of Fenwick Island or Ocean City.  RB’s "downtown" zoning must be much, much tighter, since it has avoided the high rise mess for the most part.  Always think high rises look…not quite right at the beach, like the architecture doesn’t match the environment. Of course, the shopping/outlet mess out on Route 1 is pretty unattractive, but since I go to the beach for the beach rather than the shopping, I only notice that on my way in and out of town.

Syllable sadness:  in a NY-pubbed book, I noticed that the syllable break of "asshole" was wrong.  Unless suddenly the syllables have changed from ass-hole to as-shole.  (See p. 1059 of Demon Forged.)

Proper name spelling sadness:  Dear English-speakers/writers — Colombia and Columbia are not interchangeable.  They are not even homonyms (the vowels in the second syllable are distinctly different).  Please stop using Columbia as the all-purpose spelling.  It’s really not appropriate to use when referring to that South American country.

Someone in Austin, Texas, seems to want to talk to me, if the 12 missed calls are anything to judge by.  Except s/he never leaves a message, so it can’t be that important.  I’ve reverse checked the number — residential listing.  I’m almost curious enough to answer the next time.  Almost.

 A week late:  the men’s US Open final was pretty good, despite the heinous TV coverage — F-You very much, CBS and ESPN, for pushing the match to Monday (wouldn’t want to mess with Sunday night must-see-TV) and then freaking abandoning it entirely for pregame schtick and Celebrity Bowling.  That failure is better dissected herehere, and here.  

Djokovic seems to have overcome his latent head-case tendencies.  He played an amazing match against Federer in the semis, only to run up against Nadal in the final.  He must have been absolutely gutted, but he managed to be incredibly charming in the trophy ceremony and in all the interviews I’ve seen.  Nadal was just en fuego, on a mission to win the major that was purported to be unwinnable for him because of his tendency to stand 12 feet behind the baseline and hit with such spin.  But as Pete Bodo put it, "Federer and Nadal may have inadvertently ruined any number of otherwise impressive men."  For awesome coverage, go check out Forty Deuce and Nadal News.

The picture to the left belongs to Getty Images, I think, and the picture to the right is mine, taken at the Nike kiosk at the US Open on Labor Day.  


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\o/ and /o\

Things that made me \o/ or 😀 today:

My refurbished Kindle has arrived!  I hadn’t realized how much I missed CK (Cherry Kindle-ade) until I was holding her successor in my hands.  Must resend some content that I did not purchase through Amazon.  And think of a name.  And maybe buy a cover?  Forgot that Kindle 2.0 did not come with a case.  Hmm, does Despair do Kindle covers? 

My tickets to the US Open have been printed and mailed!  The Biochemist asked me today if I was going to the Legg Mason Classic in order to ogle Hot Sauce.  I’d decided no, being prudent and also because I feel like I’m hemorrhaging cash right now.  But really, how often will I have the opportunity.

Also, check this out.  It’s almost as sweet and adorkable as Dinara Safina’s chocolate cake vs. tennis clip from last year.

Things that made me /o\ today:

Janet Evanovich wants $50 million for four Stephanie Plum books?  Okay, I get that she still sells a lot of books, but I thought publishers were putting the kibosh on big payouts like that, given the tight economy, slowing sales, and high dollar flops they’ve suffered the last few years.  I dunno.  I’d be kind of disgusted by a demand that size no matter what the source; say if James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks or whomever wanted the same.  It’s like Lebron James’ contract.  Or Alex Rodriguez.  At a certain point, it just looks greedy, selfish and full of hubris.  Courtesy of several different publishing twitterers

And, courtesy of TeddyPig, RIAA:  keeping law firms in business!  $58 million in legal fees in order to combat piracy and collect a whopping $2 million in damages.  I get the idea of deterrence as a reason to keep fighting, but at some point the cost has to outweigh the deterrent effect…which seems kind of nil TBH.  

And lastly, after using four different blog posts on completely unrelated subjects, I got the following:

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Must test some of my work related writing to see if I get the same answer or if my professional writing style differs from my personal blog.


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Should of?

I don’t even know what "should of" means.  

Yet I see it written in texts and emails all the time.  Even worse, today I read it in a book.  After the second occurrence, I had to put the book down.  Arguably, that was just the literal spelling of the narrator’s pronunciation of "should’ve" in dialog, and I should have (hah! should have!) just let it go as an exercise in dialect.  But I could not.  Really, just could not.  DNF.

It makes my eyes and my brain hurt to read "should of".


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