Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thoughts on Mother’s Day, I’m just sayin’

An e-mail conversation with Patricia Monaghan

are we losing it? here is my son's mother's day post
"Word to your Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Thanks and respect!"
-- TJ
There are two friends (young) on FB who communicate in some patois that I haven't a clue about. It's all "playa" this and "moman" (mo' man?) that. I read such postings and remember "back in the day" that I said things like "wow, farm out," but I really didn't say them very often, and certainly not in mixed (age) company. not only has the language deteriorated, but so have manners. But then, I'm officially old now so I can bitch like that...word!
-- PM
S'up yo
One of the real challenges of the new age copy editor is battling this 
patois getting into print. there seems to be a major assault on the 
language in terms of shortening some words and compounding others. 
And worse, the people actually writing this stuff don't seem to care. 
I don't know how many times I have put bio and info back to their 
original form. Lite for light comes to mind and it goes on and on. 
Somewhere along the line it became acceptable to write veggies instead 
of vegetables. As you might be able to tell, I could go on and on 
but I get tired of it myself. I was so proud of my son when he used “you're” properly in a facebook 

I'm just sayin'
You should be correcting college papers. But actually, one expects marginal literacy there. But writers for the paper? I am also just sayin'. I just distinguish between That Stuff and slang, though. I rather like slang. Except for "at the end of the day," which isn't so much slang as some kind of bureaucratize jargon. But slang is peppy and fun, in it place (tends not to stay there). Emoticons? Gimmeabreak. And these Palinesque uses of the ampersand and suchlike (or is that amprsnd&schlk) which as far as I can tell is just a way of squeezing more words, but less content, into Facebook postings. I am a dinosaur, I admit. I am saying harumph a lot these days. remember when "a lot" was considered very downscale? have to go figure out placement for two paw-paw trees now. We don't know if they will survive this far north, but in a sheltered spot maybe? w/memrys of back-in-day
I like slang, too, but in its place. I always get a kick out of the new phrasing that rips across the language but alot of it (on purpose) getting into what is supposed to be proper language bothers me. I think every writer particularly newspaper reporters, should sit down with a 10 year old kid some time and go through a newspaper. First all the sex and violence will have you rushing past pages and turning to sports in a hurry, as if that is even safe any more, but the language usage.... but , dad my teacher says.... We are supposed to set the example and it is not happening. They are bombarded with the wrong stuff before they have a chance to learn what is correct.
I was out playing with a rose bush today. Very amateur at this but I enjoy it. And I seem to have good luck. 7 bucks for an "almost wild" rose bush at Fred Meyer. If I kill it, I won't lose much. I have been slowly getting my little flower garden ready. I actually had one geranium last the winter indoors and now has four blooms on it. Not supposed to put things out until June here, but I took the rose out of its package and put it in a big pot that I can move in and out of doors by day and night... we shall see.
Rambling here

Okay, we have the pawpaw in. Plus its friend/mate/spermdonor, which isn't looking too healthy. I'm going to buy another for insurance. Does that make a menage a trees? (If one partner is nasty, do they have a meanage a trois)

Did you really mean to say alot? My stars.

I was blessed with good editors. I thought I was pretty good when I got out of college, but I remember Larry Davies peering over his glasses at me and saying "committee. Now when did that become a plural noun?" I was always writing "the committee took their time deciding..." and so forth. I learned more grammar in a year of working for Larry than four years in college. But I did have some pretty good primary instruction, though. I think I can still diagram sentences.

We oldsters are charged with complaining about the young. Don't you feel conventional?
-- PM

I did mean "alot" did you not notice the words in paretheses after it:?

I also had some good basic education and then worked with some good editors. A book about Max Perkins who edited Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Caldwell and Wolfe also helped. And another thing is working with some good writers over the years, including yourself, that, too, is an education in editing.

And age? Conventional? I feel empowered.
-- TJ
-- TJ

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Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve