27 May 2011

Small Poppy Syndrome

National stereotypes are so misleading in real life, though very useful in literature. D H Lawrence hated Australia and wrote a long-winded moan about the place in "Kangaroo" which I attribute more to his poor state of health at the time, rather than to any general misdemeanours on the part of Australians. Some Australians have asked me if I am disappointed with the lack of history on the continent, but since I dislike history, 200 years of recorded comings and goings is quite enough. I tend to develop short poppy syndrome when there so that the taller ones can bloom as a group. Apparently they are obsessed with this subject.

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Moderation in All Things...

Ever so often I put full moderation systems in place on this blog. This is not out of fear of finding something nasty plastered on the site but simply because it stops people posting in most cases and now and again I just don't have much time to chat.

Many other blogs seem to have a similar approach. I have just posted a comment that will (or may not) appear after it has been approved. Since I shan't have time to see whether is is acceptable or not, here it is again:

Preview Edit Tales from the Birch Wood. said...I think you would enjoy the French writer, Colette. She was very open about her own coldness (nowadays it's called "objectivity") and how writers have a shard of ice in their hearts. Also the Brontes loved badly written novels... they helped them to see what the pitfalls in style, character and plot are and so avoid them. Great blog. So much to learn here.

25 May 2011

Choice Language

"Either/Or" is a book by that dullard Kierkegaard who caused so many people to write gloomily in the past.

I forgot to finish a sentence in the last post and decided not to bother correcting the mistake.

Why people are given only two choices between "Either" and "Or" has always been a mystery.

Usually my response to such nonsense is "Neither... but thank you all the same."

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Only Punning

I think that one of the main reasons I gave up work years ago was the desire shown by editors to control every syllable and image that came across their desks. Control freaks are a nuisance at the best of times, but when it comes to other people's thoughts, newspaper editors take the prize.

Political correctness was about to kick off at the end of the 1980's and it has now reaped a predictable whirlwind of nastiness and, in many cases, physical violence.

We are now so used to sissies on the Internet and in real life trying to control language that when I uploaded a "Kerryman" joke yesterday, a friend wondered if I might not be looking for trouble. The fact that the joke was about gardening or construction implements and could go down just as well in "Arkensas" (get the pun? SAW)only seemed to make matters worse.

I had to drop one of my doctors around the same time because everything was either twisted into some crazed medical dictionary and came out covered in spots. And writers can be the weirdest, as "the enemy within" lurks in most of them and sees danger where none actually exists.

Several have told me that the word "blog" is personally offensive to them. Perhaps that is why so many writers who write blogs to advertise their wares are so niggardly with comments. And, no... this is not the "N" word in disguise. It is a perfectly good, upstanding adverb that best suits the ninnies who would see threats in the most innocent of statements.

I hope all the editors who used edit my godmother's wise saws from my copy are ashamed of themselves. Though since they didn't know what they were doing, it probably doesn't matter.

And my godmother was not a carpenter... oh, just do a search for "SAW"...

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24 May 2011

Taking the Biscuit

In the title bar is a link to every possible usage of that quaint old expression "that takes the cake/biscuit".
Most of us never bother to look up what we are actually talking about, which leads to "fulsome praise" being "availed" at "this junction".

Mrs Malaprop is alive and well and has taken over the Internet.

Long may she prosper, bless her little woolly socks...