Thursday, August 27, 2009
Here's a wiki page dedicated entirely to the discussion of a particular character's use of ill-placed lower case "i's". So, I'm right. This DOES matter. And here's my proof:
I'll take apologies as cash donations, although I do enjoy handmade greeting cards...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Well, almost anything...
Thursday, August 20, 2009
He explains that language evolves, and therefore these sort of usage changes are inevitable -- whether we like it or not. He cites some of the work his dad has done (Morris Freilich, professor emeritus from Northeastern Univversity -- an anthropologist whose observations are fascinating even when clearly wrong). Harry writes insightfully about language and origins...
Natural Languages "evolve" over time and this process rarely has any logic or reason to it. This applies to vocabulary as well as punctuation. If you look at an English book from 500 years ago, the language looks very different. There is nothing logically wrong with the phrase "wherefore art thou", but this would now be meaningless if we didn't happen to read Shakespeare.
English dictionaries are written based on common usage (after the fact). They are updated every year based on frequency of the spoken and written words. It is all based on a consensus of what is out there. This applies to punctuation as well.
The evolution of language is often related to people finding new things that look/sound more interesting. After a while, some things stick and become part of the language.
Great stuff, right? But then he JOINS "The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks" because, apparently, some changes in uses are more important than others.
Ouch. That left a mark, Harry.
But he did send me this little bit of child abuse, which makes it all better, frankly.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Putting a lowercase "i" in front of a word has become shorthand for suggesting that a thing is somehow cool, tekkie, and Internet related. Apple didn't invent this idea, but they own it now -- a very clever marketing move.
But it messes with the language, as this reporter points out:
This is how language changes, and the Web, with its pressures for writing that is tight, short, and skimmable, is a force for change. In print, the limits are clear: Some things won't fit on the page. The situation online is subtler. It is theoretically possible to run articles that go on and on. But on an entry page (the "front page" of an online publication), space is as tight as on its ink-on-paper counterpart.
But it's worth noting that the Web headline for the story was, its first letter aside, actually more of a traditional hard-news headline than what ran in print. The print headline was more a "flavor headline." It suggested what happened but had no subject – no "doer" – or predicate verb.
By contrast "iPhone Users Plagued by Software Problems" would have made sense, grammatically at least, to a traditional green-eyeshade copy desk of a century ago. They might have had a little trouble understanding "software problems," though. They might have thought that "software problems" were what happened on a weekend when you had houseguests and you ran out of bath towels.
I like to make fun of myself and my obsessions in this blog, but this serious discussion about how changes in convention can lead to changes in language sort of strikes at the heart of what made me notice "tittle" in the first place...
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
"Sorry, honey, I. Just. Can't. "
"But Bob, it looks nice."
"Doesn't matter, it's a principle thing. "
"It's a stupid thing, if you ask me. " (I never realized that sometimes you can actually hear a person's eyes roll.)
"I didn't ask you. And besides, I saw a cool looking sports bar back there..."
Monday, August 17, 2009
See, to me it looks suspiciously like that drop of milk is NOT random. Far from it in fact. It's screaming like a little beacon to all who value ending the corruption of young minds...
This sort of brings me to an interesting point: Stephanie thinks I'm getting a tad carried away with this. She has worked with small children for many years, and doesn't think this is nearly the big deal that I make it. I suspect something very different is going on.
She's a plant.
She's marrying me to try to stop my crusade. My message: Honey, I love you, but it's NOT GONNA WORK!!!
Thanks to William for signing up to the cause. He adds "The only thing more upsetting than this sad little tittle is the contents of something called a "Milk Smoothie"."
Yah, I'm not exactly dying for one either, are you? And then, if you look closely, the flavor is peach and canteloupe. Yum. The word "rancid" comes to mind. As in: "How can I curdle this milk? I know, I'll add some peach and canteloupe...."
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Does that get his "too much time on his hands" factor above mine?
I'm thinking yes, but who am I to judge...
Friday, August 14, 2009
I'll bet these people think this is cute!! The dumbing down of America for kicks!! (although the dude with the spiky hair does more of that than any of this does, but I digress).
What is WRONG with these people!! Do they not have "I"s?
Let's boycott. Readers of this blog (if there are any): Don't go to FRiDAYS unless you're really hungry and there's nothing else around!!! BE STRONG!!