Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some Attentive Bull Shit, Assholes of "The Word," Steven King, the writer, A tribute to Margarete.

There are some phrases I have chosen to discuss as we are in a new year - and they disgust me as a wordsmith (old line - and of minor importance)

A New Paradigm
- Sometimes referred to as (gag and puke) "Thinking outside the Box." Thinking outside the box is maybe a 10 year old phrase - slang for people of many past ages who developed thinking...different than others - leading to success - Actually, to breakdown the word Paradigm (god knows where the name "new" came from - it is mostly redundant) - prevailing paradigm often represents a more specific way of viewing reality. New?

It's Curious -Curiosity is a thought by a rational mind. What differs humans from all other members of the animal kingdom - is rationality. "its" are not human. "I am curious" I (a human) have curiosity. "It's Curious" is a bastardization of the ability for a human to express all the words - a short cut, if you will. - The apostrophe (') does not save the statement as correct - my opinion.

Cautiously Optimistic - I always think of someone who is cautiously optimistic as riding on the brakes as they accelerate. Caution belongs more to pessimism - "throwing caution to the wind" belongs to Optimism. - combining the two is an amorphism.

OfTen pronouncing the T - It has now become acceptable, in dictionaries, to pronounce the T, why (?) because no one in education could stop the rote reader from saying it. Where was William F. Buckley when all this shit went down.

Unintended Consequences is generally the result of moving before understanding decisions and their related variations - selling a product before it is finished and tested would be a good example - of Rush to Market - and the dire results. ...And I might add $700 Billion, much of which, were put to less than desirable use.

Possible Improbabilities - Not thinking broad enough (outside the box, if you will) in addition to Unintended Consequences - not taking the time to finish the job.

Perceived Improbabilities - A variation of the above

Persistence vs. Determination - persistence an often over used term for being Determined. Persistence has most of the word resistance, buried therein. Determination has "breaking through the wall" as its goal. Two entirely different attitudes.

Before I move on to one of the more pleasurable times in my life - I have found a book by
Steven King called "On Writing" - a wonderful discussion of writing techniques - who does, who doesn't - what should and what shouldn't. I have never seen or read any of his movies or novels. I place "On Writing" complimentary to "The Elements of Style" which he also recognizes as great.

Our Secretary (of equal footing in the office - to all) and I were probably the last office liaison to begin the morning with coffee and Dictation. She used shorthand on a pad split in the middle with a line. I dictated the Letter, note, cetra - she transcribed and presented me with the final product - not always...sometimes, she presented me with what was dictated - but corrected - what was necessary to make the Letter - Politically Correct - at that time called "easily digestible." We then discuss - my feelings of taking the "umph" out of the letter, but mostly the letter was sent with her suggested corrections. It became "our" letter.

Obviously I could not use the "7 obscene words banned from TV"

(There are seven obscene words referring to sexual intercourse, human waste, homosexuality,.Body parts, off-color and one who practices the sin of Oedipus, an odd compound curse-word, the (Mother) oath.) ( decoded: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits. - Thank you George Carlin for this and a shit load of other commentary that made life colorful and interesting!) - as an aside - George Carlin has always been cast as a NY Jew, when in actuality he is from a devout Catholic Family, stayed clear of the Priests (for obvious reasons) until he remove himself from the Church permanently. The "7 obscene words banned from TV" became a Case in the US. Supreme Court, under the First Amendment as it related to George Carlin's usage before the screen.

I digress...

Ah, Yes - Margarete also did not like the use of "Ellipses" which you will notice after "I digress" "..." and after "Ah, Yes" "-". There are other Ellipses - and every time I used them Margarete would look up and raise an eyebrow - I would say these morning liaisons lasted about 18 years and are my fondest memory of "work as I knew it!"

Finally, a common "irk" is younger people speaking too quickly, "sing-songy" with nothing to say, speaking too quickly with poor pronunciation (marbles in their mouths, if you please)
Does this have something to do with my 66 years - sure!

I dedicate this post to Margarete Normann wherever you are!


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