Archive for the 'Title Looking for a Post' Category

Six SWAT Guys Hanging Off a Helicopter

June 28, 2008

Incomprehensible Post #9

April 17, 2008

If James Joyce had had access to the internet…

March 4, 2008

…he would have never finished Finnegan’s Wake.

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How to Get Dressed in the Morning

February 15, 2008

Assuming you haven’t slept in your clothes or stayed up all night, most mornings start with getting dressed. While the importance of getting dressed at the beginning of a day is generally accepted and even encouraged I was hard pressed to find a good on-line reference for how to get dressed in the morning (but there are some good tips for getting dressed for concerts, quickly, and to lead worship) so I figured it was worth writing up a post.

1. If you didn’t wear anything to sleep in skip to step four.

2. If you wore pajama’s you will need to take them off. Unless your pajama’s include a t-shirt you were planning on wearing that day, in which case remove the lower half of your pajamas and skip to step four.

3. If you slept in your underwear, I’m not your mother but go ahead and treat yourself to a fresh pair – something unexpected might happen today. If you’re in a hurry go ahead and skip the fresh pair but don’t say you weren’t warned.

4. Assuming you aren’t wearing anything at this point then starting with your underwear is a good idea. Note that the socks-first crowd are pretty militant but don’t be fooled no one wants to risk accidentally getting sock lint in their underwear.

5. At this point there is some controversy. The pants-next crowd is pretty insistent about the modesty aspect of skipping straight from underwear to pants but the shirt-next crowd is equally insistent about the provocative aspects of moving on to the shirt. If you live alone or there’s no one to seduce just go ahead and put those pants on. Otherwise if you have an appreciative audience or feel the need to imitate Thomas Cruise in his first and best role move on to the shirt. Of course if you got to this step from step two then it’s pants for you.

6. If you put on pants at step five put on a shirt and vice versa. Note that pants is being used loosely throughout this post to refer to anything covering your lower half like a kilt or a skirt or a dress or slacks or shorts. Likewise the shirt is being used to refer to a top like a shirt or blouse or shawl or mesh muscle shirt.

7. Now for the socks. Statistically I suspect it’s right sock first for right handed people and left sock first for left handed people but this is pure unadulterated speculation. Just don’t put both of them on the same foot.

8. Shoes on and you’re ready for the day.

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How (and Why) To Use Parentheses

February 3, 2008

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A parenthesis is one or both curved marks, ( ), used to contain a parenthetical expression. Parentheses is the plural of parenthesis although for the sake of promoting proper usage lets assume it’s also an even number. Checking a variety of handy on-line references you will find that parentheses are used to clarify a statement (such as you are probably better off learning the rules of punctuation usage from a book and not some random blog post). Parentheses are also great for making asides (like I’m glad that last parenthetical statement didn’t stop you from reading). It is also possible to use parentheses for either the singular or the plural of an item, such as cow stomach(s). In summary, parentheses are useful for (1) including a clarification, (2) making an aside(s) and (3) enclosing the numbers in a list of items.

It has been noted that overuse of parentheses is perhaps a sign of poorly written text. But there don’t seem to be any exact rules for over-use. Certainly the use of an odd number of parentheses is discouraged but given rampant ASCI emoticons ; ) it’s probably hard to enforce on a strictly algorithmic basis. At this point in the post, if it weren’t for the recent NYRB article reviewing all of blogging, that I would make up some fake reference like I found this blog post by Sucha Phake who has just written a recently published book Parentheses and How They Saved Humankind (and Zeroed My Inbox) but I’ve been shamed into thinking fictional non-fiction is not a valid genre (maybe). But I did do a search for a “parentheses expert” using the OMV (“Oracle of Mountain View“) to find that there is “no such thing” as a parentheses expert. Going out on a limb, I’d say if you have more than two parentheses per paragraph it might be time to go for a re-write (that is unless you’re writing about parentheses of course).

As far as blogging goes, parentheses are used for a wider variety of purposes with greater nuance. For example there are (1) the inclusionary aside (Mills is a fan of Clay’s catchphrase)“, (2) the elusive English gender neutral pronoun “s(he)“, (3) the historically qualitatively quantitative(In those days, getting a few hundred messages for a Web site launch was a sign of runaway success.)” and (4) quasi-euphemistic retrograde anti-stereotyping(old customers)“. It is left as an exercise to the reader to find more examples of blogging and ( )’s.