Thursday, March 15, 2007

I've got six things on my mind

I. Some humor:

"Thrilling Chapter Endings You May Use in Your Next Novel" (McSweeney's)[LINK FIXED!]

"By the way," [PROTAGONIST] said with a knowing smile, "did I happen to mention that I'm black?"

Note: This ending exploits the white bias of the reader's imagination, and works best if you do not give away the surprise early. Be sure not to give the protagonist any stereotypical "black" characteristics, which you really should be trying to avoid anyway.

"Rhyme Crime: The 20 Worst Rhymes in Pop Music History" (Cracked)

“Giant steps are what you take,
Walking on the moon,
I hope my legs don't break,
Walking on the moon.”

Sting phones it in again. Are limb injuries a big concern for astronauts? Really? Wouldn't an injury be less likely in the diminished gravity? “It’s one giant leap for man, it’s one, ouch, my ankle!”

Dizzyhead Paul wrote me with his candidate (which mysteriously didn't make the list), by "a band that needs no introduction":

My love don't give me presents
I know that she's no peasant...

II. Ample knowledge
And: There seem to be a lot of "AK"s floating around now...The Athanasius Kircher Society
...New-York Ghosters Adrian Kinloch and Aimee Kelley...The Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

III. Right now
Outside my window the birds sound like a video game.

IV. Official Dizzies Movie?

Recently two members of Team Dizzies went to see The Taste of Tea at the ImaginAsian Theater—little did they know it would turn out to be the best movie ever made. As they walked out of the theater and along 59th Street, who did they bump into but yet another member of Team Dizzies, going to see the next ToT screening!

V. Diner
This is very History of Violence, no?

VI. Vocabulary builder
I was reading a Times piece and was using the ill-advised "slowly scroll down by sort of dragging the cursor on the text" method...and apparently it lingered on the word she:

she (shē) pronunciation
    1. Used to refer to the woman or girl previously mentioned or implied. See Usage Note at I1.
    2. Used to refer to a female animal.
  1. Used in place of it to refer to certain inanimate things, such as ships and nations, traditionally perceived as female: “The sea is mother-death and she is a mighty female” (Anne Sexton).

A female animal or person: Is the cat a she?

[Middle English, probably alteration of Old English sēo, feminine demonstrative pron.]

USAGE NOTE Using she as a generic or gender-neutral singular pronoun is more common than might be expected, given the continuing debate regarding the parallel use of he. In a 1989 article from the Los Angeles Times, for instance, writer Dan Sullivan notes, “What's wrong with reinventing the wheel? Every artist has to do so in her search for the medium that will best express her angle of vision.” Alice Walker writes in 1991, “A person's work is her only signature.” It may be argued that this usage needlessly calls attention to the issue of gender, but the same argument can be leveled against generic he. This use of she still carries an air of unconventionality, which may be why only three percent of the Usage Panel recommends it in sentences like A taxpayer who fails to disclose the source of ____ income can be prosecuted under the new law. • Some writers switch between she and he in alternating sentences, paragraphs, or chapters. This practice has been gaining acceptance, especially in books related to fields like education and child development, where the need for a generic pronoun is pervasive. It can also be seen in academic journals, where the sentence The researcher should note that at this point in the experiment she may need to recheck all data for errors might be followed later in the same section by The researcher should record his notes carefully at this stage. This style may seem cumbersome, but if generic pronouns are required, alternating between she and he can offer a balanced solution in an appropriate context. See Usage Notes at he1, they.


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