?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Why I do this



We're midway through the third week of classes, and I got this email today from a student in my freshman writing class:

"Just so you know, I'm now going crazy just reading through the simplest forms of writings. I can't go through Twitter or Facebook without seeing sentences I want to shorten or re-create.

"I'm not sure if this was your goal or not, but if it was you have succeeded."


He'll never be the same again.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
song_of_copper
Sep. 16th, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC)
'Words that say things and stuff' v. 'language that communicates meaning effectively': once you know the difference, it cannot be unseen!

I wish this insight could be bestowed on those people who write signs. There is a notice in the bathroom of my local railway station which says something like, 'Please would toilet users ensure that they dispose of sanitary products and nappies in the bins that are provided for this purpose. Thank you for your co-operation'. Every time I see it, I want to take that sign-writer aside and demand of them what is wrong with a nice, simple 'Please dispose of sanitary products and nappies in the bins provided'. Furthermore, I'm not sure I like being addressed (indirectly) as a 'toilet user' (yes, we are all 'toilet users' - one hopes! - but it comes across like a passive-aggressive insult).

Mind you, this is the same railway company that regularly announces the following: 'Customers wishing to alight at request stops should ask the conductor on the train to arrange for the train to stop to allow them to leave'. How about 'If you wish to alight at a request stop, please inform the conductor'?! ...I get the feeling that perhaps whoever writes this stuff is being paid by the word.

Well done you for training young minds to avoid doubleplusgood duckspeak! :-)

[Edited to eradicate the inevitable typo that must creep in when dispensing judgement on other people's language skills!! >.<]

Edited at 2015-09-16 06:57 pm (UTC)
patrick_vecchio
Sep. 16th, 2015 10:50 pm (UTC)
"Does it sound like something you'd say?" is what I ask students when their writing is overcooked. And I know exactly what you're saying about signs. In our university's basketball arena, there's a big sign over the place where fans buy hot dogs and soft drinks at halftime. The sign says "concession's." If female fans drink too many soft drinks, then they go downstairs to the "womens" room. I'm not making this up. (And for sure there's a mistake in my message, which I won't see until after I hit "post comment.")
song_of_copper
Sep. 20th, 2015 01:54 pm (UTC)
Ouch! That ("concession's") is known as the "greengrocer's apostrophe" over here (as in, 'Banana's, £1 a bunch', often seen where fruit and veg is for sale, usually written very elaborately with marker pens).

In the category of "I don't think you meant to say that", here's one I just spotted:

"A computer software was officially ranked ”international grand master” after playing with itself for merely 72 hours." (Seen on Google News, but perpetrated by the Manila Bulletin.) Wow, apparently chess really can be satisfying, even without an opponent!!
patrick_vecchio
Sep. 20th, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC)
That last paragraph has thousand's of possibility's for tasteless remark's—so many that it's impossible to even start.
matrixmann
Sep. 17th, 2015 06:26 am (UTC)
If you step through social media it's no miracle that one's sense for language gets that much addressed that you want to rewrite or slap people in the face... 95% of people need what is called "Duden" here for their respective languages.
patrick_vecchio
Sep. 18th, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
Duden. I'm stealing that one. Thanks!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
Awesome.
patrick_vecchio
Sep. 18th, 2015 12:45 am (UTC)
We aims to please.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2017
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow