Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?

Little Hawk 31 Aug 07 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Aug 07 - 10:09 AM
Riginslinger 31 Aug 07 - 07:19 AM
Little Hawk 31 Aug 07 - 12:33 AM
Bert 31 Aug 07 - 12:32 AM
Little Hawk 31 Aug 07 - 12:29 AM
Bert 31 Aug 07 - 12:24 AM
Little Hawk 31 Aug 07 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Aug 07 - 12:10 AM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 07 - 04:57 PM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 07 - 01:31 PM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 07 - 12:53 PM
Peace 30 Aug 07 - 11:21 AM
Riginslinger 30 Aug 07 - 07:42 AM
katlaughing 29 Aug 07 - 07:44 PM
Bert 29 Aug 07 - 06:49 PM
Peace 29 Aug 07 - 05:00 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 07 - 04:58 PM
Amos 29 Aug 07 - 04:46 PM
Stringsinger 29 Aug 07 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,mg 29 Aug 07 - 04:10 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 07 - 02:29 PM
Amos 29 Aug 07 - 02:23 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 07 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,CLETUS HARDDINGER 29 Aug 07 - 02:15 PM
katlaughing 29 Aug 07 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,dianavan 29 Aug 07 - 01:31 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 07 - 01:25 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 07 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Aug 07 - 12:25 PM
Riginslinger 29 Aug 07 - 08:28 AM
CapriUni 29 Aug 07 - 01:12 AM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 07 - 12:26 AM
katlaughing 28 Aug 07 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,CLETUS HARDDINGER 28 Aug 07 - 07:23 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 07 - 06:38 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 28 Aug 07 - 05:46 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 07 - 05:00 PM
Riginslinger 28 Aug 07 - 04:18 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 07 - 11:04 AM
katlaughing 28 Aug 07 - 11:00 AM
Uncle_DaveO 28 Aug 07 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Aug 07 - 09:52 AM
katlaughing 28 Aug 07 - 12:10 AM
Donuel 27 Aug 07 - 09:45 PM
Amos 27 Aug 07 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,mg 27 Aug 07 - 09:26 PM
katlaughing 27 Aug 07 - 08:05 PM
Amos 27 Aug 07 - 07:34 PM
Stringsinger 27 Aug 07 - 07:02 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:40 PM

You're quite right, leenia. I guess the important thing is always to remember who one is writing for, and shape one's approach accordingly. There's hopefully a happy medium one can strike between grossly pretentious techno-babble and talking like a rube... ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 10:09 AM

I agree with you about discarding "pseudo-impressive business style techno-babble", Little Hawk. However, that is easier said than done.

For various reasone (which ought to be looked into), many people find that words don't flow naturally once they start writing for an audience. This could be something akin to stage fright in a musician.

For another thing, it doesn't do to write in a clear, practical manner if your boss mistakenly believes that this proves you are a rube.

By the way, I got the idea about using concrete language for the Chinese clients after I read a long detective story by a Japanese author. I closed the book and realized that there had been only one abstract concept in the entire novel - one paragraph on loneliness. And loneliness isn't that abstract, as concepts go.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS:
From: Riginslinger
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 07:19 AM

"What are the absolutes of good writing?"

             Maybe that's the key to good writing, lear Cockney.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:33 AM

Oh, I'd love to, Bert.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Bert
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:32 AM

LH, yer gonna 'ave ta lern Cockney one ov these bluddy days me ol' china.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:29 AM

If you want Japanese battle cruisers, that would be the Kongo class.

Hiei, Kirishima, Kongo, and Haruna. Eight 14-in guns in twin turrets on each of them, and a 30 knot speed. Pretty useful ships they were, and they saw a lot of action. All were sunk by war's end except for Haruna, which was sitting in harbor more or less a wreck from cumulative air raid damage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Bert
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:24 AM

Forget about these Battleships, and let's "all go dahn to th' Battle Cruiser!!!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:20 AM

Aha! In other words, when talking to the Chinese, discard the psuedo-impressive business style techno-babble that is so popular these days and just talk in straightforward, easy to understand English!

Wow. I think we really need the Chinese to teach us something here. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 12:10 AM

What follows is an e-mail my husband sent from work with examples of engineering writing for usual clients and his Chinese clients. Little Hawk asked to see some. I should mention that the subject of the reports is the pollution of groundwater by previous owners of the land under investigation. When chemicals flow in groundwater, they follow a shape called "a plume."
==========
I have tried to put together a few examples of the use of concrete terms that we would typically try to use with our Asian clients, versus more abstract expressions we casually fall into in everyday life.

It involves more than just simplifying the way one tries to say
something (which I try to do with most clients anyway). Ever since you raised the concept that Asians are more likely to achieve a clearer understanding of an idea if it stated in concrete terms, I have tried to listen to the way they speak, and have found that to a large extent, the concept holds. In performing this exercise, I tried to get the second version to sound the way I hear them (which is also the way I now try to talk). The terms that can be considered more abstract are underlined.


The migration rate of the leading edge of the groundwater contamination plume is approximately 25 feet per year. Vs.: The leading edge of the groundwater contamination plume moves approximately 25 feet per year.



The distribution of the contaminants in the subsurface is indicative of the origin of the pollution. Vs.: The shape of the plume tells us where its source was.



The state environmental regulatory personnel have a preference for
personal interaction as opposed to corresponding by letter. Vs.: The
state environmental regulatory personnel like face-to face meetings
rather than letters.



And, most importantly:

The charges on our invoice are reflective of the actual level of effort expended. Vs.: The invoice shows how many hours we worked on the project.


Although their english is a lot better than my Mandarin chinese, they
still have a monumental struggle with understanding and being understood in this country, in ways that I am now convinced go far beyond limitations in vocabulary. I don't know if these examples are
sufficiently clear demonstrations of the concept, as I just dashed them off on the spur of the moment, so some of the examples may not be as abstract as we sometimes get.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 04:57 PM

That's all very interesting, thanks.

             I guess once the battle ship became obsolete, nobody had any reason to revive them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 01:31 PM

Theoretically, perhaps, Rinslinger...

However, I doubt that it would have turned out that way in practice, because the USA's newer battleships had considerably more advanced rangefinding systems than the Japanese did. Their rangefinders were harmonized with very advanced surface radar equipment for increased accuracy. The Japanese had much more primitive radar...I think it was only useful for spotting aircraft...and they had to rely on optical rangefinders that were not as good as the American ones when fighting gunnery duels.

I think the American ships would have had a distinct advantage at longer ranges. Firing at the most extreme ranges usually yields few, if any hits. At shorter range things would have been more equalized.

Anyway, it's sort of a moot point because by 1944 the Americans had established what amounted to almost total air supremacy at sea, and it was their many hundreds of carrier aircraft which presented the most deadly threat to Japanese surface vessels. The Japanese Navy really had no chance at all in the one-sided battles of 1944 and 1945, despite the advanced design features of some of their fine warships...and the unquestionable courage of their personnel.

Yamato and Musashi were deliberately built to be larger than any conceivable American battleship...by the simply expedient of giving them a beam broader than can pass through the Panama Canal! All American capital ships had to be narrow enough in the beam to get through there, for obvious reasons, and that limited their size to below a certain tonnage. The Yamato and Musashi were considerably wider built ships of a heavier tonnage. This made them quite a bit harder to sink, and it allowed the mounting of heavier guns and more armor. They were also surprisingly maneuverable, due to a very good hull design. They were really the final statement in battleships...all they lacked was the very sophisticated radar and rangefinding equipment of their American counterparts.

Oh, and the Japanese ships also lacked as effective an anti-aircraft system with which to protect themselves. American anti-aircraft guns were way ahead of any other nation's at the time...proving devastatingly effective against Japanese aircraft.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 12:53 PM

This doesn't have anything to do with the thread, so I won't waste anymore of anybody's time, but that's a little over 26 miles, about the length of a marathon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Peace
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 11:21 AM

Both ships:

Bore 18.1 inches
Weight 162.4 tons
Length OA 831.9 inches
Weight Projectile 3219 lbs.
Muzzle Velocity 2559 ft/s
Max. Elevation +45/-5 degrees
Max. Range 45,960 yards
Rate of Fire 2/min


Found that on the www.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 30 Aug 07 - 07:42 AM

"That would be the Yamato and the Musashi. They mounted the largest guns ever put on battleships, and were the largest 2 battleships ever built."

          LH - I had trouble finding this again. But as I understand it, the size of the projectiles these ships fired, combined with the ballistics and the way air works on an object traveling through the atmosphere, these ships were able to shell American battle ships from a distance so great that the Americans couldn't reach them to fire back.
               Is that correct?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 07:44 PM

Eh? Wot's that yew sed, Bert?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Bert
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 06:49 PM

I would say that there is only one absolute and that is "Communication".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 05:00 PM

I think it was Lewis Carroll who said, "Start at the beginning. When you get to the end, stop!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 04:58 PM

Which is nae tae say that they canna be of some use frae time tae time...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 04:46 PM

In any case, I think it is clear from these examples that phony dialects are NOT one of the absolutes (or even one of the ingredients) of good writing.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 04:43 PM

Kat, it seems you have the answer to the question already.

It's a fun thread, though.

Writing is such a personal matter that like taste is music as it evokes passionate debate. Some are grammarians, and some just free-flow. Some can combine the two.

I like writing that evokes personal feelings. I like writing that paints pictures and moves with action. I like writing that gives an insight into the writer. I like words to do what they need to do, be written bold, italic, block, dialect or dirty as long as they convey emotion, elicit empathy and excitement.

If a writer does a run-on sentence or a paragraph and a half to suggest a single idea, it better be a good one otherwise my patience runs out. If I find something like this, I generally rewrite it for myself in my head.

Maybe the answer is that there are no absolutes in good writing. "Good" is too general a term. I want to rephrase the question. What are elements of interesting and arresting writing? What makes a reader eager to turn the page or to read on?

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 04:10 PM

I have heard the Scots is not a dialect but its own standalone whatever..related to Freesian..they say the Scots and Freesian people can understand each other. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 02:29 PM

Aye! That Ah do. Sae bonny a style o' speech, dinna ya think? Whit a wonderful worrrld we wuid have if awe the people used Scots dialect!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 02:23 PM

Ach, lad, ya sound like a bagpipe bein' played through a tin dustbin.


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 02:15 PM

Ah'm jest tryin' tae have a wee bit of fun here. Dinna take it awe sae seriously! ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,CLETUS HARDDINGER
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 02:15 PM

Miztur Little Hawk........Ime feelin purtee bad cuz I cant figger out nairy a word thet ya rit up thair. Catspaw sez its okay cuz yer a broke dick mahmuhluka or sumpin. I dunno whut he ment by thet but I am rite sorry bout yer dick but iffen ya got it inna cast yer probly poplar with the wimminfolk.

Hope it still works fer ya after it heelz up.

CLETUS HARDDINGER


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 02:13 PM

Hey folks, leeneia said it's a personal thing, not something she is trying to shove down anyone's throat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,dianavan
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 01:31 PM

leenia -

Not everyone speaks or writes in standard English. In fact, most of us don't. Unfamiliar dialects may be difficult to understand, at first, but it was a real breakthrough when I read Zora Neale Hurston who wrote in an African American dialect. After reading her, I went on to read other African American authors and enjoyed the colour and the texture of the language.

If you can't write the way the characters actually speak, it sounds false and isn't it the objective of a good writer to speak the truth? Besides that, the page is an empty canvas and if you write in a language that is not your own, the words become white on white. Standard English can be quite boring and contrived.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 01:25 PM

And whit d' ye call yon "delightful" ramblings of Cletus...if not "dialect"???? If ye're willin' tae read Cletus wi-oot objection then ye shuid be willin' tae read Scots dialect wi-oot objection too!

Ah detect a wee bit of prejudice in yer double standard!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 12:55 PM

Aye, leenia, Ah ken whit ye're on aboot....but whit d' ye find sae distairbin' aboot text whit is rendered in quasi-dialect fae the amusement of muckle a guid soul? ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 12:25 PM

Spaw, I mean Cletus, you are delightful.

Yes, it's true that my refusal to read much in italics, caps, or dialect is a personal thing. I freely admit it. I'm sure, however, that many people feel the same way. I bring it up so that the person who has something really important to say will get it across to the maximum number of readers.
===
Somewhere I learned that good readers use the empty space around letters as much as they use the letters themselves. That is one reason why novelty fonts are not popular - the negative space is the wrong shape. Once I had to deal with a document where the lines of print were much too close together, so that the spaces between lines was almost gone. It was miserable.

When I read that, I knew why I have never been able to deal with block chords in music. When the notes are stacked atop one another, the empty space around the notehead is gone, and I rely on that empty space. I just pencil in what the chord is and go one my merry way.

(Still working on the Chinese client matter.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 08:28 AM

Read Raymond Carver.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: CapriUni
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 01:12 AM

Show, don't tell.

Remember that the rules of grammer are there for a reason.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 07 - 12:26 AM

Cletus, I know you think you are the world's leading stupe...but you're not.   Shane is. Trust me. He makes your life look almost sentient.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 11:20 PM

Cletusdarlin'!! How in the aitch are yew!!?? Haven't seen yew in forever, man. 'Course, I cain't say I've missed cleaning up the litterbox, but I could almost say so...it's so danged good to seeya! But, I gotta ask...what's with the hard dinger? I nevah heerd o'one o'them before...iz the clapper in yer bell too hard, or wot? luvyabucketsmskat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,CLETUS HARDDINGER
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 07:23 PM

Well Miz Kat, I reckon yall gotcherself jes bout all tha gud advice thair iz but eevin wif my fine forth grayd edgeekashun I cant figger out most uv whut wuz sed. But iffen you got it rite about ritin then thatz all rite. Tha reel thing iz jes soze yall can tell sumbuddy whutcha meen. Sum folks never seem ta git the hang uv it. Liken that Shambles guy that Spaw uzed ta pick on. Now me, I jes cud never figger out whut it wuz he wuz agoin on bout whitch I thot wuz cawse he wuz a furriner and all but Catspaw sez he wuz reely jes a dumbfuck. Sorry fer the bad word but thetz whut Catspaw sez.

Yer Buddee

CLETUS HARDDINGER


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 06:38 PM

Handsomely said, my friend. ;-) My dog will now deign to allow you to approach, offer him a treat, and pat the royal head....while he decides whether to rank you among "favored guests" or just "someone else to bark at".

Interesting point about recognizing the shapes of words, and why that is so much easier with lower case! I'd never thought of that, but it is the key to why it's a lot harder to read stuff that is all caps...it doesn't have peaks and valleys to give it a recognizable overall shape.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 05:46 PM

So sorry, DaveO. "Access" to mean "onset" or any other noun is usage I had never encountered. But there it is, writ large in my own dictionary. Oh dear.

And apologies too to mg and LH. Here I have some slight defence in that the authority on which I have hitherto depended, (A Manual of English Grammar by Theophilus D Hall MA, London 1905, LOL) has a different take on prepositions from that quoted by Amos.

Thus: "A Preposition is a word which (should be "that" in my view) shows the relation of one Noun to another. [Examples given.] All prepositions appear to have been originally Adverbs. Prepositions are usually put before Nouns and Pronouns which they connect with some preceding Noun, Adjective or Verb. [Examples.] When a Preposition connects Noun with Noun, the relation is between one object and another; when it connects a Noun with an Adjective, the relation is between the Quality expressed by the Adjective and the Noun; when it connects a Noun with a Verb, the relation is between an action and its effect." Etc, etc.

I retained Theophilus's use of caps because a significant part of my defence is that neither occurances of "object" takes initial cap - ie they are used as general, not grammatical terms. I must now consult other authorities on English English grammar in case this is one of those points of departure between English English and American English. But that's just out of curiosity: I don't regard one as more valid than the other.

Anyway, apologies again - I bow to George's dog.

Re Kat's point about the readability of block caps, my brother is registered blind (but has some sight) and prefers caps for anything up to a few words. But for text of sentence length or longer he favours upper and lower. (In all cases he uses powerful enhancement aids.) Research in the UK over a long period has shown that most people much prefer u/l for block text - it seems we tend to recognise words more by their overall shapes than by reading each character. Word shapes are obviously much better differentiated in lower case than in caps. (Use a rule or something to obscure the top half or the bottom half of a line of text and the impact on readability is likely to be greater if the text is all caps.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 05:00 PM

That would be the Yamato and the Musashi. They mounted the largest guns ever put on battleships, and were the largest 2 battleships ever built. The Yamato is very famous, but the Musashi less so, perhaps because Musashi was the 2nd one built, and the first of the two to be sunk. Musashi deserves more fame, I think, because she absorbed the most incredible number of bomb and torpedo hits before finally going down in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. No battleship ever put up a more dogged fight against air attack than Musashi did.

Yamato, however, met the more dramatic fate of being destroyed almost alone (aside from a few small escorts), being overwhelmed by several hundred USA carrier planes in 1945, late in the war...and going down on what was clearly a suicide mission. She sailed for Okinawa with only enough fuel to reach the target....an enormous American invasion fleet...and die there fighting against impossible odds.

That's drama! Yamato's last mission was nothing less than a seaborne kamkikaze attack against utterly hopeless odds, a deliberate sacrifice for honor's sake alone...a Wagnerian charge into the abyss.

As such, the Yamato has been very well remembered, specially in Japan. The ship has virtually become a religious icon there. There are scale more models available of it than of any other ship in history (with the German Bismark probably coming in second to that). A very good movie was made in Japan about Yamato a couple of years ago. I recommend it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 04:18 PM

"I have memorized the names and the technical info about every danged battleship and heavy cruiser in the World War II Japanese Navy,..."

            And the Japanese Battle ships with 18 inch guns were?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 11:04 AM

"I refuse to read stuff typed in a dialect. It wastes my time." - leenia

Fine. That's your subjective viewpoint, leenia, and that's okay. The thing that strikes me about it, though, is this:

Anything is a "waste of time" to the person who thinks it's a waste of time, but may not be to another person. For instance, I find watching (or playing) football to be a complete waste of MY time. Many other people love to watch or play football. I find party politics to be a waste of time. Many people take party politics very seriously. I find writing or reading stuff in dialect to be endlessly amusing and entertaining, because dialects and accents intrigue me. You find it a waste of time to read something written in dialect. I have memorized the names and the technical info about every danged battleship and heavy cruiser in the World War II Japanese Navy, because I find that fascinating for some reason. Most people couldn't name even one of them, and wouldn't care a hoot if they could... ;-)

So it goes. ;-) It's all quite arbitrary. Anything can be utterly fascinating to one person and completely pointless to another.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 11:00 AM

Interesting. My sister who is partially blind has said all caps are easier for her to read.

Also, I can think of many instances, here on the Mudcat, where I have learned a lot of delightful stuff through reading dialect. It may take a bit more time, but as a writer, especially, I appreciate expanding my knowledge that way.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 10:35 AM

Leeneia, your items 1 and 4, relating to italics and all caps, it seems to me, are essentially the same. This is not a criticism, but my observation.

In each case, the physical representation of the letters and words forces an extra visual/mental conversion, so to speak, to what might be called standard expectation. A minimal step, to be sure, but a step. I find the conversion from italics to standard writing less of a problem than the conversion from all caps to standard. The use of italics for a word here or there, or for a book title, say, or a short quotation, is soon over and forgotten, but with larger blocks of italics or caps it becomes fatiguing.

Your item 2, dialect, probably comes to much the same thing. Of course "typed in dialect" might mean different things. If it refers to an attempt to phonetically indicate a dialectal pronunciation scheme (which I'm guessing is what you mean), it certainly can become obtrusive. Much like the use of italics and caps, a dialectal word here or there for "seasoning", so to speak, is absorbed without particular difficulty, but if there's an overload of phonetic representation it quickly becomes oppressive because of the constant semiconscious conversions that are forced.

Your number 3, large blocks of text, long paragraphs, may be related to the above. With long paragraphs a portion of one's attention has to be applied constantly, just keeping track of where one is in that big slug of stuff. Of course the rule is that a paragraph should represent one basic thought, but what constitutes a thought is a matter of judgment. An excessively long paragraph usually suggests to me that the writer hasn't really worked out what the real thought(s) is/are.

So all of your four points are related to some degree.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 09:52 AM

Little Hawk asked for examples of writing for usual clients versus writing for the Chinese clients. My husband is going to supply them soon.

Here are some things I've noticed, but they have to do with format, not with composition.

1. I refuse to read to big blocks in italics. It's just too hard.

2. I refuse to read stuff typed in a dialect. It wastes my time.

3. I refuse to read a block of print that takes up more than one-third of the my screen. It's too verbose.

4. As is well known already, block capitals are hard to read.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Aug 07 - 12:10 AM

Either that or I get bored easily, Donuel!**bg** Thanks.

He's still at it, writing an opera of the Southwest right now; ancient beings, metaphysics, etc. We have three fully-orchestrated piano concertos, three fully-orchestrated symphonies, piano suites, solo pieces, and several songs. ALL tonal, yet modern. We have a live performance of his tone poem, Ode to the Rockies, which was recorded on analogue was back when in the 80's and which I did have some CDs of; just haven't kept them up as I quit doing his stuff to work on my own. We also had a tape, made live, of an all-Hudson concert (that's him) at the Music Mansion in Providence, RI which we used to sell on tape and transferred to CD, but I'd have to scare one of them up, too, if anyone was interested. He played all of the piano pieces for that and had a professional opera singer do some stuff from his second symphony. I turned pages, wrote the copy, designed the programs, bought the clothes, etc., etc. and my husband borrowed a tv camera from the station he worked at to record it, so we have video, too. Some time I hope to get it transferred and up on youtube. There's a lot more I could say because I truly do love his music, but I cannot work with him, at least not much. He's a typical genius artist...brilliant and difficult.:-) Thanks for asking...I haven't done that in a long time and it does make me sad sometimes to know what is sitting in our closet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 09:45 PM

Kat you are amazing. So what happened with your brother's classical compositions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 09:40 PM

From this site on grammar, for example:

" THE OBJECT OF THE PREPOSITION

Prepositions are small words that create a relationship between other words in a sentence by linking phrases to the rest of the sentence.

The nouns that follow them are objects of the preposition.

[In the following examples, the object of the preposition is bold and the preposition is underlined.]

From the beginning of the storm, Dorothy was sure she would make it home.
BEGINNING is the object of the preposition FROM and STORM is the object of the preposition OF.

For many in the class, math proved to be the most challenging subject.
You can find the object of the preposition by asking the question WHAT? about the preposition. e.g. For what? MANY. In what? CLASS.

Until sunrise, the SWAT team will hide in the marsh.
The preposition UNTIL serves to connect its object (SUNRISE) with the main clause. The preposition IN connects its object MARSH to the verb, making the whole phrase part of the complete predicate.

The fuzzy, red cat on the fence wanders among the houses.
FENCE acts as the object of the preposition ON. The whole phrase acts as part of the complete subject. HOUSES is the object of the preposition AMONG. The whole phrase acts as part of the complete predicate.

When a pronoun acts as an object of the preposition, it must take the objective case.

[In the following examples, the object of the preposition is bold and the preposition is underlined.]

Bill was more than a little irritated when the water balloon fell on him.
HIM acts as the object of the preposition ON. It is incorrect to write fell on HE.

Theo gave a dollar to Stephen and me to go to the store.
Both STEPHEN and ME act as the object of the preposition TO. It would be incorrect to write TO STEPHEN AND I.

It seems like a waste of time for you and me to drive to Portland for the game.
Both YOU and ME act as the object of the preposition FOR."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 09:26 PM

of course prepositions take objects. Haven't you heard of the object of a preposition? And certainly in Latin they do too. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 08:05 PM

Frank, I greatly appreciate your comments; I agree and have used such thinking in most of the writing I've done over the past thirty years, including for various newspapers and for my recent book. I've also edited for a couple of other writers, recently.

I know what you mean about handling artists. I was chief cook and bottle washer for my brother for over twenty years, promoting him and his classical compositions on a next to nothing budget. Heck I even sang and turned pages at a couple of concerts AND hand-dubbed a ton of cassettes. Lotsa fun for a bit.

The senior editor at the freelance job place to which I applied asked the thread title question of me and I was just interested in what Mudcatters had to say. (I thought it would be a fun thread and it has been!:-)I've already sent in my answer (posted previously) and my editing test, so am just waiting to hear back from them, now.

Now, I am really under the gun as I signed up for a booth at the Wyoming Book Festival coming up on the 15th. Having to get handouts ready, a new website up and running, and books ordered! It's exciting, but a little nervewracking.

Thanks, again,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 07:34 PM

Pter:

Under what?

Underwear!


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: What are the absolutes of good writing?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Aug 07 - 07:02 PM

Kat,

Writing is personal. The only absolute is communication.   You can have bad grammar, run-on sentences and all kinds of faux-pas but if you read what passes for journalism today, you find that the techniques and rules are somewhat irrelevant.

As a writer, I wouldn't try to write like anyone else. I wouldn't even bother to read about the lives of great writers because they are in and out of vogue like pop songs.

As a writer, you look for the nugget that you want to express and pare it down until you get there.

I guess if you want to get a job with a particular mag or paper, you gotta' know something about their writing style. But there is a danger here. It could emerge phony by conformity.

As an editor, you have to see what works for the medium.

If you read something, and it's communicating, it jumps out at you from the paper.

If you are an editor, you will look for what will sell your mag or paper.

Editing is re-writing without re-writing the intention or the style of the writer.

Analogy, directing or producing a musical artist.

Frank


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


Next Page

 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 22 September 4:33 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.