Tuesday, September 25, 2007

In case anyone managed to miss

The author known as Robert Jordan is dead.

I guess I'm the last of latecomers to flag this event.

Monday, September 24, 2007

On thee and thou

A fun piece of knowledge for an avid reader of fantasy. Thee, thou and thine are popular in stock fantasy. They are, apparently, almost always incorrectly used.

Even though Wikipedia should be used with care, this article conforms with the literature I have available.

Primarily used to denote familiarity, or by a superior to an inferior, the usage of these words in fantasy becomes rather hilarious. Rather than use the formal 'you' our heroes deliberately insult kings, queens and fair ladies all around them.

I can only quote Sir Edward Coke: "I thou thee, thou traitor!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ME, or it finally makes sense

I'm studying, among other things, a little bit of how English has changed as a language over the centuries.

Finally the atrocious spelling starts to make sense. Middle English, when current spelling was phonetic spelling. Sure, that's a simplification, but still.

Of course the spelling is still as atrocious, but at least I'm starting to understand why.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Why a shovel is better than a bulldozer

When you have the need to get rid of a little dirt, use a shovel and not a bulldozer.

Other wise the result can be appalling as SFWA found out. Now it should be noted that, for example, Jerry Pournelle believes that bulldozers are indeed viable replacements for shovels. The problem with that stance is that you attract far too visible problems, just as John Scalzi noted. Needless to say this sorry affair has made the blogosphere, which is bad enough, but also into Slashdot, which is just about as bad as it can possibly be for genre SF/F.

That is why, when your hands ache from using the shovel, you should still abstain from powering that bulldozer up.

Shakespearean sonnets

Just read one. Peculiar one.

She looks like a goat, walks like a goat, bleats like a goat and smells like a goat, and still I love her.

Now, which sonnet is it?