It’s always dangerous to assume that the meaning another person attaches to a word or a picture or a gesture is the same one that you do.
Consider, for example, the hand sign made by folding down the middle two fingers of one hand while leaving the index finger and little finger extended. Depending on who and where you are, this can mean, variously:
- I worship Satan.
- I like heavy metal rock music.
- Your spouse is cheating on you, ha ha!
- Bad luck, go away!
- I am from Texas and am a big fan of the University of Texas Longhorns football team. Shorter version: “Hook ’em, Horns!”
With regard to the last one, there was much confused commentary (outside of Texas, anyhow) about the well-attended and televised funeral service of proud and much-loved Texan Lady Bird Johnson, where the choir and congregation sang the UT fight song “The Eyes of Texas” at the conclusion of the service, accompanied, as is traditional, by the “Hook ’em, Horns!” gesture. Yes, even on the part of the officiating clergy.
(And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.)
I just want to say that the latest episode of the No Story Is Sacred podcast — only coincidentally produced by my four offspring — takes on The Da Vinci Code, and is an absolute hoot.
How am I supposed to respect you as a news source if you can’t even get your grammar right?
From this article:
TV and film adaptations of dystopian literature has dominated recent popular culture, from Suzanne Collins’ ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy, to Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, to the upcoming HBO version of Emily St. John Mandel’s ‘Station Eleven.’ Each is set in a future society that has devolved into a worse-case-scenario. In utopian fiction, on the other hand, the writer creates a world based on a set of ideals and values they deem important. Both utopian and dystopian fiction matters, as each can be used as a tool to prompt change by pointing out how things could go right — or wrong — in a society.
Do I really need to point out that it should be “TV and film adaptations have dominated” and “Both utopian and dystopian fiction matter“? A plural subject (“Both A and B” is a plural subject) takes a plural, not a singular, verb.
For heaven’s sake, people. If your content providers or whatever you’re calling copywriters these days don’t actually have the grammatical chops to get something that basic right on their own, at least train them to run a grammar-checker over the text before they hit SEND.
A friendly reminder that my Seasonal Sale ends at midnight on 5 January 2020.
(That’ll be midnight-where-ever-you-are, rather than midnight-where-I-am, just to keep things simple. I’m certainly not going to slam the door on somebody just because they don’t live in the same time zone as I do.)
Treat yourself, or treat a friend; prepaid services can be claimed at any convenient (for you) future time.
As a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (a famously contentious organization that once took six months of vicious internal debate and a nonbinding poll of the membership to decide how to abbreviate its own name†), I’m watching the current explosions over at Romance Writers of America with a connoisseur’s eye.
The thing that boggles me is that the so-called “ethics complaint” that their ethics committee (or maybe — it’s confusing — not the official ethics committee, but some sort of double-secret private ethics committee) brought against Courtney Milan boiled down to “Courtney Milan made mean comments in public about another member’s book.” To which all I can say is, if that were an ethics-complainable offense in SFWA, there wouldn’t be more that three or four of us who weren’t thrown out of the club for it.
Back in the pre-Web days, when the romance writers and the sf/fantasy writers were first meeting up with each other on GEnie and other online fora, there were some real first-contact cultural clashes that went on, a lot of them over the way that the sf/fantasy people were “rude and mean” and the romance people were “too sweet to be real.” Things calmed down after a while, and everyone got used to the idea that “fuck you” in one forum could be the equivalent of a friendly punch on the shoulder, and “bless your heart” in another forum could be the equivalent of a shiv between the ribs, and everybody got together behind the idea that writers deserved royalties and certain publishing houses were scum.
But I think now we’re seeing, among other things, the failure mode of the Culture of Nice: The ride may be smoother than you get with the Culture of Contention, but when the wheels come off they fly in all directions.
†SFWA. Per eventual official decree, the actual acronym is SFFWA — with the second F superimposed upon the first. It also says a lot about SFWA that the membership accepted this as a perfectly logical compromise.
Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it, and to all of you who don’t, may you have the happiest possible midwinter (or midsummer, if you’re in the other hemisphere) holiday of your choice!
(And if you don’t do holidays, have a pleasant non-holiday doing what you will!)
Also — it’s not too late to take advantage of my seasonal editorial sale, which runs through Twelfth Night (5 January 2020.)
Maybe you’ve finished up your NaNoWriMo novel and want to give it a thorough revision and polishing-up now that the first draft’s done. Maybe you’ve got a finished novel that you want to take to the next level before sending it out on the next stage of its life journey. Or maybe you’ve got a friend or a relative who has written, or is writing, or hopes to write a book, and you’re looking for a Christmas present that will help them make their dream a reality.
It’s for people like them — and you — that I’m running my annual holiday special, where from now through Twelfth Night (5 January 2020) my usual rate for a standard-sized novel goes down from $1500 to $1000, and my rate for doorstop-sized novels of 120,000-plus words goes down from $2K to $1500.
As usual, the gift of editorial services (no matter whether you’re giving it to yourself or to a friend) can be purchased now at the seasonal gift rate and redeemed at whatever later date is convenient to the recipient.
Details of payment, format, and so forth can be found here.