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CSotD: C’est le weekend

Wasn’t sure where to start today, but once the headline suggested itself, it became obvious this Pearls Before Swine (AMS) was the obvious opener, since Franglais gives editors the collywobbles.

Regular readers know my opinion that about 97% of people who obsess over grammatical rules cannot write their names in the dirt with a stick, and that too many editors come up with nonsensical “rules” that obstruct prose.

No names, but an editor I never got along with was eventually promoted to the Big Chair. She recently retired and an old newsroom buddy took the job and within a year won a major award for most improved newspaper.

He was a very good reporter and I’m sure he’s a good editor and the award did not come as a surprise to me.

We’ll just be polite and leave it there.

 

 

Speaking of editors or publishers or whoever makes the bad decisions in that industry, Vice President Pence has reportedly signed a seven figure contract for his autobiography.

I’m sure it will be spelled correctly, even it’s not spellbinding.

Brian McFadden (Daily Kos) — obviously a great fan of our ex-VP — previews the writing process.

Too bad Andy Warhol isn’t around to film it, with John Cage to provide the soundtrack.

There is, however, a remedy for boring text, at least when it’s in the service of something that matters, like climate change:

 

You can read this important paper, linked here, whose abstract begins thusly:

The latitudinal gradient in species richness, with more species in the tropics and richness declining with latitude, is widely known and has been assumed to be stable over recent centuries. We analyzed data on 48,661 marine animal species since 1955, accounting for sampling variation, to assess whether the global latitudinal gradient in species richness is being impacted by climate change. We confirm recent studies that show a slight dip in species richness at the equator.

 

Or you can click this link instead and read the First Dog in the Moon version, though I should probably warn you that I don’t think his editors have properly emasculated his take on things to bring it into compliance with the stylebook.

However, I’ll accept Professor Schoeman’s recommendation as constituting adequate “peer review.”

 

While, speaking of expertise, The Other Coast (Creators) offers this discussion of the extra cost one should pay for hiring the right people. Or dogs.

I mentioned yesterday the trouble people get into when they do foolish things in places with no cell coverage. I should confess that I once went out for what was to be a casual walk in the woods and got on the wrong side of a river and then one of its tributaries, equipped basically like the fellow in this cartoon.

I began to realize that, if I didn’t get back on the other side, I was facing about a 40-mile hike to civilization, but I came to a log that was mostly across the creek, though half of it was submerged and covered with slippery algae, which made me pause to wonder if I could make it across.

Then a cough in the bushes behind me answered the question, since chipmunks don’t make that noise. I got across in a flash, climbed the opposite bank and looked out on a massive field of ripe blueberries, which suggested where my new friend Bruno was likely headed.

So, while I was already resigned to spending a night in the bush, I needed to get out of that particular spot, so I walked on, scooping berries as I went, in order to fuel myself for the long night ahead.

Then I topped another hill and realized I was only about a mile from my house.

I love happy endings, but there are stories that don’t come out so well.

Semper paratus, asinus.

 

Juxtaposition of Poop Jokes

(Stephen Collins – click here for the rest)

 

(The Flying McCoys – AMS)

 

(BC – Creators)

 

(Moderately Confused – AMS)

I’ll admit I’m a little puzzled by Stephen Collins’ discussion of dogs and the pandemic, since being at home should increase your ability to let the dog out periodically.

In fact, my dog is not a Pandemic Puppy — I’d been on a waiting list for about a year — but she happened to arrive at the same time as that whole cohort of youngsters and so has lots of same-age buddies.

One of them lives next to the park, and positions herself in the window to look for friends. The other day, she spotted Suzi and became frantic enough that her owner, who was on a Zoom conference, was told by her fellow-workers to just log off and take the poor thing out to play.

I’d count that as a benefit.

However, as Gary McCoy says, there is a certain burden that goes along with all this, though it’s usually just a few ounces.

There are a lot of jokes about Millennials who can’t operate dial phones, but they accept the idea of following your dog around with a plastic bag and would probably be appalled to know we never did that Back in the Day.

Perhaps we could tell them we were all organic and conscious and stuff. Like the rock, we knew it would return to Gaia while we gazed into the Eternal.

And that when someone like Tucker Carlson spoke, we waited for it to dry out and then used it like buffalo chips.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Zits – KFS)

 

(Speedbump – Creators)

The most regrettable aspect of having to tighten my belt for retirement was giving up excellent fair trade coffee for cheap supermarket stuff, which hurt a lot more than canceling Netflix and the NYTimes because it was also guilt-inducing.

But even when I had an income, I didn’t understand people who spent their days at Starbucks, Panera and other places where a muffin and coffee cost more than I spent on dinner at home.

 

Especially when they jazz their coffee up until it’s unrecognizable, as seen in this 2002 Zits.

Support your local diner. The coffee’s good, the baked goods are cheap and the money stays here.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Brian Fies
April/10/2021
@ 10:18 am

I am hip-deep in having a soon-to-be-published work of mine copy edited, and it’s the part of the process I hate most. It can feel like copy editors suck all poetry and joy from a story, taking every metaphor literally, unable to understand that characters don’t always speak in grammatically perfect sentences or that it’s occasionally necessary to invent a word. And then they’ll do something wonderful, like point out you spelled “millions” with three L’s or omitted an N in “clostridium perfringens,” and all is forgiven. Until their next cloth-eared outrage.

It’s good and necessary, but I don’t gotta like it.

#2 Mike Peterson
April/10/2021
@ 10:39 am

I think you meant “I don’t have to like it.”

“Gotta” isn’t a word.

#3 Denny Lien
April/10/2021
@ 10:55 am

In regard to “copy editors suck all poetry and joy from a story, taking every metaphor literally,” surely you mean “figuratively”?

#4 Elizabeth Oliver
April/10/2021
@ 11:11 am

Just curious: the dog in “The Other Coast” walks differently than does the dog in “The Flying McCoys”. (Yeah, I’m one of those people who sees the three l’s in “milllions”. It can be a curse.)

Anyway, I’m pretty sure dogs aren’t like horses, which can use their legs both ways and do so at different paces.

#5 Mike Peterson
April/10/2021
@ 11:57 am

No, no, Denny. Metaphors are intended to be taken figuratively, but copy editors refuse to do so.

And I thought some dogs are pacers, so I looked it up and here’s more than you wanted to know about that:

https://acmecanine.com/trotters-or-pacers-what-gait-can-tell-you-about-your-dog/

BTW, I didn’t mind editors being persnickety about my news writing, but I objected to them applying rules to my columns, and fortunately I had St. Molly of Ivins as a patroness to whom I could pray, the NYTimes having reportedly changed her description of someone from “havin”a beergut that belongs in the Smithsonian’ ” to “a man with a protuberant abdomen.”

If they’d do that to Molly, I guess I can understand why they’d do far less to me.

I don’t even have any readers who would use the term “protuberant” unless they were discussing a political demonstration in favor of potatoes.

#6 Paul Berge
April/10/2021
@ 12:57 pm

Or were those editors literally taking every metaphor?

#7 Abraham Faerber
April/10/2021
@ 3:23 pm

I hate it when editors steal my figures of speech

#8 Fred King
April/10/2021
@ 4:52 pm

Grammar ain’t style.

#9 Mary McNeil
April/10/2021
@ 5:04 pm

Gad how St. Molly of Ivins is missed these days !

#10 Mike Peterson
April/10/2021
@ 5:25 pm

Ancient things that come to mind now and then:

May I speak with your father?
He ain’t home.
Well, may I speak with your mother?
She ain’t home neither.
Goodness! Where is your grammar?
She’s feedin’ the cat.

#11 Elizabeth Oliver
April/11/2021
@ 8:29 am

Thanks for the interesting article.

I’ll be watching how dogs walk for quite a while now.

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