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How much whinier do you think I am now that I wrote this entry?
20% 33%
50% 8%
100% 0%
200% 41%
-20% 0%
-100% 16%

Votes: 12

 Instead of Cramming for Physics, Language Rules & How to Break Them

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 08, 2001
The editing of my last entry really got my undies in a bundle. I'll try to untangle them.

More diaries by yellownumber5
The Writer
Snoring can be cute?
Why Science Got Me and God Didn't
Firstly, I had no idea that diary entries could be edited. To tell the truth, I didn't think that anyone would actually read the thing. I guess that means that I didn't look around very hard before signing up.

Anyway, the edit. I suppose it upset me because I am pretty uptight about the proper use of words and punctuation. I can't write without a dictionary, and wouldn't dream of using a thesaurus without one. I think the most important thing to do when writing is to use the words that mean exactly what you're trying to say. There are no synonyms.

Where I get hypocritical about that sort of thing is how I'll make up words by changing nouns into verbs, or nouns into adjectives. I make the necessary changes so that it looks like what I want it to be (It's moony out tonight, for example.) I feel like every word has the right to become any part of speech, provided that there isn't already a word for what you want to say, and that you make the necessary modifications. It's a pretty simple formula, really, and often ends up with a higher what I say:what you hear ratio.


Physics is nothing more than liberalist fantasy. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
by claudius on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 07:02:14 PM PST
Why study physics anyway? If we've learned anything from Sobol, it's that so-called "scientific theories" are in reality merely subjective hokem, an invention of the scientific institution intended to do nothing more than empower the technological "haves."

It is far better to study religion. Therein lies truth.

don't take it personally. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by nathan on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 07:51:58 PM PST
The main point of being an editor is to abuse your power. What, you think people are in it because they like work? I thought your diary made pleasant reading.

As far as goes grammar, my taste inclines toward using appropriate auxilliary verbs so as not to overburden nouns, weakening their meanings. Using a noun as a verb can make for an effective colloquial style, but nouns tend to make poor verbs because they specify too much the object, and not enought the action.

For instance, "to impact" is undistinguished usage. Why? It's a contraction of the concept of "to have an impact upon," and the noun "impact" is sufficiently vague on its own that it may usefully be qualified. To have a crippling impact on something is far better than to impact it cripplingly - for one thing, the latter case is unclear as to who is the crippler and who is made crippled.

This is the nicest I've been in a while. I must do something about that.

All the best,
Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Well whaddya know? (none / 0) (#3)
by zikzak on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 09:32:23 PM PST
It's amazing that some as narcissistic as myself could have missed that entire thread when it was still current. Thanks for the link.

Soon you will be marching in lock-step (none / 0) (#4)
by First Incision on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 09:38:14 PM PST
Don't worry about it. With a little gentle guidance from our all-knowing editors, your comments will softly molded into an Adequate ideal. Eventually, you will become a drone, punching out perfect comments that fit exactly with the Adequacy form. My transformation has been proceeding more quickly than I anticipated.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.


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