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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:18 pm 
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s1m0n wrote:
Nano, what you're not grasping about writing Science Fiction is that you get to make it all up. If you want to decide that language has shifted in a particular direction in the future, you can.

Oh, I grasp it, all right. But just because it's the writer's prerogative, it doesn't mean I have to respect the result on the basis of that right alone. I agree that the writer has the right to imagine a future shift in meaning for the purposes of a story. I've seen - and enjoyed - this device plenty of times myself, and one knows it for what it is. But that's not what I'm talking about, here.

s1m0n wrote:
If you want to change the basic laws of physics and you're writing hard SF, you need a plausible excuse, but nomenclature has no objective reality. The words for anything are all arbitrary.

Well, let us call a Porg a spoon, then. By your definition there's nothing wrong with that, and it makes just as much sense, because I can lay hold of a Porg, force its mouth open, and use that to dip and drink soup from.

The argument of objective reality does not apply to the question of good writing and responsibility to one's reader. Writing belongs to consensual reality, and it is on this basis that it succeeds or fails. You argue that scientific rigor in SciFi trumps language, but how can you have scientific rigor if language is all over the map? Saying that language doesn't matter because it is mutable attempts to excuse laziness. That's every bad writer's fondest dream, so beware. Be rigorous with language as it is in its day and age; take care not to ascribe everything simply to "personal style"; and meanwhile be content to leave language to transform organically on its own, because change it will, with or without you. There is no pressing need to be a force for change in language when, right here and now, there is already plenty enough to master. But when you invoke "change" to excuse a slipup, you're fooling no one but yourself.

If you've made it your mission to change the language, there's no gainsaying that, I suppose, other than I think it's barking up the wrong tree, and good luck to you.

I must reiterate that I said that entertainment news writers have called Porgs avians. Not once did I say anything about the story writers themselves, and you seem to have either missed that, or allowed yourself to become distracted from it in your zeal to uphold artistic license. If indeed the story writers themselves have also agreed to term Porgs as avians - which neither you nor I know at this point - this still will not go any further to change my mind. A writer's authority with words ends with one's ignorance of them. You have to decide whether you are writing for the reader, or simply to admire yourself.

Now, one can certainly be a first-rate storyteller without best command of language; as you imply, s1m0n, the story is more than its words, and I agree. But I say, and I think you can agree in turn, that without language there is no story. Obviously, then, the more informed and precise one's command of it, the better; the more command, the more one is equipped to know what to throw out, and to me, whether one writes for flourish or economy, culling is really the meat of the matter when it comes to writing as a craft. So why use - indeed, why even defend using a screwdriver to carve with when a chisel is better? This is why I say Porgs should not be called avians. Avianoid, if we really must go there, but ... no. Please don't. Coinages are all well and good, but this one strikes me as a bit too burdensome for serious use. Why go out of your way for awkward and clunky, when perfectly good and beautiful English words such as "birdlike" are already available? Still, to me a Porg is not exactly birdlike. I'm not comfortable with "sooner or later, needs must" when, despite its wings, a Porg also looks distinctly mammalian. Remember that bats fly, but are not birds. So, I see a need to avoid referring to birds - or bats too, for that matter - in describing Porgs (why am I still capitalizing the word?), and that is why I side with "flying creature" or "volant". Trust me, even now I'm trying to come up with something better, but "avian" ain't it. To me, that's just apishly playing at sounding scientific.

You should be aware that I am not merely trying to rack up points in the Nitpickery Olympics, here. A writer has power, and as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. I truly believe in that. One's prerogatives are simply not enough to rest on. Now, I do champion the right to intentionally misuse a word - it's fun, and I do it myself on occasion - but that requires that I already know what it really means and how it conventionally works, first. And for it to succeed, it should be obvious enough that my misuse is entirely intentional. That makes the joke, and that is craftsmanship; otherwise, it's just flailing blindly about, making me look ignorant. It's like ITM: you can't claim the right to break the rules without the authority of knowing and internalizing them first; you can't break what you don't know except by accident, and for that, no one will take you seriously. I don't get the impression that the entertainment news writers really know what "avian" means; they just indicate at best a vague awareness of its Latin roots, but nothing more. That isn't good enough. There are dictionaries to hand at every turn, and their applicability is current and dependable. When in doubt, check it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:29 pm 
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A caption two-in-one:

Image

Quote:
A man skies downhill with a child


And here's more!

Quote:
Santa and his rain-dear

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:04 am 
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https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifesty ... claim.html

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In the trial test, University College London’s Ear Institute researchers are injecting a drug called a gamma-secretase inhibitor into the ears of 24 patients. Participants of the study have been partially dead for almost 10 years.


Edited: I can't help thinking of the immortal Tom Lehrer. "It is a sobering thought, for example, that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for ten years."

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:17 pm 
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Here is a dreadful example: http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/15866581.One_in_200_people_have_liver_disease___is_it_time_to_check_yours_/

Quote:
One in 200 people a year in the UK die of liver disease, according to a Musgrove Park Hospital consultant, but people are unlikely to know they have it.


0.5% of the population die each year of liver disease? Surely not. 300,000 people? I think I would have heard.....

Or am I reading that wrong?

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:06 pm 
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DrPhill wrote:
Here is a dreadful example: http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/15866581.One_in_200_people_have_liver_disease___is_it_time_to_check_yours_/

Quote:
One in 200 people a year in the UK die of liver disease, according to a Musgrove Park Hospital consultant, but people are unlikely to know they have it.


0.5% of the population die each year of liver disease? Surely not. 300,000 people? I think I would have heard.....

Or am I reading that wrong?

You're not reading it wrong. They've got it wrong, by one decimal point. It's one in 2,000 people. It's been increasing at an alarming rate ... but not THAT alarming! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:16 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
It's one in 2,000 people. It's been increasing at an alarming rate ...

That is still ~30,000 people a year. It sounds rather a lot, but I guess that I have not thought about the annual death toll. There were 525,048 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2016.

The original 1 in 200 would have had liver disease causing more than half of all deaths.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:21 pm 
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If you look up the statistics, I'm afraid the 30,000 is about right. Liver disease is a major killer.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:38 am 
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Porgs: on any other forum, Nano and Simon’s debate would have been a royal pain and a complete waste of time. Here on C&F, it was an enjoyable read. Bravo gentlemen!

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:44 pm 
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walrii wrote:
Porgs: on any other forum, Nano and Simon’s debate would have been a royal pain and a complete waste of time. Here on C&F, it was an enjoyable read.

I wonder how C&F makes the difference, then, because on my end it was an utter annoyance, and dragged out well beyond need. All the same, one does try to entertain even in trying circumstances. Glad you enjoyed it. I think. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:50 pm 
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Definitely Doable!

:really:

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:31 pm 
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Oh, dear.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:22 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/170118/treatment-injected-into-ear-could-restore-hearing-researchers-claim.html

Quote:
In the trial test, University College London’s Ear Institute researchers are injecting a drug called a gamma-secretase inhibitor into the ears of 24 patients. Participants of the study have been partially dead for almost 10 years.

[/i]


"There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead."
-- Miracle Max

These people may not be even mostly dead, they're just partially dead.

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:26 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:07 am 
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Tunborough wrote:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Can't read it wrong
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:05 pm 
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Tunborough wrote:
"Firefighters had to repel down to the man and lift him out."

That's one I have trouble reading right when I think this: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rappel

on seeing this

Image

:-?


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