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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Random musings. (Page 82)

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Author Topic: Random musings.
Disgruntled Peony
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quote:
Originally posted by extrinsic:
The wee early a.m.s and waiting for the last part of a four hundred page job to arrive, expedited delivery due overnight on my end, due tomorrow close of business at the other end. The editing job is a med-mal suit and tedious and striking for the cross talk and subtext. The two adversaries have a nose altitude act that's a tense duel. Noses cross swords at face-to-face distance.

That's a lot of editing to do in one to two days. O_o Good luck!
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extrinsic
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A brutal sixteen-hour Sunday. Job done on my part before dawn and on time. I have an editor hangover now. Another thousand pages forecast for the week. Tax season is a busy time for this work.
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extrinsic
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The work blizzard strikes today. Usually starts on Sunday, lasts the middle week, and trickles Friday and Saturday or those days off. This means no days off for the duration, and a commissioned woodwork project delayed -- a traditional Irish side board of yellow pine, intended for a home multimedia entertainment cabinet.
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Disgruntled Peony
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I had a minor trip to the emergency room this evening. I'm alright--just sore. Apparently, I need to eat a high fiber diet and avoid eating nuts and seeds unless I want to suffer moderate discomfort and pain. I did not know this yesterday, when my friends talked me into seeing a movie and I split a bag of movie theater popcorn with my hubby. Today has been several different kinds of uncomfortable.
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Grumpy old guy
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Sorry to hear you've been unwell. Changing eating habits is almost harder than giving up smoking. One thing at a time is my pitiful advice.

Phil.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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That's confusing, though. Aren't nuts and seeds a good source of fiber?

What did they recommend that you eat instead? Fruits and veggies and whole grains (popcorn is a whole grain, by the way)?

So sorry that you have been uncomfortable and told to change eating habits. As Phil says, that's hard.

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extrinsic
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High fiber and low nut and seed diet recommendation is an outmoded treatment for diverticula, diverticulitis, and diverticulosis. Some relief of symptoms from that diet may be more placebo effect than treatment, which low residue diets are also in question. Treatment of intestinal irritation and inflammation is at present the most promising course; that is, soft, bulky fiber, nonspicy, nonirritating foods and beverages, maybe some fats, comfort foods, maybe with antibiotics and mild nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, over the counter analgesics, NSAIDs of the less irritating types, like ibuprofen, not aspirin nor acetaminophen. Naproxen is an intermediate analgesic digestive track irritant.

About a third of Western people encounter diverticular discomforts, more often in the left, lower abdominal quadrant for Westerners, much more so for older people. The overall condition seems to be due to mild, moderate, or severe intestinal irritation and aggravation. On the other hand, a differential diagnosis is irritable bowel syndrome. Emotional stress contributes to both conditions.

That diet recommendation, treatment, though, seems to be a diagnostic workup, too: Follow that diet and see if discomfort fades, may include antibiotics, good to consider, too, lowered stress. If not effective, soon time for definitive, extensive, and expensive abdominal CT scans with contrast dye.

Yeah, been there, and recently again, due to rancid whole wheat bread served toasted to disguise it was rancid. No fun. Hope your course leads to less discomfort and get well soon.

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Disgruntled Peony
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I had a CT scan when I was at the emergency room. They said I have diverticulosis. I've got a follow-up appointment with a gastroentomologist, but they can't see me until next Tuesday. [Frown] In the meantime, I got given antibiotics and a couple pieces of paper on the subject. I've continued to experience intermittent pain, but it's slowly getting more manageable. I think. (No helping the stress right now. Another coworker of mine is in the hospital until Tuesday, so I've been scrambling to get shifts covered.)

I really don't want to skip out on spicy foods in the long term, if I can help it. Indian food is one of my favorite things, and I'm fond of good (read: spicy) Mexican food as well.

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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So sorry! That's absolutely no fun at all. Hope it gets better soon.
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extrinsic
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The malicious malefactor e-mail assault continues from world capital cities, latest from Rome, Jakarta, and Singapore. This week, also, a hacker cabal attempted to barge my private e-mail account -- several layers of Internet security thwarted the attempt. Changed and strengthened passwords, too.

I could, I guess, if impish need for negative attention and self-worth from association, wish for this all being state sponsored graft intent on intelligence collection and weaponized political blackmail, as if I am anyone pertinent in that realm, and am not -- not me anyway, family maybe, maybe not; know, though, it is not state activity, is from scam and con crooks, some who are in it solely for the chaos they desperately want to cause that inflates their self-worth, part who want to barge into other's lives because they are lifeless zonbi, most are prospectors for easy stupid-lazy Benjamins.

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Disgruntled Peony
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I'm pregnant! [Big Grin] My husband and I have been trying for awhile. We're super excited, and I wanted to let you all know.
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Grumpy old guy
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Mega congrats!

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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Yeah, congratulations.
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extrinsic
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Disgruntled Peony and Anonymous Pater Familias's Unsettled Buttercup joy quickens. Much good fortune wishes for the sacred family, and extrinsic's felicitous salutations.
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LDWriter2
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quote:
Originally posted by Disgruntled Peony:
I'm pregnant! [Big Grin] My husband and I have been trying for awhile. We're super excited, and I wanted to let you all know.

Congrats to you both and may things go smoothly


And what extrinsic said. [Big Grin]


But I hope he knows that Buttercup is a growing war unicorn. Double [Big Grin]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Disgruntled Peony. That's great news. May all go well with you.
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Disgruntled Peony
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Apparently, my excitement was premature. We lost the baby. (It was arguably gone by the time we found out I had it, but we didn't know yet.) I'm not really sure how to deal with this right now. My husband and I had just decided on potential names.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Oh, dear! That is awful! Please accept my condolences. Not only is there emotional pain with such a loss, there is also physical pain. I'm so sorry. Let yourself mourn because this was a real baby, and don't let anyone tell you different.
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extrinsic
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The world would weep: An angel has gone from this Earth.
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Grumpy old guy
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In this moment of personal tragedy and pain know that people are with you, DP. If not in words, at least in spirit.

Phil.

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Robert Nowall
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Devastating.
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H Reinhold
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So sorry to hear, Peony. My thoughts are with you and your husband.
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Grumpy old guy
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Just a tip: To store fresh carrots and beans, place in a watertight container, cover with water, and place in the fridge. Carrots will remain crispy for three weeks or more, beans about two weeks.

Phil.

PS: It works for celery too.

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tesknota
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I'll fuel the mill with some bundled insecurities since I've completely given up on my blog. =\

I'm graduating this weekend, and I'm really nervous! Investiture is tomorrow (for MBA candidates - which is me) and a schoolwide commencement is Saturday morning. All I can really think about right now is how I haven't found a full-time job yet. I'll be working hard the next few months trying to secure one, but while I do, my emotional state will be similar to that of the guy in the Scream painting.

I'm also moving, and my apartment is a mess. It'll only be across town, but it's hot outside. =|

I can't figure out how to deliciously season a pot roast made in a slow cooker. Maybe this is it, and my expectations are set too high...

And most importantly, I haven't succeeded in writing a complete short story in these two years I've been in grad school.

Whew! Feels good to let it all out. =D

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extrinsic
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McCormick makes a dry seasoning packet specifically for slow cooker pot roasts. Add a layer of equal-ish quantity raw, washed, and uncut, except to fit into the pot, onions, celery, and carrots upon which the roast sets while cooking; those are aromatics suited to beef generally. The onions and carrots may be peeled or not if desired. Maybe quarter the onions. Otherwise, follow label directions.

Options: sear the roast beforehand in a hot skillet with oil. Heat the skillet and thin layer of oil until the oil starts to smoke -- just (Caution, a fire and burn hazard, will trip a smoke detector). Turn the roast in the hot oil until browned on all sides. Marinate overnight beforehand in acidulated (vinegar or citrus juices) spices, herbs, and condiment sauces: soy sauce, worchestershire, red wine, dry sherry, tomato, mustard, etc., to a recipe and to taste.

Note that the person who cooks does not savor the food as much as persons for whom food is cooked. The food suffuses the cook's senses all along the preparation process, like the buildup of aromatic vegetables' scent release and peak and fall: olfactory sense pre-eating saturation. Others come fresh to the sensory experience at meal time. Or -- food always tastes more delicious when prepared by another, assuming, of course, the food is reasonably well-prepared. Leftovers are usually more savory for the cook; sensory saturation wanes after a short time.

[ May 11, 2017, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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I'd recommend that you put the onions, potatoes, and carrots on the bottom of the slow cooker and put the meat on top of them.

And congratulations on completing your MBA.

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Robert Nowall
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Potatoes (peeled), carrots (pre-sliced), one onion (for flavor), beef-for-stew (fried in a pan and then microwaved), three-plus cups of water, tomato sauce (small can), salt, pepper, minced onion. All together in a multi-cooker / Dutch oven combo (I've got no room on my counter for a slow cooker.) Bring to boil, lower to just over boiling, leave for three hours, add more water as needed.

Tried to post this this morning but my computer froze up.

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Disgruntled Peony
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I've been feeling the need to go back to school, lately. It seems a better alternative than continuing in retail. Try as I might to talk myself into a "better career move", I've read over all of the degree options offered at University of Michigan and the one that appealed to me the most is an English degree. My inner writer is trying to claw its way out.

My mom warned me against an English degree when I was young, but when I confessed my interest to her this week she was much more supportive. Whatever I end up doing, I need to look into grants and loans.

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extrinsic
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Consider a close look at National University's online program offers. Their creative writing MFA is phenomenal and par with most across the planet. Lower cost all around than traditional on-campus and low residency programs, with more quality instructor contact time, plus, opportunity to study without major life interruptions. Courses are a la carte, at a student's time convenience and cost per sequential course module, not per semester. For online, no out of state tuition and fees difference from in-state residents. Eligible for full Department of Education financial aid for full-time students. Requires a humanities bachelor's first, though.

National does offer an online English bachelor's program, too, with a creative writing concentration option, and accepts transferable credits, about most everything a traditional university offers, provides, and accepts, at a lower cost and at a student's convenience, except for the in-person social culture.

National's English BA splash page.

The DOE FAFSA site is where to look and apply for federal education grants and loans. It's all online anymore, pretty much.

[ May 13, 2017, 01:28 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Kathy_K
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quote:
Originally posted by Disgruntled Peony:
I've been feeling the need to go back to school, lately. It seems a better alternative than continuing in retail. Try as I might to talk myself into a "better career move", I've read over all of the degree options offered at University of Michigan and the one that appealed to me the most is an English degree. My inner writer is trying to claw its way out.

My mom warned me against an English degree when I was young, but when I confessed my interest to her this week she was much more supportive. Whatever I end up doing, I need to look into grants and loans.

I'm halfway through a low residency MFA program at Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts. Let me know if you'd like my opinion of their program and professors. Also, my father also warned me against an english degree two decades ago. He said all I could do with an english degree was teach, so I got a degree in biology instead. I've been teaching it to high schools students for 16 years now. Ha!! Got with your gut. If you want to study writing, do it. You only get one turn on this ride, after all.
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tesknota
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Haha, thanks for all the advice on how to season things in my slow cooker! Extrinsic, I did hear about McCormick's seasoning packet... I've just never used those before, so I wasn't sure about trying it. I'll check it out next time! I did try to sear (or brown) the meat a bit before slow-cooking, and I liked the way it turned out. Kathleen, the recipe definitely specified to put the veggies on the bottom! I think it got the meat to cook better, but I really don't know what I'm talking about yet. I've still got a lot of experimenting to do before I become a decent cook. Robert, now I feel bad about tossing the rest of the tomato sauce can! The recipe said one tablespoon and that was only about 1/5 of the can... I'm planning to get a Dutch oven for my next kitchen addition! Apparently, the internet recommends one for making anything au vin. Thanks for all the advice, everyone! I'll master my slow cooker yet.

And Peony, do it! I would say though that learning for the sake of a better career is different from learning for the sake of enjoyment. Honestly, if I could redo college, I would choose engineering over chemistry. I wasn't even thinking about a career back then... As for English, although I'm not familiar with job opportunities after the degree, I do recall hearing that technical writing could be a great career. That, and you get to surround yourself with English lovers for a few years, which is always nice.

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Grumpy old guy
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Well, I'm back. As a writer, I mean. It's been 4 years of experimentation with my endocrinologist trying to avoid the physical side effects but, as lower doses weren't cutting the mustard, we decided 8 months ago to revert to the original dosage. Right on time, as expected and hoped for, my drive and passion to write returned.

This wasn't a gradual return, again, as expected, it was like switching on a lightbulb; bang, there it was. Now, all I have to do is stop it becoming an obsession. Last time this happened I wrote a million words in two years, not counting re-writes.

Phil.

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Grumpy old guy
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tesknota, the 'searing' of the meat is called caramelisation. This imparts most of the flavour to meat. You should place small batches of diced beef in a hot pan, turning regularly for 5 to 8 minutes. The idea isn't to cook the meat but to give it a crust that keeps the moisture in. After all the meat has been caramelised, add some liquid to the bottom of the pan to loosen all the meaty bits stuck to the bottom and add this liquid to the pot.

Phil.

PS: A hot pan doesn't mean turning the hotplate to full. A hot pan means that if you were to sprinkle a few drops of water into the pan they will bead and run around the pan until they eventually evaporate. But make sure to give the pan time to heat up and reheat between batches: I usually allow 5 minutes heating time.

[ May 19, 2017, 08:16 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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Grumpy old guy
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Just been listening to news on Manchester bombings. Makes my little satirical tirade against organised religions either prescient or pathetically pointless.

Or both.

Phil.

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extrinsic
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A new, depraved low, one that shows one true motivation for these corruptions of the received word of God -- perpetuation of the subjugation of womankind to mortal men's capricious whims.
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walexander
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History, which is doomed to repeat itself due to ignorance and a lust for violence -- on both sides -- the civilization creators and the destroyers. Both which are capable of ghastly evils. This usually doesn't bode well for those of us who dream of something better and are caught in the middle.

Humans, I doubt we'll ever learn.

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walexander
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The U.S. just sold Saudi Arabia 110 billion dollars of weaponry and we're the brokers of middle east peace.

Talk about irony.

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tesknota
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Humans who try to learn can't easily change those who won't, and I think that's the saddest part of all. =\

Edit: But if anyone here wants to get away from it all and start a restaurant or a flower shop, apparently Italian castles are an option...

http://observer.com/2017/05/state-property-agency-italy-giving-away-over-100-castles-for-free/

[ May 23, 2017, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: tesknota ]

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extrinsic
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A small windfall came out of the blue. Not to last long. Have to upgrade computer hardware and software to stay abreast of my clients. $$$$. And there it went. Oh bother.
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walexander
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Is it just me or is it extremely difficult to switch to first person writing when you have mostly been writing in the third person? My autopilot is stuck on third person grammar and I find myself constantly dealing with corrections. It's a pain in the blankity-blank. Sorry just needed to vent for a second.

W.

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Robert Nowall
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Well, if it doesn't look right in first person, try rewriting it, word for word, in third person, and see how it reads then.
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extrinsic
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My first person work tends to include more third person direct observation than first person centric. The issue of extra lenses of the I saw, heard, felt, smelled, tasted, etc., extra lenses are easily tamed by third person auxiliary. Plus the matter of summary explanation tells of the tagged indirect discourse method, like I thought the world was flat, I said green M&Ms radiate asterisks, Killdeer delight me odd date Tuesdays. Still unnecessary extra lenses, too.

[ June 12, 2017, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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extrinsic
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Took a leisure week to set up the new system, install software, customize settings, adapt connected devices. $$$$ is the only misgiving. The system does handstands and about anything else except wash the dishes and such.

The latest versions of WordPerfect and Corel Draw now have full PDF functionality, includes document distribution security and fill-in form development. These are practical for publication activities, like use license delivery and disallow or limit share, copy, print, edit, and save options, sort of a method useful for distribution rights management of intellectual property.

Wireless keyboard and mouse, wireless printer, scanner, VGA to HDMI television display, large screen, high-definition monitor cable all expand usability. The extant camera, external drives, and blood glucose meter are all compatible with the system.

Plus, Foster Grant debuted multi-focus reading glasses -- eyesight isn't what it used to be. The lenses have three zones for variable focal length distances, "across the desk," "computer screen," and "reading." My vision is myopic as it is; the prescription lenses do not do any good under about ten feet. These reading glasses span the close-up gap for my aging eyes. Next, maybe, Transitions (tm) lenses for my prescription eyeglasses. Bifocals only have two zones. Transitions' zones are similar to the Foster Grant's, except a center zone is for distance.

[ June 16, 2017, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Grumpy old guy
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Received my copy of The Dictionary of English Usage yesterday. The first entry is the use of 'a' or 'an'. This is going to make editing sentences interesting.

Phil.

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extrinsic
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I have Webster's and Fowler's dictionaries of English usage. Usage is often unconventional, plus differences between Webster's U.S. and Fowler's British dialects, and differences among the current and former Commonwealth nations, Scotland, Wales, North Ireland, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, India, to name a few, like, dialectical use of a before a word with an initial consonant sound and an before a word with an initial silent H sound, and misapprehensions of which indefinite article to use before an abbreviation, and, not listed, which article to use for words with initial letter Y as vowel or consonant sound.

And of late, an advocacy for an international Standard Written English usage dialect; examples, U.S. variants, cooperation, gray; British variants, co-operation, grey; international variants, coöperation, coopération, coöpération, grey. In best practice cases, downstyle for simplicity, readability and comprehensibility, "cooperation" trends most; otherwise, an editor's best practice is consistency or a client's style.

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Grumpy old guy
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My next purchase search is for a standard dictionary from 1950, then 1930, and so on. The reason? I have found that some words simply disappear because their usage has diminished, but not necessarily disappeared.

Phil.

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extrinsic
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I collect dictionaries. My oldest is from 1886, and, likewise, pivotal language change years, like 1960, many words previously hyphenated became one word. Earlier dictionaries for the same words don't list even the hyphenated words.

Definitions change, too, a word's denotative meaning might become deprecated and a new usage substitute a denotation, connotations accumulate, often exclusive of a denotative meaning. Mundane is such a word, a new usage, or descriptive use, definition since 1990 to mean dull and banal, when the earthly realm is anything but dull and banal; antonym, metaphysical, either or both spiritual and paranormal realms.

One of substance for writers, exposition, hasn't changed definition for centuries though common usage has changed, to mean a number of writing modes, summary and explanation mode, or "tell," most, a lesser meaning backstory and background. Not a Webster's definition anyway -- an online one, though.

A librarian the other day condemned the colloquialism ain't. I didn't have it in me to debate the word's descriptive worth. Nor do dictionaries hold a candle to its prescriptive usages, not "am not, are not, and is not," rather, solely for best practice "am not," first-person conjugated to be irregular verb negation contraction, especially for stream-of-consciousness descriptive use. Ain't gonna lie no more. Four pages of pro and oppo "ain't" discussion in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage a few dozen pages after "a and an". Similar comments though more "ain't" disapproval in Fowler's.

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Robert Nowall
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My old big dictionary, purchased in the early eighties, has the most interesting---and from 2017, most inaccurate---definition of "clone."
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Grumpy old guy
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After doing my NSG post about the seven deadly sins, I counted them--there are eight.

And, on the "I'm an idiot!" front, I accidentally downloaded 1.7Gb of data to my phone instead of my computer. I just have to find out how to get it from one to the other now. Goose!

Phil.

[ June 19, 2017, 09:29 AM: Message edited by: Grumpy old guy ]

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extrinsic
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Yeah, noticed eight listed "deadly sins," though seven is the usual count. "Despair" isn't a usual moral vice noted in the literature, though is perhaps a subset of sloth, the way vanity is of pride. Anyway, no imminent hazard to life, limb, or property due to the misapprehension, so . . . Not warranted as a point of order interruption call from the floor due to misinformation.
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