Saturday, September 14, 2013


(For bigger versions of photographs, just apply a click)

I tend to use punctuation as I see fit when I'm the one doing the writing, so articles like these are only sources of amusement, and surprise that anybody would care enough about where and when to type any kind of a dash (who knew there was more than one?)... or a row of dots.

For the passing pedant dottily dashing around:

Why everyone and your mother started using ellipses ... everywhere.
by Matthew J.X. Malady.


You're using that dash wrong
by James Harbeck

Erm...wrongly? (Wink - I can do pedant too).

 From husband's vintage photograph collection

"There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres."

Yesterday at Huffington Post

Tom Coburn Wants Federal Employees To Turn Off The Lights Before Leaving The Office

Sometimes I'm flabbergasted to find that the USA is literally decades behind the UK in stuff like this. In every government office where I worked, from the 1960s onward (quite a few), there was a notice posted prominently demanding that all lights must be switched off when leaving any office or other room empty.

As we might say, back in t'old country: "Mr Coburn, did you know that Queen Anne's dead?"

My grandmother used to describe a person who was vastly overweight as being "fat as Fanny Watson". I'd always assumed that Fanny Watson was someone Gran had known locally. I accidentally stumbled upon evidence to the contrary the other day. See Yesteryear Once More, here:

New York City. — Too fat? Lots of people are — but not many have the thrilling experience of Fanny Watson, who awoke one morning to find herself getting thinner and getting paid for it.

Fanny does a stunt with her sister in vaudeville, and of course she’s always adding new quirks and turns to her act. The other day she — but let her tell it.

“Of course I knew I was too fat,” she admits frankly, “but I was lazy — like a lot of women. I hated exercise and I loathed dieting. So I went on my sugary, near-obese way until that glad morning when my dress bands began to overlap and I had the merry whim to get weighed. Maybe you won’t believe it, but as near as I could figure I had lost ten pounds in two weeks!"

How on earth my Gran, in a tiny East Yorkshire village, had heard about Fanny Watson in New York is a mystery.

On the topic of of weight watching, how about this for a test of will set by Weight Watchers? How cruel was that? The smell of that fudge alone could drive a gal to sin.

 Spotted  by husband, somewhere in Texas

During research into my family's history I discovered a family(or branch of a family) of the same surname as my paternal grandfather, Scott (or Skott), in the same general area of Suffolk where he was born. This family, who may or may not be linked to mine further down the line, emigrated to The New World in 1634 on a ship called The Elizabeth. One of their relative's also appears on the list of tradesmen and bankers financing the trip. I found this article interesting anyway, it relates to
The Great Migration........Snip:

There were a few key factors that caused so many of our ancestors to leave East Anglia. The region had been the economic power house of England but it was hard hit by an economic depression in the first half of the 1600s. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Puritan movement developed deep roots in East Anglia and its bordering counties. Dedham, Essex, for example, was considered a "hot bed" of Puritan agitation. The Church of England eventually tired of this and helped drive the militants to the new world.

Most were from the East Anglia region northeast of London which was then known as the Eastern Association. This pattern is consistent with what is known of the more general immigration patterns of the "Great Migration."

The Elizabeth left Ipswich, Suffolk, England on April 10, 1634. The ship's "master" was William Andrews (Andrewes) (Andres), arriving in Massachusetts Bay. The date of record,in this case, is some six months after the ship departed. The ship arrived safe at Massachusetts Bay. Both the master and ship are known to have made subsequent trips although no record (other than departure) of this particular voyage remains.

Typically, ships making this voyage weighed between 10 and 100 tons (the Mayflower was quite big at 180 tons) and traveled at 7 - 10 knots with a passenger load of around one hundred. Interestingly, Master William Andrews was known to be an Ipswich (Suffolk) man and he eventually settled in New England, on or after 1635.

William Stafford was such a comfortable poet, that's the way his work affects me anyway. He, other of his poems, and his astrology, are mentioned in two archived posts

One of his:


It is time for all the heroes to go home
if they have any, time for all of us common ones
to locate ourselves by the real things
we live by.

Far to the north, or indeed in any direction,
strange mountains and creatures have always lurked-
elves, goblins, trolls, and spiders:-we
encounter them in dread and wonder,

But once we have tasted far streams, touched the gold,
found some limit beyond the waterfall,
a season changes, and we come back, changed
but safe, quiet, grateful.

Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler's ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.


Just the first verse of another of his poems,
At Cove on the Crooked River

At Cove at our camp in the open canyon
it was the kind of place
where one might look out
some evening and see trouble
walking away.

I love: "...and see trouble walking away."

 Husband took this one winter morning at sunrise from our kitchen window


mike said...

I luv ellipses...I'm surprised that Malady didn't recommend replacing them with em-dashes, as Harbeck states is proper, "a jump in thought, a quick hop to a connected topic". Wiki states, "The usage of the em dash (—) can overlap the usage of the ellipsis."
I suspect Malady is personally biased on this one and doesn't comprehend his own embarrassment.

The photo of the five ladies with the almost-pyramid-of-balls is a bit perplexing. The three on the right appear coquettish, but the two women to the left have telling expressions...far left appears smug and condescending, her accomplice seems to be intimidated and fearful...they obviously know something the others don't. Where is the missing top-ball to yield symmetry? The almost-pyramid-of-balls would be a nice sculpture for my yard, but I'd want that top-ball, but I can see an artist's viewpoint of the omission being a metaphor.

Yes, "lights off" has been around for decades here in the USA, too. Motion sensors to automatically turn-off lights have been around for the past couple of decades for very lazy people. It's our federal government, though...lights are on, but nobody's home.

I certainly like the view from your kitchen window. I live inner-city, so no such natural splendor here. When I lived in SE Washington over the Snake River Canyon, I had a magnificent view of about 50 miles in three directions (Oregon on the other side of the canyon-river and Idaho to the east)...driveway was half of a mile long...VERY rural. Loved it with all of the natural beauty, but it had its hardships being so remote. Now, I live the urban-opposite...I create my natural space in my yard, neighbors in close proximity abound right along with their quirks, and a bus stop just outside my door. The city life, too, has its hardships. Being much older now, I tend to prefer the inner-city for convenience of daily life.

Twilight said...

mike ~ LOL! and (Malady) doesn't comprehend his own embarrassment
a common failing these days, more especially in political circles. ;-)

The balls photograph stumped husband's pals on Flickr - some thought the ladies could be Daughters of the Revolution or D's of Civil War or some such noble (/ignoble) band, but sans badges of any kind other than a flower about the person. Are they cannonballs though? - I'd have thought they looked too smooth, but what do I know?

Oh "lights off" notices in the US for a long time - really? I'm very glad to hear it.
My husband was never properly trained in this regard however -- until he met me that is. Sen. Coburn, of course, is all behind in this as in most other of his policies.

The view from the back of our house was what decided us to buy it. There are houses across the road in front, and on either side of us, but looking out at the back, we could be in the middle of nowhere. :-)

I've lived in cities, and small/medium towns and on the coast too. I grew very fond of city life, apartment with bus stop across the road - would've stayed around there if I could, but due to several quirks of fate things didn't work out that way.

R J Adams said...

Technically, Harbeck is not wrong to use 'wrong', as they're both adverbs, though I personally believe he wrongly used it in place of 'wrongly'. But then, I'm a great believer in the split infinitive so would probably have written, "You're wrongly using that dash." Which would have been wrong. But, what the Hell!
(And, technically, that should have ended with a question mark). Oops, I'm wrongly again. ;-)

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ You're right, it can be used as an adverb and adjective, but to my ear "wrong" sounds sloppy in the way it's being used there, especially as it's a heading.

Husband (for once) agrees with me in matters of this nature: US and UK English, and ne'er the twain shall meet.

I can't think of any instance where "wrong" can be used, elegantly, instead of "wrongly".

How very pedantic of us! I must need a drink!