A letter to Sis - Page 3

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Tony Cooper

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Sep 9, 2001, 3:28:02 PM9/9/01
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Dear Sis....

I'm still putzing around in alt.usage.english. It's an
interesting group, but one seemingly obsessed with food.
They have either established definition for "sandwich" or
set it aside like a left-over to be chewed over later. They
are now defining a "pie". Like "sandwich", the first course
was shape, content, top and bottom coverage, and
acknowledged variation. They are slowly progressing to
acceptable and non-acceptable usage. I anticipate the
"Eskimo pie" will surface in about two weeks.

Another obsession with this group is geographical
definition. They have at least left the environs of New
York City* and acknowledged the existence of the rest of the
country. The current nexus of argument is the definition of
the "Midwest". The Midwest is evidently neither "mid" nor
"west", but generally accepted as being west of the
Allegheny and somewhere before Utah. That, in this group,
is the equivalent of a precise GPS positioning.

One poster, a rather curmudgeonly ex-pat, is maintaining
that there is no culture in the Midwest. (He lives in a
country where they think Joe Dolan, John McCormack, and
Frank Patterson are the "The Three Tenors") Evidently, he
has never been to a County Fair in Indiana where there is
ample evidence of culture in appearances by LeAnn Rimes, the
jelly judging, and the quilting exhibitions. If the 4-H
exhibits are not culture, I don't know what is.

One light note in the group has been the appearance of a New
Jersey teenager that has the entire group gobsmacked. Like
most young people on the cusp of adulthood, he has taken the
position that to be paid attention to by grown-ups he must
have shock value. Even though most in this group have gone
through the same phase at one point in their lives, they're
all running around with their skirts over their heads
sputtering and acting like they've never met a teenager
before. They are outdoing themselves in dignified
acerbity.

The kid is winning. He's happily being an obnoxious pest
and wallowing in the discomfort of the adults. Those adults
that have children of this difficult age are quietly
ignoring the kid experienced in the knowledge that teenagers
have the attention span of an adult male with a TV remote in
his hand.

The group has an official FAQ. A FAQ being in this case, of
course, a web-based document with answers to frequently
asked questions. That is some kind of oxymoron since the
frequently asked questions appear in the daily postings
until they are rarely asked questions and are then retired
to the FAQ. This is as it should be since if the questions
are frequently asked they should be frequently discussed.

The only viable purpose of the FAQ seems to be the use of it
in entombing arcane definitions. They are currently
wrapping "suck" with same degree of seriousness that the
Egyptians prepared Pharaohs for burial. Like the mummies,
someone in the future will stumble on this entry and why
"Why did they do this?" and a whole new investigative topic
will be opened.

*My usage of "New York City" is indicative of my provincial
Midwest origins. I've learned that if I were actually from
New York City, I would never call it New York City. I know
this is a difficult concept for you and me to assimilate
being from Indianapolis and all. I haven't been in
alt.usage.english long enough to figure out the true
indications of sophistication, but I suspect that saying
we're from Cleveland isn't going to fool anyone. I'll let
you know about this as soon as I figure it out.

Your brother,

Tony

Truly Donovan

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Sep 9, 2001, 7:00:18 PM9/9/01
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On Sun, 09 Sep 2001 15:28:02 -0400, Tony Cooper
<tony_co...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Those adults
>that have children of this difficult age are quietly
>ignoring the kid experienced in the knowledge that teenagers
>have the attention span of an adult male with a TV remote in
>his hand.

I think this sentence cries out for a comma after "kid."

--
Truly Donovan
http://www.trulydonovan.com

Robert Lieblich

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Sep 9, 2001, 7:37:30 PM9/9/01
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Tony Cooper wrote:

[ ... ]


I haven't been in
> alt.usage.english long enough to figure out the true
> indications of sophistication, but I suspect that saying
> we're from Cleveland isn't going to fool anyone. I'll let
> you know about this as soon as I figure it out.

Now lissen, pal. In addition to being from Arlington, Virginia, and
Texas, and a few other places I won't waste your time with, I was
born in Cleveland (Mt. Sinai Hospital; torn down about five years
ago), and I am the most sophisticated person in all AUE. I eat
exotic dishes like Peking duck, I attend performances of the local
symphony, I even wear ties to work. And I don't post to
pronunciation threads. You just can't get any more sophisticated
than that. Not even Charles Riggs can.

And I'm hardly the only Clevelander of such sophistication.
Consider that Cleveland is the ancestral home of rock 'n' roll --
and ignore all those ditherers who sttempt to dispute the fact; just
look where the Rock "n" Roll Home of Fame is. Think of such famous
Clevelanders as Grover Cleveland, Jim Brown, and George Szell. Just
look at how Cleveland has progressed from being the fifth most
populous US city in 1930 to its current ranking of thirty-third:
<http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0763098.html>. How do you think it
got that way? By dumping all the deadwood.

Okay, so it's a dozen years or so since I last visited Cleveland.
Once a Clevelander, always a Clevelander. Ask Bob Feller. Ask
Christoph von Dohnanyi.

So watch yourself, fella. We're watching you.

Padraig Breathnach

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Sep 9, 2001, 7:42:36 PM9/9/01
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Truly Donovan <tru...@attglobal.net> wrote:

>On Sun, 09 Sep 2001 15:28:02 -0400, Tony Cooper
><tony_co...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>>Those adults
>>that have children of this difficult age are quietly
>>ignoring the kid experienced in the knowledge that teenagers
>>have the attention span of an adult male with a TV remote in
>>his hand.
>
>I think this sentence cries out for a comma after "kid."

Which indicates that Truly has a greater attention span than an adult
male with a TV remote in his hand. Or a mouse -- I missed the absence
of a comma.

PB

Tony Cooper

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Sep 9, 2001, 8:31:38 PM9/9/01
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Truly Donovan marked up my letter with blue pencil saying:

>
> >Those adults
> >that have children of this difficult age are quietly
> >ignoring the kid experienced in the knowledge that teenagers
> >have the attention span of an adult male with a TV remote in
> >his hand.
>
> I think this sentence cries out for a comma after "kid."
>
,,,,,,,,,,,...........;;;;;;;;;;??????????!!!!!!!!!!'''''''''''""""""""""

i am thinking of adopting a cafeteria style of writing for
the editorially inclined reader punctuation will be
available but at the readers choice for insertion and use i
think it should be like a Chinese buffet where a plateful of
punctuation is taken at a time the reader can go back to
line for more but must leave the used plate at the table and
take a fresh plate each time the objective of this type of
writing will be to involve the reader by inviting their
participation

Charles Riggs

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Sep 10, 2001, 5:52:54 AM9/10/01
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On Sun, 09 Sep 2001 19:37:30 -0400, Robert Lieblich
<Robert....@Verizon.net> wrote:

>Now lissen, pal. In addition to being from Arlington, Virginia, and
>Texas, and a few other places I won't waste your time with, I was
>born in Cleveland (Mt. Sinai Hospital; torn down about five years
>ago), and I am the most sophisticated person in all AUE. I eat
>exotic dishes like Peking duck, I attend performances of the local
>symphony, I even wear ties to work. And I don't post to
>pronunciation threads. You just can't get any more sophisticated
>than that. Not even Charles Riggs can.

Well said. You are most definitely a man to be admired.

Charles Riggs

Charles Riggs

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Sep 10, 2001, 5:52:53 AM9/10/01
to
On Sun, 09 Sep 2001 15:28:02 -0400, Tony Cooper
<tony_co...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Dear Sis....


>One poster, a rather curmudgeonly ex-pat, is maintaining
>that there is no culture in the Midwest.

I will admit to a degree of curmudgeonous in the last day or two on
the topic of an areas I'm not particularly fond of; few would say I'm
a curmudgeon on one of my better days.

> (He lives in a
>country where they think Joe Dolan, John McCormack, and
>Frank Patterson are the "The Three Tenors")

And then we have "The Three Irish Tenors". Not quite the same as the
real thing, I'm sorry to say.

> Evidently, he
>has never been to a County Fair in Indiana where there is
>ample evidence of culture in appearances by LeAnn Rimes, the
>jelly judging, and the quilting exhibitions. If the 4-H
>exhibits are not culture, I don't know what is.

I'm gobsmacked to know how to respond to that.

>The only viable purpose of the FAQ seems to be the use of it
>in entombing arcane definitions.

You're haven't yet observed its true raison d'etre: clubbing newcomers
over the head with it when they have the audacity to ask a question it
covers.

Charles Riggs

Stephen Toogood

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Sep 10, 2001, 8:15:36 AM9/10/01
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In article <3B9BFD3A...@Verizon.net>, Robert Lieblich
<Robert....@Verizon.net> writes

>
>Now lissen, pal. In addition to being from Arlington, Virginia, and
>Texas, and a few other places I won't waste your time with, I was
>born in Cleveland (Mt. Sinai Hospital; torn down about five years
>ago), and I am the most sophisticated person in all AUE. I eat
>exotic dishes like Peking duck, I attend performances of the local
>symphony, I even wear ties to work. And I don't post to
>pronunciation threads. You just can't get any more sophisticated
>than that. Not even Charles Riggs can.
>
Did you consciously acquire these sophistications? Or were they caught
at court in your cot?

--
Stephen Toogood

Mike Lyle

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Sep 10, 2001, 10:08:12 AM9/10/01
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Perhaps he learned them in his governess' cart.

Mike.


Robert Lieblich

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Sep 10, 2001, 10:10:02 AM9/10/01
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Would you all please cut that out.

Simon R. Hughes

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Sep 10, 2001, 7:01:09 PM9/10/01
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Thus Spake Tony Cooper:

It's writing of that calibre that loses UK businesses £2bn
per year:

<http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1235000/1235401.stm>

Now, how much is your comma worth?
--
Simon R. Hughes -- http://www.geocities.com/a57998/subconscious/

John O'Flaherty

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Sep 13, 2001, 11:18:26 AM9/13/01
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Tony Cooper wrote:

You might as well go all the way, and transmit punctuation, an alphabet and
some numbers for multiplying them, so the reader can compose a pleasant
message for themselves (or an unpleasant one, for those contrary enough to
desire such {but that would be pleasant then, wouldn't it}).

--
john


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