FemaleDeer's Comp97 Reviews - Pt 3

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FemaleDeer

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Jan 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/4/98
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In this section - Mimesis, Pintown, Pizza, Reflect, Spring, TDragon, Tempest

Mimesis - Hilarious. Well-programmed and well-written with a good hint system.
Reservations: 1.) the knock to Plotkin (bad tempered) 2.) it is very much an
"insider's" game, non-raifers would probably not get it at all. But from the
minute I saw the compass rose in the middle of the living room floor (for no
apparent reason) my funny bone was tickled and my attention grabbed.

Pintown - Inadequate. Although the atmosphere and protagonist are different
(gritty), programming and parser difficulties made it impossible for me to
get very far into the game. The author needs more programming experience.

Pizza - Funny and playable. Those that like to groan at bad puns will groan a
lot. However, I also laughed a lot as I played this game and laughter ranks
very high with me. Puzzles are interesting, although some need better
development or "lead-in" so they will be clearer. Although the game needs to
be "cleaned-up", I feel quite a few non-raifers ("ordinary players") would
enjoy it. Definitely not "arsty", a treasure hunt set in a fantasy
scenario, but enough amusing anachronisms to keep the tone, tongue in cheek.

Reflect - Only a start. An interesting, creepy scenario, but very, very
short. Many parser and other bugs. Author needs to learn Inform and
programming better. But he has a better idea of what makes an adventure
game (even though the programming is deficient) than many others do.

Spring - Refreshing. I loved the flip, flop of the sandals, the outdoor
descriptions and the guide book. The game is greatly enhanced by the
author's knowledge of his subject. However, the plot is not very compelling
and the puzzles are not that "intuitive". But it is a well-written
and well-programmed game, so I gave high marks for the setting and writing.

TDragon - Good first effort. Well-programmed, well-written, straight-forward
game. All it lacked was "pizazz". There are few problems with some of the
puzzles, due to the author's inexperience (he says he is a novice) with Inform.
But I want to encourage him to keep going, he is on the right track. This
particular story held no real surprises, so I hope with his next one he
"stretches" himself (and then us) more. A promising new author.

Tempest - Cryptic. Puzzling as to what the player COULD do and puzzling
as to why the author left it so puzzling. Also directions (n,u,e) seemed
inconsistent. The author did not give enough consideration to what the
"average"
player could and could not figure out. I, personally, could not get far in the
game. Also a disservice, even if unintentionally, to Shakespeare. For example,
Ariel is supposed to be a light-hearted spirit, but I felt far from
light-hearted after attempting to play this game. This might even turn some
players OFF Shakespeare, if their exposure has been limited before play.

Other Inform games I have voted on, but not did not get around to reviewing.

Graham Nelson

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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In article <19980104233...@ladder01.news.aol.com>, FemaleDeer

<URL:mailto:femal...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> Tempest - Cryptic. Puzzling as to what the player COULD do and puzzling
> as to why the author left it so puzzling. Also directions (n,u,e) seemed
> inconsistent. The author did not give enough consideration to what the
> "average"
> player could and could not figure out. I, personally, could not get far in the
> game. Also a disservice, even if unintentionally, to Shakespeare. For example,
> Ariel is supposed to be a light-hearted spirit, but I felt far from
> light-hearted after attempting to play this game. This might even turn some
> players OFF Shakespeare, if their exposure has been limited before play.

Obviously, I accept much of this (though the map was quite carefully
put together), but just on a literary note, I am far from confident
that Ariel is light-hearted; I don't think that's how the text reads,
and I've certainly seen performances where the reverse was true.
It's a dark sort of play.

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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FemaleDeer (femal...@aol.com) wrote:

> Mimesis - Hilarious. Well-programmed and well-written with a good hint
> system.
> Reservations: 1.) the knock to Plotkin (bad tempered)

Which knock?

(I tried to send this via email, but it bounced.)

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

FemaleDeer

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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> I am far from confident
>that Ariel is light-hearted; I don't think that's how the text >reads, and
I've certainly seen performances where the >reverse was true.
>It's a dark sort of play.

Okay. You would know better than I. I did definitely feel "dark-hearted" after
attempting to play it, so maybe you captured the essense of the play better
than I realized.

FD (chuckle)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Femal...@aol.com "Good breeding consists in
concealing how much we think of ourselves and how
little we think of the other person." Mark Twain

FemaleDeer

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Jan 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/5/98
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>Which knock?
>
>(I tried to send this via email, but it bounced.)
>
>--Z

Well, I think I saw somewhere you were a beta-tester for this game, so...
nevermind.

But if you really WANT to know, it was at the end when there was some comment
about (quoting from memory) ...and Plotkin actually thinks people should play
his game So Far this far to see how it comes out... or something like that.

Hey, you don't feel knocked, then it's s'alright.

FD :-)

Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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FemaleDeer (femal...@aol.com) wrote:
> Well, I think I saw somewhere you were a beta-tester for this game, so...
> nevermind.

> But if you really WANT to know, it was at the end when there was some comment
> about (quoting from memory) ...and Plotkin actually thinks people should play
> his game So Far this far to see how it comes out... or something like that.

Er, hate to say, but that's the literal truth. Originally the author
copied the actual final responses from _So Far_. I was a beta-tester, and
I *really did* request that he take them out, because it gave away the
ending to my game. He was a nice guy, and did that.

You did try "maybe", right? I'm laughing now just thinking about it.

Michael Straight

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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On 5 Jan 1998, FemaleDeer wrote:

> >Which knock?
> >
> >(I tried to send this via email, but it bounced.)
> >
> >--Z
>

> Well, I think I saw somewhere you were a beta-tester for this game, so...
> nevermind.
>
> But if you really WANT to know, it was at the end when there was some comment
> about (quoting from memory) ...and Plotkin actually thinks people should play
> his game So Far this far to see how it comes out... or something like that.
>

> Hey, you don't feel knocked, then it's s'alright.

Regardless of whether Andrew felt knocked, *I* would have been extremely
upset if one of the contest entries gave away the ending of what, if the
Xyzzy awards are a good metric, was one of the best IF works of 1996.
Just because I haven't had time to play So Far yet doesn't mean I don't
want to.

Michael Straight thinks he got at least half of the jokes Memesis.
FLEOEVDETYHOEUPROEONREWMEILECSOFMOERSGTIRVAENRGEEARDSTVHIESBIITBTLHEEPSRIACYK
Ethical Mirth Gas/"I'm chaste alright."/Magic Hitler Hats/"Hath grace limits?"
"Irate clam thighs!"/Chili Hamster Tag/The Gilt Charisma/"I gather this calm."

David A. Cornelson

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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In article <19980104233...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,

femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) wrote:
>
> In this section - Mimesis, Pintown, Pizza, Reflect, Spring, TDragon, Tempest
>
> TDragon - Good first effort. Well-programmed, well-written, straight-forward
> game. All it lacked was "pizazz". There are few problems with some of the
> puzzles, due to the author's inexperience (he says he is a novice) with
> Inform. But I want to encourage him to keep going, he is on the right track.
> This particular story held no real surprises, so I hope with his next one he
> "stretches" himself (and then us) more. A promising new author.
>

FemaleDeer,

Thank you very much. Not necessarily for the positive review of Town
Dragon, although that was refreshing.

I want to thank you for your spirit. I am new to RAIF and RGIF. Over the
past three or four months I have been trying to figure out who is "nice"
around here. It's amazing, but most of the commentary about competition
games has been brutal. I've seen all of these reviews from various people
and they pick a few games they "loved" and they trash the rest.

I get the feeling that some RAIF regulars feel some "ownership" of the
news group and take it for granted that their opinions are written in
stone and that they should never be questioned.

You however have consistantly remained unbiased and positive. You support
newcomers and intelligently argue viewpoints with all of the regulars and
newbies.

And your reviews of the games have been critical in a constructive and
supportive manner. Almost like a kindergarten teacher, which I believe is
exactly what some of the regulars need sometimes. (: I feel very strongly
that your support will likely help this genre grow, where the criticisms
and lack of support from some of the regulars will likely offend and
scare people away.

I like you and I would give you my seat on the train anyday. (;

David A. Cornelson, Chicago

PS: My wife and I just got pregnant! Well...she's handling the hard part.
I already did my part and it really wasn't as difficult as I though it
would be.

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Post to Usenet

Daryl McCullough

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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In article <884104553...@dejanews.com>, David says...

>I want to thank you [Female Deer]


> for your spirit. I am new to RAIF and RGIF. Over the
>past three or four months I have been trying to figure out who is "nice"
>around here. It's amazing, but most of the commentary about competition
>games has been brutal. I've seen all of these reviews from various people
>and they pick a few games they "loved" and they trash the rest.

I think that all the RAIF and RGIF regulars are really nice people.
Unfortunately, when reviewing a work, people sometimes forget that
there is a human being behind it who could be hurt by the review.
Actually, many of the reviewers so far, including Female Deer and
Andrew Plotkin, *were* very careful not to insult the authors of
even their least-favorite games.

Daryl McCullough
CoGenTex, Inc.
Ithaca, NY

FemaleDeer

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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>From: David A. Cornelson ><david_x_...@amoco.com>
>Date: Tue, Jan 6, 1998 11:51 EST

>I like you and I would give you my seat on the train anyday. (;
>
>David A. Cornelson, Chicago
>
>PS: My wife and I just got pregnant! Well...she's handling >the hard part. I
already did my part and it really wasn't as >difficult as I though it
>would be.

Awwwwww, shucks, er, um, <blush>, thanks,

Actually I am a relative "newbie" to raif, I only stopped lurking and started
talking several months ago (4-6?, I forget which). BTW - It is easy to be a bit
harsh in just text, vocal inflections and body ques are a missing. I have
discovered this in aol "chat rooms", even when you think you are being clear,
it is easy to be misunderstood, even when you think you are being "witty", it
is easy to be seen as sarcastic, even when you think you are being relatively
nice, someone can take what you said wrong. I do think it is something we
should all remember. If we were "in person" all in one room, it would be a lot
harder to say somethings that might be considered cutting, i.e. a lot of us
probably wouldn't,

Congrats on new baby.

FD :-) I never ride trains if I can help it, but thanks anyway.

David Thornley

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Jan 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/7/98
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In article <68tr1c$m...@drn.zippo.com>,
There's also the question of what to do about the human being?

Just because a very worthwhile human being created something doesn't
mean that that something isn't a piece of garbage. The reviewer has
the choice of honestly portraying the game as trash or softening it
in the hopes of sparing the author's feelings.

I suggest that honesty is usually the way to go. It tells the
author to do better next time, and warns the rest of the community
off. I would not want the authors of certain games to think that
they had achieved something just a bit short of "Spring" or "Babel",
and that if they do the same sort of job they may get luckier
next time. I would like them to think that they did various things
wrong, and that if they do things differently they may get luckier
next time.

Further, we're talking about competition entries here. A large
number of people (by I-F community standards, anyway) committed themselves
to playing as many of the competition games as they could, and
the games were going to be judged. This means, to me, that the
author should be trying to provide something of quality, and that
the author can expect his or her work to be judged.

If some author writes something bad, or wants to publicize a first
attempt at learning Inform, then I suggest the proper way is to
submit it to the I-F archive in the normal way, rather than entering
it in the competition.

This being said, there's a difference between:
1) I didn't like this game, and here's a list of reasons why and
problems I found with it.
2) This game sucked.
3) The author of this game is a real loser.
and good reviewers should stay towards the (1) end.

--
David H. Thornley | These opinions are mine. I
da...@thornley.net | do give them freely to those
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | who run too slowly. O-

M. Wesley Osam

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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In article <884104553...@dejanews.com>, David A. Cornelson
<david_x_...@amoco.com> wrote:

> I want to thank you for your spirit. I am new to RAIF and RGIF. Over the


> past three or four months I have been trying to figure out who is "nice"
> around here. It's amazing, but most of the commentary about competition
> games has been brutal. I've seen all of these reviews from various people
> and they pick a few games they "loved" and they trash the rest.

I think you're being unfair to people who are giving some honest
criticism. Just because someone finds a lot of problems with a game -- and
there were a number of games this year with a lot of problems -- it does
not mean that they are "trashing" it. I certainly haven't seen anyone
"trashing" your game. The closest anyone has come to doing so was a
question about why the authors of a number of games thought anyone would be
interested in them. I'd try not to get too upset over that. It was a
perhaps harsh way of phrasing a question I ask myself all the time about a
comic strip I'm hoping to develop.

> I get the feeling that some RAIF regulars feel some "ownership" of the
> news group and take it for granted that their opinions are written in
> stone and that they should never be questioned.

Nonsense.

I have been reading the IF groups for about a year now, mostly lurking.
They are two of the most civil, friendly groups on the internet.

A first attempt is always given a lot of slack by reviewers. I think the
main reason "The Town Dragon" was still rated so low was the obvious lack
of proofreading. There was a noticable amount of misspelled words and
awkward grammar, and it suggested to me that you didn't really care about
what you were doing. Obviously, knowing a bit more about the author that
was unfair. However, first impressions count for a lot, and as IF is a text
medium, players will be judging you primarily by the competence of your
writing. (A good example is Andy Phillips' "Heist." The first release had a
lot of awful spelling and grammar, and I thought it was one of the worst
games I'd ever seen. Then he had it proofread for the second release, and
the strength of the plot became visible.)

The game was also slightly buggy. At one point, the walkthrough
instructed the player to take a mirror, but although I had apparently
followed the instructions to the letter until then, I was unable to take
it. I'm not certain that the game was even finishable, though I may be
missing something.

Another thing that may have colored reviewer's perceptions was the
presence of a completely unnecessary maze. It's the oldest puzzle in IF,
and most people are tired of it.

When you add to this the fact that the game was set in a standard,
generic fantasy world, you may begin to see the reviewers' point of view.
Generic Zork/Dungeons and Dragons style fantasy has been attempted over and
over again in IF, and anymore it takes something special (like last year's
"Meteor") to win people over, and the setting probably put the game's flaws
more in the forefront of many people's minds. I think perhaps this is a
clash of viewpoints; you were trying to be nostalgic, and other people
assumed a lack of imagination that wasn't really there.

> I feel very strongly
> that your support will likely help this genre grow, where the criticisms
> and lack of support from some of the regulars will likely offend and
> scare people away.

Criticism *is* support. The genre can't grow without it!

--
"Why do you look so skeptical?" M. Wesley Osam
"Because I've seen too much." wo...@iastate.edu
"Then why do you keep looking?
"Too much is never enough." -- Bill Griffith, "Zippy the Pinhead"

David A. Cornelson

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Jan 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/9/98
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In article <wosamSPAMBLOCK-ya0240...@news.iastate.edu>,

wosamSP...@iastate.edu (M. Wesley Osam) wrote:
>
> In article <884104553...@dejanews.com>, David A. Cornelson
> <david_x_...@amoco.com> wrote:
>
> > I want to thank you for your spirit. I am new to RAIF and RGIF. Over the
>
> I think you're being unfair to people who are giving some honest
> criticism. Just because someone finds a lot of problems with a game -- and
>

I was not referring to my reviews....I'm a little tougher than that.
Believe me. I was referring to all of the slamming of new authors...I
think it's missplaced.

> The game was also slightly buggy. At one point, the walkthrough
> instructed the player to take a mirror, but although I had apparently

> followed the instructions to the letter until then...

I'll recheck the walkthrough, but I'm pretty sure it worked for me and
others. Yes, the game is finishable...

> Another thing that may have colored reviewer's perceptions was the
> presence of a completely unnecessary maze. It's the oldest puzzle in IF,

This DOES irritate me....my answer is, tough...There were two fairly
simple ways of circumventing the maze if you were thorough in your
investigations.

As for mazes being "out"...this is nonsense to me. If the "maze" doesn't
"fit" into the story, that would be relavent....but slamming a maze for
being a maze is simply not right...

I relate this to violence and sex in movies. If it's gratuitous, then it's
wrong, but if it's an intregal part of the story, it belongs. My maze
belonged...period....

> When you add to this the fact that the game was set in a standard,
> generic fantasy world, you may begin to see the reviewers' point of view.

Okay the gloves are off...There will always be NEW authors. There will
always be authors that write fantasy, whether as their first attempt, or
simply because THEY like it...quite frankly there are people that LOVE
DRAGONS and DAMSELS (though someone complained about the hero always
being a heterosexual male, which is perfectly legitimate in my mind)...I
like fantasy...I WILL promise to write a better fantasy game at some
point too...

Do we really need to yell at people for not being original? Originality
is something that will come with time for most authors, but it's my
experience that the best way to learn is to write something that you
know. That is why I chose the story. It WAS easy and unoriginal. But I
was learning to write Inform and it was the best way for me accomplish
that task. Writing an original story is a hell of a lot harder than
writing Inform and I believe that most (not all) authors will write
something realtively bland their first time around so they learn the
intricacies of their chosen compiler.

My point in patting FD on the back was that new authors should be given a
break if their games are poorly written or follow old storylines. Being
supportive is important but it seems as though some people are fixed on
being brutal no matter what. Let's stop this needless use of harshness as
a method of criticism. We're putting are sweat and blood into these
games...it really matters what people say. What you say MATTERS. Be
careful.

Instead of saying, "Eegads, fantasy? a dragon? a town? this game is SO
out of date!", you should write, "The author followed an old storyline
that lacks originality, but has some new twists that should be
appreciated."

I have no problem with criticism....just use the same judgement you would
use in a room of people. You can be relatively direct with the people you
know well and you should be cautious and polite with the people you don't
know well. This relates as well to authors you KNOW have been around the
block as well as authors that are new to the newsgroups.

Be nice and you will reap the rewards. Be harsh and people will feel
stifled and hurt. They may not try again and THAT would be a bad thing.

David A. Cornelson, Chicago

Mary K. Kuhner

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Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
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In article <884393222....@dejanews.com> David A. Cornelson <dcorn...@placet.com> writes:

[comments on the maze in "Town Dragon"]

>This DOES irritate me....my answer is, tough...There were two fairly
>simple ways of circumventing the maze if you were thorough in your
>investigations.

>As for mazes being "out"...this is nonsense to me. If the "maze" doesn't
>"fit" into the story, that would be relavent....but slamming a maze for
>being a maze is simply not right...

You know, though, you can't argue the player (and that's what judges
are, first and foremost--players) out of his or her reaction. If
the player gets to a maze and feels bored and annoyed, there's no
use telling them they shouldn't. Experience suggests that a *lot*
of players react that way, not just one or two reviewers, so it
would probably be a good idea to avoid mazes unless you can give
them a new twist.

It strikes me (and I'm sorry I didn't say this in beta-test)
that the maze in TD could be replaced with text in either of two
useful ways. You could simply describe the character wandering
through the woods until he comes to the key location--without
asking the player to type in directions. Or you could have the
character wander in the woods and return to the town--again, without
player intervention--unless the character has found whatever the
information is that lets him know the route.

Mary Kuhner mkku...@genetics.washington.edu

Magnus Olsson

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Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
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In article <wosamSPAMBLOCK-ya0240...@news.iastate.edu>,

M. Wesley Osam <wosamSP...@iastate.edu> wrote:
>In article <884104553...@dejanews.com>, David A. Cornelson
><david_x_...@amoco.com> wrote:
>
>> I want to thank you for your spirit. I am new to RAIF and RGIF. Over the
>> past three or four months I have been trying to figure out who is "nice"
>> around here. It's amazing, but most of the commentary about competition
>> games has been brutal. I've seen all of these reviews from various people
>> and they pick a few games they "loved" and they trash the rest.
>
> I think you're being unfair to people who are giving some honest
>criticism. Just because someone finds a lot of problems with a game -- and
>there were a number of games this year with a lot of problems -- it does
>not mean that they are "trashing" it.

Agrred, in general, but to be fair I have seen some rather nasty remarks
posted here. It's always a very hard decision to make for the reviewer:
if you really think a game sucked, shouldn't you be allowed to say so?
Or should you always be concerned that you might hurt the feelings of
the author? It's also often very tempting for a reviewer to get nasty:
for some reason, it's more *fun* writing bad reviews than good ones.
It's terrible, but I would be a hypocrite if I said anyhting else. I feel
that these dark impulses must be kept in check, but, at the same time,
a reviewer mustn't be too considerate to be worth his/her salt.

The role of the critic should be that of the guy who says the truth,
even if it's ugly (of course, that "truth" is very subjective, which
makes it all even more difficult). But the reviewer who succumbs to
his own sadistic tendencies is nothing but a bully.

In the end, I think the standard for criticism should be: is it
constructive? Bad criticism is _much_ easier to swallow if you can
learn something from it. And this is where I feel that a minority of
the people posting here have erred: nasty things like "This game is yet
another generic-medieval-fantasy dungeon crawl, hence it's beneath my
consideration" aren't very constructive, are they? (Yes, I know, nobody
has written exactly that, but some people came close).

>> I get the feeling that some RAIF regulars feel some "ownership" of the
>> news group and take it for granted that their opinions are written in
>> stone and that they should never be questioned.
>
> Nonsense.

Indeed. The only thing I've seen that even begins to resemble this is
when some outsider (i.e. somebody who hasn't posted to the group
before) turns up and tries to proselytize and convince us regulars
that what we're doing is wrong and we should see things their way
instead.

If people have been a bit tough on David Cornelson, it's probably
because some of his own posts have been a little, well, let's call it
provocatively formulated.

> Criticism *is* support. The genre can't grow without it!

And it's important to remember that this is true for negative
criticism as well, as long as it's constructive and tells people not
just that they are doing something wrong, but *what* they're doing
wrong.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------
Not officially connected to LU or LTH.

David J Wildstrom

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Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
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>of proofreading. There was a noticable amount of misspelled words and
>awkward grammar, and it suggested to me that you didn't really care about
>what you were doing. Obviously, knowing a bit more about the author that

I think you mean "there _were_ a noticable amount......" :-)

Then again, maybe not. Is "amount" a collective noun? And what's the
British/American ruling on collective plurality? IIRC they're different, but
I can't remember which is which. I'm a little inconsistent in that regard.

> When you add to this the fact that the game was set in a standard,
>generic fantasy world, you may begin to see the reviewers' point of view.

>Generic Zork/Dungeons and Dragons style fantasy has been attempted over and
>over again in IF, and anymore it takes something special (like last year's
>"Meteor") to win people over, and the setting probably put the game's flaws
>more in the forefront of many people's minds. I think perhaps this is a

Can't agree more. I'm in a creative writing class, and every time someone
presents a love poem I'm tempted to stand up and ask them if they've ever
thought of doing anything _original_. Old formulas don't work unless you can
make your use of them stand out somehow.

+--First Church of Briantology--Order of the Holy Quaternion--+
| A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into |
| theorems. -Paul Erdos |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
| David Wildstrom |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+

Dave Gatewood

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Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
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David J Wildstrom wrote:

> M. Wesley Osam wrote:
> >of proofreading. There was a noticable amount of misspelled words and
> >awkward grammar, and it suggested to me that you didn't really care about
> >what you were doing. Obviously, knowing a bit more about the author that
>
> I think you mean "there _were_ a noticable amount......" :-)

I think he meant "there was a *noticeable* amount...." :-)

Brock Kevin Nambo

unread,
Jan 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/10/98
to

David J Wildstrom wrote in message <696re2$7...@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>...
>In article <wosamSPAMBLOCK-ya0240...@news.iastate.edu>,

>M. Wesley Osam <wosamSP...@iastate.edu> wrote:
>>of proofreading. There was a noticable amount of misspelled words and
>I think you mean "there _were_ a noticable amount......" :-)
>Then again, maybe not. Is "amount" a collective noun? And what's the
>British/American ruling on collective plurality? IIRC they're different,
but
>I can't remember which is which. I'm a little inconsistent in that regard.

Probably "There was a noticeable amount".. mainly because amount is
singular; it is possible to have *amounts* of things.

Examples:
There were large amounts of coffee beans strewn about.
There was a large amount of coffee spilled in her lap.

Not very clear, I suppose, but the lines do line up exactly there.. ;)

>>BKNambo
--
http://come.to/brocks.place | World Domination Through Trivia!
oah123 (in chatquiz, 12/27/97): "did you guys know during the SPIN cycle the
clothes are like being spun really fast? LOL i just found that out!"


FemaleDeer

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

>Probably "There was a noticeable amount".. mainly because amount is
>singular; it is possible to have *amounts* of things.
>
>Examples:
>There were large amounts of coffee beans strewn about.
>There was a large amount of coffee spilled in her lap.

ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

The things this group will nitpick over!!!!!!! Arrrrrrrrgggghhhh!!!
(Not just you, BKN). It drrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvveeeeeessss
me crazy sometimes!!!

FD <....tearing out hair as she runs off into the sunset

Stephen Robert Norris

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <19980111060...@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
femal...@aol.com (FemaleDeer) intoned:

> The things this group will nitpick over!!!!!!! Arrrrrrrrgggghhhh!!!
> (Not just you, BKN). It drrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvveeeeeessss
> me crazy sometimes!!!
>
> FD <....tearing out hair as she runs off into the sunset

You're missing the closing '>' here, by the way. Oh, and you've mispeeled
"drives"

Stephen "Hav a niic day." Norris

Chris Marriott

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <696re2$7...@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>, David J Wildstrom
<dwil...@mit.edu> writes

>Then again, maybe not. Is "amount" a collective noun? And what's the
>British/American ruling on collective plurality? IIRC they're different, but
>I can't remember which is which. I'm a little inconsistent in that regard.

Certainly in the UK a collective noun is singular - eg we'd say "the
flock of birds IS moving north", not "... ARE moving north".

Chris

----------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Marriott, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer.
SkyMap Software, U.K. e-mail: ch...@skymap.com
Visit our web site at http://www.skymap.com

M. Wesley Osam

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <884393222....@dejanews.com>, David A. Cornelson
<dcorn...@placet.com> wrote:

> Okay the gloves are off...There will always be NEW authors. There will
> always be authors that write fantasy, whether as their first attempt, or
> simply because THEY like it...quite frankly there are people that LOVE
> DRAGONS and DAMSELS (though someone complained about the hero always
> being a heterosexual male, which is perfectly legitimate in my mind)...I
> like fantasy...I WILL promise to write a better fantasy game at some
> point too...

I'm not saying that fantasy should be abandoned. I was simply trying
to explain why the game might have rubbed the reviewers the wrong way, and
why they would see their concerns as legitimate.

> I have no problem with criticism....just use the same judgement you would
> use in a room of people.

I had thought that I was. I'm sorry if it did not come off as intended.

M. Wesley Osam

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <696re2$7...@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>, dwil...@mit.edu (David
J Wildstrom) wrote:

> In article <wosamSPAMBLOCK-ya0240...@news.iastate.edu>,
> M. Wesley Osam <wosamSP...@iastate.edu> wrote:
> >of proofreading. There was a noticable amount of misspelled words and

> >awkward grammar, and it suggested to me that you didn't really care about
> >what you were doing. Obviously, knowing a bit more about the author that
>

> I think you mean "there _were_ a noticable amount......" :-)

How ironic...

> Then again, maybe not. Is "amount" a collective noun? And what's the
> British/American ruling on collective plurality? IIRC they're different, but
> I can't remember which is which. I'm a little inconsistent in that regard.

I can't remember now. I'll bow to your judgement.

> Can't agree more. I'm in a creative writing class, and every time someone
> presents a love poem I'm tempted to stand up and ask them if they've ever
> thought of doing anything _original_. Old formulas don't work unless you can
> make your use of them stand out somehow.

Of course, it's quite possible you *will* come up with something new, so
don't be discouraged -- just give what you're doing some thought.

Steve Bernard

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

FemaleDeer wrote:
>
> >Probably "There was a noticeable amount".. mainly because amount is
> >singular; it is possible to have *amounts* of things.
> >
> >Examples:
> >There were large amounts of coffee beans strewn about.
> >There was a large amount of coffee spilled in her lap.
>
> ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
>
> The things this group will nitpick over!!!!!!! Arrrrrrrrgggghhhh!!!
> (Not just you, BKN). It drrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvveeeeeessss
> me crazy sometimes!!!


Um, I think you meant to say "drrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvveeeeeessss",
not "drrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvveeeeeessss". People always forget
that there's only eleven "i"s in
"drrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvveeeeeessss".

Geez...

>
> FD <....tearing out hair as she runs off into the sunset

Steve <----pithy, smart-assed and irritating as he drives his Pinto to
Toledo

--
It began with a certain disgust, and it ended-
Since we could not immediately seize upon eternity-
It ended in a scattering of perfumes.
-Arthur Rimbaud

Trevor Barrie

unread,
Jan 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/11/98
to

In article <884393222....@dejanews.com>,
David A. Cornelson <dcorn...@placet.com> wrote:

>As for mazes being "out"...this is nonsense to me. If the "maze" doesn't
>"fit" into the story, that would be relavent....but slamming a maze for
>being a maze is simply not right...

The way I see it, the maze is no different from any other puzzle... it's
cool the first time, but that's it. I really liked the puzzle for getting
past the devil in "John's Fire Witch", but if every second game started
using that puzzle I'd get sick of it pretty quickly. Similarly, the maze
in Collosal Cave (or whichever game you personally first encountered a
maze in) was an interesting challenge, but it's been _done_ - there's no
reason it should have been included in a second game.

Of course, I haven't actually played your game, so if your maze had
something making it a distinct challenge from the "standard" maze, this
complaint doesn't actually apply.

John Francis

unread,
Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
to

In article <PIcquGAJ...@chrism.demon.co.uk>,

Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <696re2$7...@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>, David J Wildstrom
><dwil...@mit.edu> writes
>>Then again, maybe not. Is "amount" a collective noun? And what's the
>>British/American ruling on collective plurality? IIRC they're different, but
>>I can't remember which is which. I'm a little inconsistent in that regard.
>
>Certainly in the UK a collective noun is singular - eg we'd say "the
>flock of birds IS moving north", not "... ARE moving north".
>
>Chris

"Masterpiece Theatre (and why not theater, you may ask) is brought to you
by Mobil Corporation, which invites you to join with them in supporting Public
Television".

I always thought it should be " ... who invite you to join with them".
(Or "invites you to join with it", but that definitely sounds strained).
--
John Francis jfra...@sgi.com Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(650)933-8295 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd. MS 43U-991
(650)933-4692 (Fax) Mountain View, CA 94043-1389
Unsolicited electronic mail will be subject to a $100 handling fee.

Chris Marriott

unread,
Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
to

In article <69eboa$cn...@fido.asd.sgi.com>, John Francis <jfrancis@dunge
on.engr.sgi.com> writes

>"Masterpiece Theatre (and why not theater, you may ask) is brought to you
>by Mobil Corporation, which invites you to join with them in supporting Public
>Television".
>
>I always thought it should be " ... who invite you to join with them".
>(Or "invites you to join with it", but that definitely sounds strained).

"which" is used to refer to inanimate objects, "who" to refer to living
beings. I guess a corporation doesn't count as a "person" :-).

Joe Mason

unread,
Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
to

In article <69eboa$cn...@fido.asd.sgi.com>,

John Francis <jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com> wrote:
>
>"Masterpiece Theatre (and why not theater, you may ask) is brought to you
>by Mobil Corporation, which invites you to join with them in supporting Public
>Television".
>
>I always thought it should be " ... who invite you to join with them".
>(Or "invites you to join with it", but that definitely sounds strained).

"I want us to merge."

Joe


Den of Iniquity

unread,
Jan 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/13/98
to

On 10 Jan 1998, David J Wildstrom wrote:

>I think you mean "there _were_ a noticable amount......" :-)
>

>Then again, maybe not. Is "amount" a collective noun? And what's the
>British/American ruling on collective plurality? IIRC they're different, but
>I can't remember which is which. I'm a little inconsistent in that regard.

Forget collective nouns, forget possible differences in British and
American ruling. The first real clue is the article, 'a'. Now do you see
why 'there were a...' is not a good way to start a clause? Frighteningly
overused, though.

--
Den


Carl Klutzke

unread,
Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98011...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,

Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>Forget collective nouns, forget possible differences in British and
>American ruling. The first real clue is the article, 'a'. Now do you see
>why 'there were a...' is not a good way to start a clause? Frighteningly
>overused, though.

It's really a poor structure. For one thing, 'there' implies a location
which doesn't really exist. "There was a thing..." Where was it?

I especially try to avoid this in my technical writing.

Carl Klutzke

Den of Iniquity

unread,
Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

On 14 Jan 1998, Carl Klutzke wrote:

>It's really a poor structure. For one thing, 'there' implies a location
>which doesn't really exist. "There was a thing..." Where was it?
>
>I especially try to avoid this in my technical writing.

In technical writing I'd also try to avoid frequent use of thisbut any
good dictionary will tell you that 'there' doesn't have to imply a
location. It is legitimately used in place of the subject of the verb 'to
be' (or other intransitive verbs) to avoid such constructions as "Last
night, in a London flat, a fire was."

--
Den


Magnus Olsson

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Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98011...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,
Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:

And the part of speech is known as the formal subject (at least that's
what Swedish grammarians call it). It's the same thing as when you say
"It is raining". What is "it"?

Stu042

unread,
Jan 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/14/98
to

In article <69eboa$cn...@fido.asd.sgi.com>, jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com (John
Francis) writes:

>
>"Masterpiece Theatre (and why not theater, you may ask)

Thank you. And why not theater?

Stuart

Paul David Doherty

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <69jf9d$9ld$1...@bartlet.df.lth.se>,

Magnus Olsson <m...@bartlet.df.lth.se> wrote:
>>On 14 Jan 1998, Carl Klutzke wrote:
>>
>>>It's really a poor structure. For one thing, 'there' implies a location
>>>which doesn't really exist. "There was a thing..." Where was it?
>
>And the part of speech is known as the formal subject (at least that's
>what Swedish grammarians call it). It's the same thing as when you say
>"It is raining". What is "it"?

Nope, it's not the same thing. The "it" in "it is raining" is called an
expletive. It's the subject of the sentence but has no meaning at all.
Syntax requires a subject in a sentence, but since our ancestors didn't
know who it is that rains, they called it "it"...

The "there" is something different. Those sentencs do have a real subject
(e.g. the "thing" in the example above), and the "there" correlates
with it. Often the subject is too top-heavy (or has too much new
information), so one wouldn't want it at the beginning of the sentence.
Hence the "there" construction.

-- Dave


LucFrench

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

>>Then again, maybe not. Is "amount" a collective noun? And what's the
>>British/American ruling on collective plurality? IIRC they're different, but
>>I can't remember which is which. I'm a little inconsistent in that regard.
>
>Certainly in the UK a collective noun is singular - eg we'd say "the
>flock of birds IS moving north", not "... ARE moving north".

Speaking for the USA contiginent<sp>, I can state that this is true as well in
the US.

Thanks
Luc French

Dylan O'Donnell

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <69jf9d$9ld$1...@bartlet.df.lth.se>,
Magnus Olsson <m...@bartlet.df.lth.se> wrote:
>In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98011...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,
>Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>>In technical writing I'd also try to avoid frequent use of thisbut any
>>good dictionary will tell you that 'there' doesn't have to imply a
>>location. It is legitimately used in place of the subject of the verb 'to
>>be' (or other intransitive verbs) to avoid such constructions as "Last
>>night, in a London flat, a fire was."
>
>And the part of speech is known as the formal subject (at least that's
>what Swedish grammarians call it). It's the same thing as when you say
>"It is raining". What is "it"?

`--I proceed. "Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria,
declared for him: and even Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of
Canterbury, found it advisable--"'

`Found WHAT?' said the Duck.

`Found IT,' the Mouse replied rather crossly: `of course you know
what "it" means.'

`I know what "it" means well enough, when I find a thing,' said the
Duck: `it's generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did
the archbishop find?'

-- Lewis Carroll, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

Just muddying the grammatical waters :-)

--
: Dylan O'Donnell : "What scourge, what scourge I bear, from :
: Southend Slave Deck, : what red star/ So near to happiness, :
: Demon Internet Ltd : and yet so far?" :
: http://www.fysh.org/~psmith/ : -- Andrew Plotkin, "So Far" :

Den of Iniquity

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

On 15 Jan 1998, Paul David Doherty wrote:

>Magnus Olsson <m...@bartlet.df.lth.se> wrote:
[after "There is a..."]


>>And the part of speech is known as the formal subject (at least that's
>>what Swedish grammarians call it). It's the same thing as when you say
>>"It is raining". What is "it"?

Formal subject. Must remember that.

>Nope, it's not the same thing. The "it" in "it is raining" is called an
>expletive. It's the subject of the sentence but has no meaning at all.

>The "there" is something different.

Yes and no - there is acting somewhat differently but it is also termed an
'expletive' - a word used (not only for reasons of grammar) in a sentence
without actually altering the meaning.

--
Den


Carl Klutzke

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98011...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,
Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>In technical writing I'd also try to avoid frequent use of thisbut any
>good dictionary will tell you that 'there' doesn't have to imply a
>location. It is legitimately used in place of the subject of the verb 'to
>be' (or other intransitive verbs) to avoid such constructions as "Last
>night, in a London flat, a fire was."

But it's easy to avoid, if you remember to do so. "Last night a fire
occurred in a London flat." "There" also has a tendency to put your
sentence into passive voice, which is generally a bad thing.

Though I must admit, I nearly wrote the first sentence in this post as
"But there's an easy way to avoid it."

Carl

Carl Klutzke

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98011...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,
Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
>Yes and no - there is acting somewhat differently but it is also termed an
>'expletive' - a word used (not only for reasons of grammar) in a sentence
>without actually altering the meaning.

Huh. I always thought an expletive was something you deleted in polite
company. I'd never heard it used in this manner before, but my dictionary
seems to confirm it.

Carl, who has an embarassingly poor knowledge of grammatical rules for
someone who writes for a living.


Andrew Plotkin

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

But, I understand, there is an odd exception for synecdoche. We say "The
White House has no comment..." and I'm told UKers say "The White House
have no comment..."

But correct me if I'm misremembering this.

--Z

--

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the
borogoves..."

Randolph M. Jones

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

Chris Marriott wrote:
> Certainly in the UK a collective noun is singular - eg we'd say "the
> flock of birds IS moving north", not "... ARE moving north".

Then why, when I'm watching British football/soccer on ESPN, do
the announcers say things like "The team are playing well tonight"?

Stephen Granade

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Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

Because there is a disagreement between English and Americanish as to
whether nouns such as "team" and "crowd" are singular or plural. For example:

Brit announcer: The goal is scored, and the crowd are going wild.

Yank announcer: A pass; a shot; the goal is good! Oh, my, what a shot!
The crowd is going wild, I tell ya!

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Check out
Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.miningco.com


Den of Iniquity

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Stephen Granade wrote:
>On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Randolph M. Jones wrote:
>> Chris Marriott wrote:
>> > Certainly in the UK a collective noun is singular - eg we'd say "the
>> > flock of birds IS moving north", not "... ARE moving north".
>>
>> Then why, when I'm watching British football/soccer on ESPN, do
>> the announcers say things like "The team are playing well tonight"?
>
>Because there is a disagreement between English and Americanish as to
>whether nouns such as "team" and "crowd" are singular or plural.

Actually, I think it more likely that any use of 'the crowd are' and 'the
team are' is simply incorrect, but so much in common usage that nobody
really notices. Or cares.

>Brit announcer: The goal is scored, and the crowd are going wild.
>
>Yank announcer: A pass; a shot; the goal is good! Oh, my, what a shot!
>The crowd is going wild, I tell ya!

I suspect that you're having a go at more than the grammar. It depends on
the commentator and the television channel they've signed up to
commmentate for.

(There's that Geordie darts commentator whose name escapes me on Sky
Sports who continually spouts the most extraordinary drivel when he gets
excited, leaving no metaphor unturned, unmixed or gathering moss and in an
extraordinarily imaginative way that never fails to irritate me.)

--
Den


Chris Marriott

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>, Andrew Plotkin
<erky...@netcom.com> writes

>But, I understand, there is an odd exception for synecdoche. We say "The
>White House has no comment..." and I'm told UKers say "The White House
>have no comment..."
>
>But correct me if I'm misremembering this.

You may well be right, but if so this is something which *I've*
certainly never encountered!

Chris Marriott

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <34BE5C...@eecs.umich.edu>, "Randolph M. Jones"
<rjo...@eecs.umich.edu> writes

>Then why, when I'm watching British football/soccer on ESPN, do
>the announcers say things like "The team are playing well tonight"?

Football commentators are famous (or perhaps "infamous" might be a
better word) for their lack of knowledge of the English (or any other!)
language. Please don't take their version of the language as any
indicator as to what is correct or incorrect :-).

Brock Kevin Nambo

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

Den of Iniquity wrote in message ...

>On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Stephen Granade wrote:
>>On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Randolph M. Jones wrote:
>>> Chris Marriott wrote:
>>> > Certainly in the UK a collective noun is singular - eg we'd say "the
>>> > flock of birds IS moving north", not "... ARE moving north".
>>>
>>> Then why, when I'm watching British football/soccer on ESPN, do
>>> the announcers say things like "The team are playing well tonight"?
>>
>>Because there is a disagreement between English and Americanish as to
>>whether nouns such as "team" and "crowd" are singular or plural.
>
>Actually, I think it more likely that any use of 'the crowd are' and 'the
>team are' is simply incorrect, but so much in common usage that nobody
>really notices. Or cares.

My English teachers (American English that is) always give the circular
answer that it depends on what you are talking about...

"The team is playing well."
"The team are taking their showers."

Uh. Well, 'is' does make more sense I guess. (I never listened to my
teachers anyway.. ;)

>>BKNambo
--
http://come.to/brocks.place | World Domination Through Trivia!
oah123 (in chatquiz, 12/27/97): "did you guys know during the SPIN cycle the
clothes are like being spun really fast? LOL i just found that out!"


Julian Arnold

unread,
Jan 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/15/98
to

In article <69lb7h$a5j$1...@news.iquest.net>, Carl Klutzke

<URL:mailto:cklu...@iquest.net> wrote:
> In article <Pine.SGI.3.95L.98011...@ebor.york.ac.uk>,
> Den of Iniquity <dms...@york.ac.uk> wrote:
> >In technical writing I'd also try to avoid frequent use of thisbut any
> >good dictionary will tell you that 'there' doesn't have to imply a
> >location. It is legitimately used in place of the subject of the verb 'to
> >be' (or other intransitive verbs) to avoid such constructions as "Last
> >night, in a London flat, a fire was."
>
> But it's easy to avoid, if you remember to do so. "Last night a fire
> occurred in a London flat." "There" also has a tendency to put your
> sentence into passive voice, which is generally a bad thing.

"You are Flat in london."

It's still funny. :)

Jools
--
"For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand
ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from
ever completing anything." -- Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"


Graham Nelson

unread,
Jan 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/16/98
to

In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>, Andrew Plotkin
<URL:mailto:erky...@netcom.com> wrote:

> But, I understand, there is an odd exception for synecdoche. We say "The
> White House has no comment..." and I'm told UKers say "The White House
> have no comment..."

Which is interesting, as we would also say "10 Downing Street has
no comment" rather than "have" -- we regard 10 Downing Street as
being merely a euphemism for Mr Tony Blair, whereas we regard the
White House as being Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, Socks, Al, Mrs Al,
10 paranoid geeks babbling insanely about satellite intelligence,
100 journalists in the basement, Clint Eastwood making a cameo
appearance as the chief bodyguard, Henry Kissinger pouring lighter
fluid over a map of southeast Asia, five trailer-park women made
good and now suing the President for sexual harrassment but
disagreeing as to the shape of his chief aid, and of course every
branch of the entire U.S. government except NASA, which is well
known to be down on the coast somewhere.

Whereas to Americans, presumably the White House just means Bill
(plus cronies who count for nothing).

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


rich

unread,
Jan 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/16/98
to

On Thu, 15 Jan 1998 19:16:55 +0000, Chris Marriott <ch...@chrism.demon.co.uk>
wrote:

>Football commentators are famous (or perhaps "infamous" might be a
>better word) for their lack of knowledge of the English (or any other!)
>language. Please don't take their version of the language as any
>indicator as to what is correct or incorrect :-).

A different (and probably more applicable) example might be corporations.
British financial periodicals will refer to a corporation as a plural (implied
collective), whereas Americans consider companies singular.

Of course the real reason would probably be the same reason we yanks drive on
the opposite side of the road: because it's exactly what the British do NOT do,
and when there is a revolution people tend to come up with crazy ideas like
that.

-Rich

John Francis

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Jan 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/16/98
to

In article <ant160138bc8M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>,

Graham Nelson <gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <erkyrathE...@netcom.com>, Andrew Plotkin
><URL:mailto:erky...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>> But, I understand, there is an odd exception for synecdoche. We say "The
>> White House has no comment..." and I'm told UKers say "The White House
>> have no comment..."
>
>Which is interesting, as we would also say "10 Downing Street has
>no comment" rather than "have" -- we regard 10 Downing Street as
>being merely a euphemism for Mr Tony Blair, whereas we regard the
>White House as being Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, Socks, Al, Mrs Al,
>10 paranoid geeks babbling insanely about satellite intelligence,
>100 journalists in the basement, Clint Eastwood making a cameo
>appearance as the chief bodyguard, Henry Kissinger pouring lighter
>fluid over a map of southeast Asia, five trailer-park women made
>good and now suing the President for sexual harrassment but
>disagreeing as to the shape of his chief aid, and of course every
>branch of the entire U.S. government except NASA, which is well
>known to be down on the coast somewhere.

You forgot Buddy!
(and Tipper would *not* be pleased at being referred to as Mrs Al)

John W. Kennedy

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Jan 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/16/98
to

In <ant160138bc8M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>, Graham Nelson <gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> writes:
>Whereas to Americans, presumably the White House just means Bill
>(plus cronies who count for nothing).

No, when a US journalist says "the White House", he definitely means
the whole sick crew; when he wants to say "the President", he says
"the President".

No, we use "the White House" as grammatically singular because that
is our general habit; a singular synecdoche always takes a singular
verb, whereas British use follows the sense, rather than the word.
There are many such instances.

M. Wesley Osam

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Jan 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/17/98
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In article <69atf9$ar$1...@drollsden.ibm.net>, tba...@ibm.net (Trevor Barrie)
wrote:

> The way I see it, the maze is no different from any other puzzle... it's
> cool the first time, but that's it.

I think mazes are disliked in particular because they are usually put in
simply for the hell of it. I've seen very few mazes that had a reason that
I could see for existing in the story. Mostly it looks like the author said
to him- or herself, "Man, this game is way too short! What can I do to
impede the player's progress and pad the thing out?" and then used the most
tedious and least imaginative solution.

--
"Why do you look so skeptical?" M. Wesley Osam
"Because I've seen too much." wo...@iastate.edu
"Then why do you keep looking?
"Too much is never enough." -- Bill Griffith, "Zippy the Pinhead"

LucFrench

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

Graham Nelson <gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> said:
>Which is interesting, as we would also say "10 Downing Street has
>no comment" rather than "have" -- we regard 10 Downing Street as
>being merely a euphemism for Mr Tony Blair, whereas we regard the
>White House as being Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, Socks, Al, Mrs Al,
>10 paranoid geeks babbling insanely about satellite intelligence,
>100 journalists in the basement, Clint Eastwood making a cameo
>appearance as the chief bodyguard, Henry Kissinger pouring lighter
>fluid over a map of southeast Asia, five trailer-park women made
>good and now suing the President for sexual harrassment but
>disagreeing as to the shape of his chief aid, and of course every
>branch of the entire U.S. government except NASA, which is well
>known to be down on the coast somewhere.
>
>Whereas to Americans, presumably the White House just means Bill
>(plus cronies who count for nothing).

And now, the fun:

*Knock**Knock**Knock*

"Hello?"

"Narn Bat Squad, Mr. Nelson. We're here to pound you for offending the
sensibilities of newsgroup readers. Here's our warrant."

[Shows a piece of paper, containing the above post, and a license given by the
Oxford Police.]

"Normally, Mr. Nelson, we wouldn't pound you, since this was on a non-Babylon 5
newsgroup, but a post this henious deserves special punishment."

[Door is opened]

*Tromp**Tromp**Tromp**Tromp**Tromp*
*WHAM!**WHAM!**WHAM!**WHAM!**WHAM!*
*Tromp**Tromp**Tromp**Tromp**Tromp*

Thanks
Luc French
Member of Narnwatch

FemaleDeer

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

>From: Graham Nelson <gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk>
>Date: Thu, Jan 15, 1998 20:32 EST

>Which is interesting, as we would also say "10 Downing Street has
>no comment" rather than "have" -- we regard 10 Downing Street as
>being merely a euphemism for Mr Tony Blair, whereas we regard the
>White House as being Bill, Hillary, Chelsea, Socks, Al, Mrs Al,
>10 paranoid geeks babbling insanely about satellite intelligence,
>100 journalists in the basement, Clint Eastwood making a cameo
>appearance as the chief bodyguard, Henry Kissinger pouring lighter
>fluid over a map of southeast Asia, five trailer-park women made
>good and now suing the President for sexual harrassment but
>disagreeing as to the shape of his chief aid, and of course every
>branch of the entire U.S. government except NASA, which is well
>known to be down on the coast somewhere.

You left out the "twinkie" crazed assassin lurking outside the fence around the
rose garden, sneakily hidden among the ordinary, daily picketing freaks.

FD :-) Let's get it right!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Femal...@aol.com "Good breeding consists in
concealing how much we think of ourselves and how
little we think of the other person." Mark Twain

cont...@cruznet2.cruznet.net

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

Well, actually, the screen reader I use prefers to read "noticable", and
pronounces it like it should abe pronounced, while it poonaounaces tahe ea
in "noticeable" like the ea in "mean". However, when I put it through a
scraabble judging proagram, "noticable" comaes up not valid. But does that
*onae* little thing make so graeat a difference?

Ganvira


--
IRC Contralto
DRAGON'S FANG MUD: Ganvira, Ketar, Denara
ANGALON MUD: Icedagger
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
________ If you think I should sing soprano, you most likely haven't
________ heard me in person.
___|____
___|____
___|____
(__)_

cont...@cruznet2.cruznet.net

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

I agree that mazes can be overdone. But if the maze has a meaning, a use within
the plot, they should be used as anecessary. The only thing I disapprove of is
having a maze for the sake of having a maze.

cont...@cruznet2.cruznet.net

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

I think the point that I see out of this is, we can fuss over grammatical
correctness all we want, but the iamportant tahing, in my opinion, is tao
get the point across in a way that *souands* natural, aanad flows well. It
is easy to get caught up ian acadaemia aand miss those two very imapaortant
criteria. The only reaall point at which one amight want to be aconcerned is
if the writing is not only gramatically corraeact, but *also* doaesn't sound
right and/aoar get the point across.

cont...@cruznet2.cruznet.net

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

OK, so maybe the gramatical aspect of things is a bit off. But the
sentence that used "there" sounds better than that other, longer
version. And when you look at it, does "there" at the beginning *really*
make such a big difference?

Ganvira, who believes grammar gets blown out of proportion.

Brock Kevin Nambo

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

cont...@cruznet2.cruznet.net wrote in message
<69tsfj$ilq$3...@usenet85.supernews.com>...

>I think the point that I see out of this is, we can fuss over grammatical
>correctness all we want, but the iamportant tahing, in my opinion, is tao
>get the point across in a way that *souands* natural, aanad flows well. It
>is easy to get caught up ian acadaemia aand miss those two very imapaortant
>criteria. The only reaall point at which one amight want to be aconcerned
is
>if the writing is not only gramatically corraeact, but *also* doaesn't
sound
>right and/aoar get the point across.

Hi, is this an Italian or Southern accent?

>>BKNambo (well, taht's what it looks like to me.. could be different)

Steven Howard

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Jan 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/18/98
to

In <69tsfj$ilq$3...@usenet85.supernews.com>, on 01/18/98
at 09:33 PM, cont...@cruznet2.cruznet.net () said:

>I think the point that I see out of this is, we can fuss over grammatical
>correctness all we want, but the iamportant tahing, in my opinion, is tao
> get the point across in a way that *souands* natural, aanad flows well.
>It is easy to get caught up ian acadaemia aand miss those two very
>imapaortant criteria. The only reaall point at which one amight want to
>be aconcerned is if the writing is not only gramatically corraeact, but
>*also* doaesn't sound right and/aoar get the point across.

Lots of spelling errors in this. And yes, they REALLY do make it hard for
us to discern what you mean. I mean, it's obvious that "aanad" should be
"and" but I had to look at "imapaortant" a couple of times to read it as
"important."

I didn't harp much about spelling or grammar in my reviews
(except for "Symetry" in which both were of such poor quality as to make
reading the text almost painful). It does bother me, though, to see games
released with elementary errors in
spelling and grammar. In my opinion, this is nothing but an
insult to the reader. If the author wants me to take time
to read his or her work, he or she should take it seriously
enough to make sure it's spelled properly and grammatically
correct. Otherwise, the author is saying, in effect, "Screw
you, reader. I can't be bothered to take the time to make
this right, because I don't care if it's easy for you to
read this or not."

========
Steven Howard
bl...@ibm.net

"Are you a COBOL programmer?" "No, but people tell me I look like one."


Stuart Adair

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Jan 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/19/98
to

cont...@cruznet2.cruznet.net wrote in message
<69trrh$ilq$2...@usenet85.supernews.com>...

>I agree that mazes can be overdone. But if the maze has a meaning, a use
within
>the plot, they should be used as anecessary. The only thing I disapprove
of is
>having a maze for the sake of having a maze.


What about mazes that need a special "trick" to solve, e.g. the one in
Arthur? Would you be more likely to be lenient on an author who put a
"tricky" maze in, seemingly for the sake of it, then if it'd just been a
standard 'drop objects to map' maze?

Stuart
--
_____________________
\_ .:stuart adair:. /___ dubstar::moby:::scrawn&lard::eddieizzard| "this
/ / stu...@bigfoot.com \____________ :::::::interactivefiction::::| is a
/ / stuart...@stud.umist.ac.uk _) :::bigbeat:::drum&bass::::::| fresh
\ \/\ c.floor homepage back up! (_ /\ ::::quake::fatboyslim::::| shop!"
\__/ http://cfloor.home.ml.org [____)/ \_ :::zxspectrum::[frenzi]| -(e.i)

J. Kerr

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Jan 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/19/98