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Archive for March, 2009

A Craving for Chicken Pot Pie

March 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Delicious, isn’t it?

I love lounging in bed with my laptop, but I hate moving it from my desk. Tonight, though, I couldn’t resist; I’d been sitting in that chair forever, and I’d probably have gone crazy if I hadn’t moved. It’s not like being in bed kills my productivity any more than sitting in that chair would. Whatever, it’s Friday night.

It’s Friday night already. Spring Break has been over for pretty much a week now, and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. Still thinking about the deadlines I have, past-due assignments, assignments that are hanging over my head, etc. Still thinking about May, what to do next, where to go. Still thinking, and not getting anywhere. Talk about a lack of accomplishment.

It’s Spring now. My eyes are watery but I think it’s because I’m sleepy and not because I’m starting to feel allergies coming on. God, I dread the Spring.

Life has been insanely boring and unexceptional these past few months. When nothing interesting happens, I feel like I’m just sitting here and rotting — which is basically what everyone’s doing, but I’d rather be running around and rotting than just sitting there not doing anything spectacular with my life.

“Spectacular”. Now THAT’S a word I never want to hear or see again for a long time. Once I finish with all the translation work I have to do, I will compile a list of words that are now lethal despite their innocent appearances. Nothing’s really spectacular if you use that term to describe fifty million different things, is it. I suspect Lilly will be compiling a list of her own once she quits her job for the fourth or fifth time.

Speaking of words that should be banned, what’s the deal with abbreviations? I understand typing or writing with abbreviations to save time (e.g., when you’re taking notes), but when speaking? Can those people hear themselves and how ridiculous they sound? “Totes” for “totally”? Are you fucking shitting me?

Now, there are abbreviations that are widely used and accepted — so much so that we forget they’re abbrevations; words like “ad,” “math,” “econ,” “poli sci,” um… basically “ad” and a bunch of academia-related terms. On the other hand, French has a huge number of abbreviations that have nothing to do with how “hip” you are. No; those terms have been a part of colloquial French since forever.

French also has standardized abbreviations strictly for writing (I’m serious, you could never pronounce these): “tjrs” for “toujours” (always), “ms” for “mais” (but), “m” with a ^ on top for “m√™me” (same), “pr” for “pour” or “par” (for or by), etc. Students are taught these abbreviations sometime in middle school or high school, when teachers stop writing everything on the board and lecture instead.

High school in this country was so weak.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , , ,

On Typing Posh (and how ridiculous that sounds)

March 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Corbin Hiar blogged on moreintelligentlife.com that “proper, punctilious e-mails [go] to clients (or editors) and stream of conscious, lower-case lettered e-mails filled with abbrevs [go] to everyone else.” Later, he says that he “would rather devote more of [his] time keeping in contact with [his] far-flung colleagues¬† and friends than pondering the poshest phraseology.”

While I agree that business-related emails and the like should be more carefully crafted than emails addressed to friends and relatives, I have a problem with him calling proper, standard orthography “the poshest phraseology”. And whether or not he intended it to be that way, I take it to be somewhat offensive.

My writing tends to be of the stream-of-consciousness variety, too — and this may surprise you, but I don’t think in abbreviations. Do you? Who does? Probs the peeps whose speech is full of abbrevs, no? Like, totes! Yo Corbin Hiar, r U kidn me?

It’s not like typing every word in its entirety takes an incredibly huge chunk of time out of my life; nor does inserting proper punctuation. I understand writing with abbreviations, however, as I do when I take notes during a lecture — writing by hand takes a significantly larger amount of time than typing dies. Furthermore, it’s ridiculous to imply that all who use “the poshest phraseology” ponder it — even more ridiculous than using the term “posh” to describe it.

Look, it comes naturally for some, and not for others. We don’t all sit behind our computers and debate the use of a semi-colon for half an hour; either we know how to use it or we don’t. Those who don’t will, I would hope, look it up and then judge whether or not its use is appropriate in whatever sentence they are constructing.

It’s true, “Sincerity and regularity in correspondence is more important than the use of semicolons.” I won’t let the grammar nazi in me emerge and point out the flagrant mistake in the sentence quoted above, but I will say this: yes, sincerity and regularity in correspondence are important, but aren’t they both in vain if your message gets lost due to a missing or misplaced punctuation mark? Ever heard of the panda who eats shoots and leaves? People find it difficult enough to determine an email sender’s tone of voice; why not make our recipients’ lives a wee bit easier by helping them along? THE SAME WAY READING TEXT WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS MAKES US FEEL LIKE WE’RE BEING SCREAMED AT, reading text that doesn’t contain any punctuation marks may leave some of us gasping for air because I don’t know about anybody else but when I read something I hear a voice in my head usually it’s a male voice and not my own saying everything aloud.

So don’t hate; punctuate! Or don’t, but please quit calling it “posh” (if you met me, you’d understand. I’m not uptight, either, so don’t even go there).