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Old March 2nd, 2014 #61
Alex Linder
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Alex Linder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaekel View Post
So you're looking for a play on words, like country music does: 'I meant every word he said'
You could put a British spin on it: me think me music was better
No, it's not a play on words.

I believe I was better 20 years ago.

I believe music was better 20 years ago.

I believe I music was better 20 years ago.

The last looks like a mistake. Most times it would be. But it's intentional here. I like it. You blip over it thinking it's a mistake, but then you think, hmm, maybe the guy meant something by it. Let me restudy it. Ah...I think I see. It's a commonplace to observe that music was better in one's youth. Perhaps he's suggesting that everyone thinks that for the same reason he does - he was better in his youth. That sounds about right. It's an unusual expression, and I don't know what you would call it grammatically, that technique, that sort of dual-nouning, but each noun taking the verb separately, and in no relation to the other noun, as you would have with, say, 'leather purse.' It's a strange combination of two sentences made into one, but if it's grammatically wrong, I believe it achieves the artistic effect and communicates meaning, even profound meaning. Perhaps someone has expressed the idea before, but I have not seen it.

If it's ungrammatical, it's still right by the laws of art. However, I'm not sure it is actually ungrammatical. Yet I'm not educated enough to know what the term would be for that construction, using two nouns, unrelated, each taking the verb independently. In essence, simply doubling the nouns, the meaning of the sentence. It's not really right, I suppose, but I think it works.
 
Old March 2nd, 2014 #62
Alex Linder
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Marr View Post
Dang! I missed the cut again.

Perhaps it's because I'm in that other 10% (Apple users).

Half of everything we see and touch is prefixed with an "I", so the first thing I thought upon reading your opus was, "Damn, I didn't think they even had Imusic back then."
Yes, but it's usually a small i, not a capital. I think most would read that and think it was a mistake, accidentally left the I in there for some reason. And some would go from context: hmm...does this guy normally make mistakes on his twitter messages? No? Then just perhaps he didn't here. In which case, I must read it more carefully to see what is meant. I think some would pick that up, I know I would at least wonder, whether or not I could figure out what the guy was going for. And once you do, at least to me, it's fairly obvious to see what it is. Per my rules and my school, you don't write things that are unclear or unintelligible. But that doesn't mean they're always easy, either. Sometimes more concentrated thinking is required, and this is one of them.

My general goal is to write without cliches, yet in a way that allows meaning to come through without excessive effort on the part of the reader. Yet, in this case, the reader does have to work; hopefully the reward, an attempted insight, is worth it. But at a minimum, the work must allow the reader to grasp the point the writer tried to put across, whether he agrees with it or not.

By telelscoping two sentences into one, I think we can recreate the psychology of the man who says "music was better back then," and run that commonplace alongside his real meaning, without the need for two full sentences.

I really am about done going on about this, but this kind of thing is intensely interesting to me.
 
Old March 2nd, 2014 #63
Alex Linder
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Originally Posted by NathanSykes View Post
This may be the case, and I acknowledge the truth. But isn't it fair to say there are a lot of peer-recognised truths as to when music WAS in fact better? When you find comments on YouTube of young people arguing that originality isn't that proof that it isn't just about when we were at our best that there was specialness to that time that allowed for creative uniqueness? Can these not be judged by an identifiable originality in the composition, in the energy, in the lyricism and the unifying vibe? We can all agree that much of the 1960s was an undeniable energy, and those of my age (40 something) can look to punk and post-punk as an era [known as the blank generation to X generation] of highly emulated and admired genre? It is not a fuddy duddy thing to say that since Hip-Hop has become an unshakeable stalwart and the negrofication of music in general as a kind of lift music for background sounds in gymnasiums; the watering-down of punk (Blink182 and Green Day, no oldies anyway), that there is definitely a creative gap. And do you like that Divinylsí song you uploaded, Alex? Chrissie Amphlett is dead now, and she WAS a race traitor, but that was an energetic song and a good one. I like it anyway.
You're missing the whole point. I'm not arguing music was better then or now or anytime, I'm making a point about why people almost always feel it was better when they were young, 15-25. It's because THEY were better then, not music, necessarily. You can argue about when the best music was made but that doesn't interest me and is not what I was talking about.
 
Old March 2nd, 2014 #64
Alex Linder
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Originally Posted by Donnie in Ohio View Post
I wasn't aware that there even were rules for italicization. Truly, you learn something every day.
Oh yes, there are rules for most things. Some things have to be italicized. Then there is the matter of italicizing for style, or for emphasis. That's where your way comes in. You are using italics for emphasis, but I would argue your syntax (arrangement of words) makes that unnecessary. The basic idea is, if you order the words correctly, you will produce the emphasis you seek naturally. With no need for italics. Which would then be a style fault. That's how the matter is generally looked at. But in reality today, no one cares. People do thinks how they want, and the more affectations the better. I mean, I do it too, although more with capitalizing than italics. Why? Just cuz I like it. It's fun. Christ, we're not writing papers here. I'm just relating some things that I know.

Quote:
But I don't think I'm a writer at all, Alex. That isn't false modesty, which isn't my style, I'm just some guy posting his thoughts on the Internet who uses spell-check and pays attention. Over the years, I learned from being corrected, and from bearing witness to the public correction of others. Experience can be a mean bitch at times, but she's a great teacher.
A writer should bring some special knowledge with him, or what's the point? But most don't seem to these days. After all, if there's a template that needs filled in, what's the point in gaining knowledge? Reporters these days are more apparatchiks than storytellers or professors.

I think the default for the educated layman is communicating grammatically and effectively so that anyone he's writing for/to can understand him. Many can do that - many cannot, as we can see here, for crissakes. You do it exceptionally well, in my judgment.

Quote:
To me, a writer is someone that can play with words & phrases to evoke a desired response in those who read their stuff.
That's one type of writer. Most writers don't do that so much, or even try to. They're simply describing stuff. But that kind of exposition is, to me, not all that interesting. I would not have gone into writing if not to play with language. But that's just me, that's not most, necessarily.

Quote:
If we're talking politically, I think Duke is a great writer. McDonald is as well. You're probably my favorite writer, because there are times when I read something you've written and it moves me. Sometimes to laughter, sometimes to anger, sometimes to reflection. That's big. And useful.
Well, great, and thanks.

MacDonald and Duke are great expository writers - they explain things well - at length and intelligently. That's characteristic of professors. They don't play with language, generally, beacause that's kind of the opposite of what professors do - they cite evidence and quote people to prove points. Humor doesn't really figure in.

I do more journalistic, expressive stuff, not academic work, certainly, and so I try to achieve whatever can be done with a freer, looser style, including wordplay, humor and free association. Everyone prefers his own form; in my opinion you'll get better politics out of the emo-artistic crowd than the professors because it understands that people have to be moved emotionally and led, not just read to and explained to and proved to. But, everything is fodder...I certainly USE what the men I respect like Duke and MacDonald and Johnson come up with, but I fancy, perhaps arrogantly, that I know better how to deploy their findings than they do. I couldn't do what they do. But I don't think they can do what I can, either.

Quote:
At this point, it has taken on some aspects of an affectation for me. More harmless than a goofy hat, anyway. I put the emphasis on the words I would were I speaking them. Which is what you're saying, I think.
Yes. You don't need them, but if you like them, great. We're not grading papers here. What matters online, in this regard, is more formatting than anything, and after that spelling. In both areas, you're faultless, so I'm happy.

Quote:
I'm a musician, so I understand exactly what you mean about flow.
Yes...and I can tell from your prose. It's just a sense of rhythm. Many have it, many don't.

There are infinite ways to say anything...that's what makes writing interesting. It so happens that people are herd animals, conformists, in matters verbal as well as everything else, but that just leaves the field open to those of us who aren't. Yet neither do we fall into the trap of non-comformity for its own sake; that would be puerile. We disconform where there's a political necessity or artistic advantage to be gained - i.e., for reasons, and a good ones.
 
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