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Writers Workshop General Chat Thread

Discussion in 'The Written Word' started by Gama, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. AceTrainer14

    AceTrainer14 The acest of trainers

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    I'd rather school had taught me more basics and stuff like that. Year 9, which is the first year of high school/college here, went straight into analysing texts, which is all very well and good but it's not a wholly useful school in the real world. That generally was my issue with school was that little of it was stuff that was actually of benefit unless you were then going to go on and study that subject further.
     
  2. Eliza Prescott

    Eliza Prescott Vengeful Ferret

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    We barely touched on rules when I was in school. It was assumed that we knew them already, and if we didn't, "just write how you speak, it'll work most of the time." I may owe the way my dialogue is written to that.

    It's only getting worse, too. I've seen my niece's homework from a variety of subjects, I'm surprised she knows how to bash two rocks together let alone do math or write properly. I guess @Caitlin; is doing all of the proper teaching without the help of the schools, cause I'd never learn a thing with the way the kids are being taught now.
     
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  3. Beth Pavell

    Beth Pavell Not as cute in person

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    I remember when I did some work experience at the Jobcentre, and was surprised to see how many twenty-somethings I met couldn't use a word processor, send an e-mail, or use capital letters. This is the Facebook generation, mark you, people about the age of the average Workshop regular.

    What level of literacy one considers to be basic tends to depend upon one's profession, I've noticed. From what I've seen, being in the "real world" for six or seven years, it kind of caps out at formal CV language for most people. That's far below a lot of grammatical or technical language, and, I would suggest, isn't enough to fill out a curriculum up to high school level. It may well also be the case that whoever is reading the CV couldn't tell you what an Oxford comma is and wouldn't be remotely interested in that knowledge in an employee.

    So I suppose my point is, it depends what kind of rules are being taught. You can't just turn the clock back about thirty years and expect that to be appropriate to modern day literacy. It's far more important now to know that a space comes after a full stop in typed writing than it is to know how to lay out a letter. Those lower working-class sods I was giving 30 minute crash courses to didn't need to know the difference between a semi colon and hyphen. Apostrophe's (Just kidding) and roughly where to put a comma was what was going to help them earn an honest day's pay
     
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  4. AceTrainer14

    AceTrainer14 The acest of trainers

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    Same here. For my Communications degree at university, we were expected to have good grammar and spelling and my tutors were always stunned by the fact we didn't know certain things. One tutor from England even said "you have a fantastic education system here, you should know this" and I remember thinking what a load of bull that was. My English teachers probably were my best teachers at school but we never got taught grammar, not once.
     
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  5. Ereshkigal

    Ereshkigal Far too mouthy for my own good.

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    I had an English teacher give up on trying to teach us spelling rules or grammar simply because we kept bringing up too many exceptions. For example, "i before e except after c" is at best a polite suggestion simply because the exceptions outnumber the words that actually follow the rule. And let's not forget you can speak like Yoda and still effectively communicate.

    Luckily, they didn't teach us "write how you speak," but I think that's because most of us spoke like scriptwriters for a certain Penn and Teller show that used to be on Showtime.

    I think part of why some English courses focus so much on analyzing texts is because English has a nasty habit of beating up other languages in dark alleys and then rifling through their pockets for spare vocabulary. Which explains why "colony" and "bologna" rhyme, but "tough" and "though" do not.
     
  6. Six Paths

    Six Paths Jinchūriki of the Ten-Tails

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    I've gotten way too deep into the habit of speaking this word as it's written that it took me at least two seconds to remember how it's properly pronounced.
     
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  7. Beth Pavell

    Beth Pavell Not as cute in person

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    Funnily enough, my degree touched on this. When you compare Welsh kids to English, learning those respective languages, Welsh kids learn more, faster, thanks to the consistency of rules when it comes to pronouncing and spelling words. After a while though (I forget when, but it's not that long) it plateaus out and English catches up.

    It's because of this that I have such a dim view of the idea of teaching correct English. So much of the "rules" aren't rules at all because they don't apply with any consistency. They're conventions, sometimes stylistic conventions that only apply in certain genres. Sometimes you can find rules that have no purpose at all other than to artificially create a "correctness" that wouldn't otherwise exist (This means you, split infinitive). To my mind, it's better to and more useful teach style rather than rules.

    Despite the problems it causes with teaching, the mutability and variety of English is also what makes it the most expressive language there is. It's pliant and mouldable, without too many rules getting in the way of being able to creatively play around with words. It accepts the inevitable limitations of the roman alphabet when it comes to replicating phonemes and so allows you to spell and say foreign sounds with relative ease
     
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  8. Eliza Prescott

    Eliza Prescott Vengeful Ferret

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    Well, I stumbled on some old writing of mine, from around 2010. It's astonishing how far I've come since then, yet it's evident that not much has changed at the same time. It's embarrassing, but here it is if anyone's interested. It's Warcraft related, so most people here probably wouldn't understand what's going on since I made no attempt to explain practically any of the details. I expected readers to know what half of the crap in it already was.

    Anyone else have some really old work floating around? The worse it is, the better!
     
  9. Beth Pavell

    Beth Pavell Not as cute in person

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    I have at least one story I can think of, and never shall it see the light of day ;) Not least because I don't even think I have the digital copy any more

    Here's a strangely coy definition from the OED Online: "bawd, n.1: One employed in pandering to sexual debauchery; a procurer or procuress; orig. in a more general sense, and in the majority of passages masculine, a ‘go-between,’ a pander; since c1700 only feminine, and applied to a procuress, or a woman keeping a place of prostitution."

    In other words ... a pimp, surely? Rather strange since pimp is clearly defined as "Originally: a person who arranges opportunities for (illicit) sexual intercourse; a procurer. Now: a man who takes a proportion of the earnings of a prostitute, usually in return for arranging clients, providing protection, etc."
     
  10. Ereshkigal

    Ereshkigal Far too mouthy for my own good.

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    I don't know what it's like in the UK, but in the U.S. we just use "madam" for that role. Men are pimps, women are madams. From Merriam-Webster online: "madam, n. 3: the female head of a house of prostitution." It's also often used to refer to a woman running an escort service.
     
  11. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 ripperoni

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    I've never heard "madam" used in that context, and I'm from the U.S. At least, I certainly hope it's not a blatant, common reference to that, because I just sent in some work to the Department of Justice that said "madam" like 50 different times. >_> And that's exactly what I need, the government coming back to me for calling their clients prostitutes... :p
     
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  12. Ereshkigal

    Ereshkigal Far too mouthy for my own good.

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    It's pretty common, actually. Here's just one news story that does it:


    If you want a lot of fun facepalming, google the D.C. Madam.

    Strangely enough, despite the prostitution tie, the term still carries an inherent respect to it. So, I think you're safe.

    Edit: Removed one of my links I had posted after doing a second look at the subject matter. Unfortunately, it's rather hard to discuss the topic without getting into some areas even I'm not comfortable with.
     
  13. Beth Pavell

    Beth Pavell Not as cute in person

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    I do know that British slang often refers to male pimps rather contemptuously as "Sergei". I actually have a reason for knowing this, incidentally - it's to do with immigration worldbuilding for Kanto: There and Back Again
     
  14. 0bs1d1an_kn1ght

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    So I watched the new Samurai Jack, and the one thing that disturbed me the most was the birthing scene in the first episode.

    And also, I'm not liking Aku's new voice so far.
     
  15. Instrutilus

    Instrutilus Me am stalking bug

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    To be fair, they can hardly get Mako back, may he rest in peace.
     
  16. 0bs1d1an_kn1ght

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    I realize that, and I also realize there's still like- 8 episodes to go- which gives Aku's new voice actor more time to leave a better impression on me.
     
  17. Arkadelphiak

    Arkadelphiak AKU IS MY AESTHETIC

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    HNNNNNNRGH DID SOMEONE MENTION SAMURAI JACK

    I've waited twelve years for this and I don't plan on doing any solid critique until I've seen the entire thing. I've been riding this hype train for months. And given that Mako Iwamatsu can't ever be replaced (though Greg Baldwin is doing his best), I like to believe that Aku is so depressed after 50 years that he's lost his usual boisterousness (hence the "new" voice).
     
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  18. 0bs1d1an_kn1ght

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    At least Aku has his own shrink

    The same can't be said for Jack tho
     
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  19. Instrutilus

    Instrutilus Me am stalking bug

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    Well, it could, he's just a really s**tty one...
     
  20. CrystaI

    CrystaI The Pokemon Observer

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    A comment I left on Google Maps received a Like.

    Normally I don't leave any comment about a place, unless I went to that place directly and the first-person experience is either 1) Irritates me very much, or 2) Makes me very happy.

    Unfortunately, I have not yet went to any place leaving me the 2) experience. The 1) experience was always the most memorable one.