2003-06-17 - 8:07 p.m.
A writing prompt I stumbled across recently read thus: What are your worst qualities?
In no order, here's what came to mind in the first ten minutes:
bitchy. do not, i repeat, do not try to change my mind once a decision is made. (ok, mom?) unless, of course, you don't need that kidney.
obsessive. hah. there ought to be another word for it. who else would schlep home 40# of books about cooking arcana from london on her back?
sex-obsessed. ok, so maybe there are people who don't see this as a bad thing, but at work i'm unable to concentrate on personnel policy and am instead thinking about me, a man, and the stairwell.
childish: as evidence, the lack of capitalization. my entire work day was spent in a stupid effing database that's case sensitive (!), so you all are being punished. sorry.
There will be perkiness tomorrow, promise. Bed now.
2003-06-17 - 2:12 p.m.
There is simply nothing more depressing than working on your annual self-appraisal.
2003-06-17 - 9:02 a.m.
Since OED doesn't contain periphesence (scroll to the bottom), I'm going to assume that Eugenides created the word. Intriguing. If it were me, I'd need the etymology to be fully developed - here, this root is from the Latin peri, that kind of stuff, but he deliberately invented a word without history. It's started me thinking about word derivations and grammar. English, in its modern form, is infinitely adaptable to games like Eugenides'. But in the past few years, it's our grammar that's changed most.
As any ESL teacher will tell you, English is a bitch. Its grammatical rules and pronounciation guides are riddled with exceptions. There's no system for verbal emphasis based on syllabic order. Even though I'm one of the few remaining who remembers diagramming sentences in 8th grade English, I still found grammar a huge headache until I started tutoring in other languages. It's true that you never learn a skillset completely until you're forced to teach someone else. Whew.
These days I find myself more and more annoyed by grammar in the workplace. My boss doesn't believe in the Oxford comma (demo: list item, list item, and end item); I believe that when your reader takes a breath, so should the text. I also don't care for the word campus's, which is common usage here.
All this makes me sound like the grammar police (nope, we have The Vine for that). Not so. I just feel that a public institution has an obligation to use correct forms. If I have to correct 'thesises' to read 'theses' one more time, there are going to be Ph.D.s getting their butts kicked.
Comments: Speak your piece!
former / latter