Between the Lines

Of late, I keep coming up against the language divide. On the one hand, we have the language hippies. They’re cool with any kind of expression – grammatical or not. They tend to shrug off any suggestion that there are things it is wrong to say or write. Down with Skool!

But the idea that something “means” whatever most speakers think it means, is a slippery slope. Most people don’t know the difference between unexceptional and unexceptionable, or unconscious, unconscientious, and unconscionable. So maybe we don’t really need these words. But you’re/your, I/me/mine, accept/except? Do we really want our expressive abilities to erode to a selection of emoticons?

On the other hand, we have the grammar gorillas. If they were politely improving other people’s speech or writing, they might even be useful. But not only do they tear a strip off anyone making a mistake, they are surprisingly often WRONG. Ironically, their crusades are often (mis-)guided by a lack of knowledge and feeling for language, and worse, they are completely impervious to evidence.

Give a grammar gorilla a link to the Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, or the OED, and they will fanatically persist in their errors as, obviously, the editors of said volumes cannot be trusted. They object to sentences ending in prepositions, or beginning with conjunctions. And if they think “liberal” means generous, anyone who uses the word in politics leaves them frothing at the mouth.

So where does that leave us, the middle-of-the-roaders?

Now, I confess I have a secret failing. I sometimes politely point out to people on the internet that they’re wrong. Only when people want to learn. Or when they’re being really, really nasty. I keep thinking, when they realise they are wrong themselves, this will make them a bit kinder to the people they go around “correcting”. Foolish of me, I know. People who ridicule others for making mistakes do this because they can’t accept their own. And the more vicious their attack, the deeper the fall if they admit they were mistaken or misguided. Oops.

So I should stop, right? And join the silent majority that allows obnoxious troubled individuals to jeer mercilessly at others. Or maybe I’ll go on patiently pointing out the gorillas’ own errors. Because letting their vicious intolerance go unchallenged, makes the gorillas believe they speak for us all.

I don’t know. What do you do?

The War of Colours

K’12. Ink & watercolour sketch. Impression of an Idyll.

On Sunday, I came across the tale of the Yellow Submarine, and was sucked in. The graphics are breathtaking: a true work of art. Released in 1968, it features psychedelic colours, a wide variety of animation effects and graphic elements. The story in screenshots*:

The voyage in the Yellow Submarine is peppered with colourful adventures, and of course, songs, like Nowhere Man, and All You Need Is Love. A must see for anyone interested in art or design, …and anyone who likes colours. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the varied backgrounds, and the vibrant colours of the submarine’s interior.

***

The Daily Post Challenge this week: A Splash of Colour.

* © Apple Corps Ltd. Sorry about the quality, the screenshots are not from the (beautiful) digitally restored version, as my laptop doesn’t have a DVD drive…

Next to Godliness?

Guess what’s wrong with this picture? No, it’s not Bertie. Try again.

Nighthawks. 1942 Hopper. AIC.
Ever seen a street this clean?

If a cluttered desk
is the sign of a cluttered mind,
what is the significance
of a clean desk?

Laurence J. Peter

Abstraction

Bertie is feeling a little abstract today.

To abstract is to draw out
the essence of a matter.
To abstract in art
is to separate certain fundamentals
from irrelevant material
which surrounds them.

Ben Shahn

I’m sometimes a little annoyed about the confusion between abstract art (based on real objects, simplifying, reducing and changing them) and non-representational art (not based on objects). Logically, you cannot abstract (lit.: take away), if you don’t start with something to abstract from.

Now, Bertie here is doubly abstract and proud of it: he’s an abstraction of dogginess in the first place, and now he’s been reduced to monochrome triangles. After pondering the matter from various angles, he seems quite happy, and has settled down for a little nap.

Share Your World

Bertie in vectors.

1.  What type of pets do you have or want?
I’d love to have a dog. As a surrogate I enjoy reading dogblogs, like those written by Bongo or Patch. And of course I have Bertie!

2. Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?
Take them, any time. I hate being photographed.

3. What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Opening and filing correspondence. I’d rather wash windows!

4. What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
Buses on long trips. Is this a legacy from schooldays?

Cee Neuner’s Share your world initiative. Links to other blogger’s answers here.

Hangdog

I don’t usually read the papers, but this morning was special: there just might be a small piece about my paintings in the local section. Not that I really care. No fame and glory for me: I know I’m not exactly Picasso. But all my friends would read it!

Then I found it: pure poison. Oozing condescension. I couldn’t believe it! That supercilious little jerk. Angrily I tore the offending paper to shreds. Take that you bastard! And that!

When James came down and wanted his paper, there was only confetti on the floor. I blamed it on the dog.

Bertie back again. Is he feeling guilty about skiving off for so long?

My contribution to this week’s 100wcgu: …I blamed it on the dog…

Going up the Walls?

Graffiti blue
Going up the walls? Try graffiti.

Ever been tempted to spray paint the walls? Well now you can.

Graffiti multicolour
Is the day gray? Try graffiti.

And of course, I couldn’t resist.

Graffiti with tree
Honi soit qui mal y pense.