Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

The Atlantic Monthly gushes, as their fave show crushes.


They tell us the how and the why of the thing that is True Detective.

Ostensibly, this show on HBO is the best thing going. Now why would I dare agree with that? I don’t. To say something is the best on the telly is telling how good your favorite brand of ketchup would be to my tongue. non compos mentis

The review/advert for the show is so chock full of unrepentant enthusiasm that I would rather not watch it after reading. I’m not going to muse over the difficulties I had with the review, this quote will suffice: “But while the pairing isn’t entirely new, it is nonetheless sublime.” For when one runs out of ideas or angles or anything original you must label something SUBLIME. One must get just how sublime this showing of metaphysicality through police procedural drame is though. Only HBO, the top-tier of Television programming, apparently can muster such a review and such a fawning.

Transparent, A- for overall true to forminess

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Gild the lily with this whimsical volume!

As an amateur student of language this volume is indispensable. An idiom is “an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own.” Don’t be boxed in by poor literal meanings, get metaphorical this season with a tried and true method. Don’t be a second-class citizen of the English Language, escape the rate race of speaking and get a leg up on the competition this year and next.


Evan Kerry, 2013

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When I was in high school I got in trouble during Physical Science class. I was a freshman and didn’t really care for school at all. My teacher, Mrs. Stonbraker, ordered me to write 500 words on why I shouldn’t misbehave. Naturally I wrote something to the effect of: If I misbehave I will not only do bad in school but I could let my family down and blah blah blah, for 500 words. When you are 14, 500 words is an eternity. The quality of the assignment, needless to say, was execrable.  Which is what I found out about Donald Barthelme’s The Indian Uprising. Louis Menand in The New Yorker praises it as “…one of the great literary responses to the Vietnam War…” and that “The babble of discursive registers mimics the incoherence of war against guerillas, a war in which the two sides are always in danger of becoming morally indistinguishable.” Now if you have connected the dots you are of either two minds: 1. I am crazy to go against Don B. he opened the doors and let all the bullshit in.  2. Hell yeah, he is a craptastic writer with nothing to say. After reading The Indian Uprising, I have thought that Don B. was, simply, a piece of shit hack who aped at being an author. Clearly he had aspirations, ambition and plenty of theory (read bullshit) to dupe any one and everyone into believing that here was something somewhat new for them to think about.

To quote Barthelme in an excerpt from the Louis Menand article we can see how people got steamrolled; Had I decided to go into the conceptual-art business…I could turn out railroad cars full of that stuff every day.”  Menand says that Barthelme “…used hackneyed prose in his pieces all the time, and he was a connoisseur of the linguistically tired and poor.’ Right ’cause that is what I want to read, something that is tired and poor.

Now on to the actual literary criticism.  Aside from being ‘tired and poor’ Barthelme doesn’t like to convey any sort of reality in his piece. Of course there is a war going on, an invasion if you will, but what is the main thrust of this crap? If it is to make dumb jokes and be ironic well then Mr. Barthelme has certainly succeeded.  But if it is to add to the shelf of literature well then he has certainly failed. Epic Fail Barthelme. Ha ha ha.

I wish this man was still alive so I could speak with him and tell him that in 100 years he will be remembered along with the backstreet boys as some of the worst dreck this society has ever produced. 


If you enjoyed this please check back as I buy my first Thomas Pynchon book in the coming weeks.

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Here is an interesting idea. Let’s hypertext almost every word in a work. I am ecstatic over finding this on the ‘Net.


How many times is the word gullible used in the novel/experiment? Well you’ll just have to tune in and find out.

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So I’ve had a book of definitions of Idioms for a while now. Thought I would post some of my favorites here and basically converse on the topic, no matter the length, at my whim.

The nature of the Idiom is an interesting one.  It is a matter of a cultural understanding on a broad level.  When first looking at, or better yet, when first thinking deeply about the components of an Idiom one is somewhat perplexed at the lack of meaning in the phrase. Only when another recites an example can the meaning become clear. Akin to slang, though Idioms are accepted much more, the Idiom is an everyday occurence. 

Here is a link to the Historical Dictionary of American Slang: http://www.alphadictionary.com/slang/?term=jawn&beginEra=&endEra=&clean=true&submitsend=Search

Oddly I can’t find the word Jawn.

eg. Did you see that Jawn?  or, That Jawn was smokin’!

Idioms are interesting and can be alot of fun, but what really screws up my lexicographical, linguistic burning heart is the Slang of the world. So don’t gum up my comments with all of your tripe.  Just kidding.  What is it that makes Idioms so much more acceptable than Slang?  Is it the length of time that has passed from their introduction? Is it because Slang is usually seen as of a lower order or replacing something low-down and dirty? Like language and meaning in general Slang and Idiom are highly subjective. I’m sure some deny their existence altogether and attempt on ly the Queen’s English or the DAR English, that last one I made up. But anyways it is an enjoyable topic and one destined to screw up my heart in the future.

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