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The Pecman

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Everything posted by The Pecman

  1. The Pecman

    Commas!

    I think, like many things in life... it depends. Here's another good list of rules for commas, including the popular "FANBOYS" mnemonic: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/commas/ The author makes a very good point that not all pauses need commas. I think the key would hinge on whether the reader might be confused it the comma was not inserted in the sentence. My background was in journalism and feature writing, so I have an innate dislike for very, very long sentences, particularly those without some kind of punctuation. Often, I find it's better to break the sentence up into two or three smaller fragments for dramatic effect. Sometimes a comma will do it; sometimes it needs to be broken off into its own sentence. It's purely stylistic and personal taste, but as with everything personal, there is a limit to what you can get away with in public.
  2. The Daily Mirror had the pic in the clear:
  3. From what I see of Andrew Garfield, there ain't much there. Maybe they disguised it with special effects...
  4. Lots of run-on sentences in the first few paragraphs, which was enough to send me screaming from the room. With the benefit of a good editor, there might be a good story there.
  5. There's nothing to prevent you from using a third-party DNS server like Google's: https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/
  6. The Pecman

    Joe College

    I feel like somebody kidnapped the author's account and shoved this chapter in! It has little or nothing to do with what's been happening! Hep me, pleeze! And I did watch the first three seasons of The Wire, and generally enjoyed it. It's a very downbeat show, and it's about a world I know nothing about -- lowlife drug dealers in Baltimore and the cops who are desperately trying to stop them -- but it's a very well-acted, well-written show.
  7. The Pecman

    Commas!

    That is very true. Usually by the time I've gone back and reviewed a manuscript for the third or fourth time, I start excising the excessive commas. I'm inclined to use a few more than I should. Sometimes, a pause can be implied instead of hitting the reader on the head with it. Don't get me stahted on semi-colons!
  8. That makes me very frightened. I think I may dislike George Bush more today than I did 15 years ago. $5 trillion dollars spent on that godforsaken, unwinnable war in the last 12 years. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
  9. That's an idea for a story if I ever heard one!
  10. Audio books are fantastic. I always liked them on days when I had long commutes in rush-hour traffic. I've read all the Harry Potter books three times, in three different forms of media: the first in hardback print; the second as audio books (American editions!); and the third as eBooks on the Kindle. Each one gave me a different feeling for and representation of the stories. I also used audio books to help bridge the gaps on Stephen King's epic Dark Tower series (more than 3 million words), so I could read in print at home, then jump to the same chapter as audio when I was in the car or exercising. It's always embarrassing to be pumping iron with tears down your face because your favorite character just got killed in the novel.
  11. It's a very sentimental story... but ya know, I like sentimental.
  12. I agree, it's very contrived. Howard Stern used to constantly slam teenage rap star Marky Mark in the early 1990s for his "wigger" urban hip-hop speak. "Yo-yo-yo, man! Homeys in da HOUSE!" Years later, Mark Wahlberg dropped the fake street voice, spoke like a guy who grew up in a lower-class neighborhood in Boston, and he's completely understandable. In later appearances on Stern, he completely copped to faking the accent just to gain street cred as a rapper. With these two affected British kids, it's absolutely ridiculous. I don't have a problem with Eminem, who plays up the street voice in his rap hits but is actually a lot more educated and articulate in real life. And I think he's actually a talented guy, though I'm not a rap fan. I've posted this before, but here's an example of a rap hit I can stand. All the clips are from a movie I worked on, 8 Mile, and when I was working on the trailers, I told the editor, "the movie is awful but this is a hit song if I ever heard one." It wound up as a huge #1 hit in 2002: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmXumtgwtak Say what you will, but there's real poetry in there. It's not my kind of music, but parts of the song are really, really good. And I'm totally just a 1960s/1970s/1980s kinda guy. BLASPHEMY!
  13. I also believe that a search engine is fair use. I think if you look at the greater good on who is helped by being able to find specific lines of text in books, it benefits the public too much to restrict it. And I can think of cases where I've done a Google search, found a book with the line I was looking for, and bought the book. (I try to be honest that way.)
  14. I agree with you to a point, F.T., but what about hate speech? Since when do we defend someone calling for another group of people to be put to death? I seem to recall some mad German painter saying this in the 1930s, too, and not many people moved to stop him until it was too late. At some point, freedom of expression crosses the line and becomes hate speech, and I think one of the conditions is violence. The moment somebody brings death or killing into it, including inciting hatred in others, I'm out.
  15. That was a very thoughtful piece. No question, there are gay kids who are gay in the womb. I wish nothing but good things for the kid, but I hope he's careful who he gives gifts to.
  16. I agree, the story itself is terrific, though the Native American introduction threw me. A warning to potential readers: don't let it throw you. Keep going until the actual chapter begins. I always enjoy Chris' work, and this looks like no exception.
  17. Remember what Oscar Wilde said: "Sometimes, the only way to deal with temptation is to yield to it."
  18. Note that Howard Stern makes $500,000 per show on America's Got Talent.
  19. I think you can often detect repeated words and phrases in your own work if you read it out loud at some point. This often exposes stilted dialogue, weird turns of phrases, and otherwise clunky description that could be said in a better way.
  20. But... here's a 9-year-old kid who's very talented (and if I may say so, a bit flamboyant for 9): Very talented kid.
  21. Howard = Howard Stern. Howie = Howie Mandel. Not the same. I gave up on the show -- too stupid, too predictable, too loud, and not talented enough.
  22. Ah, terrific finale! Glad to see everything resolved very neatly.
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