Saturday, April 09, 2011

You is Right in What You Says Last Week

I rather like Keith Olbermann just posting video whenever he feels like it. I wonder if his new show on Current TV will have as much of an audience as his blog.

“I believe the teachers in New Jersey in the main are wonderful public servants that care deeply. But their union, their union are a group of a political thugs” (If you’re going to criticize educators, Governor, at least make sure your grammar works. “Is” a group, Governor. “Is”).

Elsewhere in the world of grammatical glass houses, to-day Judith Flanders tweeted this comment on a recent letter to a New York Times editor by Donald Trump;

best bit 'Her storytelling ability and word not at a very high level' They isn't is they?

I feel like I've probably made mistakes like these one or two times myself. Which is why I generally reserve my criticisms of other people's grammar to those instances when they fail at grammar while in the process of criticising someone else's. Well, that sentence was kind of a grammatical loop-de-loop in itself, wasn't it?

So I don't normally mention the spelling and grammar errors in the Sirenia Digest, even though most of its issues are filled with them. Anyway, the quality of the writing generally elevates it well past the place where bad grammar and spelling are but the green water mark of a castle's moat. But it's kind of something one has to consider in the newest issue which seems to contain several errors that appear to be intentional. Written in the form of a diary kept by Caitlin's fictional painter, Albert Perrault, it quite reminded me of William S. Burroughs in its experimentation with narrative. And bits like Perrault correcting himself when he writes "allude" when he actually meant "elude", point to the use of spelling and grammar to indicate the mental state of the fictional writer.

Actually, I remember accidentally using "allude" when I meant "elude" myself a couple weeks ago. If Caitlin still reads my blog, I'd have to consider if she was trying to tell me something, though what, I can't say. When looking at the other errors in the piece, like when one of the characters accidentally refers to Jimmy Page as an American, I actually think to myself, did I accidentally refer to Jimmy Page as an American at some point?

Anyway, the story, "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash" isn't bad. One of my favourite bits of possibly intentional grammatical error was when Perrault accidentally writes "His knees" when referring to an otherwise female character, a subtle nod to Perrault's fluctuating sexual orientation.

Twitter Sonnet #250

Trader Joe's sells triplets in brown paper.
Phoney chocolate clogs an almond trombone.
Styrofoam chokes a blue alligator.
A skinny swordsman sadly returns home.
Razor sharp yams destroy the plastic bag.
Real magic sees that the rain blinks at night.
Smiles become shapes when they start to sag.
Rectangles too many for squares to fight.
Circles resolve into wreaths of milkweed.
Doubled horse heads shake on the right column.
Red bleeds in blue on a tacky fake steed.
Empty paper rain leaves the bats solemn.
Sparkly ink contaminates a new law.
Stones are gobbled by red faced Phil McGraw.

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