Styling Evolution, or, the Elements of Futility


Does it count as Skitt’s Law if, despite being unplanned, it still manages to make the point, anyway?

I would, however, note that once upon a time I actually lost an internet argument about how language evolves. There is a word we use, from the Italian; most Americans get it from “mob” movies. In a world in which I am supposed to know, off the top of my head, that the word is now officially spelled “koppish”, because, y’know, language evolves, I have also learned to remember that some evolution leads the way of the dodo.

When you hear someone justify poor presentation with something about how language evolves, it does in fact behoove us to consider whether the “evolution” in question improves or denigrates communication.

There is an argument that says EoS only makes good people feel bad about their own writing, but there is also a way in which that argument relies on some contradictory notion about communication. There are a lot of good people who communicate poorly; somewhere between, say, failing to speak in a way that fails to frighten a stupid, frightened person with a gun and, oh, I don’t know, being able to write a sentence without netspeak shorthand, exists a viable question by which communicative skills really are a proper consideration for self-conscious good people.

It’s just hard to figure though, to what degree the Elements bring jittery self-awareness to people who don’t know what the book is, or have never tried to use it.

Did you see what I did, there?

The gaffe in the sentence about the stupid person with a gun really is a mistake of revising something or another in the moment as that jalope hit the page.

Screen.

Whatever.

#nevermind.

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See also:

“Why ‘The Elements of Style” is out of style”. Public Radio International. 8 February 2018.

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Don’t Ask: Notes on Perspective


So, when you react before the punch line ….

I mean, I get that it’s a bad total. Eighty-something to two hundred eighty-something. But you said, “Oh, my gosh!” before the second number. You knew the number would be “bad” to some degree, so you reacted.

I guess it’s my problem: I really don’t get it.

Futility and Function


Already? (Detail of frame from FLCL, episode 1, 'Fooly Cooly'.)

You know, call me crazy, or whatever, but what I don’t get is why there can only be one towel in the kitchen, and why that towel must at all times be covered by plates, silverware, and cutlery. It is, apparently, absolutely unacceptable that a towel should be available to actually dry anything with.

Shite thee not. Weirdest fucking thing. The absolute hostility shown the idea that one should be able to wash something off their hands in the kitchen sink―even if that something is obtained in the kitchen―and have a towel available at that moment to dry their hands is inexplicable.

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Image note: Already? ― Detail of frame from FLCL, episode 1, “Fooly Cooly”.