October 21st, 2007

wtf

Like nails on a blackboard

I'm reading The Elizabethan World Picture, by EMW Tillyard, a Cambridge don who published this back in the '40s. It's a nice read, except for ONE thing: there are too few commas.

It must have been a fad that went through Cambridge but never caught on anywhere else. The commas which are missing are those used in setting off items in a series. The result is that I first try to construe the series as a set of nouns modifying each other (another thing English is good at). It's annoying and distracting as hell.

Examples:
The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre
Observe degree priority and place
Insisture course proportion season form
Office and custom, in all line of order . . .*

He belongs to a world of violent crime and violent change, of sin blood and repentance, yet to a world loyal to a theological scheme.

*This is the way the author edits Shakespeare
beer

Real men cook with fire

The Next Iron Chef was superb tonight. For the challenge of the evening, all the foods available to cook with were wild. And, they were chosen in secret by the other chefs. To top it all off, they had only charcoal grills to cook with and a limited pantry of standard ingredients. It looked for all the world like a Boy Scout challenge.

This meant that I could identify with the ups and downs of the chefs' cooking far more than normal. Man, I know what cooking on an open fire is all about. I was impressed with the results!

Meanwhile, going back over the list of things I said I'd like to see featured as a secret ingredient on Iron Chef America, someone noted that Ostrich had already been used. So, here's my replacement candidate for a future Secret Ingredient:

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