The Chicken and the Egg

There's an article by John C. Dvorak about how the media has a pro-Apple Computers Bias. I find this interesting in a lot of ways, probably because I've always wished I could make the switch back to a Mac. But you know what's really interesting about all this? Dvorak says "With 90 percent of the mainstream (computer) writers being Mac users, what would you expect?" He takes it from the point of view that mainstream writers happen to use Macs. I know lots of aspiring writers, though (although I don't know anyone who wants to write computer articles other than me). And none of us use Macs. So, what I'm taking away from this article isn't that mainstream writers have a Pro-Apple bias. Rather, if I'm going to be a successful writer, I'm going to have to get a Mac. Dvorak just put the egg before the chicken. Or vice versa, depending on which way you see it.



Okay, relevant had a link to this, and they called it the "most offensive Christian product" they'd ever seen. I'd have to agree... my only reluctance is that I'm trying to figure out if it's some big parody or joke or something. But if it is a joke... not a great joke. Anyway... talk about ridiculous.

a cry for help

Now playing: Amos and Andrew on TBS... samuel l jackson and nic cage... it's actually slightly funny. in a lame sort of way.

Okay, A brief note on punctuation. I may have already said this, but I'm going to say it again. Let me explain why. I work with self-publishing authors. Self publishing is a pretty ambiguous field. On the one hand, sometimes self published books do great and are great. Several really great authors started out by independently publishing their first book. On the other hand, sometimes self published books are horrible. That is just fact-of-matter. The same is true in the traditional publishing field. But in the traditional publishing field--usually--some editing is foisted upon every book. Thankfully, there are good companies in the independent publishing arena that are beginning to bring editorial quality to this arena, but that isn't at all my point...

My point is actually that I've gotten to work with quite the cross-section of people. I've worked with doctors and with people for whom English is a second language. And you know what? (Hahaha, I commited a sentence fragment as I tried to wax eloquent about editorial labour.) ...Know what? Everyone has at least one punctuation issue. Everyone. Seriously, I'm talking, like, 100%. My personal favourite is that sometimes I have a hard time remembering that you don't put a comma in a compound predicate. I hate that.

Right now, I want to address the issue of punctuation and quotation marks. I'm reading stuff, and people write:

So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week".


So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week", but I'm not going to be here.

The fact is, both of those sentences are wrong. Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks. At least, in North America. And also, there might be an exception in writing on legal issues. But that's it. Any other time...any style: prose, poetry, whatever...any other genre: fiction, biography, whatever... Inside the quotation mark! So the preceding sentences should be:

So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week."


So Luke said, "Hey buddy, I'll be in town next week," but I'm not going to be here.

When it comes to question marks and exclamation marks, it depends on whether the punctuation belongs to the quote or to your sentence. For example:

I called him dumb, and he yelled "I'm the smartest person ever!"

compared to

I was shocked to find out that there were "63 murders per 100,000 people in Columbia in 2003"!


He asked "Who was the smartest person ever?"

compared to

Can you believe that there were "63 murders per 100,000 people in Columbia in 2003"?

So, there's your punctuation lesson for the day. As a parting shot, triple exclamation marks don't emphasize things any more than a single exclamation mark. It's just plain gratuitous. Straight up.


cities and accents

now playing: the updog commercial from kelseys. My fiance used this joke on me once, and seeing it in a commercial made me laugh quite a bit.

I was talking with a guy tonight who is from Belleville. And he works for a major fuel company. I am constantly surprised about the stuff you find going on around little towns like belleville. They fabricate oil wells in Belleville. There are several fuel companies in Belleville. There are call centers for dell computers, hewlett packard, t-mobile, sears, and various other companies in Belleville. There is a big building industry in belleville, and a lot of truck drivers too. All that to say that modern economies are fascinating. You really can do just about anything--manufacturing / service wise--anywhere you want and find someone who will buy it from you. and ship it across to where they need it, even.

And then, accents. I realized tonight that as much as I love being Canadian and having a Canadian accent, I'd trade it for a cool european/african accent in a second. I don't even know why, except I'd sound way cooler and people would listen to me with ease... and yeah, I'd be all about that.

So, that's it for me. What a useless, shallow post. :-)


if I were a drinking man

The internet can be a funny, odd place. I've often thought that there is room for awesome Christian Web sites--well designed, with good content and perhaps even a forum setup for feedback and discussion. I remember well the day in my first year of college when I happened upon a little web site called Antithesis. I went to school the following day and told everyone I bumped into about it. I won't link to it, cause it's gone now, but for a while it truly was the happening place to be. And while there is plenty of discussion on various blogs as to the changes that occurred prior to antithesis and its affiliate companies shutting down, I lost track before any of that happened. All my memories of Antithesis involved being challenged and made to think. For that I am thankful. If I were a drinking man, I'd propose a toast to Antithesis, Discerning Reader, and the whole Christian Counter Culture family of sites. I guess the baton is waiting to be picked up somewhere... there are plenty of good blogs in the world, but not a lot of thematic, thought provoking Web sites that are magazine-like, but more profound. Anyway, Antithesis, here's looking at you kid. Rest in Peace.