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a busy sea of spinning wheels

monday i coughed, and tuesday i whispered and sometimes squeaked, and wednesday i croaked, and since then i have been trying to cough up at least one lung. yum.
bourbon helps, though.

i always felt kind of bad, like i was betraying my grammar geek roots, for wanting to abbreviate “though” to “tho” like my mom does when she leaves me notes of the chores that need done while i’m home. but if nothing else, my classification theory seminar has taught me that she probably got it from crazy melvil dewey, who is insane but definitely a scholar, so it’s ok if i do it too. one of the papers we read cited this paragraph of his:

Tho the importance of classification was recognized, the filosofic sistems proposed wer so difficult fully to understand or apply that not 1 person in 1000 cud uze them practically. Decimal Classification simplicity and even more its Relativ Index hav made this work 10-fold eazier. In recent years, use of the sistem has spred rapidly in all civilized cuntries … In its simpl form a skoolboy can quikly master it and keep for instant reference not only his books but every note, clipping, or pamflet.
(from the introduction to the 12th edition of the DDC, p. 10; cited in Miksa, The DDC, the Universe of knowledge, and the Post-Modern Library, p. 39)

etc.
i really like this class. it’s what i thought grad school was supposed to be like.

(song: “i’m the man who loves you,” wilco)

6 comments to a busy sea of spinning wheels

  • ?

    at first i read that as vs., like crazy melvil dewey vs. noah webster, THE SHOWDOWN.

    i figured out what it meant, but i still don’t know what you’re talking about?

  • Noah Webster was all about modernizing spelling. Some of his suggestions survive in American English, however many others do not. Your little passage reminded me of his spelling, s’all. Was not suggesting deathmatch of any sort.

  • oh. damn. i would kind of like to see a dewey/webster deathmatch.

  • Trevor

    Not to be a nit-picky wacko, but I’m not sure a “grammar geek” would so carefully avoid capitalization.

    Does capitalization fall under the grammar umbrella?

  • 1. grammar geek roots.
    2. it could be argued – not saying i am arguing it – that noncapitalization is a stylistic choice. (i actually didn’t start doing it until after becoming aware of e.e. cummings, though it was more related to the fact that middle-school-angst-lauren decided that i, personally, wasn’t worth capitalizing.)
    2a. i’m not sure that someone “carefully avoiding capitalization” would quote others with proper capitalization.
    3. i have never actually been able to decide if it does count as grammar. i think it’s more related to punctuation? i don’t know.

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