|The Return of Persephone [Reading Weekend]
Just a few bits and bobs for a Friday. I am not in much of a bloggy mood right now.
Last year I had a blast and a half participating in the Persephone Reading Week hosted by Claire
. This year they have winnowed it down to a more host-friendly weekend. I will do at least one Persephone review, but I think this year I will quietly enjoy everyone else’s Persephone posts. (Is “else’s” a word?)
I think I am giving up on John Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
. I kind of like all of the British intelligence agency background detail, but at page 165 it doesn’t seem to be much else. Even as I write this I am tempted not to give up. Early in 2010 I read The Arena
which is a crime novel, but it had some elements of intelligence agency/international intrigue that kind of piqued my interest in the a spy novel so I asked around the blogosphere for recommendations and came up with TTSS. I don’t think the recommendations were wrong, I just think my interest in this type of fiction is more limited than I thought.
A Clockwork Orange
Last night while walking Lucy, I got into a bit of a verbal altercation that probably escalated more than it needed to. I was totally in the right, but I let my OCD need to communicate exactly why the other person was wrong get the best of me. He was just so damn condescending (and wrong) that I couldn’t let it go. The net effect is that I felt a little sick to my stomach afterwards. That makes it sound more ominous than it was. It really was just a garden-variety altercation. But I have made a lot of progress in NOT being the cranky person who just gets crankier and crankier as he realizes that everyone else is an idiot. I guess the occasional slip is to be expected. It is kind of like the aversion therapy in A Clockwork Orange. I have seen the crazy movie but not read the book, but in that story a violent hooligan is injected with an illness-inducing drug while being exposed to violent images. The effect is that he eschews violence lest he become ill. In a much, much more milder form, these days when I get all hot and bothered over something, I get a little queasy afterwards.
Fewer Lesses and More Fewers
Literacy is a never-ending journey. It wasn’t until I was getting my second Master’s degree that I began to understand that the words “less” and “fewer” were not interchangeable. Simply put, the word “less” applies to things that are uncountable and “fewer” applies to things that can be counted. So something may have “less fat” by virtue of having “fewer grams of fat”. Once I fully took this concept on, I couldn’t keep myself from correcting people (in my head) every time they used “less” when they should have used “fewer”. But now I have gotten myself to the point where anytime anyone uses the word “less”, even when it is being used correctly, I change it to “fewer” in my head. It is like it has become an OCD (ah, mentioned twice now in this post) Mad Lib game for me. The other day on TV I heard someone say “I am less concerned about that” and in my head I changed it to “I am fewer concerned about that”. I’ve gone mental.