Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spacing Out

I noticed that in most printed works there is only one space after a period and other closing punctuations. This is very confusing because when we type papers/manuscripts we are told to use two spaces. Why is there a discrepancy? How do I adjust the spacing between sentences from a manuscript to a layout without manually deleting each of the "extra" space?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Comma Chameleon

Here are the first few sentences of an article by writer Mike Todd in which he describes his epic struggles with the mighty comma. Click on the post title to see the rest of the piece.

Did you know that the correct punctuation differs between the phrases “my cousin Rachel” and “my wife Kara”? An astute reader recently pointed out that the phrase “my wife Kara,” which readers of this column (including, and sometimes limited to, my mom) might recognize as appearing in this space with the same frequency that severed limbs appear in Quentin Tarantino movies, really requires a comma between the words “wife” and “Kara.”

After several salvos in a grammatical battle that could only be described as epic (by me) or unbelievably dorky (by Kara), my defeat became impossible to ignore…

Friday, May 4, 2007

Amber Mui Fah Stierli Brings Hawaii’s Writers Back Home

This is the young woman I told you about. I think you'll find her story inspiring.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ka Leo o Hawai‘i

The following was received from Jay Hartwell, advisor to Ka Leo of Hawai‘i.

This summer Ka Leo O Hawai‘i is going to become a full-color newspaper printed at The Honolulu Advertiser's facility in Kapolei.

The editors are recruiting students who show promise as copy editors. There are several advantages for working at Ka Leo.

First, we offer flexible morning or afternoon hours and a stipend.

Second, our stories need copy editing.

Third, the stories are usually short and easy to edit.

Fourth, copy editors get to see the results of their work the next day.

And fifth, developing copy editing skills at Ka Leo will help department graduates get jobs.

Ka Leo copy editors also may be eligible to earn internship credit from the Department of English. Details

Ka Leo is trying to get interested students to contact us as soon as possible before this summer, when our four-day a week newspaper becomes a summer weekly.

Medical Journals

I asked Gary Mawyer to comment on these words by Theodore Dalrymple. His response follows the quotation.

"A considerable proportion, if not an outright majority, of the medical profession is of conservative cast of mind: politically, that is, not technically. Perhaps a close and continuous acquaintance with human nature at its limits renders doctors, if not cynical exactly, at least circumspect about the prospects for human perfectibility. It is surprising, then, that the major medical journals these days, edited entirely by doctors, are riddled with—I almost said rotted by—political correctness. It isn't easy to define political correctness with precision, but it is easy to recognize when it is present. It acts on me as the sound, when I was a child, of a teacher's nail scraping down a blackboard because his piece of chalk was too short: it sends shivers down my spine. It is the attempt to reform thought by making certain things unsayable; it is also the conspicuous, not to say intimidating, display of virtue (conceived of as the public espousal of the 'correct,' which is to say 'progressive,' views) by means of a purified vocabulary and abstract humane sentiment. To contradict such sentiment, or not to use such vocabulary, is to put yourself outside the pale of civilized men (or should I say persons?)."—Theodore Dalrymple

I think medical sorts are indeed of a conservative cast of mind. However, this no longer translates politically. Republican damage to the industry started to swing even the better paid medicos over, about midway through Clinton's presidency. I don't know what standing I have to speak generally, but there are hardly any Republican or GOP-leaning individuals left among the people I work with around the country now. In the 1980s even the Democrats were Reagan-leaning (can we call them "no-taxation hopefuls"?). It still remains true, however, that the cast of mind is conservative, and I believe a certain realism about human nature and life in general does help feed this.