Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Semicolon (dun dun dun)

semicolon 2
Originally uploaded by Bingo Little

Grammar tip o’ the week

Use the semicolon between independent clauses when “and,” “but,” “or,” or “nor” is omitted. *Do not use a comma, as the sentence has no coordinating conjunction.*

• The writer hated semicolons; the editor loved them.
• My friend loves Metallica; I think they are awful.
• Madison runs every day; Mac prefers to walk.

If the two clauses are not strongly related, make them separate sentences.

• I appreciate your interest in grammar. The question you sent about semicolons will be answered in a timely fashion.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Grad school

Originally uploaded by Nic Launceford
Whoot! I got accepted into graduate school at the University of Washington. I am very excited!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Originally uploaded by Nicole.Kelly
Main Entry: piste
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, from Old Italian pista, from pistare to trample down, pound -- more at PISTON
Date: circa 1741
: TRAIL; especially : a downhill ski trail

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A nice photo

Originally uploaded by Mitra Kelly
My honey took this photo. I thought it was so sweet that I decided to post it. I think he likes me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Food time (recipe #1)

Fettucine Alfonso

• 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
• 1 1/2 cups soy or rice milk
• 2 tablespoons tahini
• 1 tablespoon onion granules
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 15 1/2 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained well
• 1 lb fettucine
• cracked black pepper

If using frozen corn, thaw and drain it well. Place corn, milk, tahini, and seasonings in blender and process until completely smooth. (This may take several minutes to completely pulverize the corn.)
Pour the blended mixture into a medium saucepan and stir in the beans. Warm over medium-low until the beans are heated through, stirring often.
While sauce is heating, cook fettucine in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain well and return to pot. Add the hot sauce and toss until noodles are evenly coated. Serve immediately, topping portions with a generous amount of cracked pepper.

The UnCheese Cookbook by J. Stepaniak

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Begging isn't pretty

I like your curves
Originally uploaded by Nicole.Kelly
Begging the question (petitio principia)
My first statement is simple here. Raising a question is not begging the question. As per Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged:

begged the question: a logical fallacy in which a premise is assumed to be true without warrant or in which what is to be proved is implicitly taken for granted


Raised the question: to bring up for consideration: introduce into discussion : offer as an objection, a problem, or a significant point
Consider the following exchange:

Writer: “My ask is that my editor stop being so tightly wound.”

Which raises the question (rightly)

Editor: “Has the editor’s writer gone to using common verbs as nouns?”

The writer’s statement raised a (good) question, but it did *not* beg the question.

Okay, onto the fallacy at hand.

Begging the question is also called assuming the initial point and is related to circular logic. It is as it then sounds, when the speaker or writer wanders around in a logical circle only to discover that their thesis is true because their thesis is true. I have to admit that I love finding out that I am perfect because I am perfect, but my friends would like to have this proven before they start a cult for me (*curses*).

When does this commonly occur?

It happens when the author doesn’t know how to prove their thesis, so they resort to a logical sleight of hand. They need the thesis to be accepted as correct, so they can continue the rest of the argument. If, perchance, the reader doesn’t accept the axiom, none of the rest of the argument will matter. So, we get desperate. Then, when we think know one is looking, we pull the adult equivalent of the truefalse letter and hope to trick people into thinking we have all the answers.
What does it look like?

It’s ugly. Real ugly. Ugly like your sister’s bride’s maids dresses. It looks a lot like this:

"If stealing wasn’t illegal, then it wouldn’t be prohibited the law."

Are you okay? I feel little queasy like the time I watched “Dead Alive.”
Sloppy logic annoys the reader, because the reader is then annoyed. I mean, if the statement wasn’t annoying, then it wouldn’t make the reader annoyed. Really, this very smart guy told me that circular reasoning is really bad … oh sorry, that’s a different logic issue.

Are you feeling dizzy? I am.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday and editing

On my day off from my editing job, I chose to edit my newest short story. I think I need to admit I have a problem.

I edit every day.
Sometimes, I hide my editing.
I better understand other people who edit.
I find it hard to not think about editing.
I can be walking down the street, and the urge to edit will hit me.

My name is Nicole, and I am addicted to editing.

(points to anyone who edits this entry)