? What’s this? You write Science Fiction, not this stuff.

http://www.musingmonika.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/adamtglass-com.jpgI run into lots of fun stuff #amwriting while fact checking my #SciFi novels Matryoschka Sarah, Matryoschka Daughter, #Matryoschka Heritage, (new!) Matryoschka Time. The snippet of info gets embedded one or more of my novels, but the topic intrigues me enough to dig a little more.  These are the ‘little more.’ So, read for pleasure while I work on the release of Novel 1. Curious? Subscribe to get the announcements.[subscribe2]

Ms. #Piippo’s #amwriting #amediting #grammar

There likely is a teacher who set your attitudes about language. You probably don’t know his or her name. In my case, it was Ms. Lauren Piippo at Kennewick High School (Washington State, USA). In addition to loading us up in a school bus for the 4 hour drive to see the Seattle Opera’s Tosca, she was notorious for copy editing the local paper, Tri-City Herald, after it hit the streets.  She had significant influgrammar-rules-walk-into-a-barence on me, and indirectly caused me to become an Engineer.

On my graduation class’s Facebook group page, I ask the following.
Did you really  listen to Ms. Piippo in English? Answer why each one of these is funny.
For those who missed Shirley’s earlier notice, here is her Obit. http://www.tri-cityherald.com/ne…/local/article33307245.html

She once joked how something I wrote was so bad that her black wig wanted to jump off and hide in… Click To Tweet Not exactly a nurturing approach for a severe introvert. Her and a couple of English profs in college got me int plan B, become an Engineer. There, my desire to write, present, and practice was encouraged. I was sent to writing courses, even in my first job. Successive generations of management provided encouragement to publish, because most companies, while not the paper-mills of the Academic elite, understand that having the company’s name in front of the proceeding’s and journal’s readers was a good thing.

Thus the craft evolved. And with nary a nay from colleagues or ‘experts.’ One day, I decided to embrace the other side of High School English. One day, I decided to embrace the other side of High School English. The 'feel' of the language. Click To Tweet Despite of letting myself be driven out of writing, I decided that it was time to fully embrace Plan A. I’m now writing. Four #matryoschka #novels completed in stages of editing/submittal and five short stories that I’m noodling with collaborators.

How #niggardly of you.

How #niggardly of you.gg628482321
One of the joys of writing the #Matryoschka Heritage novels is finding the exact word for the situation, motive, and character. Some words arrive full throttle, such as affect and effect, and take over. They both can be nouns or verbs, to the confusion of many a wannabe grammar Nazi and at least three grammar programs I’ve paid to use.

How #niggardly of you Click To Tweet

Some words are simply fun, with nearly no use. One of my favorites is niggardly. I may have used it in actual conversation four times in my life.
The first time was when I was a Union shop steward at Boeing. I may have been elected to the Union Council by then, but memory doesn’t allow for such fine distinctions. Anyway, Boeing had had a banner year, with both major commercial and government wins in previous years which were paying off in major declared profits. The employees are excited for the company, this being when employees still identified with the employer. Also, and not to be discounted, high profits would lead to high salary increases in the next year’s cycle.
This about the time when Boeing initiated ‘industry norms.’ Translated to common English, they paid a consulting firm to secretly (yes secretly) poll all competitors, then calculate how much lower salaries could be and still no lose a critical mass of talent. That year salary increases were the worst in years. Being young, and full of myself, I made public at-work noises about the ‘niggardly’ attitude of Boeing Executive management over those who made the profits. Pure Marx. The result was that I beat a hasty transfer to a different division.
From this, you would think I would become more liberal, and a staunch Unionist. Remember that I was elected to the Union Council? That experience tarnished my illusions about the virtuous union chiefs vs. the greedy owners. To get to the point, I left Boeing with a firm, and never shaken, opinion the Unions, like Owners, are the to-be-tolerated sides of the same coin that makes Capitalism work.

Unions, like Owners, are the to-be-tolerated sides of the same coin that makes Capitalism work Click To Tweet
Next time I used the word niggardly was over a decade later and in not as elevated manner. Work groups still went out together roughly every week, bonding and kibitzing. Another quaint practice lost since the ’80s. One place we frequented was a Chinese buffet. When I noticed that the replenishment of the more desirable items diminished when large groups appeared, I felt it my duty to protest to the management. What little hold I had had on the manager was lost when I used the word niggardly to describe their practices.
The 90’s went without an excuse to use the word. However, a senior department head in the WDC municipal government privately complained to his staff about how niggardly the budgeting process of the current mayor was. Two of them jumped on this as a racist slur, given that they and the mayor were black. The press went to town, apparently not having a single dictionary in any of the Editorial Boards in the city. The outcry spread nationwide, until out of embarrassment and fatigue, the issue whimpered to a death. The ‘guilty’ department head was quoted as wishing that he had had a thesaurus to find a word that people couldn’t declare racist.
That is about it. In the last decade, I had a moment when I compared the cost of the average automobile in the church parking lot to the niggardly giving in support of the same church. Less said of that incident the better.

#election #humor depletion zone #hdz

You have entered the #HDZ, Humor-Depletion-Zone.
You will not be able to return to #RL real life until 30 days after the #election.

By now, many of you have noticed that I like having fun with TB/HDZ folks.
( #TrueBelievers/Humor Depletion Zone) This season, both ends of the political spectrum seem to have issues with stepping back and laughing. Up to now, by my count, hard Rightists appear to be my fave fun-target, but they, as expected, laugh it off. (most of the time.) I’ve not had similar results on the other end of the TB spectrum.

To avoid falling into bad habits of baiting the most hardcore of the HDZs, I’m temporarily blocking those who are having issues. Nothing personal, just staying out of temptation. The blocks come off in 47 days.