dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #758
sarah-neko at dove.gen.nz
Thu Dec 4 15:51:10 EST 2003
> The problem I have is that my students then think that it is okay to
> they even when the subject is clearly singular: "a student handed in
Yes, that's the use that bugs me. I understand that it doesn't *flow*
to say 'his or her,' 'she or he' in a situation where you genuinely
don't know the person's sex or where their sex is beside the point...
I'd try to get people started using s/he and hir but they *look*
terrible, and, of course, can't be distinguished when spoken aloud.
> After the "they" word, my favourite hate is badly constructed words
> "chocoholic". That's derived from alcoholic, which is alcohol + ic.
> Therefore is must be chocolatic. (if you drop the e...).
And workaholic, and any other 'holic,' especially when the reference is
not to a real addiction or compulsion but just to an enthusiasm. They
really annoy me.
I wonder if, born in another century, I would have been one of those
people bitching that 'television' or 'telegram' or 'petroleum' was a
loathsome hybrid of Greek and Latin.
> Oh, I'm sure of it--if the baby's identified, it seems strange to be
> using a
> neuter pronoun. What I think is strange is why the gender wouldn't be
> identified...but only "strange" in the sense of "we are so much more
> obsessed with such things than people were in days of yore."
> In fact, I realized that I use "it" myself when writing or speaking of
> baby whose sex I do not know. I think that's where I picked up the
> those old texts.
I use 'it' for gender-indeterminate babies, but think dogs are 'he' by
default and cats are 'she.' Goodness knows why.
> I wish my life were that easy. I'm lucky if the children respond to
> given names without me tacking on middle and surname as well,
> delivered in a
> loud carrying theater voice.
> Melissa Proffitt
> (whose oldest child is reading over her shoulder and thinks I am Very
> to mention it)
My mother calls me and my sister by each other's names with tiresome
frequency (including, while under stress, 'Sarah, stop bothering me and
go and sit with Sarah!').
> Pani: What an excellent description of the effect! I plowed through
> Zimmer Bradley's [blanking on title- something about Avalon-- the
> Arthurian one] with extreme effort, because I found by 1/3 of the way
> through that I disliked everyone in the book, and felt that most of
> especially the pagan priestesses one was supposed to admire-- might
> been better drowned at birth.
*^.^* Mists of Avalon, I think. I had the same problem when I was
reading (for the same class as 'Earthsea' - it really made me reassess
my assumption that I 'liked fantasy,' because SO many of the fantasy
books we studied were not up my alley at all) 'Black Trillium,' by a
triumvirate of female fantasy writers. I scorned everyone in that darn
book utterly (especially Orogastus, the
villain-who-you-are-supposed-to-think-is-rather-hunky). I was amazed to
learn they had thought it was worth writing sequels.
> The one who used to do for my mother in the eighties (a student) was
> English and called himself "a cleaner".
I do for my mother and honorary maiden aunt while I'm unemployed and
call myself a skivvy.
>> Charlie, is that you what's won the ChLA 2003 Article Honor for your
>> _Red Shift_ article? If so, Mazel Tov!
> Ahem - yes, 'tis I. I'm trying not to let it change my life, though.
Well anyway, well done!
Have a butter-pie, or something.
> On Wednesday, December 3, 2003, at 04:41 PM, minnow at belfry.org.uk
>> Now I wonder: does the lady on whom Zinka is
>> based identify with Zinka? Memo to self, ask
>> her when the chance arises... also ask her
>> whether she identifies with the Pratchett
>> character also based on her. Would that lead
>> to an identity *crisis*, if both? Hmmmmm
> Who is the Pratchett character based on her?
Unless my memory has played me false, I think I was actually present at
a signing in Auckland, New Zealand when he sourced the name for
Constable Ping ('It means a water meadow').
I have always agonised over the fact that I thought Terry gave me an
annoyed look when he signed my book. Perhaps he was just tired. Perhaps
he thought my hat was making fun of his hat. *frets*
> Minnow: Is her name Helen? She mostly gets called "my Missus" and
> "the Queen" in
> TMN, but I think she's named in one of the other books, or maybe at
> the end
> with the coronation.
Named Helen, called Nellie. I believe!
> Not being a Pratchett fan, nor having read them for -- well, since one
> out and I decided I wasn't going to bother to buy any more, around
> or thenabouts, I can't remember the names, but one of his witches was
> greeted at the time she occurred at SF fandom in Britain as being
> based on
> Sue and another on her and one other member of fandom, and both they
> and he
> agreed that was right. I got confused because he took the *name* of
> other fan and gave it to one of the witches, but swore blind the
> of that name was not based on the fan of the same name, but on Sue
> really. Something along those lines anyway. It was in a convention
I have heard him say that Nanny Ogg is named Gytha after another witch
he knows, but that this woman is not like Nanny apart from being a
witch called Gytha (it's Old English for Gift). She's rather annoyed
with him about it because people get the idea that she must be motherly
and she isn't at all.
E you later,
(the artist formerly known as Sarah-neko)
Air and Angels Anime Shrines
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