Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Since I've been muttering about it in multiple locations for some months now, I thought it necessary to publicly thank Jef for his musical present; nine CDs jam-packed with MP3s and a burned copy, lovely to behold, of the cocnept album "Colonel Jeffrey Pumpernickel," the best concept album ever about some sort of man, allergic to water, possibly a robot himself...giant caterpillars...underwater fire battles...actually, I have no real idea what it's about, but it is musical candy to me and has some pretty good smoking-on-the-balcony nostalgia accompanying it.

Re: Sigur Rós "conversation" in the comments below, I can only, again, reference Jef; namely, the end of the brief note he enclosed with said CDs. "Also, I make no apologies for the random musical jags I have gone on." Theoretically-informed or no, I likes what I likes.

Hey, while the season still's a summertime thing.


Anonymous said...

Uh oh...time to start setting up a character system to block the spam. By the way, I want new music too. but I suppose you're not the one to kvetch to.

- Jesse

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's right, I ended a sentence with a preposition, I'll cut you, that's right....

The Earthtopus said...

So? Sentences ending in prepositions can comprise well-formed English, and have for hundreds of years.

Anonymous said...

Some people harp on it though, so I thought I'd be satirical. I'm a meaning-of-word nazi, not a grammar nazi.

- Jesse

Agnes said...

all ye, move to Gemanry


and my friend send me 4 albums by Sigur Ros - who rock by the way - me is happy :)

The Earthtopus said...

Yes, but people harp on it through what is essentially centuries of mythologizing based on this one thing thins one guy said one time.

Stolen mercilessly from languagelog:

In 1672 an influential essayist called John Dryden published a critical piece called "Defence of the epilogue" which included a catalog of alleged faults in the writing of important recent authors. In that essay he called it "a common fault" to have a "Preposition in the end of the sentence". Notice, uncontroversially, the usage was common in the 17th century. That is because it was fully grammatical then, as it is now, and it already had been for centuries. Dryden even noted that it occurred in his own writings. He had no basis whatever for his objection to it. (Unless you count "Latin doesn't permit this" as an objection. Some people seemed to feel back then that English needed a sort of makeover to turn it into a suitable rival to Latin for serious writing — a whole language community with an inferiority complex. That surely isn't relevant today.)

About a hundred years after Dryden expressed his opinion, Bishop Robert Lowth, in a grammar that became quite important, described the construction with the preposition at the front of the clause as "more graceful as well as more perspicuous", adding that it "agrees much better with the solemn and elevated style" --- though Lowth still made it extremely clear that it is normal in speech and "the familiar style in writing" (the style in which one writes I'm and couldn't rather than I am and could not). Slowly Lowth's view ossified in the writings of other grammarians. By 1800 several famous school textbooks expressed straightforward disapproval of the stranded preposition, and teachers began to teach generations of schoolchildren that it was wrong. In America (though much less in Great Britain) this belief survived from the 19th century into the 20th.

And since nothing progressive really happened in the teaching of English grammar during the 20th century, we now find ourselves, in the 21st century, confronted with educated Americans who seriously think that a search engine should say it is sorry it could not find that for which you were looking. It's staggering. It really is. And The New Yorker apparently encourages this absurd misconception about grammaticality in English. I simply can't imagine what they're thinking of. Or as they would put it, *I simply cannot imagine of what they are thinking.

santoritimes said...

"this is the man whose trailer off in they were whackin'... ?"