Monday, December 1, 2008


Several Run for Dori followers, some of whom are linked on this blog, are exceptional writers. These authors write clearly, confidently and with care.

Most everyone I know, yours truly included, is prone to butchering our language occasionally. Notice I didn't say "to occasionally butcher the language," which is a split infinitive. I could have said, "Most everyone I know butchers our language occasionally," and just have been done with it. That's the hell in which writers with pride (see anal-retentive) live. Applause please for not ending a sentence with a preposition.

Two recurring hatchet jobs I hear often make me wince. The first is most weathermen's misuse of "further." The cold front is not further to our north; it is farther to our north. Farther addresses distance, while further connotes degree. The second is the less-fewer issue. Tonight on the radio, a sports columnist for ESPN who used to write for our local paper said words to the effect, "He's got less options, less recruits and will make less money." The less money thing is spot on, but dude, it's fewer options and fewer recruits. Fewer is for quantity, while less is for quality and that which is unquantifiable. Don't get me started on all the kids who use double negatives. Unfortunately, our schools seem to condone slang and misuse of the language. Did I just say "dude?"

Back to Blood Cancer Land, Dori's visit to the eye doctor today went well. Radiation and chemo can cause long-term challenges, like osteoporosis and glaucoma. Dori's eyes weathered the storm well. She was jazzed when she called me today. I'm happy for her.

Dori has another doctor's visit tomorrow. I'm about to pray for good news there, right after I read more of the book she picked up for me last night at the library - Educating Peter by Lettie Teague. It's an appealing book to wine enthusiasts and wine novices because it describes wine appreciation and understanding with a depth that appeals to both audiences. Here, here.


ChuckEastNashville said...

Jim, I know you have friends and fellow Vanderbilt alumni working at a local sports talk radio station. "Between he and I the discussion was about ticket sales," is brutal.

I shall save my sports cliches rant for an other day. As a distance runner I learned the farther versus further at a very early age.

Remember, a preposition is something you don't end a sentence with.

(heh heh)

Jim said...

Maybe we can authorize electro-shock therapy for folks who should know better! JK.