Author Topic: Cato's Grammar Grumble  (Read 563294 times)

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Scarpia

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #980 on: February 11, 2010, 10:33:41 AM »
We've got that anniversary edition at the Museum shop; I'll have a look at it tonight.

It's possible to see excerpts on line at Amazon.  No paragraphs breaks, but punctuation.

secondwind

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #981 on: February 11, 2010, 10:35:43 AM »
Apparently.  The second semicolon, according to the purists, is an error, because of the use of the conjunction "but."

But in a book about slacker, edge-of-society rule-breakers, you expect things like that!   $:)
The comma also is not gramatically correct, coming as it does between two parts of the compound object. "All I wanted to do was x and y" would be correct, not "all I wanted to do was x, and y."  Rhyhmically, however, I prefer Kerouac's punctuation.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #982 on: February 11, 2010, 11:10:58 AM »
The comma also is not gramatically correct, coming as it does between two parts of the compound object. "All I wanted to do was x and y" would be correct, not "all I wanted to do was x, and y."  Rhyhmically, however, I prefer Kerouac's punctuation.
I prefer it, too.  The thing to remember is that the "rules" of grammar are guidelines, distilled by analyzing practice, and are properly regarded as descriptive, maybe prescriptive, but never proscriptive!  Using punctuation--such as dashes, commas, and even semicolons--to break up written sentences and impart the rhythm and flavor of speech (as well as to render complex statements more intelligible), is not just an acceptable practice but an essential element of the writer's craft.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Franco

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #983 on: February 11, 2010, 11:13:24 AM »
The original scroll manuscript of On The Road, written over a three week amphetamine fueled marathon is not the same book that was published in 1957.  From most accounts it is longer, more lurid, and uses real names, but in essence recounts the same experiences.  In 2001 (I think) it was auctioned for over $2 million.

On The Road is probably his best book, although Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans and Desolation Angels are good too.  He wrote other scroll manuscripts, but instead of taping the pages together used teletype paper rolls.

I've got some recordings of him reading or improvising poetry with saxophone accompaniment, Zoot Sims on some - tres 50's cool.

Scarpia

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #984 on: February 11, 2010, 12:06:19 PM »
The original scroll manuscript of On The Road, written over a three week amphetamine fueled marathon is not the same book that was published in 1957.  From most accounts it is longer, more lurid, and uses real names, but in essence recounts the same experiences.  In 2001 (I think) it was auctioned for over $2 million.

By most accounts?  That's what it says on the flap of the Original Scroll Edition, published by Penguin

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143105469/ref=s9_simi_gw_p14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0JENXH026MYMHE27SP1E&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 12:09:17 PM by Scarpia »

secondwind

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #985 on: February 11, 2010, 12:09:40 PM »

I've got some recordings of him reading or improvising poetry with saxophone accompaniment, Zoot Sims on some - tres 50's cool.
Indeed! 8)

Franco

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #986 on: February 11, 2010, 12:11:56 PM »
By most accounts?  That's what it says on the flap of the Original Scroll Edition, published by Penguin

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143105469/ref=s9_simi_gw_p14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0JENXH026MYMHE27SP1E&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

I haven't seen the Penquin book and was only vaguely aware of what was reported about the differences, hence my hedging.

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #987 on: February 11, 2010, 05:29:52 PM »
I prefer it, too.  The thing to remember is that the "rules" of grammar are guidelines, distilled by analyzing practice, and are properly regarded as descriptive, maybe prescriptive, but never proscriptive!  Using punctuation--such as dashes, commas, and even semicolons--to break up written sentences and impart the rhythm and flavor of speech (as well as to render complex statements more intelligible), is not just an acceptable practice but an essential element of the writer's craft.

That's a big 10-4, good buddy!   :o

Drugged-up (or drugged-out) writing is not my thing: one wonders how much more creative Kerouac might have been without fried, poached, roasted, sauteed, or fricasseed frontal lobes.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #988 on: February 12, 2010, 06:04:06 AM »
Which is correct when I'm speaking to you and referring to my friend Bob?

Which is correct when I'm speaking to you and referring to my friend: Bob?

Which is correct when I'm speaking to you and referring to my friend, Bob?

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #989 on: February 12, 2010, 06:08:48 AM »
Makes me think of one of the timing/emphasis jokes in that Firesign Theatre classic:

Quote
I assume you've come to see my mistress, Mr Danger.

–I don't care about your private life, or what his name is . . . .

MN Dave

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #990 on: February 12, 2010, 06:10:40 AM »
Hee. Exactly.

Spotswood

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #991 on: February 12, 2010, 11:19:15 AM »
Still, I'm very aware of how much he influenced my adolescence.  That vagabond hipster dharma bum lifestyle sounds more glamorous in print than it is in real life, but it is VERY addictive.

John Updike once said that he wrote Rabbit, Run as a sort of reponse to Kerouac. He wanted to show that the free-spirit lifestyle has consquences: that people get hurt.

Anyway, I'm plodding through Salinger's Seymour: An Introduction for the first and last time in my life. God, it's torture.

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #992 on: February 12, 2010, 11:23:02 AM »
John Updike once said that he wrote Rabbit, Run as a sort of reponse to Kerouac. He wanted to show that the free-spirit lifestyle has consquences: that people get hurt.

Anyway, I'm plodding through Salinger's Seymour: An Introduction for the first and last time in my life. God, it's torture.
Never read it.  Try Nine Stories.  Great.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

Offline Cato

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #993 on: February 13, 2010, 05:02:08 AM »
John Updike once said that he wrote Rabbit, Run as a sort of reponse to Kerouac. He wanted to show that the free-spirit lifestyle has consquences: that people get hurt.

Anyway, I'm plodding through Salinger's Seymour: An Introduction for the first and last time in my life. God, it's torture.

I plowed through "Seymour" and saw less as a result!   :o

Writers can be solipsistic and egotistical schmucks: feel free to throw off the shackles and take your copy back to the library before the thumbscrews are tightened even more.

And always remember:

Writers of fiction are liars, even if they do occasionally tell the truth.   0:)
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Spotswood

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #994 on: February 13, 2010, 10:52:48 AM »
Finished Seymour this morning, and that's that.  It did get more interesting and readable toward the end, which only reinforced my anger with the rest of it.

David, the only reason I read Seynour at all is that I have read all the rest of Salinger, including the Nine Stories. I guess I should return to that when I'm finished the other books presently in the queue. You're right: That is a good one. And CITR, of course.

Offline John Copeland

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #995 on: February 22, 2010, 11:05:39 AM »
I have a problem. :o
Yesterday I heard a 13 year old boy refer to an older Scottish boy as 'bad ass'.  Pretty standard stuff, but this was spoken by a Scottish boy in a Scottish city, and if it was in Scots vernacular it would be something like "Aye, he's mental."  Instead, it was, "Aye, he's a bad ass."  Well, if he had been speaking in Scottish lexicon he would have said "Bad arse," but in literal terms that would be suggestive of something different than the behaviour of the "Bad ass."
Isn't 'bad ass' American in origin?  Why do Scottish kids adopt American things like this?  It's doubtful that in South Philadelphia you would catch a teenager saying:  "Och aye, that wee fany, we did away wi' him in last week"  but you're sure to hear it in Scotland...somewhere...depending on who you're talking to...hell, my argument is crumbling...
I want cross-atlantic linguistic equality!  So come on you Americans (other than Cato, Henning, and one or two I don't know about ::) ) - start using AYE !!

Franco

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #996 on: February 22, 2010, 11:32:38 AM »
I realize now that I should NOT have enabled viewing of users' avatars.

Spotswood

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #997 on: February 22, 2010, 11:51:56 AM »
So come on you Americans (other than Cato, Henning, and one or two I don't know about ::) ) - start using AYE !!

It's not just American English that's popular, but black American English. The slang is everywhere and is very attractive to people who want to feel freer and less contricted in their language and manner. George Carlin years ago perceptively noted that if you take five white guys and five black guys and let them hang around together for about a month, you'll find that the white guys are walking, and talking and standing like the black guys do. You'll never hear a black guy say, "Hey, golly, we won the big game today. Yes, sir. It was a doozy, too!" But you'll see guys with red hair and freckles named Duffy say, "What's happenin'? Nothin' to it. You got it, man. Right. Cool. See ya later baby.'"

There is no linguistic symmetry. It's just the way life is.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 09:21:38 AM by Joe Barron »

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #998 on: February 22, 2010, 02:12:42 PM »
George Carlin years ago perceptively noted that if you take five white guys and five black guys and let them hang around together for about a month, you'll find that the white guys are walking, and talking and standing like teh black guys to.

Depends on whether they're hanging out together in the board room or the bar room.
"Maybe the problem most of you have ... is that you're not listening to Barbirolli." ~Sarge

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

karlhenning

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Re: Cato's Grammar Grumble
« Reply #999 on: February 22, 2010, 02:18:07 PM »
Well observed!