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Shiftless

When the high temps are only in the teens, and baseball seems worlds away, who can blame one (or two) for shifting toward the pedantic?

Tara:
So I went to check out this blogger Sully links to but I get there and find that this "Julien" is one of those dopes who writes in all lower case.

 

Susan/Circle:
Ah, how cute. A Sabermetric wannabee e.e. cummings. What possesses people to think crap like a blog written in lower case is cool or something?

 

Tara:
Yeah, does the dude get up in the morning thinking, "I don't use the shift key. Is my shit the bananas or what?"

 

Susan/Circle:
I love that irony that this self-described mathematician wants us to trust his numbers yet he doesn't feel compelled to follow the simplest of grammatical rules? Sloppy and lazy in one implies sloppy and lazy in the other.

 


Susan/Circle:
Abso-fucking-lutely. If you can't be bothahd with the extra keystroke, I can't be bothahd to read your blog.

 

Comments

... said the blog written in all upper-case letters.

"said the blog written in all upper-case letters."

Doncha love the irony? But...

Actually, that's not exactly true. The Soxaholix is written in standard cap of first letter of a sentence etc but then gets converted to uppercase via CSS. (You can look at the RSS feed if you want proof or just do a view source on the HTML code.)

Comic strips, of course, are usually (always?) in all caps, hence the conversion and use of the "Comic sans" font face.

This is what is known as "separation of content and presentation."

How's that for pedantic? :)

I'm not surprised that's the case, but thanks for pointing it out. Plus? I was just making the easy joke (and got it out of the way).

I'll out myself as a comic book geek and say that letterers are unappreciated, especially in this day of insta-fonts available in any of the various layout and design programs.

For a nice example of the use of multiple fonts to infer mood, character, and emotion, see Todd Klein's work in "The Sandman."

http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/index.cgi?article=14&column=6

As for "julien," will he be developing stats on plat(oo)ning or (OO)PS (a.k.a. "Opportunistic On-base Percentage Plus Slugging")?

One of the big downsides of doing a comic on the web with speeches in pure text (as opposed to text within an image) is I can't introduce more and better font faces. I'm limited to the standard set of core fonts that are part of the operating system.

Hey, c'mon, Pete Rozelle wrote in all lower case, and what did he do? Revolutionize the sporting world. Yeah, he made football popular, but still.

Having two cases for one alphabet is stupid. You have to learn 26 lower-case letters (which are in frequent use) & then learn 26 upper-case letters (which are used mainly for the first word of a sentence or an acronym). Not all upper-case letters correspond to their lower-case counterpart. Would anyone know that "Q" is the capital of "q"? "R" for "r"? "D" for "d" (especially when "B" for "b")?

That's 52 letters the average English-speaking child has to fully memorize. Add to that upper- and lower-case cursive (which most people only use for legal signatures nowadays) & now that child must adequately learn 104 symbols to pass elementary reading & writing.

This wouldn't be so bad if we actually utilized each letter fully but we don't. The function of the letter "c" is minimal, having most of it's duties performed by either "s" (as in "cease") or "k" (as in "close"). It's only real use is to be in front of the "h" to form the "ch" that you hear in words like "chart." Even this is not uniform, as there are words like "champagne."

"Q" is an absolutely useless letter, it's functions are practically owned by "kw" or "k."

I won't even bother with the "secret code" vowel pronunciations, which are so varied as to be too numerous to mention here. "Soap" & "Pope"; "Meal" & "Eel"; "Too," "two" & "to"; "Good" & "wood" are different then "food" & "mood"; "So" & "sew"...

Even worse then that are words spelt identical with different pronunciations for the meanings of words. Did he read the book, or has he read it? He took his bow to the bow of the ship. His arm got number as he waited for his number at the Deli counter.

The English language is a veritable secret code when compared to other languages. Don't believe it? Answer yourself this - Which nations tend to have the highest rates of dyslexia?

It's time for a change. Demand better.


>
> From: paul@basken.com
> Date: 2005/01/18 Tue PM 07:31:04 EST
> To:
> Subject: capitalization
>
> jennifer... the rant at http://www.blogger.com/knowledge/2004/08/eats-blogs-leaves.pyra against writing in lowercase is cute, but then one goes to http://www.angelfire.com/grrl/jen_garrett/ and sees the title "being jennifer garrett" (your lowercase, not mine).
> kind of a silly thing to worry about, but i've written messages in lowercase since my days with upi, where that was the standard because computers of those days could only handle a single case (all caps, actually, on a lot of the printouts), and so bothering with caps was just a waste of everyone's time. sorry you find such things offensive, but that's how i got started. others, who used computers before there was such a thing as the internet, might have similar reasons.
> maybe you're too young to know that, but not sure it's a reason to be snooty about other folks' web sites. those using lowercase might not be lazy, but just saving their keystrokes for more important uses. i'm particularly disappointed to see the good folks at soxaholix parroting your line in criticizing another baseball blog. but then again i see soxaholix belittling peyton manning on the grounds that he "pees sitting down," which seems a tad misogynist. they had me howling during the miraculous season last year of our beloved red sox, but hopefully they can manage humor without equating womanhood with failure, which is a far worse flaw than flaunting one's undersized letters.
> cheers, paul
>
>

It's not a wheel; it's satire.

"It's not a wheel; it's satire."

Truly.

And as for Paul bemoaning that the characters are "parroting" someone else's line, well, that's kinda what they do just as often as not. Plus sometimes they are, quite consciously, misogynists (or any other handful of socially unacceptable things at any given moment) to boot (and way more than just a "tad" I'd daresay). And they are ALWAYS politically incorrect, hopefully, and I'm pretty sure (not that I'd know or anything) that they've been this way all along. That's, er, sorta their raison d'etre, no?

I'm all for changing orthography to make sense, but we've been fucking around and ignoring the metric system for 30 years, so how realistic is that? I personally disagree with apostrophes, the rule against split infinitives, and numerous other quirks of the English language, but if one must use them to present a good product, then consider my shit presentable.

"I personally disagree with apostrophes..."

Now that is a fantastic line!

Anonymous, you think kids writing in English have a problem with 52 symbols. I spent two weeks in Japan this summer. Maybe that's why their kids kick our kids' ass in school; they have to learn about 1000.

i don't care if you write in all caps or no caps, just don't type "it's" for "its" or "hat's" for "hats", etc.

i fucking hate that shit. HATE!

Oh, I hate the it's/its thing too, but, chagrin, chagrin, I'm prone to that typo all the effin' time.

It's not from lack of knowledge, but rather fingers getting ahead of the brain. (Oh, sure that's what they all say, right?)

If any readers do see these kinds of there/their etc mistakes, PLEASE let me know and I'll fix ASAP.

RonF -

Apples & oranges when comparing Japanese & English. With traditional Japanese, the character is the entire word. With English, we put characters together to make words.

52 characters for an alphabetic system is silly & inefficient, especially when you consider that we can't even have concrete rules governing which letters or letter combinations go for which sound. Is "byte" & "bite" pronounced the same? You don't write it as "bight" but we have "blight." You'd think they'd leave "ight" alone but "eight" (which sounds just like "ate") is pronounced differently then "tight" or "fight." Is the "ei" safe? No, because the "ei" in "eight" & "either" are pronounced differently.

And on & on it will go...

da kine -

The number 12 can evenly divide into a greater variety of numbers then 10. 10's & 1's sound good on paper but for actual, practical measuring purposes, it's impractical. Just as the most common measurements in the British Imperial System are inches, feet, yards & miles, the most common measurements used for the metric system are the centimeter, meter & kilometer.

For a scientist where precise measurements are required, the metric system has value. For everything else, it is an annoyance. Don't believe me? Walk onto a construction site that "uses" the metric system & you will often find improvised terminology (& measurements) for quarters & thirds of various lengths.

Anon-
You're not entirely correct about the Japanese writing system. Japanese has two syllabaries, katakana and hiragana. In addition, they also use Chinese characters, called kanji, that usually have a Chinese-based pronunciation and as well as a native Japanese reading. These kanji often have more multiple pronunciations of both origins, and you can only determine its sound by its context.
http://www.outreachworld.org/resource.asp?Curriculumid=91

As for human language acquisition and cognition, I recommend any book by Steven Pinker. He is a popularizer of Noam Chomsky's theories of innate grammar.
http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/

Empyreal -

Yes, I was well aware of the syllabaries. Since I didn't want to turn my response into a novel, however, I edited it down to the most pertinent answer. I'm glad to see that you're up on your Japanese literature, though. Good for you.

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