RE: Books to improve written English (was Re: Something a little moreuseful than: RE: Pet Peeves)

Subject: RE: Books to improve written English (was Re: Something a little moreuseful than: RE: Pet Peeves)
From: "Poshedly, Ken" <PoshedlyK -at- polysius -dot- com>
To: "Chris Borokowski" <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 11:28:51 -0400

About a year ago, after my now-eighth-grader son was assigned to read a science fiction book (to learn how real science oftentimes catches up with science fiction), I told him about Jules Verne and H.G. Wells some of their works.

All that got me to thinking about reading up on this stuff myself. So in the last year, I finally - and happily - read Verne's' "Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", "From the Earth to the Moon" and its sequel, "All Around the Moon", then "Off on a Comet", and Wells' "First Men in the Moon", "The Time Machine" and "War of the Worlds".

As for Verne, the guy had to be an absolute genius to be able to use educated guesswork to describe in pretty good detail some of the stuff he wrote about; I've read that he consulted with scientists during his research for his many books, so it's not like he knew it all ahead of time. But for him to foretell fluorescent lights as well as submarine travel and all is simply amazing - considering this stuff was written in the late 1800's when electric lighting was still inn its infancy.

By the way, the premise in "From the Earth to the Moon" is that the capsule which carried the men to the Moon was really a projectile shot from a humongous canon built down into the Earth with its rim at ground level. It takes place in the 1860s, just after the American Civil War as a project of the Baltimore Gun Club. The location of the canon? According to the book, ". . . not further than 28° north or south from the equator, so that it might be aimed vertically at the Moon in the zenith."

The finally chosen location (in the book) was at the Gulf coast and pretty much due-west of Cape Kennedy, Florida.


And how many of you even heard of "Off on a Comet"? It deals with the inhabitants of a French military outpost on the north coast of Africa and their exploits after a comet glances off the Earth and carries them away. (And no, I don't think this is apt to happen.)

As for Wells, he used his writings to espouse his political beliefs. "War of the Worlds" is a prime example. And the premise of "First Men in the Moon" is the use of an antigravity "device" to carry a capsule or whatever to the Moon.

But no matter. To read the technical details of the stuff these guys wrote is simply amazing.

-- Ken in Atlanta

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Chris Borokowski
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 9:20 AM
Subject: OT: Books to improve written English (was Re: Something a little moreuseful than: RE: Pet Peeves)

And thanks to you, I seem to have found a new author.
Vinge seems like a bridge between Heinlein and Gibson.

Since good things sometimes come in threes, what else are you (and others on the list) reading?

--- Susan Hogarth <hogarth -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> I'm reading Vernor Vinge's latest novel, and he postulates a sort of
> business-social 'net creole called GoodEnufEnglish.
> Kinda
> cringeworthy, but the examples in the novel aren't too bad.


This e-mail message and any attachment contains private
and confidential information and is intended for the addressee only. If you are not the intended recipient (or responsible
for delivery of the message to such person), please do not read, copy, use or disclose this communication to others.
If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender by replying to this message, and then delete it from your system.

Attachments: Please use our "Send us a file" link on

Thank you.
Polysius Corp.
Atlanta, Ga. USA
Voice: 770-850-2000
Main Fax: 770-955-8789


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output.

Now shipping: Help &amp; Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
to 106 languages with Help &amp; Manual:

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Re: Something a little more useful than: RE: Pet Peeves: From: Susan Hogarth
OT: Books to improve written English (was Re: Something a little more useful than: RE: Pet Peeves): From: Chris Borokowski

Previous by Author: RE: Do tech writers really know the truth? (Was RE: Something alittle more useful than: RE: Pet Peeves)
Next by Author: RE: Speaking of... (was RE: Pet Peeves)
Previous by Thread: RE: OT: Books
Next by Thread: RE: Books to improve written English (was Re: Something a little moreuseful than: RE: Pet Peeves)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads