Re: Bullfighter diagnosis on post (was Re: Writing Corrective Actions for customers?)

Subject: Re: Bullfighter diagnosis on post (was Re: Writing Corrective Actions for customers?)
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: Michael West <WestM -at- conwag -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 00:03:52 -0700

Michael West wrote:
> Tim Mantyla wrote on 23/04/2008 06:01:09 AM:
> > FWIW, the Bullfighter gives Ned a composite score of 8.8 out of 10
> > for this composition, and 63 out of 100 on the Flesch reading index,
> > as convoluted as it sounds.
> I don't need the help of software to know blather when I read it.
> I can handle convolution. What I can't handle is the absence of an
> objective correlative for the metaphor--if that's what it is.

> "Where one gets off dumping on people" is not a meaningful expression in
> any species of English that concerns me -- especially not in a technical
> communications forum. Without a citation relating the expression to
> something in the real word (as we laughingly refer to it), it is
> indecipherable.

"During Expo '74 in Spokane, Washington, a very large IMAX screen that
measured 90 x 65 ft (27.3 x 19.7 m) was featured in the US Pavilion (the
largest structure in the expo). About 5 million visitors viewed the
screen, which covered a person's total field of vision when looking
directly forward. This easily created a sensation of motion for nearly
everyone, and motion sickness in a few viewers."

When you project my rollercoaster sentence onto the big screen and parse
my vernacular as simplified technical English, rubbing my nose in the
madness, it makes me want to yield to the aversion therapy. It makes me
so seasick that I want the cure. Let the emptiness of my words suck away
all the atmosphere that carried them. The penetrating loneliness, when
the words can't vibrate and carry, will either save or damn me, but
that's the only way to get meaning back into the glowing phospors of my
computer screen.

Aw come on, what a bunch of ...

I think I can comfortably decline the generous offer of remedy. I don't
need to be cured of anything except the device of indirection with

Where I said "Where does one...", I could have let my meaning flow
unimpeded by saying "Where do you...".

The rest is pretty standard english, but maybe not an English you care
about. Since I do, I'll do the clarification. CAVEAT: It is not
Simplified Technical English. But then most isn't.

About "get off", I think it has roots in rock and roll argot, going back
at least 40 or 50 years. Today it is in general vernacular use, having
grown along with the baby boomers and bracketing generations. It is
widespread and generally is communicative. Test this claim on your
waiter at the local cafe: "Could you get off on a $5 tip?"

You can take "get off' in at least two ways:

1.] Literally, as in "Where do you get off the bus?", with the same
meaning as the question, "What is your destination?"

2.] By metaphorical extension to #1, "What is your reason for doing some
thing, what do you get out of it."

"Where do you get off" in asks you "What do you get out of ..."

Watch closely now. The expression gets ratcheted up a notch
unaccountably with the narrowing context of the growing sentence.

"Where do you get off dumping on people who ... " asks "What sick thrill
do you get out of treating people badly this way."

I can't account for it with folk etymology.

"Preserve thier freedom in this way" speaks at crossed purposes. I was
tired of trying to make sense, and I still wanted to vent. Obviously,
freelancers have the freedom to go with an opportunity or not,

Cool man. Can I have the atmosphere of my language back now, before the
real world catches me not laughing?



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Re: Bullfighter diagnosis on post (was Re: Writing Corrective Actions for customers?): From: Michael West

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