Re: Updation, and a Poem

Subject: Re: Updation, and a Poem
From: Jay Gordon <jaylgordon -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Jay Gordon <jaylgordon -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 09:59:48 -0400

Well that was a goddam mess if I ever wrote one. In a rush to a
meeting. Hope my point got across anyway.

- Jay


On Apr 24, 2009, at 9:58 AM, Jay Gordon wrote:

It's in Wiktionary!

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/updation

That said, I wouldn't approve the use of a word just because it's been
used, and thus, per a theory of being-as-use, "is."

As for Strunk and White, and its critics: the usefulness of the book
depends on your purpose. It's got that in common with Joe Williams'
writings on "clarity and grace." Being anti-passive-voice as a
political stance is silly, but not the understanding the reasons why
passive is often NOT preferencable (oops, I should say: when we
understanding why we should not prefer to use passive voice in many
cases).

My point is, if S&W or Joe Williams help you become a better stylist,
keep them on your bookshelf. If not, don't.

- Jay

On Apr 23, 2009, at 7:22 PM, Richard L Hamilton wrote:

Very cool poem, and 100% true, but I think I'll
exercise my First Amendment right (that's Freedom
of Speech for those outside the US) and never use
updation (or pluralization:-).

Also, I read your article dissing Strunk and White.
As a long time advocate of the book, which I have
probably read cover to cover more often than any
other book, I have to admit I was somewhat taken
aback, but I have to agree with most of your points
about the book's weaknesses.

I think the main reason for the book's success is
the presentation, rather than the substance. That
direct, and prescriptive, style appeals to people
who are looking for direction, rather than deep
understanding. And, if the faults aren't too serious
(which is my view), then the book probably squeaks
by on the "more good than harm" meter:).

Richard Hamilton
---------------------------------
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XML for Technical Communicators
http://xmlpress.net
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+dick=rlhamilton -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+dick=rlhamilton -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- co
> m] On Behalf Of David Dorbin
> Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 3:18 PM
> To: techwr-l mailinglist
> Subject: Updation, and a Poem
>
>
> Apropos of the discussions we've been having about
> usage--archaic constructions, wierd nominalizations like
> "updation," using the apostrophe to signal plural, I present
> the following poem my uncle wrote to/about my father. I had
> just linked them both to the article dissing Strunk and White:
> http://chronicle.com/temp/email2.php?id=r5y4RwzzV5hPCFxGkfBSdQ
> kcHV38Vrgb
>
> My uncle is a poet in the Beat mold. My father is a former
> journalist, limerick writer, and amateur presciptive
> grammarian who does not respond well to changes in our
> language or in our accepted usage.
>
> And here is his poem:
>
> "Ready or Not"
> for JBD
>
> "So he goes
> [dit-dit"] in assertion,
> "& I'm like
> [dat-dat"] in rebuttal;
> & my elder-not older!-
> brother's formal forehead
> furrows in incredulity,
> incomprehension and
> fundamental funk
> as I explain yet again,
> haltingly, lamely
> as a comedian
> lacing his lingo
> with slang from
> the previous two decades-
> some Rip Van Winkle
> of the Borscht Belt
> done sleeping off
> the usage blooz-
> why, though you stuff your
> summa-cum-laude finger
> in the dike of the
> contemporary rifftide,
> that irrepressibly populist
> freshet of argot will flow
> demonic as disease
> until it fill
> the entire valley
> of your outrage
> and disbelief.
>
> -Sanford Dorbin
>
>
> All of which is to say, I think, "updation" is a word.
>
>
>
>
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References:
RE: Updation, and a Poem: From: Richard L Hamilton
Re: Updation, and a Poem: From: Jay Gordon

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