Saturday, November 05, 2005

Briefest of updates

Just a couple notes before we see if that SPSS file really is 17,000 lines deep. Y'all can, of course, feel entirely free to kick off major debates and stuff while I'm away.

* Why it's fun to be a little prescriptive sometimes:
Represented by a legal team assembled by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, plaintiffs' lawyers on Friday concentrated on linking ID to creationism.
See what happens when you genuflect so hard in front of the Mighty Creditline that you forget to RTFSentence? Introductory participial phrase modifies subject of main clause. So for some reason the lawyers had their own legal team. Certain copydesks must have been in a real hurry to get to that Friday night high school foopball copy. (OK, if you don't like the looks of "Friday night high," that Friday-night-high-school-foopball copy. If you're going to be obsessive, be obsessive thoroughly.)

The AP's take on the story offers another favorite J110 bugbear, faulty parallelism:
The statement says Charles Darwin’s theory is "not a fact," has inexplicable "gaps" and refers students to a textbook for more information.
The test for this is to back the compound up to the point where it starts branching, in this case the linking (naughty grammar word of the day: "copulative") verb, and read it as three separate sentences:
The statement says Charles Darwin’s theory is "not a fact."
The statement says Charles Darwin’s theory has inexplicable "gaps."
The statement says Charles Darwin’s theory refers students to a textbook for more information.
We'd like to say two out of three ain't bad, but two out of three is too bad.

As long as we're being promiscuous with "quotation" "marks," I would have put some around "textbook" too. But to each his/her/its own.

* Onward and upward with scholarship: Hoo hah, an actual journal wants to publish some output from the HEADSUP-L Research Centre. Which, of course, means that along with two lit reviews, a research design (see 17K-line SPSS file supra), a short paper and a presentation, the weekend needs to yield some progress toward significant revisions in the said article.

Copyeds know that one of the reasons we harp on RTFS and its cognates is that it's absolutely the square root of zero fun to call somebody at midnight with a question and hear in response: "Did you read the next graf?" Let's just say that RTFNG is not a truth universally acknowledged among peer reviewers and leave it at that.

Now back to the democratic peace and its discontents.


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