The History of English in 10 Minutes
I thought this video was hilarious, witty, and educational.
The Unsung Backbone
Now that I've conjured up a strange image of a singing backbone, or at least of a song about a backbone, potentially one that is singing, I won't take long to come to the point -- unlike most of my other blog posts.
As I suggest on my Ocean's Edge page, often it's useful to search for certain key words in your work and try to replace them with more descriptive phrases. I single out the term 'something' as an example. But it's also important to try to pin down your pet words, your go-to words, your bosom buddies of diction.
I hummed, figuring that certainly this absurd number of 'the's were due to the free-flowing nature of the piece. I was just sprinkling words everywhere, a dash here, a jigger there. It was a crazy time. I can't be blamed for anything I may or may not have done. Surely, my more polished and uppity novel, Raw Flesh in the Rising would have much fewer.
In Raw Flesh in the Rising, at a 113,604 words, I find 10,396 instances of 'the.' That's just under 10% of my words. The 'the' quotient is high.
I know that I'm catching all the similar words like 'there' and 'their' and 'they're,' but it seems to me it's all the same family -- cousins and brothers, and that strange cousin, 'other.'
And, in truth, I don't know if it means anything. More than likely: Absolutely Not. I Am Just Rambling.
But, if anything, it does impart the rather large importance of such a little word. It's the opening act for most nouns, warming up the audience.
In general, it's fun to dig into a familiar piece and see it from another angle.
What Colour is a Mirror ...?
And a nice explanation of the etymology of the words 'black' and 'white.'
Lee Burton doesn't have cats or kids, but he does have a lot of books, a couple of mugs he thinks are really fantastic, and a good pair of shoes which haven't fallen apart yet despite his best efforts to murder them with kilometers.
Burton has written almost six books. Almost six as some are still scantily clad in their respective drawers. Each of them had their own goals and were written differently, and he is very fond of them all -- except perhaps for his first attempt at a novel, which remains a travesty. That one he keeps locked in a dark basement and feeds it fish heads.
In 2011, Burton won the Percy Janes Award for Best Unpublished First Novel in the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition for his novel Raw Flesh in the Rising.
And just recently, in the fall of 2013, Burton published his first science-fiction novel, THIS LAND, about which he boasts constantly.
Available at Amazon