Tuesday, May 23, 2006

in the last hour of the marathon, she stumbles

i need to make something clear.

when i said i did not find george clooney in the least attractive, i was joking.

joking, people!

clearly my powers of humour are failing, as every bit of energy i have goes into making this lode-stone of 30,000 words which is hanging over my head, stretched across my shoulders like an obese cat, breathing down my neck, coherent.

so all the clarity goes into the thesis, and none remains for me to live my life with.

so sorry about that.

just to re-cap. george is such a big spunk that i even dreamed about him last night. it was one of those dreams, sorry cloke, where the romance is the focus. it's like there is something special there; it's not about sex. there might be a little bit of kissing, but absolutely no raunch. it's all about sitting closely together, whispering to each other, feeling warm and protected.

i hasten to add all these needs are well met in my life, but george managed to sneak in there while i was asleep and completely unable to kick him out of my dream.

better than steel wool, i say.

so, to the marathon. imagine you have trained for the commonwealth games (i'll use that as an image, i figure the olympics would be more for a phd scenario). you are winning, you are almost there, and then as you are dredging up all your reserves of energy and smartness, not to mention thesaurus-like Skillz, your child wanders onto the road. she is crying, with arms stretched out, saying something about feeling hot and shivery, and that her eyes are going to pop out of her head if she moves them. you can see that she looks flushed, you are sure she has a temperature.

what do you do?

do you ignore her, send her to school, and push on.

that is not possible. you stop the race, cradle her to your bosom and put her to bed, carrying trays backwards and forwards the length of the house; tempting offerings. you keep her home from school for two days (and counting). she is so sweet, she apologises for being sick, says you are the best mummy and that next time you are sick, she will take as good care of you, as you have of her.

you keep looking at the pile of work.

but it's not that bad. you have made it sound worse than it is just to write a blog post. for this is the stress, the pressure, making you elaborate in this way.

it will all be ok.

days to submit: 8

keep well everybody, and will someone please feed cotton?


elaine said...

I like your scenario of the Commonwealth Games.

MG = Team Australia. It's clear that you will win and the only question is by how much you will shame the other teams.

There ought to have been punctuation beyond the full stop and capital I in that sentence but I can't be bothered to figure it out. Sub? Help?

sublime-ation said...

Go team! You're on the last stretch. It's so hard to keep going. I have been sitting here staring at Ningura Napurrula (not in the flesh, she's several thousand k's away, but at what i am meant to be writing on her) all day. AAAAA!! oh is that someone asking ME for grammar? Impossible!

or perhaps she was referring to her sub-editor?
I can't even be bothered capitalising the I, but neither does MG so that's ok then.
It all looks fine to me E.

MelbourneGirl said...

i know it's pathetic, but if someone EVER asks for punctuation advice, i am always keen.

It's clear that you will win, and the only question is: by how much will you shame the other teams?

Or you might be able to have a less arrogant comma instead of the bold colon.

I think.

Hey, I'm using capital letters.


Anonymous said...


As if there's a lady on this planet that doesn't find The Clooney attractive. You show me one and I'll show you a man dressed as a lady.

BEVIS said...

There should also have been a capital letter on the first word after the colon.

(I'm just sayin'.)


Dxxxx said...

I knew you were joking lovely. I wasn't though.
Again, from the other planet etc.

You are on the home straight MG, it will all be over soon.

(Then what will you do with yourself???)


MelbourneGirl said...

you might be right bevis about the cap letter there. it doesn't seem to really be a complete sentence to me, but i suppose technically it is.

dxxxx. hi. i don't know what i will do. but i won't have any trouble working it out. after i have my nervous breakdown i will be ok.

in addition to princess being home yesterday and monday (back at school today, against my better instincts but she insisted) now the gigi is at the vet, to have an xray. seems she has either colitis, or a possibly an intestinal blockage caused either way by probably eating something wrong, such as wood etc.

so, let's all pray for gigi. i am really worried. princess was almost in tears, and when i said "i feel she'll be fine" (cause i couldn't give any guarantees) princess said "i feel she's going to die"

princess gets feelings and she's rarely wrong. let's hope she is this time.

ALSO my supervisor has me going into uni tonight to speak to her bilingual ed class about my project. i have called her and told her i might have to bail because of gigi.

Dxxxx said...

Oh MG everything is crossed for the Gigi, I hope she is ok. I won't "pray" as I don't do "prayer" but i am certainly hoping with my entire being that the universe does not choose NOW as a time for Princess to learn an awful lesson of life..... If not for the gig herself, and for princess to not have to go through that, but for the sake of you, where you really don't have time to cope with that on top of everything else.
I hope she is ok.

And maybe you should send Cotton a "care package" or something....

BEVIS said...

A capital letter always follows a colon, but never a semi-colon. I don't make up the rules ... I just report the facts.

And I was only being a friendly smart-arse ...


MelbourneGirl said...

dear dxxxx gigi is on the mend i think. will report more later.

dear bevis. i hope this won't be the start of the Great Colon War of 2006, however, this is what the Australian Government Style Guide tells me:

6.20 A colon is used to introduce a direct quetsion when the questions is in apposition to an introductory word or is amplified.

For example:

This is the question to be answered: must we go or must we stay?

[very similar to the original question posed, n'est-ce pas?]


6.21 A capital letter is not required after the colon unless two or more complete interrogative sentences follow:

We ask you: Can you support him? Can you persuade others to vote for him?

Examples are given of direct quotations following colons, they are capped. Lists following colons are generally not capped. So it seems that colons are not always followed by a capital letter, which I knew but which I graciously let pass the first time.

Today was not the day to take on THIS pedant, baby. (said in a friendly manner)

(That's ME, I'M the pedant).

BEVIS said...

I am going to forgive and completely overlook* the spelling errors in your comment (gracious; that's me), simply because I like the cut of your jib.

They keep moving the goal posts on this one, anyway. Back when I put together a document for my former workplace on editing tips for the illiterate in our office, I used the same Style Guide and it told me something different.

They keep changing their minds on things like the correct use of colons, parentheses, inverted commas, full stops in acronyms, and the like. It's all seasonal.

Think of the spaces vs commas debate when it comes to numbers like 1,000,000 (or 1 000 000).

What I'm saying is I concede your point because without having checked the Australian Government Editing Style Guide in a few years and not having a copy at home, I wouldn't dream of arguing with you.

Does this mean we can forego the war and just cut straight to the drunken dancing across the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

(Sorry, that's what my Nanna used to describe to me about what happened when peace was declared after WWII. She was there on the Bridge, kicking up her heels and hugging anybody who got too close.)

* I won't even mention it.

MelbourneGirl said...

thanks bevis for being such a gracious LOOSER.

and they weren't spelling mistakes. they were typos and you know it, mr smarty pants. completely different things.

my feeling on the whole thing, just to have the last word here, because it's my blog, but anyway, you might come back and say something, in which case this could be going on quite a while, is that, apart from this being a hellishly long sentence, so don't get on my grammar goat mister, is that spelling is of the utmost importance, in the list of things that are the business, for me. then it goes something like clarity (yes, i do prefer correct spelling over clarity, but we all have our personal ways). after clarity comes grammar, or maybe they are equal. punctuation, while important, (ie, i cannot bear a badly placed comma and i am very partial to correctly hyphenated double adjectives to the point i over use them), is really a bit down the list. and clearly sentence structure often goes out the window with me, when i am writing here. cause i am going too fast. and because i am just gushing onto this thing, i rarely stop and check for typos. i will in posts but never in comments. if i see one i fix it up, otherwise it stays. i am a pedant when it comes to, well, everything really. you are too bevis. you'll losen up when you have the baby. maybe. BUT as you say, things change over time. it's not rules as such, it's more conventions. that's why different places have different style guides that they use, for consistently styling their documents, whether they be magazine articles, newspapers, in-house reports, etc. and basically the editor or whoever sets the style, it can be revised, and it's stuck too.

but you know all this? i don't want to be preaching.

i could go on, but i won't.

actually, i will. i'm now looking at strunk and white, another fantastic reference, and they cite non capped and capped after colons depending on the use. fowler, the final chapter in the triumvirate of knowledge about all things english, says thusly about the colon:

"As long as the Prayer-Book version of the Psalms continues to be read, the colon is not likely to pass quite out of use as a stop, chiefly as one preferred to the semicolon by individuals, or in impressive contexts, or in gnomic contrasts (Man proposes: God disposes); but the time when it was second member of the hierarchy, full stop, colon, semicolon, comma, is [passed]. Some contemporary writers deliberately-almost ostenatiously- so employ it, but in general usage it is not now a stop of a certain power available in any situation demanding such a power, but hs acquired a special function: that of delivering the goods that have been invoiced in the preceding words. In this capacity it is a substitute for such verbal harbingers as vix., scil., that is to say, ie., etc."

"delivering the goods"

love it.

"verbal harbingers"

love it even more.

fowler is a great reference.

nowhere in any of these three classic references have i found the statement "a colon is always followed by the next word being capitalised".

i'm only going on about this because you so graciously said you wouldn't point out my typos. three times.

and for your pleasure, bevis, there are several mistakes in the above passage, which you will only now realise i put there on purpose.

still friends?

i'm really sorry but when i am this close in my thesis, the strain is building, the body is breaking down and the mind, well, let's not even go there.

see you on the bridge.

BEVIS said...

I agree with everything you said.


BEVIS said...

Except the bridge part, if that's an illusion to offing oneself. Chin up, nearly there, etc.

MelbourneGirl said...

thank you.

MelbourneGirl said...

and you talked about the bridge in the first place.

you've forgotten?

BEVIS said...

Oh! The Harbour Bridge! Got it now, sorry, yes. Just my stupidity.

Hmm, I was trying to give you the 'last word' you so desperately wanted to have, but I couldn't let this go without thanking you for reminding me.

MelbourneGirl said...

it's ok bevis, you can have the last word, as long as you are not challenging me...


BEVIS said...