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What kind of a reader are you? 
Posted: 29 December 2016 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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It deserves that descriptor because it’s bad “dreadful” writing.

But what is bad or dreadful about it?

You’re still using subjective and judgemental terms. If you tell us why it’s dreadful, then we can have a meaningful conversation about it. Otherwise it’s just people stating personal opinions.

To be clear, I haven’t read Fifty Shades, but from all I’ve heard about it, I certainly would concur with the crap label. My point isn’t to defend the novel as a great work of literature, but to try to get beyond the subjective label.

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Posted: 30 December 2016 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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I think that the row about “crap” reveals more about word meaning change than about personal preferences.  To some, a word meaning animal excrement, one of the lowest forms of insult, is insulting, whereas those of us who hear anything and everything unpopular described daily as crap are losing that association. .

Yes precisely, and I wonder if people who use the word as a disparagement might be using it for its original usage as: “residue, remnants, scraps and related senses”, which would not be considered a slang usage, whereas the other usages, referring to excrement, bad, inferior, incompetent would be.

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Posted: 31 December 2016 12:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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None of the usages I hear in my neck of the woods refer to “residue, remnants, scraps and related senses”.  People simply mean something is rubbish and are saying “crap” instead of something cruder and frequency of use is leading to its acceptability.

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Posted: 31 December 2016 05:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Regarding the “residue, remnants, scraps and related senses,” the OED (Sep 2016) marks them all as either obsolescent or regional. Those senses are no longer in general use.

And I agree with Eliza (and the OED), people who are using crap in the inferior quality sense are almost certainly referring to shit.

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Posted: 02 January 2017 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Just ran across this and thought I’d leave it here: Reading War and Peace. ("A freelance writer based in Queens, New York, Brian has read War and Peace seven times already and has no plans to stop there.")

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Posted: 07 January 2017 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Finished novel that prompted my post on having a blast, but not before encountering more anachronisms, including a character referring to the First World War. Not The Great War. Not The 14-18 War. Not even just The War. In 1928. Sigh

eBook downside: cannot throw book across room in disgust. Well, you could, but…

I am reminded of a Nero Wolfe novel in which Archie Goodwin is shocked to find the great detective standing at the fireplace ripping pages from a brand-new dictionary and feeding them to the flames. Wolfe dismisses Archie’s sarcasm about book-burning and points out that he paid for the book himself so it is his to dispose of how he pleases.

I have a few times abandoned books, but rarely. As a very young reader, when I would finish a book I would immediately flip back to page one and keep reading. Voracious appetite, never enough books. I can still picture my tattered copy of Little Women, its cheap but colorful cover falling off.  Loved off?  And I was raised to respect books: no dog-ears, no setting an open book face down, and certainly no writing in a book—not even in pencil. A book was a holy thing to my nine-year-old self.  Reading one just once was the worst review. Well, I did not finish The Pilgrim’s Progress. But I was nine. I did finish War and Peace at fifteen.

Nowadays, I am less patient, perhaps because I can now afford to be picky. I probably won’t give James Joyce another go. I never finished The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power.  But I kept it on my nightstand for ages. Great defense against insomnia. I take full advantage of the Look Inside option on Amazon. Saves money and time. Thanks to Project Gutenberg, it cost nothing to try The Pilgrim’s Progress again. Didn’t even make it to the Slough of Despond. Not to my taste. And I don’t bother with Stephen King, John Gresham or Dean Koontz.

Whenever I get a little money, I buy books. Then, if there is any left over, I buy food and clothing. —Petronius Arbiter, c. 212 C. E. (I think. From memory—didn’t check)

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Posted: 07 January 2017 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Whenever I get a little money, I buy books. Then, if there is any left over, I buy food and clothing. —Petronius Arbiter, c. 212 C. E. (I think. From memory—didn’t check)

It was Erasmus, writing in 1500 AD.
And that’s a pretty loose translation.

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Posted: 07 January 2017 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I am reminded of a Nero Wolfe novel in which Archie Goodwin is shocked to find the great detective standing at the fireplace ripping pages from a brand-new dictionary and feeding them to the flames. Wolfe dismisses Archie’s sarcasm about book-burning and points out that he paid for the book himself so it is his to dispose of how he pleases.

The novel was called, Gambit, and the dictionary was the third edition of Webster’s New international Dictionary, unabridged. N.Wolfe was tearing sheets out of the dictionary and burning them because he was incensed that the dictionary allowed infer and imply to be used interchangeably.

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Posted: 08 January 2017 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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The unhinged response that dictionary aroused still amazes me after all these years.

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Posted: 08 January 2017 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Finished novel that prompted my post on having a blast, but not before encountering more anachronisms, including a character referring to the First World War. Not The Great War. Not The 14-18 War. Not even just The War. In 1928. Sigh

That’s not necessarily an anachronism. The description first world war was in use as early as 1914, and the title First World War was in place by the war’s end, particularly by those who wanted to express the opinion that it would not be “The War to End All Wars.” From the OED:

[1914 E. Haeckel in Indianapolis Star 27 Sept. 37/1 There is no doubt that the course and character of the feared “European war” ... will become the first world war in the full sense of the word.]
1918 C. à C. Repington Diary 10 Sept. in First World War (1920) II. xxxvii. 391 To call it The German War was too much flattery for the Boche. I suggested The World War as a shade better title, and finally we mutually agreed to call it The First World War in order to prevent the millennium folk from forgetting that the history of the world was the history of war.

Of course, the book could still be badly written.

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Posted: 08 January 2017 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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There was a Simpsons rerun on recently (with FXX running marathons, I think they’ve all been on recently) where Abe (Grandpa) Simpson is back in WWI or the interwar period (I think it’s a flashback rather than time-travel, but don’t recall for certain) and when somebody asks him, “Why do you keep calling it World War One?” he replies, “You’ll see.”

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