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Blurbs, Columns, Etc.

Sometimes we Broads have ideas about books and writing that don’t fit into a review but which we would still like to write about anyway.  You can find our writing about those things in this section of the blog.

October 31, 2010

Because of restrictions in WordPress (that may someday cause the Broads to leave and go to Blogger), many of the things we would like to have on our blog (i.e., Google Friend Connect, the Book Blog badge, and anything with Java in it) we can’t.  Also, because of the structure of the theme we use to allow three posts up instead of one, a lot of information about our blog, such as following us on Twitter and Facebook, in addition to the links to the blog events we participate in, such as Book Blogger Hop and various giveaways, appear at the bottom of the page.  Please be sure to always check there for interesting items.  Our newest one is a listing of future book reviews.  So always scroll down to find the good stuff below our reviews!

Thanks!

Alexandria and Moira

October 7, 2010

Stupid Human Tricks With Basic Grammar

In what I’m beginning to believe is something that is going to make me eventually lose my mind, the place I work at (hint:  a major university on the eastern seaboard, which is why I’m leaving the specific details out of this post) now has people in administrative positions who don’t know the basics of subject-verb agreement.  This is a sentence similar to what I saw on a weekly newsletter that the student fun people (student services) distribute around campus:  How many hours does dancers have to be standing or dancing in the __________ ?

Are they kidding?  A fourth grader should be able to pick out what the hell is wrong with that sentence.  The people who write this drivel supposedly are college educated, and they are working in an institution of higher learning.  This is the same group of people who just a few weeks ago included this sentence in their weekly rag: What ________________ graduate is the father of which actresses?  Do you know what the answer was the next week (which they consistently state incorrectly as “Watch for next week’s answer” when it should be “Watch next week for the answer”)?  Jennifer Aniston.  Excuse me, but isn’t Jen one woman, and therefore, one actress?  No, according to the writers of the rag, she must be more than one woman.  Now I may have to start liking Brad Pitt again since he obviously is more man than any of us ever imagined.

It isn’t ok to be careless if you work at a place dedicated to education or to publishing the written word.  It just isn’t.  I’m beginning to feel like the man from the film Network.  I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!  But I have to keep in mind a saying a dear friend of mine at work says all the time:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
-Alexandria

September 25, 2010

Moira and I go to Borders every Friday, mainly to work on this blog, but also to get work done on our own writing and to find more books to read and review.  Last night, among the myriad of experiences we encountered, including an assault on our olfactory senses by a couple so much in love that they must have forgotten to bath-for months, the commonplace sighting of overweight women in clothes too snug for them, and the usual odd collection of humanity that frequents Borders on a Friday night, I encountered what is becoming more and more common in my reading:  errors in commercially published books.

Last night’s involved the misuse of the word home.  The sentence read something like this:  The ability to do this homes in on the very goal we seek to achieve.  Homes is misused in this sentence.  It should be hones.  What is happening with the publishing industry that this is allowed? I routinely find run on sentences that aren’t used to indicate a pattern of thought or speech that shows madness, rushing, or anything else in a character.  They are simply mistakes.  A sentence like “She enjoyed his sense of humor, it made her think less of the horrors that could rush in at them at any moment”  is a run on.  Unless the writer is using this to indicate some part of the character is feeling hurried or is rambling, this is a grammar error.  Yet I find them in books all the time.

I fear that what is happening in American education has infected the book publishing industry.  It’s trickle up ignorance.
-Alexandria

September 15, 2010

Reading While Blind

Years ago, ZZ Top had a song called Arrested For Driving While Blind.  I thought of that song when I opened up my email from Borders and found that they are offering customers the opportunity to pre-order Oprah’s next book club pick, which is coming Friday, September 17, two days from now.  Next to the words about pre-ordering is simply her book club logo, the information that if you pre-order you can get the book at 46% off the list price, and the pre-order now button to click to do just that.  However, there is no picture of the book cover or mention of the book’s title.  I clicked the pre-order now button and it takes you to a page that basically tells you the same information from before and let’s you pre-order THE STILL UNNAMED BOOK.

Is the American reading public so sheeplike that Oprah can simply pronounce she is coming out with her next reading choice for her book club and people will buy it not even knowing the title?  Really?  Since when is Oprah that reliable on anything?  Do her followers not even require a clue about what’s next or do they simply follow in a herdlike fashion wherever she takes them?

I find Oprah Winfrey insufferable.  She’s pop culture at its worst:  all flash and no substance.  I don’t care if she’s had Steinbeck on her book club reading list.  She’s still not worthy of anyone following her blindly.
-Alexandria

SEPTEMBER 19, 2010
UPDATE: In fact, it seems Oprah’s followers are just sheeple, as I thought.  Her book club choice, which came out on Friday, is #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.  I can only imagine how many of them purchased the book sight and title unseen.

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