Thursday, May 30, 2013

Random Notes from a Crank

I rarely watch hockey games anymore, but I caught the overtime of Game Seven between the Blackhawks and Red Wings. This statement has been made before I'm sure, but hockey is the sport that gets it right with both team shaking hands after a series is over. 

In related news, I suspect there were a lot of hungover people in Chicago today. 

As much as I think Starlin Castro is a talented baseball player, his off-and-on discipline at the plate reminds me of another former Cubs shortstop, Shawon Dunston

This week I received a new eBay purchase in the mail. I bought the first ever English composition handbook for college students. Edwin C. Woolley's Handbook of Composition was published in 1907. 

I also have my eyes out for other old textbooks by Adams Sherman Hill (Harvard), Fred Newton Scott (U of Michigan), Joseph Denney (Ohio State), Hugh Blair, et al. And if I had the capital, I'd also like to get Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory by John Quincy Adams, but I don't see that happening. My last name isn't Rockefeller. It's NASTY.


Sandy Longhorn said...

"off-and-on discipline" at the plate or in the field pretty much sums up the Cubs

Jealous over the Woolley. Is there a website to see inside the book? If not, would you scan a page for those of us even less Rockefeller than the Nasty.

verification word "eelchum" I like it :)

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

I should do that Sandy.

You can pick them up cheap though if the shipping costs are reasonable via eBay. My first edition cost less than $20. There's a 1908 edition on there now for less than 10, I think.

There are parts where the book is full of snootiness, and he sometimes he gives conflicting advice, especially the "rule" about punctuating (or not) complex sentences that have a dependent clause at the end.

Here's a quotation for you: "Showy language, like showy dress, is in bad taste. The essence of artistic language, as of everything artistic, is not abundant ornament but appropriateness."

Take that proprietors of "academic discourse." And Whitman.

Or to put it another way, "'Writing smart' is a tendency for which undergraduates are often penalized (losing points for 'clarity' and 'organization,' among other things), but in which graduate students and many academics frequently engage, creating a paradox which leaves most people bewildered." ~Valerie Perry

Sandy Longhorn said...


Sandy Longhorn said...

Found an online version of the book that is awesome. No, it's not a substitute for holding the book, but I still found this hilarious:
"Our newspapers are almost universally characterized by provincial and vulgar diction. (There are a few honorable exceptions.) ... General newspaper usage has nothing whatever to do with good English usage."

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Yes, there are all kinds of nuggets like those.