In this age we live in, I occasionally find myself wondering how authors ever managed to perform novel research back in the old days (I mean, I sort of know, since I used to do it, but only for really bad novels). These days, if I’m writing along and suddenly need to know how a particular machine gun works or the hierarchy of the Lutheran church or how a certain street looked in Saint Paul forty years ago I can just look it up, without ever leaving my seat. Then it’s back to writing!
Longtime readers of my blogs will know that I have a soft spot for the language of MacGyver. This supercut of people in movies enhancing images is generally awesome, but as always, the awesomest parts are those with good old MacGyver.
Of course, no video of enhancement would be complete without Adventure Time:
I’m endlessly fascinated by idioms – mostly by the way people misuse them, of course. Mostly, problems arise when people don’t think back to how the metaphorical language came about,but there are other ways cliches and idioms can go wrong. For instance, in normal use of language, one can often flip the meaning of a sentence by reversing a pharsal verb in it (running into a house vs. running out of a house, for example).
But idioms make things tricker. There are a number of tragedies in the events at the chicken houses that serve Pilgrim’s Pride, where a whole mess of chickens were killed by vengeful idiots before they could be turned into tenders or whatever. But amongst all the other little tragedies was Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett forgetting this characteristic of idiomatic language. It’s okay, if you must, to use the colloquial “jack up” rather than “turn up” to describe someone turning up the heat on unfortunate chickens, Sheriff, but you probably shouldn’t have tried to mirror the language when you described the heat being turned off for other chickens.
Another day, another fine book close to my heart arrives at the old homestead (I would have taken a nice photo of the physical book as proof, but my camera has gotten all fancy-pants and insists on batteries that aren’t “mostly dead”). As I mentioned before, I’ve already read the book thanks to my industry insider status. Technically, it was beta reading, though it was more of a learning experience for me than anything. You can read more at Carrie’s blog, including other blogs where the book will be chatted about: your Scalzis, your Wendigs, your Robinette Kowals, etc.