The Anal Linguist Rides Again

Despite being sequenced, there are still many questions that remain unanswered about the 1918 strain, such as where it originated *from*.

(Nicole Karlis, “The same flu virus that caused the 1918 pandemic is back this year,” Salon, 1-3-19)

That “from” adds a layer of fat to the origination. Never mind. These “thoughts on language” aren’t meant to be a dreary litany of gotchas.

But, hello, what’s this?

…The greatest burden of any influenza pandemic can be expected to *effect* those least privileged…

(Same article)

There’s an affectionate tut-tut here by the sardonic range rider, but pity the poor scribbler after all. Even Homer nodded. The stories snap, crackle and pop; the need to keyboard them in passable journalese and press “Send” is fiery; deadlines hound; the gig is transient; pay is laughable; and the market for correctitude is slack anyhow. Hats off and hearts out.

(c) 2018 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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4 Responses to The Anal Linguist Rides Again

  1. I like the horse and the pillar of yellow. If you do too many of these posts, I won’t dare write! I know I’m a serial ‘needless word putter-in-a’, but I can’t think of anymore now, can you?

    • JMN says:

      Thank you for complimenting the painting. Please dare to write! I would be most chagrined if an esteemed fellow blogger found a post like this squelching, or mean-spirited or snarky or carping. There’s enough of that in cyberspace already. I presume to get cheeky about formalities only with published items by persons who hang out a shingle as professional journalists, but even then I want to keep it playful. Bloggers here on WordPress are strictly off limits — the exchanges that take place here are on a total other footing, expressive, spontaneous, reflexive, with total license. But you may be referring to writing in another context, which makes me all the more loath to interfere! Perhaps I should concede that this petty error-trapping reflex serves no useful purpose, and set it aside. No matter what disclaimers I attach, it’s still self-indulgent. The goal I should keep in focus is to ponder matters of language and style at a higher level. To have real thoughts! Is it too late for a New Year’s resolution?

      • You are right, I am being paranoid and they are professional journalists and I do find it interesting! I write reports at work and comment on here, but that’s about it. I feel it’s a skill I might be losing. I’m planning to write letters to two aunts this weekend, actually using pen and paper!

      • JMN says:

        I’m relieved. I don’t glimpse a waning skill. Right on with the aunt letters! I read that the old-fashioned fountain pen is coming back into style. I surmise based on your posted work that you will write vivid letters!

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