Thursday, 19 July 2012

Write what you know? Really?

I was talking to a friend today, an aspiring writer (aren't we all), and he quoted the hoary old adage "write what you know". Teachers trot this out to their students without really expanding upon it.  

If we all only wrote what we know, the world of literature would be a much poorer place. There wouldn't be any sci-fi, no fantasy, a limited range of extreme pornography and so on. 

But we can use what we know, to fill in the blanks. After all that's all any of do. Fit the sound of a scraping chair into a new environment, or move the sound of silence into space or a desert. 

We can't experience everything, so add what you know into your imagined spaces.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The heat is rising

As we're sweltering away in the summer heat outside, inside we're kept cool and functioning by air conditioning. So let's give three cheers for the air conditioner as it hits 110 years old.  You can read the Economists blog here.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Monied Waters - Book Cover Preview

The new book cover for the forth coming Harry Patterson adventure. Follow Harry as he gets involved in the cutthroat world of bio-fuel and discovers the lengths that people will go to in the race for the next liquid gold.

Coming Soon

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Two Fun Lexicographical web things

It's been a good day for finding lexicographical things on the web:

  1. Google's Ngram Viewer - input any word or phrase and see how often it's been used since 1800.
  2. The excellent TED talks has a great talk by Erin McKean on redefining the dictionary. 

Monday, 2 July 2012

Perfect use for the Interrobang

The interrobang at work. Find it and use it next time you exclaim wtf?! 

Favoriite Punctuation Mark - The Interrobang

Never widely adopted, the interrobang is a great piece of punctuation that combines a question mark (?) and an exclamation mark (!) in one symbol, thereby replacing "?!" in writing.

First invented in 1962 by Martin K. Speckter, it was his belief that advertising copy would be better if one mark was used for surprised rhetorical questions. The name comes from the marks that it's created from: interrogatio is Latin for "a rhetorical question" or "cross-examination";[4] bang is printers' slang for the exclamation mark

It's hayday was certainly in the late 1960's with some Remington typewriters including it on their keyboards and even until the 1970's Smith-Corona sold replacement key-caps with the interrobang included.

If you're brave enough you can still use it today as it's been included in the Unicode format and is available in several font including Lucida Sans Unicode, Arial Unicode MS, Calibri and is in the Wingdings 2 character set.

So next time you want to shake up your punctuation add an interrobang