Most people who think they have a novel in them almost certainly should have.
With enough lube it might even be possible.
Somewhere on the hard drive of every programmer-wannabe-writer’s laptop there is the first chapter of an unfinished steam punk novel. Here’s mine. Clockwork iPhones all round It was late and I was tired, so on the way home I nipped into a Mesco Tetro to pick up a ping meal for dinner. When it came to paying, the self-service …
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(Courtesy of the strangest songwriters on the planet...)
Chapter one my lunch begun I chewed my food and wrote
Chapter two my salad thru I ate my morning coat
Chapter three I drank some tea and then I ate the cup
Chapter four inhaled the door and threw the hinges up
Chapter five I downed a chive and half a beef burgoo
Chapter six I had to fix a bowl o' cola stew
Chapter seven cracked eleven eggs and ate the yokes
Chapter eight I licked the plate and sucked a case o' cokes
Chapter nine I had some wine and as my body shook
Chapter ten I ate my pen and polished off the book
In all our hides a book resides they say, and I allow
There wasn't one when I'd begun but there's one in me now
well, its better than harry potter, i guess, never having read potter i have to guess, the best bit of work potter author ever did was go for perfect descriptive title for new book.
casualy vacant, perfect. describes her, her work, and readers.
i can only believe that it is an in house publishers joke.
more from verity, the world is meant to be a fun place.
Hmm. Casually vacant judgement whilst confirming a complete lack of basis to do so.
Ok, they aren't great, but my 7 yr old daughter is utterly hooked. On reading. Real books.
Think about that for a moment. Of course perhaps I should insist that if she wants to read real books she read nothing less complex than Dostoyevsky but I am of the opinion that might cause her not to be so keen on books. So thank you JK - and good luck to you.
Of course I might be picking the wrong alternative here - perhaps you could provide the list of books that you deem acceptable. If you could also confirm the ones you have actually been arsed to read, so I know whether your opinion is fictional or based in reality that would help too.
Anyway - sorry for the strong attempt at a defence of Harry Potter - not really in character - but you set me off. If you'd said you had read them and thought them shit I wouldn't have blinked - it's the casual (that word again) ignorance I detest.
> Ok, [the Harry Potter books] aren't great, but my 7 yr old daughter is utterly hooked. On reading.
> Real books.
Agreed. I've read a lot of YA fantasy, and it's an area I have some academic interest in, so I read the first two HPs and half of the fourth before I gave up. Some day I'll likely go back and read the lot, but thus far I'm not impressed.
That said, I give Ms Rowling credit for getting a great many people, children and adults, to read novels at all - and some of them quite long ones at that. A child who will eagerly read one 700+ page novel is a child likely to do more reading, I think. And if she goes on to discover that there are many novels that are more sophisticated, demanding, and rewarding, well so much the better.
(And if anyone fancies a Victorian era magic-and-not-quite-steampunk thing, just finished Witch Watch by Shamus Young. Enjoyed it - and if you have some sort of e-reader, he's also done a book (Free Radical) based on the character from System Shock that's being distributed for free. Info at bottom of this page http://shamusyoung.com/author/?page_id=6)
Actually, "Five items or less" is correct. "Less" refers to stuff, whereas "fewer" refers to things. "Five items" is a quantity of stuff, and you can certainly have less (stuff) than five items.
You could legitimately (but clumsily) write "Five or fewer items" (because you are counting things); but not "five items or fewer", because "five items" is stuff and you can't have fewer of stuff.
"Stuff" and nonsense.
First, the prescriptive fallacy: English grammar certainly allows the adjectival phrase "five or fewer" to be split by the noun it modifies - English grammar being notoriously liberal - and "five items or fewer" is certainly understood by any fluent speaker. There are no other rules for what is "correct" in English, so your claim is excessively strong.
Second, your argument amounts to the claim that the noun phrase "five items" acts grammatically as a mass (aka collective) noun. That's more than a little dubious. A noun qualified by a cardinal-number adjective doesn't normally act as a mass noun; we wouldn't say "The five men is building a house".
Third, the whole less/fewer debate is of recent vintage (like so many other English usage shibboleths) - sources say it dates from the eighteenth century (aka "the century when pedants decided to tell everyone else how to write"). The two words have been used more or less interchangeably for most of their existence. Etymology isn't destiny, but when you promote a usage rule that goes against it, you need to justify that departure.
Fourth, your position is, shall we say, unpopular. Popularity does not determine good usage either; but here again, extraordinary claims require extraordinary support. (And yes, most of the people arguing the other side are also fallaciously prescriptive - "just wrong" or "incorrect" are favorite adjectives - but that just makes their arguments no stronger than yours on those grounds.)
 e.g. http://motivatedgrammar.wordpress.com/2008/09/30/10-items-or-less-is-just-fine/
 e.g. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/less-versus-fewer.aspx, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2659948/Tesco-to-ditch-ten-items-or-less-sign-after-good-grammar-campaign.html, http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/commonerrorsinenglish.html
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