PSA: The Oxford Comma – An Abomination Before Bookstooge

PSA

 

The Oxford Comma, the Oxford comma, and the oxford comma. Oh where to begin on this horrible travesty that has infested the purity of English grammar?

First off, a small grammar lesson so you know WHAT the oxford comma is, just in case you weren’t aware of this filthy betrayal.  When writing a list of 3 or more items, you put a comma between items and then an “and” between the final items. Example:  Bookstooge loves alcohol, cigarettes and pork.  The disgusting perps who use the oxford comma would write that sentence as thus: Bookstooge loves alcohol, cigarettes, and pork.

The communists who love this abomination will trot out example after example of why the oxford comma is so superior. Here are a couple of funny cartoons to show their propaganda.

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Now why would I have a problem with making something more clear and easy to understand? BECAUSE THERE ARE ALREADY GRAMMAR RULES DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE AND IT ENCOURAGES LAZY AND BAD WRITING.

 

If you can not communicate clearly what you are trying to get across and need an extra comma, then you are a terrible writer and I’m going to guess a pretty bad person too. The reason it frustrates me so much is because all it takes is a little bit of grammar skill to avoid such “pitfalls” as the Oxford Comma Collaborators put forth. It encourages bad, sloppy and lazy writing and dumbs down the rules for the idiots who shouldn’t be writing in the first place!

With the advent, and continued rise, of the indie writers, we as readers should not be accepting of anything that allows them to continue to be bad writers. We should be expecting them to improve as they write and to learn the rules and the skills they need.

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The mindset of the typical oxford comma user

 

So when you are writing and are tempted to use the oxford comma to get out of re-writing your sentence, just remember, Demon Goat will be waiting for you.

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PSA: DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day

PSA

 

 

Last month I spoke up about Book Reviewers and the lack of integrity and honesty I found and how I thought most reviewers were crooks, swindlers, liars, cheaters and general all around ne’erdowells. I obviously didn’t include myself when thinking of those terms, as I am a Paragon of Virtue and the Rock upon which this Blog stands.

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Virtue doesn’t desert me because I tied it to a chair in my living room!

 

 

This month, I feel like discussing something with a little more nuance, something not so cut and dried. Did Not Finish.

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This subject is so open for discussion that I am getting primed just thinking about it. DNF’ing is the working out of each person’s philosophy behind their book reading. While not everyone is going to dive into the nitty gritty of all the why’s and wherefores, everyone at leasts thinks about DNF’ing and if it is for them or not. Once you’ve made the right choice and do DNF a book, then so many factors come into play that it is a veritable paradise of reasonings. I love complicated subjects like this because it shows the inside of a person on so many levels. On to the Bookstooge Philosophy of DNF’ing a book.

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What generally happens when I score a point in any debate

 

Now, my general Rule of Thumb is the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50 Pages or 10%. She summarizes it as such:

I live by what I call ‘the rule of fifty,’ which acknowledges that time is short and the world of books is immense. If you’re fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up. If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before deciding.

As a “rule of thumb”, that works out pretty well. However, I don’t subscribe to it as a “Law”. While there might be the Laws of Thermodynamics, there is no Law of 50. For good reason.

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Spongebob and I are in complete agreement on this issue. There is no Law of 50. 

Triggers, or the suchlike, are another good reason to DNF a book. Triggers can run the gamut from the emotional to the intellectual. Something that you’ve experienced in the past and can absolutely destroy you when reading about a like instance in a book, like rape for instance, is an emotional response that causes you do stop reading that book. Or perhaps the author starts espousing views about Aliens and Humans, ala Scientology and suddenly, nothing else they can say matters as your mind can’t accept such thinking (by the by, I’d dismiss any non-fiction author who started down that particular path). But the thing is, everyone has something that they hold inviolate, even if they don’t think long and hard about it.

For me, I’ve definitely got some DNF triggers that cause me to pull the plug like that

* snaps fingers *

  1. Blasphemy is top of the list. Similarly, the denial of Christ’s divinity (ie, His Godhood).

  2. Another one is the inclusion of sexual perversions. In this day and in our culture, that tends to be the one I have to deal with the most. It’s like a minefield now.

  3. Another one is rape or gruesome violence against women and/or children. My soul revolts against such a thing and I won’t tolerate it in my entertainment.

Those tend to be The Big Three for me.

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Other reason I have for DNF’ing a book can be summed up like this:

  • I hate every single character and wish they were dead. They have to be REALLY bad though for me to DNF because of that. Most likely I just won’t read any more by the author.

  • I’m bored. If I go into a book expecting to be entertained and I’m not, forget it. I read for fun and my reading time is as precious as gold to me. If an author wastes that, I’ll cut them off at the knees and enjoy doing it. But again, I have to be REALLY bored.

  • Social Justice bullshit. I have very little tolerance for that nonsense. The people who think that way and participate in such things are fools and I want nothing to do with them or their silly ideas. Mainly because there is no thinking involved and when you can’t even talk rationally to someone, there is no point in talking. Proverbs 23 says this: Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

And really, I think those additional 3 items wrap it up. I don’t DNF very much, even if I will rate a book extremely low and rake it over the coals.

Now, on to the part I’ve actually wanted to write. I don’t usually ASK for your opinions, as I’m almost always telling you MY opinions, but in this case, I actually DO want to know your thoughts on this issue. A lot. Write a comment, please. A short one, a long one, a post length one, a post with a linkback. Just something. If you don’t normally comment, take this time to carefully considering commenting for the first time. Do you DNF? If so, what causes that? There are as many permutations for DNF’ing as there are readers and I want to hear about them.

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PSA: Honesty and Book Reviewing

PSA

I was browsing WordPress the other day and one of the blogs featured had a Tag, so I figured I’d read through it to see if there was any questions I liked that I could twist for my own fun.

Well, one of the questions was “What was your last 1star book” and the young lady answering it wrote something like “Oh, probably never. If a book is that bad, I just DNF it”, with the assumption being that it doesn’t get rated and I’m guessing, not reviewed. BVT also recently did a post where she talks about Negative Reviews and how she appreciates them.

This led me to think about this whole subject beyond my little comment on BVT’s post. It still comes down to Trust so while I’ll be talking about that, I’d like to talk about some of the other components too.

So, Trust first.

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If a book reviewer deliberately with-holds a review because it doesn’t get a particular rating, that is dishonest. Lying by omission is still lying.  A blogger might write completely honest reviews about all the fantastic books they read  but if they don’t publish the reviews about the crappy books, that is like someone doing their checkbook and showing only the credits  and not the debits. It’s honest, but it’s not the real picture. Just ask your bank.

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Another reason that I won’t follow people who state they won’t do negative reviews is because it shows a paucity of character and a lack of integrity. If you don’t believe me, this picture from the INTERNET will show you the truth!

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Now, there is a difference between being a dick online and calling a piece of garbage a piece of garbage. Exactly where that line is though, that’s a very tough question.  It’s also tangential to this discussion so I won’t discuss it further.

Another reason to write negative reviews is to help out other readers.  For the record, I want to state that reviews are NEVER for the author. N-E-V-E-R!!!!! They might get something out of them but it was never meant to be for them. Reviews are for other readers. If you are going review books, it is your duty to not only steer your followers towards the books you love, but to also steer them clear from the disasters, the broken bridges and the just plain bad books.  If you drive off that bridge, put up a freaking warning sign.  Its pure negligence if you don’t. Friends don’t let friends read bad books without warning them.

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Another reason that negative reviews are a reviewers duty is that unlike in Magic the Gathering, you don’t get extra turns in your reading life. You read that bad book, that time is GONE! Don’t let others repeat your mistakes. Let them learn from you.

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Finally, a book blogger may feel virtuous for not having any negative content on their blog. That shows a lack of understanding of what is virtuous, what is right and is a paving stone far along the path to hell. Yeah, I’m not going to pull any punches here and nothing funny like the ending of the PSA post from last month. I don’t want to follow someone with that lack of understanding, it is just plain dangerous to be around them.

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This fairy is about to burn up in the fire. Good intentions not withstanding.

 

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Bookstooge brings the FIRE!

 

PSA: Blogging Mano A Mano Style

PSA

 

Sometimes blogging as a man, I wish there was a core set of Man Blogs (Dibs! I’m trademarking that! ) that I could subscribe to. No offense to ANY of you ladies who I follow or who follow me. But just what is the ratio of Male to Female when it comes to blogging for fun? I don’t care to clutter up this post with cold hard facts, so I’m going with a ratio of Less to More.

Bossy guy pointing at you.

Actually, 1 to 4 does sound about right

 

The problem I have found with following more men is that it can, and for me usually does,  end up like this:

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Man 1: “Swiss Cheese is the best!”  Man 2: “I’ll KILL you!”

 

Strong opinions get thrown around willy-nilly and before you know it one of the two is getting their butt kicked. Like this poor guy:

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Bookstooge-senpai schools Punk-san in proper fighting etiquette

 

Butt-kicking gets really tiring after a while.  I don’t want to hang out with jocks, mind you. I want articulate, reasoned thinking men. But those very same qualities can turn around and bite you in the butt.

I guess this is one of those situations where I want to be Alpha Man and every other man to be Beta Man, maybe Beta-Plus occasionally. But another Alpha?  Ha, kill that sucker!

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Backoff buddy, this whole thing is MINE!

 

This is where what I want simply isn’t possible.  One thing I have learned is to really rein in my opinions when commenting on others’ blogs.  I have also learned that when I get a desire to be part of a pack, I just need to wait a day or two and then I’m back to my desire for solitude.  This is more of a vent than anything else.

So to you guys who I do follow and haven’t fought with, I’d like to thank you. For being patient with me, for letting me air my strong opinions on your blogs without biting my head off.  I don’t take it for granted, really.

And to end on slightly more humorous note…

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I used a gif, so shoot me. Oh wait, my dinosaur already shot you!

 

 

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PSA: Bookstooge Speaks Out….On Narcissism

PSA

Before we get into the really deep parts of this post, we here at Bookstooge would like to reassure our readers that we in no way support Narcissism. Depending on how long you have been following us, we are sure you realize our selfless dedication to the eradication of Narcissism. In our eyes, nothing is worse than that yahoo who just keeps blabbing and blabbing about how great and wonderful they are. This post today, with the typical Bookstooge logic, clear sighted analysis and calm, cool & collected proficiency of a true expert, will totally debunk any argument that any narcissist might bring against us.

 

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Y’all better listen to that Bookstooge fella. He done know what he’s talking about!

 

The first thing is actually identifying a Narcissist. Now, most definitions are of a person who is obsessed with themselves. We deny that statement. A narcissist is someone who is wrongly obsessed with themselves. They think they are handsome/pretty when they’re just average. They think they are smart, when they aren’t even near to Einstein. They think they are clever, when they are actually boring and banal.

Basically, a narcissist is someone who thinks they are right when they are just plain wrong.  That is one of the few reasons that we here at Bookstooge know we’re not narcissists. We are never wrong.  It also doesn’t hurt that we are even more humble than Moses, the “most meek man on the face of the earth”. (Numbers 12:3).

And this is why we wish to speak out on this issue. People often conflate the idea of self-obsession with just plain pigheaded wrongness and this makes them wrong, leading to a vicious downward spiral of self-destruction and recriminations that is almost impossible to escape from. We here at Bookstooge realize that most people cannot break this cycle themselves.  We not only wish to highlight this problem, but would also like to offer a solution.

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STOP BEING WRONG

 

Seriously, how hard is that? I, errr,  WE do it all the time. Day in and day out. Week after week, month after month, as the years pile up. And you don’t see us with a swelled head or massive ego, oh no!

We do realize that people aren’t just going to stop being wrong all by themselves. After a lifetime’s habit built up, they simply can’t stop cold turkey. So besides our patent pending “Stop Being Wrong” solution, we also offer, for a VERY slight fee, our personalized Bookstooge Opinionator.  Join us and if you ever feel like you “might” be wrong, just send your personal Bookstooge Helper an email with your opinion. All Bookstooge Helpers are trained to the highest degree to detect right and wrong opinions. They will get back to you within 24hrs, often even sooner(!!!!), letting you know if your opinion is indeed right or wrong.

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The Bookstooge Opinionator Team: We make sure YOU are always Right!

 

Studies have shown that those who use this tool experience elation and the complete disappearance of fear in their online lives. This online experience often sublimates into the real world. You’d be surprised how many sports and movie stars, politicians and talkshow hosts have used and benefited from The Bookstooge Opinionator.  Admit it, you probably thought those talking heads on tv were just well informed, intelligent people. But nope, it is all thanks to our wonderful program.

To end this most beneficial of posts, if someone you love, or perhaps even yourself, might suffer, in the slightest, from that most dreaded ailment of Narcissism, it’s ok. We are here to solve your problems and get you back on track of Being Right, All the Time! (trademark pending)

 

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Life Advice…w/ Dr. Bookstooge

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It’s one of those kind of days.  I’ve got diarrhea of the brain and fingers, so I’ve got a ton of nonsense just waiting to explode onto the screen.

 

My first piece of advice, to anyone, male, female, tall, short, smart or stupid, is to not have parents. Any problem you might have, it can be avoided by simply not having parents.  Now, if you’re reading this, you’ve obviously ignored this piece of advice. Don’t worry, 100% of people who come to me for advice have ALSO ignored this advice. You are not alone in this.

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(Of course, if you’re listening to that song by Michael Jackson, well, you get what you deserve, in my professional medical opinion)

 

Most people, when they come to me for Parental Pod advice, ask me what they can “do” about their problem.  The thing is, as I shake my wisely visage and appear sympathetic, is to deconstruct the thinking behind that “do”.  Most people don’t realize that Parental Pods (will be referred to as PP’s from hereon in) are also people too. Yes, you heard that right. Most other doctors don’t subscribe to this idea, but if you carefully examine the evidence, you’ll see that I, Doctor Bookstooge, am right. Not just a little bit right, but COMPLETELY right. I call this groundbreaking theory, Parental Pods are People Too, or PPaPT to keep things snappy. My clients like it when I use acronyms. Lets them know that I’m hip with the jiving lingo that the kids use today. Now, if those same kids would just stay off my lawn, we’d be all set.

The second thing to realize is since PPaPT applies, this means that every mood, feeling and thought you have, they also apply to the PP in question. Are you a stubborn jackass sometimes? Are you an opinionated, hotheaded loudmouth? Well, I hate to break it to you, but your PP were those things first. This makes them much more experienced in such things.  Accept the fact that you can’t be more “X” than your PP.

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Yes, this post applies to you too, you stubborn, hotheaded, opinionated, loudmouthed jackass.

 

My final advice to most patients suffering from one form of PP or another, is that they can’t actually do anything about it.  It once again comes down to our PPaPT philosophy here at Dr McBookstooges Inc.  We believe that most cases of PP just need to run their course, kind of like the man-flu.

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And I believe that is probably all the medical advice that needs to be packed into one post. Any more and readers would start losing their minds and begin worshipping me as a veritable dynamo of divine wisdom.

 

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PSA: Too Big To Comment

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If you’ve been alive for the past decade, you’ve heard all the “Too Big to Fail” jokes. Whether actually funny, ironic or just plain bitter.

But, that phrase got me to thinking. I like to comment on other peoples posts. Not ALL the time, but probably about 90%.  Some of the people I comment on can get a lot of comments on their posts, like Orangutan Librarian or Drew the Tattooed Book Geek.  That post of Drew’s I link to? It has 110 comments. 110. Now, if I “know” someone, that number wouldn’t be a deterrent at all, as I would expect them to to pay attention to me, the Great Bookstooge, who deigned to come to their blog and grace them with a comment. But for those I don’t know, who don’t know the greatness that is me, I have to admit, any post with over 15 comments by others, I’ll probably not comment on.

And this is where the “thinking” began.  Specifically, where is YOUR comment cut off limit? Do you comment differently, like I do, depending on the blog? Are you likely to comment on a blog no matter what? Or do you see a Certain Number and just wave off? Commenting in general has come up in previous posts, but this time around I’m interested in a particular data set. I plan on writing a data mining book and use this data to become fabulously wealthy.

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Get cracking folks, I won’t get very wealthy if you’re not doing the work for me!

 

 

My average Comment to Post ratio, according to the wordpress stats, is 20. Now, half of those are me, so call that 10 comments per post on average. Of course, book reviews of graphic novels and manga tend to have a lot fewer comments, and my non-review posts tend to bloat up pretty big. Mostly because I reply to every comment that people leave. At what number do you just think “nope, not commenting”?

I hope you feel comfortable leaving comments here. I try to treat each one as a conversation between you and me and while I know I don’t always succeed at that, that is what I aim for.

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Dr Bookstooge is here for you!

 

 

 

And just in case you think I don’t work hard and totally deserve all your money that you’ve earned, here’s a snowy picture of a steep hill in the woods.

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This picture is pretty self-explanatory as to why I deserve your money…

 

 

 

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