Let me ask you a question that will test your logical reasoning, general knowledge and understanding of the English language all at the same time:
What is wrong with the following sentence? “Despite a love of sports, I have never been a fan of the Olympics.”
The correct answer is that the word “Despite” is used incorrectly. My love of sports and apathy towards the Olympics are completely unrelated, since the Olympics has very little to do with sport(1). There is a reason why they are called the Olympic Games.
I find the dictionary definition of the word “sport” to be wholly insufficient, being cast broadly enough to allow all sorts of undesirable activities to be included (this is something, by the way, that Mrs Pigfender finds very annoying and wishes I’d stop going on about whenever the Olympics are on). Anyway, unsatisfied with the current classification, I set about coming up with my own set of principles to decide if something really was a sport or not. The following five rules were the outcome: Continue reading
Just like my earlier post on writing a bestselling romance novel, this a post I made on the interweb a while ago that made me chuckle(1) so I thought I’d republish it here.
About the time that the Will Smith film Hancock had come out I had started thinking around how a character might go about trying to develop superpowers. I never did anything with the premise, unless you count this little “article” here.
Hope you like it. Regular service resumes soon! Continue reading
If you ignore anything you have to physically restrain with a cage, a pond, or a fenced off area of pasture, it’s been several thousands of years since humans have domesticated any new animals. I appreciate that cats and dogs make fabulous companions and friends, but it still strikes me as unusual that we – a species whose entire culture is built on the idea of constant innovation – just sat back and said: You know what, we made the Basset Hound; I think we’re done. Continue reading
Remember when I wrote a little while ago about how Tom Cruise helped me rethink the approach I was taking with one of my chapters? Well, I find myself needing to do it again.
I was typing away, getting the words onto the page like a good little author, occasionally chuckling to myself (a good sign while I’m writing, a terrible sign anywhere else in life) and generally taking care of business. I had a pot of coffee next to me and my writing hat on my head. I was on a roll.
When I later came back to re-read the section I realised I’d been thinking in moving pictures again. Don’t get me wrong, this is normally a good thing. Good writing should conjure up visual images. Take the following excerpt from the NIAD2012 book, Lunar520 (this except takes place in zero-gravity on a space station):
Someone recently reminded me that sarcasm is supposed to be the lowest form of wit. This got me thinking. Is there an established hierarchy of wit that I’m not aware of? Is it purely linear, with satire at the top, and sarcasm at the bottom? Or is it multifaceted, with each type scored on a number of different qualities, like some sort of abstract series of Top Trumps?
Anyway, in order to help improve the world a little bit (or at least make it conform closer to my own world view), I present the pigfender guide on how to respond to someone who says “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, you know” to you. Continue reading