Tagged: writing

A thought

Comedy is tragedy plus time.

Horror is time minus comedy.

2015 grammar update

Officially, on January 1 of every year, I review my grammar and punctuation and other orthographic preferences and decide whether I’m comfortable with the sad choices I’ve made thus far in my life.

As in past years, I made the easy call to stick with “Internet” statt “internet,” and “e-mail” statt “email.” I know this may make me fusty and old fashioned, but that’s OK. I’m in my mid-thirties and I’m entitled.

However, I finally decided to really take a hard look at the number of spaces after a period. This has riven my friends and colleagues in past surveys, but I’ve always stuck with the two spaces. Why? Partly because I truly do think it looks better. And maybe—despite what you’ll read—I still do think that.

Starting in January I began test-marketing the one-space system. It was scary and I felt very uncomfortable. What will others say about me? What does this say about myself? It began in certain letters, then in chats, then e-mails.

Nobody noticed or cared.

Today I announce that the tests were successful and I have fully transitioned to being a one-space person. I know this will provoke anguish in some. I made the decision in part based on the sort of people who actually will be anguished. I now part company with a couple of attorneys whose writing styles I find stuffy and old-fashioned. If I set myself against them, I probably am doing something right. And I join a vast (tragically probably Apple-centric) set of modern designers and writers who just use the one space.

I am sure there will be backsliding. I will probably get drunk and start typing two just for old times’ sake. I think I’ll make it through, though. Your support and encouragement are critical.

Next year, we will review explicitly specifying nautical miles vs. statute miles in all distance calculations. I bet you don’t know which one is the one you typically use (e.g., in mph?). In 2016, you’ll find out.

Tiptoe through the torts

When the defendant, Clifford Witter, a dance instructor, waltzed out of the employment of the plaintiff, the Arthur Murry Dance Studios of Cleveland, Inc., into the employment of the Fred Astaire Dancing Studios, the plaintiff waltzed Witter into court.  For brevity, the two studios are called ‘Arthur Murray’ and ‘Fred Astaire’.  At the time Witter took his contentious step, Arthur Murray had a string attached to him — a certain contract prohibiting Witter, after working for Arthur Murray no more, from working for a competitor.  That Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire are rivals in dispensing Terpsichorean erudition is not disputed.  Now Arthur Murray wants the court to pull that string and yank Witter out of Fred Astaire’s pedagogical pavilion.

No layman could realize the legal complication involved in Witter’s uncomplicated act.  This is not one of those questions on which the legal researcher cannot find enough to quench his thirst.  To the contrary there is so much authority it drowns him.  It is a sea — vast and vacillating, overlapping and bewildering.  One can fish out of it any kind of strange support for anything, if he lives so long.  This deep and unsettled sea pertaining to an employee’s covenant not to compete with his employer after termination of employment is really Seven Seas; and now that the court has sailed them, perhaps it should record those seas so that the next weary traveler may be saved the terrifying time it takes just to find them.

Arthur Murray Dance Studios of Cleveland v. Witter, 105 N.E.2d 685, 687 (Ohio Com. Pl. 1952).