Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Admit It; I Am An Unapologetic Niggler

Tucson Weather Today


In my opinion the most erroneously used word in the English language is very. The adverb 'very' precedes an adjective in order to raise the adjective to a higher degree, as in the sentence: "The noise was very loud," or even "The noise was very, very loud."

Some of the terms I have heard recently on TV that gave me pause, usually mouthed by supposedly educated and presumably intelligent orators, politicians, and elected officials, were:

'very correct' -- If a statement is not incorrect, it is correct. If the statement is correct, it is at its highest level and cannot be raised in degree by preceding the word with 'very.'

'very normal' -- If a condition is not abnormal, it is normal. If the condition is normal, it is at its most normal level and cannot be raised in degree by preceding the word with very.

At risk of tiresomely repeating myself, the word unique means one of a kind and is at its highest degree, and so cannot be modified by adding very. Although that expression can be heard time after time, it is incorrect.


I was recently advised that author Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. Before I rush out to buy one of his novels, though, I downloaded a Kindle short-story written by the two of them, Joe Hill and Stephen King. It's title is "Throttle" and it cost me 1 dollar and eight cents (99 cents plus a damnable 9 cents sales tax) which should be worthwhile as it will inform me about the quality of Joe Hill's writing before I invest in the price of his novels.

Maybe . . .



On this day, May 9 in 1950, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986) published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. With this book, Hubbard introduced a branch of self-help psychology called Dianetics, which quickly caught fire and, over time, morphed into a belief system boasting millions of subscribers: Scientology. Though discredited by the medical and scientific establishment, over 100,000 copies of Dianetics were sold in the first two years of publication.

By 1953, Hubbard was able to rebound from widespread condemnation beginning to be heaped upon him, and introduced Scientology. Scientology expanded on Dianetics by bringing Hubbard's popular version of psychotherapy into the realm of philosophy, and ultimately, religion. In only a few years, Hubbard found himself at the helm of a movement that captured the popular imagination. As Scientology grew in the 1960s, several national governments became suspicious of Hubbard, accusing him of quackery and brainwashing his followers. Nonetheless, Hubbard built his religion into a multi-million dollar movement that continues to have a considerable presence in the public eye, due in part to its high profile in Hollywood.



-  A person who pays excessive attention to petty details.
-  A person who criticizes constantly or repeatedly.
critic, carper, complainer, criticizer

To niggle is a verb meaning to nitpick.



William Martin "Billy" Joel
(born May 9, 1949)
Billy Joel is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth-best-selling recording artist and the third-best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to the RIAA. His compilation album Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2 is the third-best-selling album in the United States by discs shipped.

He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006).

Candice Patricia Bergen
(born May 9, 1946)
Candice Bergen is an American actress, producer and former fashion model. She is known for starring in two TV series, as the title character on the situation comedy Murphy Brown, for which she won five Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards; and as Shirley Schmidt on the comedy-drama Boston Legal.

Her first film was The Group (1965), which was based on Mary McCarthy's novel of the same name. She starred in several major films throughout the mid-1960s to early 1980s such as The Sand Pebbles, Carnal Knowledge, The Wind and the Lion, and Gandhi and received an Academy Award nomination for her role in the 1979 film Starting Over. Her later career includes character roles in Miss Congeniality (2000) and Sweet Home Alabama (2002).

Myron Leon "Mike" Wallace
(May 9, 1918 – Apr 7, 2012)
Mike Wallace was an American journalist, game show host, actor and media personality. He interviewed a wide range of prominent newsmakers during his sixty-year career. He was one of the original correspondents for CBS' 60 Minutes which debuted in 1968. Wallace retired as a regular full-time correspondent in 2006, but still appeared occasionally on the series until 2008.

John Brown
(May 9, 1800 - Dec 2, 1859)
John Brown was an American abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. During 1856 in Kansas, Brown commanded forces at the Battle of Black Jack and the Battle of Osawatomie. Brown's followers also killed five pro-slavery supporters at Pottawatomie. In 1859, Brown led an unsuccessful raid on the federal armory at Harper's Ferry that ended with his capture. Brown's trial resulted in his conviction and a sentence of death by hanging


Anyone nit-picking enough to write a letter of correction to an editor doubtless deserves the error that provoked it.
 --Alvin Toffler

Note: I categorically disagree with the above quote.

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