Thursday, 19 October 2017

Styles and Genres 5




BUILDINGS

1950s spindly fusspot architecture (Hugh Pearman)
butterfly roof
cheap clumsy reproduction (What you get after a Georgian terrace is demolished.)
Chicago bungalow (Ornate, with features from many periods and countries. Let’s build lots.)
cinematic expressionism – towers and irregular arcades (Martin Lampprecht)
contemporary funky polite (Adam Nathaniel Furman)
cosy modern a la Indian YMCA (ANF)
developer’s quayside tat (Gareth Hughes)
Essex barn vernacular
funny shape-ist (for houses, HP)
pastry-cook’s Gothic (early 19th cent)
Polish cathedral (Over-the-top, with domes and a westwork.)

Po-Tech: An early classic from the period when Po Mo met High Tech resulting in a sort of camp modernism or a less historicist Post Modernism depending on your point of view. (Charles Holland on Terry Farrell's Water Treatment Centre in Reading)

Rubik’s Snake: looks like half-unfolded origami
Tesco pomo (ANF)
Victorian picturesque thrusting classical pomposity (Rohan Storey)

DÉCOR
80s Chinese restaurant (mint wallpaper and ornate silk paintings)
luxury avant-garde 
American post-war corporate (Douglas Murphy)
faux bois: rustic log and twig garden furniture
industrial scrape’n’reveal vibe (HP)
witch kitsch

MUSIC
cocktail lounge jazz 
landfill indie bands of the early Noughties (Paul Whitelaw)
Tawdry 80s visions of the good life: I’m driving away from home, 30 miles or more. Love is a stranger in an open car.

Vaguely soulful pop fodder that’s clogged up the charts recently: a touch of gospel aligned to modern digital production, words on thwarted love, and a singalong chorus that’s perfect for an X Factor hopeful to give their all to while their relatives burst into tears at the side of the stage. It’s resolutely unremarkable. (Will Hodgkinson)

ART

Daily Telegraph alternative Turner prize: paintings of café terraces and bougainvillea with too much ultramarine
high concept: The kind of art project that involves finding 50 people called Dominique Lambert, getting them to fill in a questionnaire describing themselves, giving the questionnaires to an artist who draws a picture based on their answers, giving the pictures to a police artist who turns them into efits and... I can’t remember what they did with the efits because I’d lost the will to live.

FASHION LOOKS
amateur choreographer, teaching assistant with a dark past (Eva Wiseman)
Heroin chic (90s) Fashion spreads in empty rooms in run-down hotels with dralon sofas and peeling, awful wallpaper.

FOOD
normcore: dull food from the early 90s. May be ethnic, but in a safe and not very tasty way.)
snackwave: junk food
What to call the ramen burrito? Normcore fusion?

FILMS
Watched the Titans movie. It's a classical mash-up. A bit 'tell Perseus that Helen's cyclops is riding a Minotaur in a trireme.' (Dan Snow)

The decade was finally starting to show the growth of the Post War economy and shine, so were the Movies, even the Noirs and it was the beginning of the end for the Genre. The look was not the only thing that started to "lighten up", the Characters were becoming less cynical, more perky, and frankly more boring. This can be exemplified by the Roommates here that are so spunky and aloof that they seem to glide and float through this Mystery/Thriller. Lowbrow Blues and Jazz was replaced with the nonthreatening Pop softness of Nat King Cole. (Anonymous imdb commenter on Blue Gardenia)

The "for people who hate forrin muck films" breed of lazy remake.
 (@woodo79)

Upmarket Romance - girl gets the guy, but, boy, does it take time. (@JonnyGeller)

amazing dreck (Dan Auty in the late 70s when rep cinemas screened old scifi and you could even see it on telly sometimes.)

berserk pensioner
chase-a-minute action romp (Spooks)
desert road trip movie (popular in 70s)
doll horror
fashion horror
(The Eyes of Laura Mars)
found footage
French-window froth (imdb)
inspiration porn: films about cute brainboxes
low-tech Steampunk Victoriana (Greg Jenner on Dr Who)
mama drama
pig opera (Babe, Private Function/Betty Blue Eyes)
wire-fu 


LITERARY 
bonnet book
bus shelter poetry (Paul Whitelaw)
cat mystery: all characters are cats
clogs and shawls: romantic novel genre

country mystery:
  even broader than “country house mystery”, takes in any story not set in a big city
cozy mystery: There’s a murder, some suspects and a detective, but the whole thing is set in a country village and deliberately smothered in quilts, chutney, ponies and kittens. (No, I haven’t read any.)

creative writing class prose: present continuous, banal detail

ghostwriter’s prose: "
It was a lovely hotel… suddenly a man in a Stetson hat appeared…" On top of page after page of this mind-numbingly boring and irrelevant filler, the paint-by-numbers ghostwriter's prose is also dull and grating - "correct" in construction but utterly void of any creativity, style or interest. (Amazon review. Ghostwriters also tend to say “he was my rock” and “his smile lit up the room”.)

London cabbie humour
slum porn

ventriloquism 

Within general fiction we have subdivisions, from the university satire to the coming-of-age novel, but within genres there are even more, with Steampunk, Hard SF, Alternative History, time travel and Space Opera in SF and Cosy, Procedural, Psychological, Legal, Period and Serial Killer in Crime.  (Christopher Fowler)

Or make up your own: medieval self-help, Ice Age family saga etc

More here, and links to the rest.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Pedantry 4


We must have [grammar rule] because in [unlikely scenario], if we ignore the rule the sentence might be ambiguous.

And we're all going to hell in a handcart because people are ignorant of the following: 


Christmas news bulletins sent to your friends are not round robins, they are circular letters.

"I and the staff would like to wish you a Happy New Year" – well why don’t you, ha ha?

Different to, different from, different than have different meanings and one of them is not “grammar”.

The programme should be spelled Desert Island Disks because “disk is original”.

Cooking instructions are a “receipt”, not a “recipe” – "recipe" is French.

Tube trains run through a tunnel, underground trains run through a covered trench.

The earth isn’t round, it’s spherical.

There's a distinction between complementary and complimentary.

Using “etc” is sloppy.

They’re herring gulls, not seagulls.

"Owing to" refers to a verb, "due to" refers to a noun. You can only say "thanks to" if you're thanking somebody. So what can we say? "On account of"? But that's American. So we may have to state directly that A caused B, and B happened as a result of A. But we can't do that, we're British!

Anticipate means “be prepared” not “expect”.

You’re wounded on a battlefield but injured in a car accident. (Times style guide)

It’s thank you, not thankyou. “Thankyou” is not a word. (See NGram – use of “thankyou” has risen sharply since 1972, while “thank you” has declined and then risen slightly since 1900.)

It's an historical, an halal, an herbivore.

It’s not “this year”, it’s “the current year”. (And as for this week, next week, brought forward, put back... etc.)

There’s a difference in meaning between ’til and till.

You must use Oxford commas either all the time, or never. (NGram shows a steep rise for "Oxford comma" from 1985. It depends on context. Sometimes you need a comma before and, and sometimes you don’t.)

These are brackets [ ]
These are parentheses ( ) 
These are braces { }
Homophobia means fear of the same, or fear of yourself. (It may not be the best term for intolerance of gay people, but it’s the one we’ve got.)

Enormity means “outside the norm” (and egregious means outside the flock). Its meaning changed to "nastiness", and then to “unusually large size”.

“Ironic” doesn't simply mean "paradoxical".

It’s “an aught” not “a nought”.

Till should be spelled 'til, as it’s short for until. (Same goes for 'phone and 'bus – telephone and omnibus.)

Though I admit I flinch when people say “etch” when they mean “engrave”.

Singular 'they' never went away; it has been in steady use for centuries: Wikipedia quotes Chaucer, Shakespeare, Chesterfield, Ruskin, Byron, Austen, Defoe, Thackeray and Shaw. Some 19th century grammarians promoted a gender-neutral 'he', but the former remained widespread. (AG)

Merriam-Webster, which calls the usage 'entirely standard', notes that "hopefully" has been used to start sentences since the early 1700s, and other sentence adverbs for a century longer still. It's interesting that, according to an American Heritage Dictionary usage panel, approval of 'hopefully' as a sentence adverb dropped from 44% in 1969 to 27% in 1988. Also, if you disapprove of it, do you also disapprove of 'accordingly', 'seriously', 'understandably', 'amazingly', 'frankly', and 'honestly'?  We all seem quite happy to use those in the same way. (AG)

More here, and links to the rest.