47 thoughts on “Athena Experiments With Metaphor

  1. Hmm… searching for mismatches…

    1) We are noodles; animals are chicken. Yet we are animals. So are we both noodles and chicken?

    2) Animals are like… chicken? Don’t animals include chicken?

  2. That kid of yours is pretty great. Chicken noodle soup is an even better metaphor for life than the old “box of chocolates.”

    What’s up with the picture of the basketball on the t-shirt that says baseball?

    I think the dog wants in on the YouTube thing… he seems to be pacing back and forth back there trying to get screen time!

  3. On some of my best days, I can’t come up with stuff like that.

    I noticed both your dog and cat in the frame, which make for a pretty odd pairing in most households.

    Also, the shirt that has YMCA baseball, but pictures what looks like a basketball on it.

  4. “Be happy and eat it!!”

    A perfectly cromulent philosophy, one that should be on the official t-shirt for your Scalzipalooza ’07 tour.

    Speaking of which, did you ever decide on an official name for the tour?

  5. Kate says “I noticed both your dog and cat in the frame, which make for a pretty odd pairing in most households.”

    That’s part of the fun of the video. The dog’s going back and forth and the cat decides to check out the action, while our wise, grizzled philosopher drones away on camera, oblivious to the really important things in the other room. Heh, philosophers …

  6. I’ve of much heard stranger things as the basis for religion. John, I advise you to incorporate this into a religion and start raking in the dough. I’m sure Campbell’s would be a good sponsor.

  7. I like the metaphor. My kid doesn’t eat chicken soup.

    Behind Athena is stack of books. Some of them are TAD. I can’t really see what’s next to the copies of TAD though. Maybe a bunch of CD’s? And is that a bottle of Gorilla Glue or Vick’s Cough Syrup on the shelf underneath?

  8. Yup, it’s the T-shirt. Man. Small organizations who won’t budget to hire the likes of me to design their stuff will be the death of civilization. Mark me — when the end comes the collateral will have borders framing every panel, there will be double spaces after all the periods, and all the plurals will have apostrophes.
    [shaking fists to the sky] Damn you, Box o’ Clipart and 10,000 Fonts for $20!
    Speaking of: dogs and cats living together is not the apocalyptic sign that Bill Murray thought it was. My two are currently dozing in the breezeway quite peaceably.

  9. Jeff-
    I’ll never look again at the 10,000 Fonts packages in the store— especially after a friend bought a small office building, and found box copies of the Adobe Font Folio, among other goodies.

  10. What’s the deal about double spaces after a period? In all of my various English classes, I was taught that one put two spaces at the end of a sentence. Nowadays, everyone’s insisting on one space whenever there’s a space of any sort. Are we in danger of running out of spaces? Or is this something akin to ancient computer coding, where we keep things as compact as possible to avoid taking up too much space (in which case, why the outcry against “texting-style” writing)? Color me confused but not very concerned. And yeah, I put two spaces at the end of all those sentences. Ha ha.

  11. What’s the deal about double spaces after a period? In all of my various English classes, I was taught that one put two spaces at the end of a sentence. Nowadays, everyone’s insisting on one space whenever there’s a space of any sort. Are we in danger of running out of spaces? Or is this something akin to ancient computer coding, where we keep things as compact as possible to avoid taking up too much space (in which case, why the outcry against “texting-style” writing)? Color me confused but not very concerned. And yeah, I put two spaces at the end of all those sentences. Ha ha.

  12. What’s the deal about double spaces after a period? In all of my various English classes, I was taught that one put two spaces at the end of a sentence. Nowadays, everyone’s insisting on one space whenever there’s a space of any sort. Are we in danger of running out of spaces? Or is this something akin to ancient computer coding, where we keep things as compact as possible to avoid taking up too much space (in which case, why the outcry against “texting-style” writing)? Color me confused but not very concerned. And yeah, I put two spaces at the end of all those sentences. Ha ha.

  13. What’s the deal about double spaces after a period?
    And HA! yourself, sir. I was just serving up a little artistey snottiness for humorous effect. {rimshot} Thanks; try the creme brulee.
    Since you asked — and way OT for the thread — on a typewriter every character is the same width: “i” or “M,” doesn’t matter. The double-space thing helped differentiate sentences back in the day. On the computer, if you’re not using Courier or the like, you’re technically typesetting. Every font’s characters are only as wide as they need to be (it’s called “proportional” spacing). That includes the space after a period, which through the magic of the computer gizmo is already extra wide. So double-spacing can create what look like rivers of white space down a column of copy. Apparently, high school keyboarding teachers have yet to be hipped to this jive.
    So you all go on tap-tapping your raw copy, and me and my kind will go on snip-snipping for our layouts. The cosmos remains in balance. Which is metaphorical, I guess, and so back on topic.

  14. There’s a little book called “The Mac is Not a Typewriter” which is fun, funny, and full of all kinds of tips like this. A buddy of mine bought 10 or 12 and handed them out to everyone he thought needed it.

    And yes there’s a PC version as well.

    I once worked on the layout/design of a book where the author insisted on double spaces after a period because her father had told her this was the proper way. Nevermind what her publisher said, nevermind what the professional typsesetter (me) said, it HAD to be HER way.

    Needless to say, the relationship went sour (after the 5th round of major type revisions), and the book never got published.

    Note to future authors, never argue with you publisher about typesetting. Actually never argue with them about anything, as it’s a waste of time, and it does not help your professional career. If you feel that strongly about something, go with another publisher, otherwise focus on what is important (selling your book).

  15. Scalzi sayeth:

    I grew up using a computer and have never once put a double space after a period.

    And I grew up using a typewriter and have likewise never once put a double space after a period. Nor have I ever heard of the rule John O’Neill describes. Go figure.

  16. In some not-so-far-off time when Athena has gotten old enough to bewail the fact that she is not an orphan these little clips will be SOOOO embarrassing, but she’ll grow out of it. Right now they depict a confident, bright, charming girl who could progbably run for mayor of yoiur town and win!

    Old Jarhead

  17. Tumbleweed’s comment gave me an instant mental picture (and I’d make it a physical picture if I knew how to use the software):

    a can of Joseph Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.

  18. I took a typing class in 10th grade (1976 or so?) and was taught to double space after the period. This is the first I’m hearing that I shouldn’t on my mac. But it’s habit, so…..(five periods/10 spaces)

  19. I grew up pounding on manual typewriters and was taught to double space between sentences. And I still do. However, standard HTML won’t allow you to have two spaces in a row, you actually have to change or both to (and I will add underlines to the HTML coding otherwise it will become a double space) “&_n_b_s_p_;”. Now, if the Whatever cooperates, we can now have double spaces betweent this sentence.   And this one.

    I find that in editing documents, adhering to the double-space rule allows me to spot typos in punctuation and capitalization much faster than without. I also tend to compose in one font, then reformat into Courier, because the non-proportional font again allows one an easier time to proofread. But to each their own.

    Dr. Phil

  20. Ack — typos in the above. And the parenthetical remark: (and I will add underlines to the HTML coding otherwise it will become a double space) should’ve said: (and I will add underlines to the HTML coding otherwise it will become a non-breaking space).

    Dr. Phil

  21. I was forced by my grade school to learn how to type in 1979, the summer after fourth grade, as they literally gave up hoping my penmanship would improve. (I’m not sure this is something to brag about.)

    There are almost always double spaces after all my periods, but as Dr. Phil notes, the second space is ‘silent’ on a computer screen, due to it being ignored by most browsers. Only I know it’s there.

    Of course, both spaces are also in every document I print. And those spaces aren’t invisible.

  22. Regarding the t-shirt, I suspect more people would buy it with the mistake than they would if it was correctly illustrated.

    I’d buy it, and I’m completely outside their geographical region.

    In marketing, sometimes mistakes can be intentional and ingenius. Though I suspect this isn’t the case in this instance.

  23. Jeff Hentosz and Tolladay, I’m glad I’m not the only one ot have such “discussions” with clients (re: double spacing, just don’t okay). Just wait until we get to discuss “ligatures” and “kerning pairs.” And then we get to the over use of ellipses (for the Love of Zarquon, please stop the madness).

  24. Hey Chang,

    Isn’t an ellipsis supposed to have a space on both sides? (grammar fight, grammar fight!)

  25. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the “life is a bowl of chicken noodle soup” and “we are the noodles” so “we should eat the soup and enjoy it.” If we are both the noodles and eater, that’s a neat piece of either cannibalism or autophagy.

  26. My Freshman English teacher in High School was fanatical about double-spaces after periods – so much so that I once had an “A” level paper receive a
    “C” because she took off a point for every single-space. This was way past the time when students used typewriters for essaywriting, and the computer would whine every time I double-spaced.

    So thanks, gonna have Mrs. Hull nightmares tonight.

  27. Cohen: Grammar fight, indeed. AP Style says put a space on either side of the ellipses, Chicago Manual drones for four full pages on the issue and seems to say not, but really … who knows?
    Buchheit: An eight point ellipses is not an ellipsis. It’s bool-shit, and you are right to balk. What I like is when I see a sentence with eight, or five, or three, or even one exclamation point. I turn them all with my frightening type-fu into no exclamation points. No one ever complains.
    And on behalf of the grossly mistreated JulieW, I suggest everyone here close their eyes, concentrate, and send Mrs. Hull merciless single space nightmare vibes.

  28. Here, here. Just let me typesett Mrs. Hull’s book. I’ll have her crying like a baby in no time. And if she trys to double or triple bang me (that’s !! and !!! for those who’ve never had to set a bang before), I’ll give her a big smack down.

  29. “Simply use “&” rather than “&” alone to prefix the entity. Thus:  ”

    The problem with that method is that then someone uses cut & paste and then can’t figure out why it doesn’t work. Sometimes lowlevel methods are the best.

    Dr. Phil

  30. The problem with that method is that then someone uses cut & paste and then can’t figure out why it doesn’t work. Sometimes lowlevel methods are the best.

    Well, when messing about with HTML, it’s probably best to do a “View Source”, and copy and paste the original source, rather than the rendered text.

    That way, you not only keep any unusual HTML entities, you also keep any original formatting markup that was used.

  31. >Here, here. Just let me typesett Mrs. Hull’s book. I’ll have her crying like a baby in no time. And if she trys to double or triple bang me (that’s !! and !!! for those who’ve never had to set a bang before), I’ll give her a big smack down.

    Yuck. I hate sentences that end in more than one exclamation point. Almost as bad are sentences that end in any combination of question marks and exclamation points other than just a simple interrobang…what are they thinking?!
    (!?
    ?!? heh, this is fun
    !?!
    ??!!1!one?! O.K., I’ll stop now.)
    I don’t ever put spaces before or after ellipses, myself. I was never taught to … and it looks weird, anyway.

  32. “Life. Don’t talk to me about life.”

    Hmmm…I liked the dog walking past. Also, Athena is clearly destined to be a philosopher. I should start drafting the Wikipedia entry.

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