Three versions of a loving, travelling earworm

I heard the Black Keys version of Have Love, Will Travel for the first time a few days ago.

And I wanted to like it, it I really did. (Because I love the whole Brothers album so very much.) But I just couldn’t forget how fantastic The Basics version is:

[Do ignore the Californication thing. How is that even relevant?]

And then I was worried that I only liked The Basics version because of the joyful, pop-y Beatles-yness (and the perfectly imperfect syncopation).

But then I listened to the original by Richard Berry, which is about as pop-y as it gets:

…and I didn’t like it so much.

Ergo, I think my taste in music (or at least this song) is like my taste in food: really savoury isn’t my thing; completely sweet isn’t (always) my thing; but I truly adore salted caramel. (No really. Give me a bouquet of PayDay bars and I’ll be happy until I die of the diabeetus.)


The Oxford comma: dead at the hands of serial killers

I give a #%*^ about the Oxford comma.  I’m known for giving a #%*^ about the Oxford comma. But sadly, this sudden palaver over its threatened extinction (at the hands of its eponymous university, no less) is just a bureaucratic nail in an already-long-buried coffin. As a proofreader in Australia, I must (at least during working hours) adhere to the ‘current trends’ in Australian writing style, and that means NO SERIAL COMMAS EVER (except if absolutely needed for the sake of clarity, which isn’t any fun at all).

So as far as I’m (professionally) concerned, the Oxford comma has already been eradicated, or is at least seriously endangered, teetering on the brink of extinction. It lingers only as a ghost, destroyed by a gradual succession of serial killers*: style guides in ruthless pursuit of minimalist punctuation.

R, I, P.

Over at, Mary Elizabeth Williams has already said almost everything else I would say on the topic. Most importantly, she a) clarifies the extent to which Oxford University is eliminating its eponymous comma (that is, no more than most institutions already have); and b) embedded the obvious Vampire Weekend video clip.

Now, two things about this video clip: Firstly, its total number of hits must have jumped phenomenally in the past 24 hours. Secondly, IT WAS DIRECTED BY THE WONDERFUL RICHARD AYOADE (of The IT Crowd, of course). And if that isn’t a joyful note on which to end a sombre post, I don’t know what is.

*Yes, I went there.

Inglourious Grammar Nazis

So insensitive, but SO funny

“Me and her buy her milk at the same market.”

“Me and her? Surely you meant to say ‘She and I’.”

“Yes, of course.”

“The trick is to take the other person out the sentence to see if it makes sense. ‘Me buy milk’? I think not.I buy milk’. You see?”

Very insensitive. Very funny. AND ALSO VERY INFORMATIVE.

(I always use the I/me rule.)

And yes, I aware that this is the second [grammar] Nazi-related Proof (v.) post. But in my defence, me didn’t invent the term. Neither did Encyclopædia Dramatica… but it is defined there so very well:

Grammar Nazi is a term given to one who incessantly corrects the spelling/grammar/usage of others. Everyone hates Grammar Nazis because they are the ultimate lulz killers.

(Do yourself a favour and read the whole thing. Again, it’s admittedly offensive, but terribly HILARIOUS).

Wallflower Words: Vitriol (n.)

Wallflower Words is a series of Proof (v.) posts dedicated to beautiful but under-appreciated and seldom-encountered words. Those that are never invited to dance at the parlance party; those that deserve more exposure than is currently afforded by contemporary trends in popular English. This is their turn on the dancefloor.

The Word: Vitriol (n.)

Huh? Originally, referred to sulphates of metals in general (iron vitriol, copper vitriol, sulphur vitriol &c.). Subsequently, ‘vitriol’ became a specifically synonymous term for sulphuric acid (aka. Oil of Vitriol). Hence, ‘vitriol’ in its currently popular role, as an apt reference to bitterly abusive language or vituperation: nothing short of spitting, spiteful, acerbic, acidic ire.

As in? Give it a little bit of vitriol!

And? ‘Vitriolic’ has a nice Sherlockian ring to it. AND it is formed naturally in the upper atmospheres of Venus and Europa, which I consider to be a particularly cool triviality. AND, Bluejuice played at Big Day Out on the 23rd! AND they were awesome. As in… they were all dressed like Quentin Tarantino’s The Bride! (aka. Beatrix Kiddo; aka. Black Mamba; aka. Mommy)

{ via Entertainment Weekly }

Now THERE’S a woman with vitriol!

See also:

Wallflower Words: Liminal (adj.)
Wallflower Words: Saturnine (a./ n.)
Wallflower Words: Quantise (v.)

Wallflower Words: Quantise (v.)

Wallflower Words is a series of Proof (v.) posts dedicated to beautiful but under-appreciated and seldom-encountered words. Those that are never invited to dance at the parlance party; those that deserve more exposure than is currently afforded by contemporary trends in popular English. This is their turn on the dancefloor.

The Word: Quantise (v.)

[or Quantize (v.), depending on your hemisphere]

Huh? To divide into discrete units or into the smallest possible component parts; to express in terms of quanta.

As in? Solace, quantised. Not really. More like “Could you kindly quantise how many times you have rewatched Quantum of Solace?”. [I could not]. Or “Please quantise the expression on your face while listening to The xx on new birthday earphones”.

Again, I shurely could not.

And? Well, it just sounds cooler than ‘quantify’, despite being more or less synonymous. Note to self: preference ‘quantise’ whenever possible. Especially when describing nerdy, spacey, technobabble [<alt="cool">]stuff.

See also:

Wallflower Words: Liminal (adj.)
Wallflower Words: Saturnine (a./ n.)

Camping On Tenter-hooks (aka. Another apt OED Word of The Day)

Today’s OED Word of The Day is…

Tenter (n. 1) “A wooden framework on which cloth is stretched after being milled, so that it may set or dry evenly and without shrinking”.

As in tent.

As in camping.

As in… tomorrow I fly (then bus) to Marion Bay, Tasmania, for the 3-day New Years Eve rural musical escape that is Falls Festival. Sleeping in a tent for the first time since Tibet.

Listening to Grizzly Bear

And Sarah Blasko…

And Little Birdy…

And The Yeah Yeah Yeahs…

And The Temper Trap…

And Art vs Science…

And Wolfmother…

And Midnight Juggernauts…

All while living in a tent city. [Jovial meteorological reference. Last year there was a snow warning. This year, we'll be expecting midday highs of 34 degrees in the Celsius. Practically unheard of in perpetually chilly Taswegia. Sydney, on the other hand, City of Summer and everything, will be stuck as it is in the mid-20s, with rain in abundance.]

My myringes are on tenterhooks (even without the chance of snow).

Elvis + Helvetica? Hellsvetica yes!

Firstly: Elvis + Helvetica = brilliant.

{by Hulk4598 on flickr, via FFFFOUND!}

This girl approves.

Now, for a bit of waffle. (Err… waffle).

Note Exhibit A, above. Young Elvis* all dolled up for the film Roustabout, in too-neat leathers with too-tidy hair . Movie tagline: “Elvis Presley as a Roving, Restless, Reckless, ROUSTABOUT”. [Insert sceptical looks here].

But also note Exhibit B:

{also by Hulk4598 on flickr, via FFFFOUND!}

Young Elvis in a rather naff suit, with an acoustic guitar that he never really played much, and a messed-up coiff that looks like he’s just come off stage after this:

(Skip to 1:00 and press play. Watch to the end. DO IT. Honestly. Just trust me on this, okay? You won’t regret it.)

Now isn’t it ironic that despite the extra “L” in Exhibit A [“Hell for leather[s]“, anyone?] Elvis was actually at the peak of his corrupting deviance not as a “Roving, Restless, Reckless, ROUSTABOUT”, but as a cheeky, messy-haired rockabilly boy?

Clearly, the 1950s were hella good for the Rebellious Youth, in music and typography.

*[as opposed to Old Elvis: let's just not go there, okay?]

PS. Much as I appreciate the sentiment, I’m not such a fan of Helvekitty.

PPS. Whatever happened to Elvis movies on Sunday afternoon TV? Oh well, at least we’ve still got:

Spot the Dustpocalypse: Life on Mars/Earth

Spot the difference:

{ Sunrise on Mars, via NASA }

{ View from my ferry (7.20am, Saturday 24.09.09), Circular Quay, Sydney, Earth }

Sydney saw the Dustpocalypse twice this week: two epic dust storms sweeping eastward from the inland deserts. The first on Wednesday morning, came with full-force opaque orange skies, visibility nil, and undertones of other-worldly terror.

Tom Coates’ Red Dust photo gallery says it best:

{ I adore the deathly reflection }

The second — this fine Saturday morning — resulted in a greyer shade of haze, and that uncannily Martian ice-blue sunrise.

Both eventually cleared to reveal clearer-than-clear bright Springtime afternoons.

Now how on Earth (or Mars) can anyone who lives on this planet honestly say that the weather is just  a topic for idle small talk?

Playing in my Head

Movies: Total Recall

{ via giflix }

Music: Life on Mars, David Bowie.lifeonmars

“Refridgerators”, “pidgeons”, “burried”, and The French Band.


Read (v.)>> Good luck selling that “refridgerator”

A brilliant (and very astute) rant from Verbal Remedy (“The She-Lord Of Perpetual Nattering”) on her Open Salon blog Verbs and Spices (once upon a snark) about the relationship between spelling and selling.*

Reminds me of something I once posted about back in the day: Good luck finding that “pidgeon”.

And also, of something I haven’t posted about, but  keep meaning to:

I can forgive a typo like this. I kind of like the idea of one Mike Mills being too “burried” in romantic sentiment to spell it correctly… And yes, it’s mainly because, as I just discovered, HE DID THE COVER ARTWORK FOR ALL THOSE INCREDIBLE ‘AIR’ ALBUMS!

My gosh, how I adored (and still do adore) this album and its cover art:

In fact, I wholeheartedly believe we should all listen to it now, and “burry” ourselves in romantic sentiment. So very Virgin Suicides.

* Brilliant name, by the by.

Colour me Crayola (or Derwent)

It’s a generally accepted fact that I am, generally speaking, a tiny bit of a nerd. I like the Pantone scale, chromatic coordination, and whimsical nomenclature.

So it’s no surprise that when I plugged myself into the intermesh this morning, I was tickled pink* to find 120 Crayon Names, Colour Codes and Fun Facts:

Click the pretty picture to see the whole blog posting on COLOURlovers.

But as much as I love looking at the pretty chromatic arrangement (and I do) I love the names even more.

Some read like the Ben & Jerry’s flavour list: Macaroni and Cheese. Neon Carrot.Wild Watermelon. Jazzberry Jam.

Others make me think of a ModCloth catalogue: Unmellow Yellow. Mango Tango. Mauvelous. Wild Blue Yonder. Purple Heart.

Some are eloquently evocative (and evocatively eloquent): Wisteria. Asparagus. Shamrock. Robin Egg Blue.

And others still are so very, very Derwentine: Aquamarine. Cerulean. Pine Green. Raw Sienna. Magenta.

Speaking of which, I was much more a Derwent fan when I was growing up. Oh how we young girls coveted the timber double-tray box of 120.

Oh yeah. That’s the stuff.

It was the ultimate sign of prestige: all the cool kids had a set. We hoarded them greedily in Year 4, waiting desperately until art class when we would put one tray on the desk, one in the under-desk cubby, and one on our laps. It was an unspoken pact among friends that one could borrow no more than 3 colours at a time. “Pressing hard” was forbidden, for fear of snapping the lead (but it was perfectly okay to colour over several times in order to achieve the same opaque effect). And under NO circumstances was anyone other than the owner ever allowed to sharpen the pencil, EVER.

Ah, the social mores of a nascent stationery fiend.

* That’s hex code FC89AC, by the way.

PS. This morning the internet (clearly on a roll with the technicolour awesomeness) also introduced me to this crazy Ray-Ban-fan chameleon:

Chameleons are pretty incredible anyway, but this is one wild child colour junkie.