"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: emily dickenson

We Interrupt This Sentence–

This is a few weeks old, but check out this good, and funny, piece by Noreen Malone on the “em-dash” over at Slate:

The problem with the dash—as you may have noticed!—is that it discourages truly efficient writing. It also—and this might be its worst sin—disrupts the flow of a sentence. Don’t you find it annoying—and you can tell me if you do, I won’t be hurt—when a writer inserts a thought into the midst of another one that’s not yet complete? Strunk and White—who must always be mentioned in articles such as this one—counsel against overusing the dash as well: “Use a dash only when a more common mark of punctuation seems inadequate.” Who are we, we modern writers, to pass judgment—and with such shocking frequency—on these more simple forms of punctuation—the workmanlike comma, the stalwart colon, the taken-for-granted period? (One colleague—arguing strenuously that certain occasions call for the dash instead of other punctuation, for purposes of tone—told me he thinks of the parenthesis as a whisper, and the dash as a way of calling attention to a phrase. As for what I think of his observation—well, consider how I have chosen to offset it.)

Hope Is the Pointless, Annoying Thing With Feathers…

… That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all, no matter how gaddamn sick you get of that stupid tune, and wish it would just go perch somewhere else already.

I hate Emily Dickenson.

I am not much of a fan of optimism. I prefer to expect the worst, thereby avoiding disappointment and allowing for the possibility of a pleasant surprise. As far as I’m concerned Pandora, opening that famous Box of hers a second time to release Hope, as the story goes, showed a truly staggering inability to learn from past mistakes. So when the Yankees lost Game 4, I figured, yeah, they were toast. And I have not changed my mind about that, but I was thrilled to see them win yesterday, anyway – because that means we get one more game.

It’s starting to turn chilly and gray and dark out there. The wind’s getting colder. It’s gonna be a long winter, because every winter is a long winter. But at least we get one more hunk of American League baseball before that happens, and if it turns out to be a four-hour slog that’s just fine with me, because soon there will be a months-long string of zero-hour slogs. So let Charlie Manuel and Ron Washington make a dozen pitching changes apiece; let the batters step out and call time over and over again until the announcers start whining; make these puppies last.

And as much as I strive for negativity… well, of course you never know. I actually felt pretty good about the Yanks’ chances yesterday, because of C.C. Sabathia, who even when he’s off his game can usually hold things together. I feel considerably worse about Phil Hughes’ odds, but it’s not like I haven’t seen stranger things happen. Hell, I saw stranger things happen on the subway this morning.

Damn. Shut up, you feathered nitwit.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver