April 2nd, 2010

sweeties: marshmallow mushrooms

'What is the range of a Tuba?' '20 yards if you've got a good arm!'

Funny things school kids have said about music. Stolen from a friend. Enjoy :)

* In the last scene of Pagliacci, Canio stabs Neda, who is the one he really loves. Pretty soon, Silvio gets stabed also and they all live happily ever after.
* Caruso was the first Italian. Then someone heard his voice and said he would go a long way. And so he came to America.
* Stradivarius sold his violins on the open market with no strings attached.
* The principle singer of 19th century opera was called pre-Madonna.
* At one time singers had to use musicians to accompany them. Since synthesizers came along, singers can now play with themselves.
* All female parts were sung by castrati. We don't know exactly what they sounded like because there are no known descendants.
* Young scholars have expressed their rapture for the Bronze Lullaby, the Taco Bell Cannon, Beethoven's Erotica, Tchaikovsky Cracknutter Suite, and Gershwin's Rap City in Blue.
* In defining musical terms, they also demonstrate that they know their brass from their oboe.
* Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel; if they sing with music it is called Acapulco.
* A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals. Contralto is a low sort of music that only ladies sing.
* Diatonic is a low calorie Schweppes.
* Probably the most marvelous fuge was the one between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
* A harp is a nude piano.
* An oboe is an American tramp (written by a British student).
* A Stradivarius is a prehistoric animal.
* My favorite instrument is the bassoon. It is so hard to play people seldom play it. That is why I like the bassoon best.
* The main trouble with a French Horn is that it is too tangled up.
* An interval in music is the distance from one piano to the next.
* The correct way to find the key to a piece of music is to use a pitchfork.
* Agitato is a state of mind when one's finger slips in middle of playing a piece.
* Refrain means don't do it. A refrain is music is the part you'd better not try to sing. I know what a sextet is but I' rather not say.
* Most authorities agree that music of antiquity was written long ago.
* My favorite composer was Opus. Agnus Dei was a woman composer famous for her church music.
* Henry Purcell was a well-know composer few people have ever heard of.
* Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present.
* Beethoven wrote three syomphonies the Third, the Fifth, and the Ninth. He wrote music even though he was deaf. Beethoven was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling him. I guess he could not hear so good. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this. Do you know that if Beethoven were alive today, he would be celebrating the 165th anniversary of his death?
* Rock Monanoff was a famous post-romantic composer of piano concerti.
* Aaron Copland is one of our most famous contemporary composers. It is unusual to be contemporary. Most composers do no live until they are dead.
the producers: rhetorical conversation

The proofing bug

I've started proofing some more things recently.  Very recently, in fact: the last couple of days.  In fairness, one of these items had been sat in my inbox for about two weeks because I've been rather busy with work but I decided to hit this document the other day (mostly because I'd been told by the person who wanted it proofing that they want to finish the online magazine it's for by the end of next week).

The document is hell.  Absolute hell.  The state it is in now is not what I would call 'good' on my standards, it's 'okay', but compared to the state of it before it's now excellent!  There were full stops in the middle of sentences, commas where full stops should have been, random commas and apostrophes just everywhere, crazy formatting and even crazier phrasing, but what's worst of all is that actually aside from the fact that he swaps tenses randomly, half of the information is just missing!  Thankfully I know some of the topic area, but I don't know it all, which makes it insanely difficult to proof!

This brings me to another point.  Double spacing after a full stop.  Before I continue here, I shoud clarify that I mean a full stop at the end of a sentence, rather than in an ellipsis (...), thank you @pastamaster39.

To demonstrate my point I shall be writing the following paragraph and will be using only one space in this paragraph, but I shall be double spacing (again) in the next one. Firstly I would like to say that only single spacing is very odd for me because I was taught to double space when in school. Now I am really having to think every time I write a sentence (in proper prose) to NOT double space. When it comes to things like Twitter, MSN and other such things I am far lazier and do only single space, mostly because on Twitter and in texts a double space uses up characters which I need, and on MSN I often end up just using different lines for different sentences. Thank goodness for the enter button! But yes, I normally double space, just because I was taught to. There are reasons why I was taught to double space after full stops but I shall come on to those in the next paragraph when I am back to double spacing. As you can see here, this is now getting to be quite a substantial size of paragraph. I for one am finding it rather difficult to spot my own sentences, even whilst writing. I can't find the beginning or end of them, especially not in the middle of this paragraph! On the whole I find that if one only single spaces after a full stop then all of the sentences seem to blend into one. I know that there are plenty of published materials out there now which only single space, for whatever reason, and it bugs me because I find I end up losing my place far more frequently. If I had it my way, I would have everyone double spacing, especially when they want things proofed by me (I am sure other proofers think the same way, I'm looking at you ich_bin_die_ruh ). I will now demonstrate why in the next paragraph.

This paragraph has now returned to my usual double spacing after a full stop when in prose.  Immediately you should be able to see a difference between this paragraph and the one above it, just from a quick glance.  You should also, if you so wished to try it, be able to spot the sentences a lot faster in this paragraph than in the other.  By double spacing at the end of a sentence the eye is naturally drawn down the line to the break.  The break is a pause, a natural pause where you can breathe. I find that whilst reading out loud I am always glancing down the lines to find out where the sentence ends. It helps with phrasing and putting the correct inflections into the words.  Without that double space I find myself tending to rush on because I don't know when I'll be able to breathe. It helps with reading and with speaking and naturally it helps with proofing.  When proofing one needs to be able to see where the work is going and how long it takes to get there.  Sometimes it takes only a sentence but sometimes it takes a whole paragraph. If you're trying to correct the grammar and phrasing in a document it helps massively to be able to see easily where the sentences are. In works like this where the sentences are actually just wrong (in one sentence there are two quite good hmm phrases...  I can't quite think of the word I need here...  But they're just in the wrong order and needed swapping round to make it flow) you need to be able to see the whole of the sentence to be able to see that the phrasing in it is incorrect.  Though in this there were sentences with full stops in the middle and there were commas and full stops which were mixed up. If one double spaces after full stops then it also makes it easier to spot when the wrong thing has been done.  It also makes it easier to go back over your own work and edit things because you can find the area you wish to edit far easier, or you can in my opinion!

I don't know how many of you double space.  I know I do and it was hell typing that first paragraph with only single spaces.  I kept double spacing automatically and had to go back and alter it!  I know some people seem to think that it doesn't make a difference, but I think it does, especially when I'm proofing, but I'm interested to see what you guys think.

Do you double space?  Do you think there is a difference between single spacing and double spacing?  Do you prefer one or the other?  Are you not bothered in one slightest bit and are completely bemused as to why I am up on double spacing?  I want your thoughts.  I'd like to see what you think.

Edit: I should add that despite my writing this with double spacing for most of it, when one writes it in HTML rather than rich text for some INSANE reason it reverts back to single spacing when posted...  I have just had to check this by using the show/hide button on Word.  If anyone wants proof of this I'll printscreen it for you, but here it is, correctly, though alas in rich text instead.  LiveJournal you fail sometimes.
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