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concept to publication

Month: August 2009 (Page 2 of 2)

The Constipation Party

I am reading and enjoying Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. It is my misfortune, I realize, to be so sensitized to colonialist attitudes as to imagine I detect in the book a faint taint of colonialist condescension.

But I am not here today to rant about colonialism but rather to share the following amusing passage from the book. The detective, Mma Ramotswe, muses about her feelings about hospitals and doctors. After reflecting that she is not ashamed of her weight or her corns she continues:

Now constipation was quite a different matter. It would be dreadful for the whole world to know about troubles of that nature. She felt terribly sorry for people who suffered from constipation, and she knew that there were many who did. There were probably enough of them to form a political party — with a chance of government perhaps — but what would such a party do if it was in power? Nothing, she imagined. It would try to pass legislation, but would fail.

Here in California the Constipation Party — with its two warring wings — is already in power. Will it also dominate our national politics, currently focused on the struggle to pass health insurance legislation?


Image from the blog of the LA Times


Is none singular? Are none plural?

“Good sense is a thing all need, few have, and none think they want.” — Benjamin Franklin

“I strove with none; for none was worth my strife.” — Walter Savage Landor

Whether none should be singular or plural is the kind of question that makes the nonprescriptive linguists feel smug and superior. But people who work in publishing know that some standards are needed — even if not the same ones for every book.

So, which is correct?

  1. None of the editors really understands language.
  2. None of the editors really understand language.

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10 most awful library books

Pophangover thinks it has the list. But I’m pretty sure we can do much worse. Click the image to check out their bottom ten.

Preparing a manuscript for book publication

“The submission process is like going to the DMV. It’s one of the great equalizers, and it tends to treat everybody like shit.” — Jess Mowry

Author Jess Mowry (Way Past Cool, Babylon Boyz, Ghost Train, Six Out Seven) has some helpful tips on preparing a manuscript for book publication. Let’s look at some of the things he says.

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