Random pleasing texts...

I've long made a habit of reading any scrap of text I can lay my hands on. Some, I save.

I shared with the late journalist James Cameron, and share with the not-late Rick Gekoski, an absolute and very real horror at the thought of ever being trapped somewhere with nothing1 to read. I collect texts, newspaper clippings, epigrams, misprints, fragments of verse (or worse). Even stuff from book shop bags, for heaven's sake!

Random examples

Cited above: 1. Jane Austen (Emma), 2. Joseph Heller (Catch 22), 3. Woody Allen, 4. Philip Larkin, 5. Bertolt Brecht (Threepenny Opera), 6. Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), 7. Anon.

My (personal) favourite IBM example:

Page 1, and elsewhere: I think you have heard me 'accuse' certain Hursley folks of using 'Mounce-isms'. Your document has a little bit of his style, or maybe you are where he got his style2 from. For instance, I would not use words like 'derailing' or 'crash'. Instead of 'crash' I would use the phrase 'abnormal termination' or 'system failure'. Instead of 'derailing', I would say 'the event which caused the loss of synchronization'.

Bob Yelavich

Bob Yelavich (who died in January 2009) commenting in the 1980s on a document (dealing with CICS task-related user exits) written by Carol Shanesy. I particularly liked that Page 1, and elsewhere...

Wordplay, too:

It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you mean it is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's. It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs.


1  In Dr Gekoski's case: In extremis I take my wallet out and read my credit cards. (One of them has five sevens in the number!) I'm not quite that bad :-)
2  Flipping cheek! And this from the chap who once returned a draft to me, apologising for the red wine stains on it.