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Archive for the month “December, 2012”

New Year’s Resolutions

As 2012 draws to a close and we anticipate the arrival of a new year, many will also start forming their new year’s resolutions. Amidst the resolves to ‘get super skinny’ and ‘stop being so alone’ I think it important that we all resolve to better our own grammar. For a truly wonderful 2013 we should all resolve to:

Use adverbs when they are called for

I’m not saying we need to use adverbs more frequently, just when intending to use one please actually use the adverb and not its adjective form. People run quickly, they do not run quick. My opinion of you drops significantly when you misuse adverbs.

Do not apostrophise plurals

Notice I typed plurals, not plural’s. This actually hurts me when I see this. Apostrophes denote possession, they have nothing to do with plurals.

Learn the difference between Its and It‘s

Its is the possessive, just like hers and his, as in ‘the dog wagged its tail’. It’s is a contraction for it is, as in ‘It’s sunny today’. If anyone says that it’s is the plural of it I will simply die.

Use actual words

Why say ain’t when you can say aren’t and not sound like a half-aborted degenerate? Anyone finding something irregardless will also find themselves copping the full brunt of my most withering glare. Further, there’s no need to say you done something. Say you did it, it’s fewer letters.

Don’t get too caught up in proper grammar

OK, this sounds like a contradiction after everything I’ve just written but there are things more important than proper grammar, like not having everyone hate you. Correct someone’s spelling mistake if it’s for something important; that’s helpful. Don’t bother pointing out spelling mistakes on their Facebook statuses because that’s just being bitchy.

Happy New Year!

End of the World

So the world didn’t even end. Bummer.

But wait, there’s still time! With NASA officially stating that there was no impending doom from the usual suspects – meteors, volcanoes, George Bush’s surprise re-election – we may have to look to some less-likely apocalypses. Here’s my pick for 2012!

Justin Bieber fan-girl rampage

Cooties outbreak

Squirrel uprising

Everyone runs in the same direction, speeding up the Earth’s rotation and causing it to age 1 billion years

Pluto’s revenge

Poisoned M & M’s

Somebody turns off the sun

Exploding puppies

The 75th Hunger Games

Tectonic plates pretend to be bumper cars

Sparkly vampires

Sparkly zombies

Vampire-zombies

Vesuvius: This Time It’s Personal!

The internet breaks – Oh God! We’re doomed!!!

 

Happy end of the world, everyone!

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Common Misconceptions about Classic Fictional Characters

There are some characters everyone knows about, even if they haven’t read the book. And then there are the characters we think we know so much about, and really, we know so little. Here are three fictional characters we probably all know well. But how well do we really know them?

Frankenstein is a monster

Oh, this one drives me crazy! Frankenstein must be the most commonly mistaken fictional character of all time. But please understand that Frankenstein is not the monster but the creator. ‘Dr’ Victor Frankenstein is the man who creates the regenerated creature. The creature goes unnamed throughout the novel, often referred to as just The Creature. It also seems pertinent to point out that the popular image of Frankenstein’s monster deviates greatly from the description Shelley gives in her book. The most recognisable characteristics of the monster – green skin and bolts in the neck – do not feature in the novel. The creature’s skin is described as yellow and no mention of bolts is made. Further, the creature is quite eloquent, ruminating on his place in the world and reading classic literature such as Milton’s Paradise Lost. It also seems slightly unfair to paint the creature as the monster of the piece. Instantly spurned by his creator and regarded as a monster by everyone he encounters, the creature really had no hopes of ever finding happiness. Yes, he does turn to violence and murder, but Shelley makes it obvious that these acts are the result of his unjust treatment.

Poor Mr Monster.

Oh, and there is no Igor, FYI. Frankenstein has no little hunchback minion.

Dracula vs. Edward

Dracula is perhaps the best known monster of all time but Dracula fans that dismiss Twilight as bastardising the vampire mythos may be shocked to discover Edwards isn’t so different from ol’ Drac. Yes, Dracula could go in the sunlight. Perhaps he didn’t sparkle but that number one rule of vampires – they are killed by sunlight – did not originate from Stoker’s novel. The sunlight weakened Dracula and drained him of his powers but it did not outright kill him.

That second rule of vampires – kill them with a stake through the heart – is again not present in Stoker’s novel. Having caught Dracula slumbering in his coffin, Van Helsing and his crew first cut the Count’s throat and then stab him in the heart – with a bowie knife. Wait, was Dracula killed by Crocodile Dundee?

There’s also the well-known image of Dracula as a tall, imposing man with slicked jet-black hair, a dapper gentleman with a sinister side. This image is probably based of Bela Lugosi’s famous 1931 portrayal. So it’s slightly incongruous to know that the Dracula of Stoker’s novel is actually described as an elderly man with a grey moustache.

The more you know.

Lolita is a seductress

This one really disturbs me. Lolita is a twelve-year-old girl who is sexually and emotionally abused by her step-father. To say that the twelve-year-old is the villain of the book is horribly misguided. Humbert rapes her, bribes her, considers murdering her mother and fondly contemplates impregnating her to create a new generation of Lolita’s. Lolita is not a temptress or a seductress.

This misconception comes from the term ‘lolita’, which does in fact refer to a female seductress, but which has totally bastardised the titular character of Lolita.

The idea we have of Lolita is also complicated as we only learn about Lolita through Humbert’s description. This is a highly unreliable source given he is the man molesting the girl. Yes, Lolita does initiate sexual encounters with Humbert and yes she does bribe him with sexual acts but she has little choice. Her mother is dead, she is under the complete control of her paedophilic step-father and she knows that this is the only way she can exercise and sense of control. Let’s not forget too that Humbert never declines these sexual offers. If we demonise the girl that ‘uses’ sex to get what she wants, what should we do about the man that forces her into this position in the first place?

Also, her name isn’t actually Lolita, it’s Dolores. Seeming ‘Lolita’ is such a trigger-word now that people will automatically assume ‘seductress’, it would be interesting to describe Dolores to people unfamiliar with the book and see what they thought of the character.

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