Wednesday, January 30, 2019
10:04 am pst
From the Tomb
"A newspaper has its faults, and plenty of them, but no matter, it's hark from the tomb for a dead nation, and
don't you forget it." (Mark Twain, in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court)
"Hark from the tomb"
is a phrase originally from the hymn "Hark! from the Tombs a Doleful Sound" by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), first published
in 1707. It was sung at the funeral of George Washington.
"Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound; / My ears, attend the cry; / 'Ye living men, come view the ground / Where you must shortly lie.'"
was fond of this term, using it several novels. Basically, it means "to scold vigorously."
(Delmobile) Here, to paraphrase Twain, even though the media has its faults, without it, we're screwed...
and don't you forget it.
Delmobile. "Hark from the Tomb."
UE. UsingEnglish.Com (30 Dec. 2007): n. pag.
Web. 30 Jan. 2019 https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/56902-Hark-from-the-tomb
Watts, Isaac. "Hark! from the Tombs a Doleful Sound." Music
by William Tans'ur. Hymn Time. Hymtime.com. (2019): n. pag.
Web. 30 Jan. 2019 http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/h/f/t/hfttados.htm
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
7:40 am pst
sure. We've all heard people say they're going to give "110% percent." But why stop there? It's
a nonsense number to begin with. The most anybody can give is 100%, so any amount over that is just... silly.
You go ahead and give 110%, but we're going to give 115%, and if that's not good enough, we'll give 120!
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
1:09 pm pst
Ending a Sentence with a Preposition
Yes, we here at HGP
have heard that a sentence shouldn't end in a preposition, and we even know some folks who are passionate about it, which
could explain why nobody likes to hangout with Mrs. Vula Bimbaum. Here's the thing: It's not a real rule.
Never has been. Sure, it's a rule in Latin, but not even priests speak Latin anymore. It seems that at one time
some English teacher who also taught Latin (not to name anybody in particular) thought because it was a rule in Latin then
it should also be a rule in English. And then it just sort of... transmogrified. Mostly now, people who care about
such things say that sentences ending in prepositions are more informal, and therefore shouldn't be used in formal writing.
Good for them! But here's the thing: Formal or informal, if you can't end a sentence in a preposition, how are
you going to be able to tell somebody to bugger off?
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
"'Each person has something he can do easily and can't imagine why everybody
else is having so much trouble doing it. In my case it was writing.'" Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., quoted by Charles
J. Shields in And So it Goes (2011, St. Martin's Griffen)
8:25 am pst