Back to previous post: The NECESSITY of a Spoiler Thread

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: The awesome Laurie Penny

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

July 18, 2016

On sale at MidAmericon: Making Conversation by Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Posted by Patrick at 10:05 AM * 91 comments

MAKING CONVERSATION cover.jpg Twenty-two years ago, there was Making Book. It was a finalist for the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Nonfiction Book, but lost out to the dead guy. It’s been through three printings and is still available from NESFA Press.

Now:

Making Conversation, selected from TNH’s writing since 1994, will be first available at MidAmericon 2, and afterward from NESFA Press in softcover and e-book form. 222 pages, 59 essays (long and short) about time, space, genre, editing, gardening, saints, libraries, food, democracy, drink, insanity, fear, hamsters, chaos, moderation, palimpsests, fanfic, clichés, books, slush, spelling, scams, sleep, fantasy, policing, infundibula, trolls, writing, knitting, fandom, habaneros, exposition, management, Selectrics, Brooklyn, literary agents, pygmy mammoths, and the true cure for scurvy.

From “Dispatch from Staten Island” (GEnie SFRT, 1 Sep 1994):

“And this is in America, a country in which more than one normal, intelligent adult has had to spend time examining the question of whether, for the last decade and a half, I’ve been faking narcolepsy—including all the high-tech inpatient testing procedures and scary medical bills—in order to be allowed to drive up into the Bronx once a month to purchase my prescription stimulant drugs, instead of buying them from a local street vendor like normal people do.

“I think they should worry instead about how any idiot—me, for example—can walk into Rickel Home Center and buy bags of premixed quick-drying concrete without anyone so much as asking whether I know the difference between cement and Hamburger Helper. Instead, the employees ask whether I know they’re having a special on bricks. This strikes me as gross social irresponsibility. A few hours after you take them, drugs are history, but masonry can be a semi-permanent error.”

Some notices:

“If Teresa writes it, I will read it.”
—Neil Gaiman

“Teresa Nielsen Hayden is a bloody good writer.”
—David Langford

“This is a terrific book. I mean, I had no idea. It is a convulsively funny, shrewd and sharp collection of anecdotes well-told, observations well-observed and jokes hilariously cracked, all the while tracing secret histories of fandom, the ins and outs of being diagnosed narcoleptic at a time when such diagnoses were considered spurious and radical by much of the field, of the gypsy life of a con-running, APA-publishing foremother of the blogging masses whose ‘personal publishing revolution’ has its origins in the dim days of mimeographs and ditto machines.”
—Cory Doctorow, reviewing Making Book in 2003

NESFA Press. ISBN 978-1-61037-320-3. $15.00. August 2016.

Onward.

Comments on On sale at MidAmericon: Making Conversation by Teresa Nielsen Hayden:
#1 ::: NL ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 10:36 AM:

What if we're (probably) not making it to Worldcon? HOW DO WE ACQUIRE 50 MILLION COPIES?

#2 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 10:41 AM:

Being completely out of both fandom and publishing loops, I first became aware of Teresa's existence when a friend handed me a copy of the then fairly new Making Book, which I loved. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this.

#3 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 10:44 AM:

What NL asked. As someone who will not make it to MidAmericon, where can I buy a copy? Preferably autographed, but really, I'm just in it for the words.

#4 ::: Mike Scott ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 10:59 AM:

A tiny correction. I just Googled for the Cory Doctorow review referenced above, and it's from 2003 not 2002.

#5 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:02 AM:

I really liked that MidAmericon 2 chose you and Patrick as guests of honor. And now a book! I must remember to bring a big suitcase. And I hope you will be doing a reading.

#6 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:09 AM:

As I said in the original post, it'll be available after the con from NESFA Press. I even included their URL.

Like most NESFA Press books, it will probably be available from the usual online retailers, and definitely as a direct order from them. There will also be an e-book edition.

#7 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:13 AM:

Thanks for the date catch, Mike.

The real error in the OP is that it was by me, not by TNH as it says in the header. I have no idea whatsoever how that happened and I can't seem to figure out how to fix it.

#8 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:29 AM:

Fixed it. As usual, Google is the best tool for obscure computer problems.

It is possible to change a publish post's author in our antique version of Movable Type (itslf by now an antique product), but they could hardly have made the procedure more opaque.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:36 AM:

Book!

I am sort of incoherent about it right now.

Jas Hayden does the best covers.

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:38 AM:

Like, the answer to most questions is "Book!"

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:41 AM:

I feel that it has an exceptionally nice ISBN.

#12 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:42 AM:

@6: But wants it now, we does. ::pout::

#13 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 11:44 AM:

I want to rewrite the passage Patrick quoted. Just a little.

#14 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 12:11 PM:

WHEEEEE!!!!!

#15 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 12:11 PM:

I want it too, Jacque, but we're not going to get it until.

#16 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 12:28 PM:

*ahem* Patrick, I hate to say this, but there's still a date error in the first paragraph.

That said, BOOK! I'll be anxiously awaiting my copy at MidAmericon; I presume it will be available at the NESFA Press table?

#17 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 12:39 PM:

Lee -- 2005, 1995, 1875, one of those 5s. I have a cosmic mind, I can't keep track.

(Fixed. And actually, thanks.)

#18 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 02:03 PM:

I am very much looking forward to this. I have a copy of Making Book, and enjoyed that a great deal. I think maybe I even saw some of those essays as far back as Izzard? (Crikey, that was a long time ago....)

#19 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 02:28 PM:

I wish I were attending MidAmericon -- I was at the first one -- but I am not.

WILL buy the book. Yay book! Yay Teresa!

#20 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 02:56 PM:

Want it too! Very much looking forward to reading and possibly reviewing this. I'm glad to know I can still get excited about new books.

#21 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 03:00 PM:

Actually, T, when I just checked the NESFA Press website, they didn't have an ISBN listed for it yet. What's nice about the ISBN? Is it perfect, or just nice?

#22 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 03:26 PM:

9781610373203 is nice since it ends in a 3. It isn't prime, since it can be factored and it isn't perfect. However, 978-1-61037-320-3 = -60383 and 60383 is a prime number.

All of this leads to the conclusion that this will be a cool book. Book! Congrats!

#23 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 03:53 PM:

#21, Tom Whitmore: "Actually, T, when I just checked the NESFA Press website, they didn't have an ISBN listed for it yet."

Yes, that's why the last line of the post you're responding to contained the ISBN.

I'm beginning to think I could have safely included my bank account numbers and PINs in this post, given how apparently nobody actually read it...

#24 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 04:55 PM:

Looking forward to it!

#25 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 05:14 PM:

I never claimed to read perfectly, P, just (mostly) nicely. And NESFA didn't have the ISBN listed when I looked, which is potentially useful information for folks.

Hmm, and nice numbers can't be perfect, and vice versa. I wonder what that says about the universe?

In any case, congratulations and mazel tov on the book.

#26 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 05:20 PM:

Teresa @13: I feel that way about things I re-read from... well ever. Even stuff that won awards.

But you know how that is.

#27 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 05:26 PM:

...annnnnddd making room on the shelves. (I've always loved "Making Book" as a title, too.)

#28 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 05:43 PM:

It has a lovely ISBN, Teresa. Congratulations!

#29 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 05:44 PM:

PNH @23: I'm beginning to think I could have safely included my bank account numbers and PINs in this post, given how apparently nobody actually read it...

This is my professional life, in a nutshell....

#30 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 05:45 PM:

Fred:
Making Light
Making Book
Making Conversation

....

I'm noticing a theme here.... :o)

#31 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 06:39 PM:

Book! Yay for book! Will start putting nickels in the Book!Jar in anticipation.

#32 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 06:53 PM:

Space reserved in my electronic reader. (I'm doing all my book buying electronically nowadays if I possibly can, for a variety of reasons.)

#33 ::: GAY! Xopher Halftongue QUEER! ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 07:16 PM:

Mazel tov! Yay! I wannnitIwannitIwannit.

#34 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 09:38 PM:

Eeee! Oh, how I wish I could be at MidAmericonII. Looking forward to ordering a copy from NESFA.

Congrats, Teresa!

#35 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2016, 10:17 PM:

I am either going to order a copy from NESFA after Worldcon, or strong-arm one of a handful of friends who are local to me and going into acquiring a copy for me.

And now I will go make ice cream.

#36 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2016, 02:04 AM:

This is so good to see! I bought _Making Book_ back when newsgroups ruled the world (in secret) and there were shops in the street which sold actual physical books. And my knees worked properly, come to think of it.

I so look forward to reading this. And I'm really tickled to see that you've maintained continuity of cover design with the first book.

#37 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2016, 12:59 PM:

I have a birthday coming.
I'll subtly drop hints to my wife.

#38 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2016, 01:21 PM:

Patrick, I started coming here because I wanted to read more of your writing, and Teresa's. I'd developed this appetite when you were both active on Usenet.

I loved Making Book. Looking forward to reading the new one.

#39 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2016, 02:31 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe: I can get a second copy bought when mine is purchased. Just let me know.

#40 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2016, 08:24 PM:

I come back after not hanging around much, and there's BOOK! Yay! Much anticipation. The list of topics is mouth-watering.

#41 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2016, 10:26 PM:

I am so very happy about this. I can't wait to read it.

#42 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2016, 03:13 PM:

Who knows whether the ISBN was present at the moment Tom Whitmore loaded the page? Last-minute corrections were ongoing.

For that matter, who hasn't seen (or been unable to see) bits of electronic text that temporarily vanished, became inappropriately visible, lost or acquired decimal points, grew, shrank, relocated, realigned, reverted, changed color, changed font, or suffered other unexpected transformations? The future's an exciting place.

#43 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2016, 03:33 PM:

Steve Taylor: Jas Hayden also designed the cover of Making Book, but the interior pages had already gone to the printer, so he didn't get a credit line.

#44 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2016, 04:18 PM:

Terry Karney @ 39: I may well take you up on that, provided it isn't too much of a bother for you.

#45 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2016, 05:03 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe: I will enquire of my agents.

#46 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2016, 06:38 PM:

Looking forward to getting two copies. One for me, one for my mom, who saw my copy of _Making Book_ and said "Three underlines on 'Yeah?' Really?" and then read it and said "I don't know what half of that was about, but that's one of the best writers I've seen in a long time."

I decide not to try to explain fandom to mom. Dad would have been perfect for MITSFS, he just read the stuff.

#47 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2016, 10:03 PM:

Well, Erik, I am chuffed. Your mom was in the business, and she wasn't working on some agricultural price supports newsletter. Tell her I said thank you.

#48 ::: David Langford ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2016, 06:17 AM:

My burning need for a copy of this can only be assuaged in the short term by reading Making Book again.

#49 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2016, 07:01 PM:

Thank you, Dave. You know I feel the same way about your writing.

#50 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2016, 02:49 PM:

I see no mention of an ebook edition in the earlier comments, and the ISBN doesn't bring up anything ... is there going to be an ebook version available?

(Asking because I ReallyReallyReally don't like reading on paper these days and basically buy everything in ebook, but NESFA Press have never in my memory been totes on board with that sort of thing ...)

#51 ::: alisea ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2016, 03:40 PM:

Charlie @50: the original post says so:

"and afterward from NESFA Press in softcover and e-book form"

I hope that'll happen, 'cause my bookshelf is electronic these days as well.

#52 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2016, 04:08 PM:

So excited about this book!

#53 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2016, 08:16 AM:

alisea: blame the jet lag for my lack of reading comprehension. (That, and MurderCat deciding the food ape needs to be played with at oh god o'clock.)

#54 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2016, 09:32 AM:

Charlie @50 wrote, "NESFA Press have never in my memory been totes on board with that sort of thing ..."

Well, your book was on-line from you, so it didn't come up. All Boskone Books are supposed to be limited edition so... The contracts for our older books are pre-e-book.

But we are working on it. For us, the big problem is getting an e-book conversion process that gives us an accurate, readable product with minimal human work. (All volunteer!) Check out the Call Me Joe trial e-book, at http://www.nesfa.org/press/.

We will also have both of Teresa's books available at her reading (currently Thursday afternoon) and at the NESFA table.

#55 ::: mclaren ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 03:58 PM:

Judging by "Dispatch From Staten Island," it's clear Theresa Nielsen Hayden can't write her way out of a pay toilet.

Just read that first paragraph. Read it, people! It's a travesty. This sludge offers a textbook example of bad writing.

Count the number of words and clauses in that first paragraph. I count 81 words in one single paragraph. C'mon, people! Wake up! That's grotesque. It's unreadable.

That horrific abortion of a paragraph not only qualifies as morbidly obese by sheer wordcount...it also features 3 (count 'em!), three dependent clauses.

That first sentence blazons forth as the very apotheosis of rotten writing and unreadability.

Just to check my own judgment (because who knows, maybe I'm an idiot and completely wrong and maybe I have nary a clue about readable writing or competent scrivening), I fed Hayden's first 'graf into an online readability site. And hoo, boy! Literary Chernobyl. That first sentence clocks in as a lexical disaster of 9.5 on the Richter scale.

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease score of -5.9. For reference, a score below 1 means you're in big trouble. The Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease scores almost always show up as a positive number, not a negative one. -5.9 is about what you'd expect for a turgid otiose fourth-grader who's never learnt how to slap together a subject, verb and object properly.

A Flesch-Kincaid score that bad...it gobsmacks me. A negative score rates far below the "very difficult to read" level. I can't even find a description of a Flesch-Kincaid score that bad. No one ever seems to have heard of one. This is the kind godawful readability score you only seem to get from English translations of Foucault's French philosophy or a man page from some godforsaken UNIX subprogram. Yes, folks, a score of -5.9 looms that unbelievably bad.

(FWIW the Flesch-Kincaid readability score is calculated thus: 206.835 - 1.015*(total words/total sentence) - 84.6*(total syllables/total words). Hayden's thalidomide flipper-footed abortion of a sentence boasts 81 words in one sentence and 125 syllables.)

A negative Flesch-Kincaid readability score augurs such gross incompetence in basic writing skills that words fail me. I've never seen a negative Flesch-Kincaid readability score outside of satirical bad writing contests.

So the real question (judging admittedly by the very brief except Hayden offers here) isn't whether you should buy Hayden's new book. The real question is: how in the holy hell does an inept subliterate poseur like Theresa Nielsen Hayden manage to worm her way into becoming a professional editor?

Anyone who writes as badly as Hayden should not only never be employed as an editor, she needs to get booted back pronto to a fourth-grade remedial writing class to learn the basics of readable English. No more than 10 words per sentence, no more than one dependent clause per sentence, ease way off on the polysyllabic gobbledegook, avoid "to be" constructions, use punchy vivid words rather than abstract Latinate and Greek derivations, verb nouns and noun verbs whenever possible. Choose Anglo-Saxon short words over Greek and Latin derivations whenever you can.

You know -- the basic Strunk & White stuff we all learned in high school.

Well...everyone but Theresa Nielsen Hayden.

This post by Hayden unwittingly offers a devastating indictment of the entire publishing industry in America. The fact that someone as grossly incompetent and lacking in basic writing skills as Hayden can make a career as a professional editor strikes a brutal blow at the reputation and professionalism of the entire American publishing industry.

Bottom line?

Theresa Nielsen Hayden does for the credibility of the publishing industry what Donald Trump does for the credibility of the Republican Party.

#56 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 04:18 PM:

55
Well - bye.

#57 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, ἀνεπίθετη ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 04:20 PM:

I see our first troll has arrived.

Sadly, it's an incompetent one, one who can't spell a first name that appears twenty-four times on this page, look up the correct surname, diagram a sentence, appreciate more than one literary style, or appropriately evaluate the output of electronic text evaluation tools.

I won't even bother with the choice of insults.

mclaren, thank you for your opinions, which this community will give all the consideration they are worthy of.

Before you waste too much time on a reply, do note that your further comments will be going into the moderation queue. If you manage to write something interesting and worth responding to, I'll release them, but if they're just yadda yadda you're afraid of the brilliance of my strong opinions yadda, well, your words already stand on their own.

#58 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 04:24 PM:

Hi mclaren! Welcome to Making Light.

I tried to read your post. Most of the sentences had more than ten words. An average of 13.1! It was too hard. Also some of the words had lots of syllables.

#59 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 04:25 PM:

Oops, sorry, Idumea Arbacoochee. I should have been more circumspect.

#60 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, ἀνεπίθετη ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 04:30 PM:

Hey Em, it's OK. My name's really funny-looking and there's Greek in it and everything. It's probably best to have someone else saying something too, just in case my comment is too difficult to parse.

#61 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 04:38 PM:

I worked really hard to make sure my comment was readable! Unlike this one, which has two eleven-word sentences in it.

My username is as simple as it gets!

... and back on topic, I'm looking forward to grabbing the e-book of Making Conversation. I liked the quoted paragraphs, and it'll be fun to have the freedom of reading that I expect to have in September once this Last Lit Class Of My Bachelor's Degree is finished mid-August. This summer's been the "fill in the gaps in terms of undergrad lit classes I'm not that excited about" year and I find I've not been as enthused about the modernists as I'd hoped to be. The highlight so far has been the fellow student who, when asked what they thought of The Trial, said that "it's almost kafkaesque!"

#62 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 05:31 PM:

61
*facepalm*

#63 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 05:47 PM:

Now I'm reminded of a book about which, in review, I wrote the following:

Three things in particular jumped out to annoy me about this book. The first is a stylistic issue -- way too many 1-sentence paragraphs, whole strings of them, including some which should logically have been combined into larger units. It makes for very choppy reading, and actually bounced me out of the story more than once to grumble about the apparent lack of editing.

Also, 81 words in a paragraph is nothing unusual once you're reading past the 8th-grade level. If there had been 81 words in a single sentence, I might have considered that our troll had a point. But in a paragraph? Piffle. That's just writing for an adult audience.

#64 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2016, 05:58 PM:

Are we certain mclaren @55 isn't some sort of self-referential performance art piece? 81 words in a paragraph is grotesque and unreadable? Followed a short while later by a 90+ word paragraph? "No more than 10 words per sentence..." as the lead clause in a 40+ word sentence?

#65 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 02:02 AM:

Jeremy: Yeah, I seriously can't decide if it's a true troll or one of our own in disguise just having us on. I'm leaning toward troll. But. :-)

#66 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 08:11 AM:

Anyone who writes as badly as Hayden should not only never be employed as an editor, she needs to get booted back pronto to a fourth-grade remedial writing class to learn the basics of readable English.

...says the person who apparently can't identify a comma splice...

I wonder if mclaren is one of those people who rails against the passive voice without being able to identify it* and has a pathological fear of the suffix -ly**.

ANYWAY, I'm lookin' out for the e-book.

*: I once heard a person say, in all apparent sincerity, "The passive voice should be eschewed." Rule of thumb, look for the 'by' phrase. If there isn't one, can you add 'by zombies' and have it make sense? If yes, passive.

**: They claim it's about adverbs but cheerfully use adverbial phrases all over the place. So it's got to be -ly. I dunno why, but hey, I'm scared of jellyfish; we do not phobia-shame.

#67 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 09:21 AM:

Carrie S. @66: You do realize there's an "ly" in jellyfish, right?

I have been asked to point out to all youse folk going to Kansas City, that, if you buy both of Teresa's books together, we (at NESFA Press) will discount your purchase by two dollars.

#68 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 09:35 AM:

It's not a suffix in "jellyfish". :)

#69 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 10:24 AM:

Is it on the prefix menu?

#70 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 10:32 AM:

Jacque #65, Carrie S. #66: Not to mention declaring the epitome of writing quality to be that expected of fourth-greaders. And simultaneously deifying and misidentifying the Flesch reading ease score, which is meant for categorizing grade-school texts.

How dare Teresa emit text above a fifth-grade reading level? She must be encoding secret messages to the rest of the Intellectualluminati! ;-P

#71 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 10:33 AM:

Is there such a thing as an infix phobia?

#72 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 02:43 PM:

Carrie S. @68: It's not a suffix in "jellyfish". :)

Comb jelly? :-)

#73 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 03:12 PM:

While it may be etymologically a suffix--I don't actually know where the word 'jelly' comes from--as it stands it's not an adverb. You can't grammatically say "He was running very jelly."

#74 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 03:23 PM:

Carrie S. (73): etymology of 'jelly', from Merriam Webster Online:

Middle English gelly, from Anglo-French gelee, from feminine of gelé, past participle of geler to freeze, congeal, from Latin gelare — more at COLD
First Known Use: 14th century

#75 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 03:24 PM:

me (74): Can you tell I'm a librarian?

#76 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 04:49 PM:

Mary Aileen, so, about this Grail....

#77 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 04:54 PM:

Cassy B (76): ::googles:: Oh, it's a movie reference! Sorry, can't help with that one.

#78 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 05:19 PM:

Mary Aileen @77, it's actually a reference to THIS which was posted in one of these threads earlier. (Don't recall which one or who posted it; sorry.)

#79 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 06:09 PM:

Looking forward to this so much! Second on the list of things to do after I move is to find the local bookstores.

#80 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 07:29 PM:

Cassy B (78): Oh, right, duh! I had just read that, too. /red-faced with embarrassment

#81 ::: GAY! Xopher Halftongue QUEER! ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2016, 10:18 PM:

Cassy 71: Is there such a thing as an infix phobia?

As someone whose nickname in my early college years was Infix, I can assure you that yes, yes there is.

I can't think why this quote should come to mind just now, but it has, and I thought I'd share it:

A word as to the title. In the Preface to my Human Knowledge I said that I was writing not only for professional philosophers, and that ‘philosophy proper deals with matters of interest to the general educated public.’ Reviewers took me to task, saying they found parts of the book difficult, and implying that my words were such as to mislead purchasers. I do not wish to expose myself again to this charge; I will therefore confess that there are several sentences in the present volume which some unusually stupid children of ten might find a little puzzling. On this ground I do not claim that the essays are popular; and if not popular, then ‘unpopular.’
(Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays)

#82 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2016, 11:25 AM:

You know, it occurs to me that I have never read any Bertrand Russell. I should probably fix that.

#83 ::: Jim Parish ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2016, 12:03 PM:

The only book by Russell I ever read was very, very dry, and hard to get through. (OK, it was Principia Mathematica....)

#84 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2016, 01:04 PM:

Congrats and thank you for the book! I look forward to reading it.

#85 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2016, 11:36 PM:

I was assuming that a rant as over-the-top as mclaren@55's must have been intended as humor.
If not, well, trolls are no match for gnomes.

#86 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2016, 12:48 PM:

I am very much looking forward to reading MAKING CONVERSATION! Also, I'm perversely proud that one of my oldest friends and favourite people in the world has reached such a level of success that people who don't know her feel that MAKING UP SHIT about her will somehow improve their own lives.

#87 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2016, 03:05 PM:

And congratulations to you, too!

#88 ::: Julia ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2016, 06:24 AM:

Something to add to the short stack of Making Book in the front closet (we kept not getting them back and decided to accede gracefully).

#89 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 10, 2016, 01:26 AM:

And it looks as if it's going to be reviewed in the next LOCUS, which should be available at Worldcon (and the review I sent them is very positive). Got it in just under the wire!

#90 ::: Tina Black ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2016, 10:48 AM:

Can't find it on the NESFA web site!

#91 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2016, 12:16 PM:

Tina: This seems to be the consensus so far.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.