Archived Messages from June 21, 1999 to July 6, 1999


Rachel Tue Jul 6 15:04:28 PDT 1999

Hi all

Hey TironZ - So now that I have called you that will you tell me what it means?

Take care all

Arik - To Americana Http:// Tue Jul 6 13:36:25 PDT 1999

Well Americana, nice as always to hear from you. I see there are "strange" people in this chat but I dont think it have to be a bad thing.. strnge people can be very interesting, in some way ;-)

Thank you for the massage, I really think it is nice of you to welcome me like this :-). I'm really impressed that you know Amos Oz, he is a good writer, and there are lots of things to tell about him... what do you want to know?

Yours: Arik (will someone ever call me here TironZ??)

Arik - To "someone" or: Http:// Tue Jul 6 13:31:00 PDT 1999

Well, first of all, I have to say I'l love to know who you are. second, I dont see nothing bad being like all the people you said, they are all very nice persons ;-)

I'm sorry "you" but I can't tell you what is Tarab because I didn't wrote it and it is not on hebrew, but you can ask "THE FORCE" who or what ever it is :-).

yours: Arik (And Let The Peace Become One With Your Sword;-)

Tue Jul 6 11:40:53 PDT 1999

The contagious Tour de France fever is striking again and people are falling in millions to it. The worst case know so far happened in Switzerland where a certain man drinks, eats and has sex in front of the television not to miss one second of the Grand Buçle.

Americo Tue Jul 6 08:34:10 PDT 1999

Hey, folks! I forgot again. Good morning, everybody!

Great news : I have just been granted a year's sabbatical, startting in September, to work on a personal project wherever I like. Perhaps I'll go to America. Is there any decent University there? Harvard, Yale? Are they really clean and nice?

(I am serious!)

Americo Tue Jul 6 08:30:11 PDT 1999

Please do not pay attention to some messages you read here. Just listen to Allein and to me, the only serious and sane people on the block. WE welcome you warmly.

Can you, please, tell us something about a great writer of you land: Amos Oz ?

Americo Tue Jul 6 08:25:15 PDT 1999

You can't speak to us before kissing a Palestinian child if you are Jewish, a Jewish child if you are Palestinian, pray for my pagan soul, not pray if you are a non-believer, and NOT say the word. If you say the w (oh!...)

What is the ... you must not say but use? You have to guess if you want to keep your sword (locked in a steel safe, the keys of which will be handed out to me).

Arik, are you sure you want to join us? It's a DANGEROUS place. Your life will change and you'll become as kind as Allein, as remote as Jack, as sweet as Linda, as talented as Cassey, as imaginative as Avatar, as penisless as Steve, and so on, and so so forth. That's a commitment for life!
Shalom and Tarab.

PS - Can you translate "tarab" for us? That could help...

BTW. I would like to know the author of the sentence "Templars blood shed in the Holy Land". It is the same as saying "English blood shed in America". Both are right but you do not say that to a friend of mine. There is a degree of injustice in it. I hate injustice, missi (oh!...), mud, ripe tomatoes and all that can soil my new white linen jacket.

We are at an invisible state at this moment for obvious reasons: The Force is still with us, though just in spirit, Jon having caused an indigeston to It (it's an It). So I will not inscribe my name on the right place. However, I am sure you'll guess it by my style and my NEW e-mail address.

And also for this little sentence, typical of a hot-blooded temperament: "anyone for a fight?"

Arik - to americana Http:// Tue Jul 6 06:13:21 PDT 1999

Sorry all for spaming but I cant send long massages so I have to write them 1 after one.
America,I like the "dark" unless you mean something evil... then I dont like it so much :-)
why are you asking me if I'm affrede of it? do you think about lions under your bed at night?
hope to hear from you soo, yours: TironZ

P.S: in my last post I write "stange people" fix it to: "strange people"

Arik Nesis (TironZ) Http:// Tue Jul 6 06:09:28 PDT 1999

Hello all, nice to hear from you and.... the force, what ever it is, I hope to understand it in a few days :-)

stange people comming here, whant to drink blood, asking for me and chat to me in hebrew, (THE FORCE), well, I guess writers can be wierd people hey?

yours: TironZ

P.S: Please tell me what is this "THE FORCE" is it something from Star-Wars?

Arik Nesis (TironZ) Http:// Tue Jul 6 06:05:07 PDT 1999

Someone here know why I cant send long massages (1/2 page)? it bothers me, I cant chat like this.... :-(

Star Wars Tue Jul 6 01:42:25 PDT 1999

Hello all, and good bye

Allein Mon Jul 5 20:52:52 PDT 1999

Arik - You live in Israel? This is so cool 'cause I've been interested in your country for a long time. E-mail me sometime and tell me how it is living there. I'd like to get to know you. :)

Good night,

Americo Mon Jul 5 16:52:11 PDT 1999

Sorry, folks. Today I forgot to tell you good morning. Anyways you were still asleep when I first come to see you here in this quiet, charmimg place.
Who was this Force and all the other beasties?
Splendid evening here. Hope it goes there as well, when your time comes for it.

THE FORCE Mon Jul 5 16:44:19 PDT 1999

I am the Force. I've just strangled some insignificant creatures and drank their blood. But I am still thirsty. Where is Arik? Where is Arik? Where is Arik?

When I say a sentence three times that means I am liking the creature. Not in the cannibalistic sense of the Word...

Oh, dear, I've pronounced the fatal term. You won, Word. You are stronger than any Force. You writers are the most powerful creatures in the gallaxy. You love the Word and know all its tricks. The Word is just now extracting Jon, Pussy, and so on, from my entrails. They are alive and kicking me all over. I am exterminated. These are my last words:
If you also love the Word, you may now come in, Tarik. Just say whatever you like except silly sentences such as "Make peace with your sword" or whatever it was that displeased Americo greatly. He is a hippie — like anybody else here, though some are disguised as bourgeois (vomit) — and hates swords, stones, rotten eggs and all kinds of guns. The motto here is MAKE LOVE NOT WAR!

And remember, Tarik, I am your godfather. Even exterminated, if anyone annoys you just call me and my spirit will come from my dark kingdom to help you. Or just write the right words and you will be saved.



The son pub@usual.pst! Mon Jul 5 15:41:32 PDT 1999

Someone tried to stab me but I kicked the knife and... Look, felows, do we have to go through these rituals whenever the Force comes to the planet? I do not give a damn for the Force. I

Kawinkiedinks (the philologist) pub@usual.pst! Mon Jul 5 15:38:10 PDT 1999

HE, HE (this is supposed to be my best burst of laughter).
Pussy ran away not because of any mysterious dangerous Force but because she does not know how to spelL the Word. I know how to spell the Word, therefore I am not afraid of any Ffffftriiim.

Pussy Mon Jul 5 15:33:16 PDT 1999

What the hell is goin on here? Jon's eyes are looking at me as if he had seen something very weird. The Force again? I am not afraid of any For

Jon Mon Jul 5 15:30:31 PDT 1999

How do you explain I have had no letters tonight? Pray tell me, is the Force striking again? Well, I'm glad SHE came at last. She owes me a drink. I am not afraid of the

Well, must g

Americo Mon Jul 5 15:26:19 PDT 1999

Hello, Arik! This is a rather mysterious place. You have to go through certain rituals testing your perseverence, before you are allowed to join in. Everybody is watching you, analysing your reactions to this deadly silence. Are you afraid of the dark? Arent't you afraid of the dark? I am so afraid of the
(Sorry, I have to go before I am caught by the Force).

Arik OR TironZ Http:// Mon Jul 5 12:43:05 PDT 1999

I'm sorry Cabal, but I don't understand what do you mean? I live in Israel (Holly land) and I dont see any "Templars blood" here.

Arik (TironZ)

Cabal Mon Jul 5 08:08:25 PDT 1999

Templars blood shed in the Holy Land.

Arik Nesis(TironZ) Http:// Mon Jul 5 05:59:35 PDT 1999

thank you Allein, Americo, now I understand what is this book. It is a nice idea, I like it and must complement who ever thought about it. I really dont think we shuld cht here about politics, it is a "Writers chat" not politics, there are other places for that, but what do I know... I"m new here :-)
except this, not everyone here understand in politics, so...

well all, hope to hear from you soon:

Arik nesis

Americo Sun Jul 4 17:31:45 PDT 1999

Allein, you are a darling. Thank you.
All the information about "Shadows" can be found in the workbook itself. Mainly now, that it has just been enriched with the pictures of some of the contributers as they themselves made them back in March. I'm afraid mine a bit out of focus. I should not be so modest.

Happy Independence Day, Americans. And think a little of other nations' independence as well. East Timor is, right now, needing your help, for instance. Not that I want you to become the police of the world or that sort of thing. A little piece of advice and good diplomacy — that's all the world needs. No missiles again, please.

Oh, well. Politics again. Why not? Writers must discuss these things.

Good night.

Allein Sun Jul 4 14:40:49 PDT 1999

Arik - Shadows in a Dream is about 234 pages so far. It's about a group of writers from around the world - that would be the writers on this very notebook - who meet up in New York just for the sake of meeting each other face to face. Americo came up with the idea so he can explain it far better than I can. When you get the password for the Workbook from Jack, you can add to the story if you like.
Bai bai,

Howard somewhere.inthe.howling.ether Sun Jul 4 14:28:34 PDT 1999

Help! I'm being sucked into this new 8.4gb hard drive! I had to buy it in order to get my computer back online. And now I can't access the old drive to get my files back, and I'm reduced to connecting with my wife's Aptiva.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
Please don't make me angry -- you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Did you wake me up!?!?
And it's a fine mess you've gotten me into THIS time!
Oh no! I'm slipping away! Help!
What a world -- what a world!
Gotta hang on -- hope I pass this way again...
I feel like a shadow -- in a dream!

Martin Sun Jul 4 11:12:21 PDT 1999

A typical instance of this was the furious argument they had about the Silk Cut advertisement... Every few miles, it seemed, they passed the same huge poster on roadside hoardings, a photographic depiction of a rippling expanse of purple silk in which there was a single slit, as if the material had been slashed with a razor. There were no words in the advertisement, except for the Government Health Warning about smoking. This ubiquitous image, flashing past at regular intervals, both irritiated and intrigued Robyn, and she began to do her semiotic stuff on the deep structure hidden beneath its bland surface.
It was in the first instance a kind of riddle. That is to say, in order to decode it, you had to know that there was a brand of cigarettes called Silk Cut. The poster was the iconic representation of a missing name, like a rebus. But the icon was also a metaphor. The shimmering silk, with its voluptuous curves and sensuous texture, obviously symbolized the female body, and the elliptical slit, foregrounded by a lighter colour showing through, was still more obviously a vagina. The advert thus appealed to both sensual and sadistic impulses, the desire to mutilate as well as penetrate the female body.

Vic Wilcox spluttered with outraged derision as she expounded this interpretation. He smoked a different brand himself, but it was as if he felt his whole philosophy of life was threatened by Robyn's analysis of the advert. 'You must have a twisted mind to see all that in a perfectly harmless bit of cloth,' he said.

'What's the point of it, then?' Robyn challenged him. 'Why use cloth to advertise cigarettes?'

'Well, that's the name of 'em, isn't it? Silk Cut. It's a picture of the name. Nothing more or less.'

'Suppose they'd used a picture of a roll of silk cut in half - would that do just as well?'

'I suppose so. Yes, why not?'

'Because it would look like a penis cut in half, that's why.'

He forced a laugh to cover his embarrassment. 'Why can't you people take things at their face value?'

'What people are you refering to?'

'Highbrows. Intellectuals. You're always trying to find hidden meanings in things. Why? A cigarette is a cigarette. A piece of silk is a piece of silk. Why not leave it at that?

'When they're represented they acquire additional meanings,' said Robyn. 'Signs are never innocent. Semiotics teaches us that.'


'Semiotics. The study of signs.'

'It teaches us to have dirty minds, if you ask me.'

'Why do you think the wretched cigarettes were called Silk Cut in the first place?'

'I dunno. It's just a name, as good as any other.'

"Cut" has something to do with the tobacco, doesn't it? The way the tobacco leaf is cut. Like "Player's Navy Cut" - my uncle Walter used to smoke them.'

'Well, what if it does?' Vic said warily.

'But silk has nothing to do with tobacco. It's a metaphor, a metaphor that means something like, "smooth as silk". Somebody in an advertising agency dreamt up the name "Silk Cut" to suggest a cigarette that wouldn't give you a sore throat or a hacking cough or lung cancer. But after a while the public got used to the name, the word "Silk" ceased to signify, so they decided to have an advertising campaign to give the brand a high profile again. Some bright spark in the agency came up with the idea of rippling silk with a cut in it. The original metaphor is now represented literally. Whether they consciously intended or not doesn't really matter. It's a good example of the perpetual sliding of the signified under a signifier, actually.'

Wilcox chewed on this for a while, then said, 'Why do women smoke them, then, eh?' his triumphant expression showed that he thought this was a knock-down argument. 'If smoking Silk Cut is a form of aggravated rape, as you try to make out, how come women smoke 'em too?'

'Many women are masochistic by temperament,' said Robyn. 'They've learnt what's expected of them in a patriarchical society.'

'Ha!' Wilcox exclaimed, tossing back his head. 'I might have known you'd have some daft answer.'

'I don't know why you're so worked up,' Said Robyn. 'It's not as if you smoke Silk Cut yourself.'

'No, I smoke Marlboros. Funnily enough, I smoke them because I like the taste.'

'They're the ones that have the lone cowboy ads, aren't they?'

'I suppose that makes me a repressed homosexual, does it?'

'No, it's a very straightforward metonymic message.'


'Metonymic. One of the fundamental tools of semiotics is the distinction between metaphor and metonymy. D'you want me to explain it to you?'

'It'll pass the time,' he said.

'Metaphor is a figure of speech based on similarity, whereas metonymy is based on contiguity. In metaphor you substitute something like the thing you mean for the thing itself, whereas in metonymy you substitute some attribute or cause or effect of the thing for the thing itself'.

'I don't understand a word you're saying.'

'Well, take one of your moulds. The bottom bit is called the drag because it's dragged across the floor and the top bit is called the cope because it covers the bottom bit.'

'I told you that.'

'Yes, I know. What you didn't tell me was that "drag" is a metonymy and "cope" is a metaphor.'

Vic grunted. 'What difference does it make?'

'It's just a question of understanding how language works. I thought you were interested in how things work.'

'I don't see what it's got to do with cigarettes.'

'In the case of the Silk Cut poster, the picture signifies the female body metaphorically: the slit in the silk is like a vagina -'

Vic flinched at the word. 'So you say.'

'All holes, hollow places, fissures and folds represent the female genitals.'

'Prove it.'

'Freud proved it, by his successful analysis of dreams,' said Robyn. 'But the Marlboro ads don't use any metaphors. That's probably why you smoke them, actually.'

'What d'you mean?' he said suspiciously.

'You don't have any sympathy with the metaphorical way of looking at things. A cigarette is a cigarette as far as you are concerned.'


'The Marlboro ad doesn't disturb that naive faith in the stability of the signified. It establishes a metonymic connection - completely spurious of course, but realistically plausible - between smoking that particular brand and the healthy, heroic, outdoor life of the cowboy. Buy the cigarette and you buy the lifestyle, or the fantasy of living it.'

'Rubbish!' said Wilcox. 'I hate the country and the open air. I'm scared to go into a field with a cow in it.'

'Well then, maybe it's the solitariness of the cowboy in the ads that appeals to you. Self-reliant, independent, very macho.'

'I've never heard such a lot of balls in all my life,' said Vic Wilcox, which was strong language coming from him.

'Balls - now that's an interesting expression...' Robyn mused.

'Oh no!' he groaned.

'When you say a man "has balls", approvingly, it's a metonymy, whereas if you say something is a "lot of balls", or "a balls-up", it's a sort of metaphor. The metonymy attributes value to the testicles whereas the metaphor uses them to degrade something else.'

'I can't take any more of this,' said Vic. 'D'you mind if I smoke? Just a plain, ordinary cigarette?'

Americo Sun Jul 4 11:09:39 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!

Altough I do not expect much people around today, Sunday, eve of a Monday and the day after Saturday, I came here to say "Hallo World!" — just my Macintoshian hospitable tradition. (I was told an early Macintosh was the first computer to use that sentence. Correct me, please, if that is inaccurate.)

And now I'm afraid I must go to the place where "S" is being written. A lot of work to do there. And it's so lonely! Unless you also come there and join me. Now!
A writer never gives up. That's the only lesson I would like to give to my younger, not so experienced, colleagues. All the rest must be learned by slow, painful self-experience.

Hey, I said "younger", not "more handsome"!

Kisses all around.

Arik Nesis(TironZ) Http:// Sun Jul 4 09:07:31 PDT 1999

Hello Allein.

thank you, for explaying his to me :-)

what is this book about, how much pages does it have?
I am happy to hear from someone :-)

hope to hear from you again :-)

Allein Sun Jul 4 08:59:36 PDT 1999

Arik - Welcome!! Shadows in a dream is a round robin story that we're all working on together. It's in the workbook which is password protected. You'll have to get the password from Jack.
Bai bai,

Arik Nesis(TironZ Http:// Sun Jul 4 04:56:52 PDT 1999

Hello all, again...

well, not many people answered to me my last massage. as you can see, I new here, maybe you can explain to me what is this "Shadows in a Dream"... I will really happy to know it and to meet someone from here...

yours again: Arik Nesis(TironZ)

Allein Sat Jul 3 23:07:20 PDT 1999

I wanted to be the first to say HAPPY 4th OF JULY INDEPENDENCE DAY - even though it's still the third, and yes, I'm aware I've probably misspelled independence.
I hope you all have fun tomorrow. I'm going on a bike ride with my friend. We're going to lunch, we'll buy some really loud fireworks and then at midnight - when everyone's asleep, we'll get matches mind, ignore that. Obviously I'm joking. Actually, a lot of people will probably still be setting them off at midnight - even though the law says you can't set them off after 11pm, but no one seems to care - not even the police. I'll set mine of around 9:30 or 10 just as it gets kinda dark.
I'm also going to roast marshmallows, but instead of roasting them over the fire - I might just use my dad's lighter (the one he uses to light the grill) and light the marshmellow on fire then blow it out when it's charred black on one side and white on the other but ooey gooey in the middle - I like 'em that way. :)
Well, I should get going - it's WAY past my bedtime.
Bai bai,

Americo Sat Jul 3 17:04:26 PDT 1999

"Poor Lena, poor Allein! Did they really know how to serve tea? He hoped very much they were not very nervous at this precise moment. He was not interested at all in having his best pair of trousers wet with English tea poured from trembling little hands. He smiled and wished them good luck. Good luck everyone. Please get on with your part."

("Shadows in a Dream", p234)

Dr Kirk Not available except for love Sat Jul 3 05:16:07 PDT 1999

Good morning, notebook people. Have a look at "Shadows in a Dream" and be ashamed of your chronic procrastination. You have some twenty days to finish the book. This will be my last warning. Fear, oh mortals!

An earth-quake? Lisbon was completely destroyed by one of those natural things in 1755 but that was a long time ago, housing was not what it is now (it was better...). Be assured that nothing bad will happen to you. Kirk's word.

I read in today's newspaper that there is a fantastic woman soccer player, a beautiful young American who has already scored 153 goals — almost as good as Pelé. At last something interesting coming from the States...

Arik Nesis (TironZ) Http:// Sat Jul 3 00:36:16 PDT 1999

Hello all, and like I use to say: Let the peace become one with your sword :-)

I am a 35- fantasy writer, I write in hebrew, and I like it. I saw this home-page, it is a long time I search for a comunaty or fantasy writers, and at last, I'v found it. I will be glad to meet all of you, and chat to you, I also know Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weis, the others of Dragon Lance, so please, leave me a massage here, visit my page or what ever, I will be happy to meet you.

yours: Arik Nesis(TironZ)

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Jul 3 00:23:26 PDT 1999

Allein: Actually, no. I did not feel it because I am in Spokane. I am a bit concerned, since the last I heard was that in some sections it hit a 5.5 on the Richter scale. Not fun in the very least. This is hoping everything is OK, but we will have to see when we fly back to Seattle on Monday. Take care.

Allein Fri Jul 2 21:35:54 PDT 1999

Hiya everyone. We had a shaking experiance tonight - an earthquake. It rudely awoke me from my nap. Jack - I'm sure you felt it. The epicenter wasn't far from where I live which is 60 mi. from Seattle which is where you live, right Jack? Rachel, you might have felt it too since they said people in British Columbia were reporting it.
Anyway, it's weird how in school they tell you to get under a desk - that was about the last thing on my mind - luckily it was only like a 5.5, but if it had been any larger then what would have happened had I forgotten that advice. There are some caved in roofs, fallen chimbneys (on very old buildings), broken water pipes and some down powerlines (all closer to the epicenter) - but no injuries to anyone. We're still all okay here - obviously our power is working or I couldn't be on the computer right now.
Anyway, I'd better stop.
Bai bai,

Rachel Fri Jul 2 16:37:54 PDT 1999

Hi all

Just a quick note to say that I left something new in Shadows.

Take care all

Allein Fri Jul 2 16:06:28 PDT 1999

Jon - No, I'm not sick. My headaches have ebbed but not completely disappeared. But it's raining here which sort of puts a damper on my mood. It shouldn't rain on the 4th of July weekend.
Actually, that's one reason I didn't buy fireworks this year - if it rains, I won't be able to set them off. So, this year (here at least), anyone who does buy fireworks is basically screwed. I'll probably just go to the waterfront and watch the display - it's free anyway. :)
Well, that's all for now.
Bai bai people.

Jon BEFORE THE FUN Fri Jul 2 15:34:42 PDT 1999

The day was bright and blue. A... made a ball with the telegram just received and, with a graceful movement of his head, projected it into the fire. He would not go to that Congress. Fed up of people talking about the Internet and the wonders of collective writing. All that blah blah and no stories, no screenplays, no novels. He just wanted to sit by the fire and see how it was red in the heart, blue in the veins, yellow at the edges — like a cat. (Do not ask the omniscient narrator the pertinence of this comparison, just read and believe.)The fire of his fireplace — that was all he wanted to look at. Leave me in peace, world, he thought, I just want to be alone.
Change of paragraph. This means, a subtopic, or a slightly different topic, or just some room for the reader to breathe (grin). You know that of course! (Laugh).
A... noticed that his mouth was smiling. He was not smiling, his stomack was empty and how can a man smile without a drink in his hands? He stretched his right arm and grabbed a bell (brief description of the bell). J..., the butler, showed his white head from among the velvet curtains of A's... boudoir (that's where A... was sitting on that cold winter evening, this information must be surreptitiously given, not just like this omniscient narrator did it)."Did you call, Sir? The usual, I suppose, Sir. " And he left the bottle he was bringing on a tray on the low square table A... had leisurely laid his legs on. "Shall I serve you, Sir?""Thank you, Alec. Just leave the bottle." "Thank you, Sir."

The day was, now that he comes to think of it, not bright and blue, but gloomy and dark. It was not even day. It was evening. (LOL)!

Now, Rachel, this is how Jon, whom Americo forbade to participate in the novel "All the Fun" — very soon on your screens — took revenge of that act of mental cruelty and sheer cat segregation, and started his own book on some writers who meet in rainy Seattle to discuss the promising subject "Creativity and Internet". Although this is the very first version, there is good stuff in it (I suppose).

Jon Fri Jul 2 13:08:35 PDT 1999

Good day, shadows. Do not hesitate using this space. It is Americo's diary but he does not mind sharing it with kind, intelligent people such as you are.

Allein: (seriously) you are not ill, are you? You mentioned some headaches some time ago... Hope they are gone. A beautiful emoticon I invented just for you (:_:). It means, looking at you, a bit worried but friendly. (It's not very good, is it?)

Jack Beslanwitch Fri Jul 2 03:13:00 PDT 1999

Here a small note from Westercon. I had a wonderful experience with the Dean and Kris show. It at the very least has lit a fire under my tail or is that tale to generate a lot of meterial. I was particularly impressed with the business aspects of writing. My goal has suddenly become to be prolific. prolific. prolific. One point that was enlightening if nothing else is that two pages of manuscript per day for a year is two novels. And giving yourself the simple goal of writing one short story a week, finishing it and sending it in for a year has a good chance of seeing you published.

There were a lot of comments about agents that I have added to the agents page. Bon appettit.

Jerry Ericsson Thu Jul 1 19:14:21 PDT 1999

Up for a little lite reading - take a look at the reading available at this site:

Avatar Thu Jul 1 14:34:08 PDT 1999

Okay. Has our great project come to a standstill or is it just me?

Mental note- now giving up on homepage. Picking up on it again when enough brains to use it has surfaced.

S.K.S.- Do you actually think that we would welcome you back with open arms after you deserted us? (pause for thought) OKAY, FINE, YES! (after a nice swift kick in the pants!)

Americo- See you later alligator actually has an ending to it (posted down below)
On the subject of collaborative writing:
It works wonders for those who are writing blocked. It gives those impaired something to work with that will loosen the bonds their overworked Muse has thrown over them.

Okay. That's it for me.

See ya' later, alligator
After a while, crocodile

Later all

Martin Thu Jul 1 14:26:04 PDT 1999

I do not know, maybe you have to be an New Yorkian to laugh with Woody Allen but on the other side there is a maybe, too: Maybe my brain is just too small to understand grand humor á la New York. I always could laugh with the Marx Brothers for their kind of humor is general humor and even comprehensible to the naturally tiny grown brain of a Swiss grape. We do not have a lot of space to waste and have
declared one’s solidarity with each other, therefore we prefere to give a little bit of brain to everybody instead only to those who have deserved it, because they use it.
Once more appraised from upside down and inside out it may be: Other countries other customs or I you are in Rome do not try to do as the Romans do.

About Internet: I am not a looking for and searching kind of a guy. After the first ten disappointments of not finding what I was looking for I declared the Internet a fascinating tool for people who have huge amounts of time to waste. I have found an interesting page on Semiotic and the Notebook what else is in the Internet?

The meaning of three dots at the end is ...

You sound a little bit like there is only one way to interpret the written word. Would that not be injustice and put the written word in danger of suicide out of frustration?

My lawyer told me to better not answer on the emoticon subject. And to dodge the typical »I told you so« syndrome I follow his directive.

But the next line or the line before the fallen Comets sing happy down, happy down. So I stick to my interpretation.

My congratulation on your Grade Point Average. Wow! Wooooow! is all I can say.

It’s very nice that you returned. This gives us a chance to become friends.


Rachel Thu Jul 1 12:38:10 PDT 1999

Hi all

To all the Canadian folks out there - HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!!!!!!

Take care all

Americo Thu Jul 1 08:33:26 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!

Is it just my Mac or this page has frozen on my latest post? Aas I said once, I like room for writing and would not care much if I were the only one to pour into this page my little thoughts. I have a diary with 14 volumes addressed to nobody — 14 volumes, and I stopped writing on it some years ago. I am used to silence.

I have been organizing my posts. I discovered a wonderful application that allows me to put things in the chronological order from top to bottom (contrary to what happens here). In the 5 months I am with you, I have written over three hundred thousand characters — a whole novel! Not taking into account "S" and my busy correspondence. Not too bad, for someone who does not intend to publish in the next few years! Anyone who complains from a writer's block just join us — you'll see it will go away.

I would like to speak about Internet and collaborative work/ the art of writing for the net/ the science of reading/ humor and what you need to understand it/ Internet and human frailty/ etc., etc., etc...........

I can't do it this time. Contrary to what I may lead people to believe, I am a busy man. It's exams time here, and I have to mark national written proofs, attend to meetings almost everyday, do secretarial work — you name it, and I am doing it. I am a bit tired of a hard year's work, and looking forward to my summer holidays in August. I need a little bit of rest indeed — to analyse your prose, put together some pieces of my own projects, breathe and swim a little.

Man's social attitudes towards work vary from country to country. While in those lovely pastures of heaven people must show how busy they are, here it is polite NOT to show the sweat on one's face. To say, "Excuse me, but I am busy and must rush now" is the best way to lose a friend. We prefer something like: "I enjoyed this little chat — perhaps we could continue it tomorrow..." Both are right, though different, of course.

Social attitudes! What a fascinating topic for discussion for those who, like me, do not like the Internet!... The notebook is not the Internet, is it? I like to think it is not — just a writer's notebook, like my other 14 volumes of useless, happy prose. Wed Jun 30 13:56:41 PDT 1999

"See you later, aligator," Martin, is, for me, just some words from an old song. A kind way of saying... "I'll see you later."

Cassandra Wed Jun 30 13:44:16 PDT 1999

GPA refers to Grade Point Average. An A average (100-92% grade), is referred to as a 4.0 ... a B a 3.0

Allein's average is a 3.28... which means that her grades are in the upper B (85-89%) range.


Jerry Lee Wed Jun 30 13:43:41 PDT 1999

To those lost who are found, welcome back!

To those capable of being understood during a conversation that takes hours and days to respond to, enjoy. This notebook is an admirable endeavour and I must say that I have learned a lot.
Keep the shiny side up, as the CBers used to say.

All, remember one thing, if nothing else. We do what we do for the satisfying nature of it. Moderation in all things.

Jerry Lee

Martin Wed Jun 30 12:58:54 PDT 1999

I do not know, but one of my american friends once told me, that See you later aligator translates into something like: Piss off ......?
What does the saying sticks and stones my brake your bones translate to and where does it come from?

The easiest way to upload a graphic is to pin it to the screen. Works perfectly on mine

There we are back with abbreviations. What is a 3.28 GPA? The latest hot rod kit for your T-Bird Allein?

¡Indudable! Todo los túneles tienen dos aberturas: Uno para entrar y es muy útil que tienen uno para salir también.
¡Cariñoso bienvenida!

Luckily no such bad thing happened. The screen just encountered a chilly day and frose to inmovment. I could hit whatever button I had fun with hitting and still nothing

Good luck!

Just buy a bucket of white paint and dip your kids shortly but thoroughly in it. It’s quick and painless.


Americo Wed Jun 30 10:49:39 PDT 1999

Jon, are you sure Steve has any money left? After all his adventures, he must be penisless (I mean, penniless, ie, without money...oh, dear!). So, just a coca-cola for me.

Welcome back, Steve!

And I still have some pretty names in my "carnet de bal", names of people who MUST come back soon. Isn't our notebook wonderful?

Kisses all around.

Jon Wed Jun 30 10:33:14 PDT 1999

Woops! I wrote "pack", I meant "back".
And the sentence is (ultrafinal version): "now that, after deserting us, you came back, you owe us ALL ten bottles of good Canadian beer. And the description of the karaoke session."

Jon Wed Jun 30 10:30:22 PDT 1999

I was so excited to see you pack that I forgot the word "pay" in the last sentence, which is (final version) : you pay me three bottles of beer!

Jon, CEO for Shadows Inc. Wed Jun 30 10:28:27 PDT 1999

Mr Perry: you owe us all a bottle of beer. Good Canadian beer.

Your jam session has been replaced by a karaoke session. You are supposed to organize it, that is to say, to write the scene: Jack singing, me applauding with all my four hands, and all our friends (and aquaintances) cutting a poor figure in front of this kindly but hilarious audience. The text must be published in "Shadows", well, as soon as possible.

And then you me another beer.


Rhoda Wed Jun 30 10:18:19 PDT 1999


Great to have you back. It is hard to stay away from the Notebook. I have tried countless times.


I don't see where it is necessarily plagurism to learn HTML from the source view on your computer. This is not like stealing a whole page or taking someone's graphics or content. Much HTML is basic knowledge. Jerry could and probably should get a detailed manual on HTML and refer to it, but in the case of wondering about how a particular webpage gets its italic fonts or how it positions something on the page, I think looking at the source is very educational. Of course, after your experience with your web-page being copied, I realize that you are sensitive about plagerism as would we all would be had that been done to us.

Regarding the subject of the Internet:

By and large the Internet has been a good thing for me. Living in a rural area where there are few writers and no critique groups for 70 miles, it has become a necessity for me. Not only have I been involved with the Notebook, but I have been on AOL for the past couple of months and there I can attend nightly workshops featuring an author or writing instructor. By use of the Internet I have been able to enhance my ability to research my novels. I can find needed information on web-sites or I can pull up greatly detailed and extensive bibliographies I could never otherwise get. I have a link to a webpage which supposedly lists every classic to be found on the Internet. Some of these classics are obsure works which were once almost impossible to find at the library or a bookstore.

I don't think the Internet will ever replace books, bookstores, banks or the local mall. I don't think it will ever do some of the things computer experts claim it will do, but it will enhance our lives and the way we do business. Of course there is the dark side of the Internet--easy access to pornography and information on how to make bombs. Since speech is essentially uncensored, there is considerable opportunity for fraud and abuse. While those of us on the Notebook can meet and hook up with other writers and delightful, creative people around the world we would never otherwise know, we can also be exposed to the criminal element we might not otherwise know. This reality should in no way curtail our use of the Internet. It should just remind us to be careful and to respect the use of this powerful tool.

I have been on the Internet for four years and have been involved in chat rooms, other message boards, and organizations. I find that a common failing is that some people fail to see those computer names on the screen as other distinct individuals with emotions, insecurities, fears, hopes, and dreams. There is a temptation for some to see the other names as little different than characters in a computer game. Things are often said and done without respect to that living, breathing person behind the name. Things are sometimes said on chat rooms and message boards that would never be said if you were talking to that person face-to-face. Naturally honest misunderstandings do occur because it is easy to forget that the person you are addressing cannot read your tone of voice or the expression on your face as you are typing your post.

Well there is much to do today. I have to find a way to store several boxloads of books. I cannot believe we have so many books. My packers and movers thought us strange for having so many. Perhaps we have been excessive. Oh well, perhaps it is better to max out on books than drugs and alcohol. Passionate love of books is the only noble vice.

Happy writing!


Rachel Wed Jun 30 09:21:50 PDT 1999

Hi all

To those who wished me welcome back. THANK YOU!! (big smile)
Rhoda - It's nice to see you again. I had considered sending you a note, but, when you seemed to have left, I thought I would just leave you alone.
Americo - Interesting topics. I will give them some consideration and comment on them later.
Nope, can't resist. I don't have much time, but, the humor one got me in.
I had opportunity to meet some interesting people from different parts of the world this summer, and, we do not have the same sort of humor.
I think that you need to be pretty open minded in order to understand other nationalities humor. You also need to be willing to ask them what they are saying and not just get offended (do you get what I'm saying?) If not tell me and I will try to clarify.
STEVE!!!!!! (SKS) - I am so happy that you came back! (I get up and dance round my computer room)
I had lots of fun getting to know you and Pen. Hope all is well with the both of you.
Hey, did you pass on my e-mail to Vikki? She was a laugh and a half!

All - I think I may get some writing done this evening. I wanted to last night, but, we decided to go see the Star Wars movie. I enjoyed it.

Take care all

Cassandra Wed Jun 30 08:54:52 PDT 1999


Welcome Back! I think I can speek for everyone here, aside from the recent additions, in saying that we MISSED YOU HORRIBLY!!! *bowing to Steve's divine wisdom* (who the heck typed that! He should be bowing to mine! Bad hands!)

*laughing* well, I will return later to partake in Americo's Great Internet Debate.

Ta ta


S.K.S. Perry Wed Jun 30 08:26:01 PDT 1999

Hey all,

I'm back, if that's all right with the rest of you. I realize now that it's self-destructive to deprive myself of the company of those I care about simply because of some petty squabbling, especially when I wasn't even involved. There are other forums out there on which to hone my writing skills, but none as close knit and…homey…as the Notebook.

Besides, Foolish Mortals, who am I to deprive you of my intelligence and wit. (Did I write that? Bad fingers. Bad!!!

Be Well, Live Well. (How could I do so without you people?)

S.K.S. Perry

Americo Wed Jun 30 04:38:02 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!

How about a serious topic, for a change?

What's your attitude towards Internet? A means for entertainment, work or both?
Communication and humor on the Internet. Is it possible to avoid misunderstandings when the resolution of our screens is still so bad in comparison with the word on paper? And can any person understand humor? Is humor doomed to be just a national thing? Can an eskimo laugh with Woody Allen?

And the problem of language? Do people really know how to read and interpret the written word? Do people understand the meaning of punctuation? What's the meaning of, for instance, three dots at the end/in the middle of a sentence? And does the change of paragraph mean anything?

Do we really need emoticons?

Internet and communicability — a vast topic for discussion! It involves the art of writing and the science of reading. It involves the psychology of reception and the need to be careful about what you say, in order not to hurt feelings. It involves everything you like.

Take advantage of this chance for a serious debate, people. I will not last for ever!

WARNING! Jon has been (and will probably continue) practising his very special kind of humor just to check your reception to it. Black humor, yellow humor, humor of all colors. He was disappointed with his first attempt. There are people in this world unable to distinguish between fact and pure imagination. I told him to not even try. But he needs to do some little research on the possibility of adding to this site a new, immortal book, already announced on this page and called ALL THE FUN.

Please notice that the money from "Shadows in a Dream" will be given to a just cause. But ALL THE FUN will be for profit. Therefore, it will have only a restricted number of collaborators. The collaborators will be invited for their talent, of course, but also for their sense of commitment to the project.

In the meantime finish "Shadows in a Dream". I repeat that the deadline is the 25th July 1999. The novel is almost in the end, folks! Just a little extra effort...

Michele Tue Jun 29 23:04:55 PDT 1999

As an ex-professional programmer, I have to ask, do you have to call us "computer nerds" ? It's hardly polite if you want our assistance... how would you like to be called a computer dope/idiot/dummy ??

Jerry Lee, if you simply copy the code you see in a "source" for someone's web page, without modifying it any way, shape or form, you will find yourself on the receiving end of a law suit - that's plagiarism (ie STEALING !) so don't do it... unless you have so much money you don't know what to do with it (in which case send me some !). Get yourself one of those old-fashioned book things and learn how to do it for yourself - you learn less by copying other people's work than by doing it for yourself.


Cassandra Tue Jun 29 18:00:50 PDT 1999

Welcome Back everyone!! Rachel, and Lena, and Allein (just recently back)... let's hope the trend continues, and some of our other buddies return. *cough* Xavier *cough* Steve *cough* *cough* I must be getting a cold here... :)

I'm teaching myself HTML too. Angelfire has a really good basic editor, but I don't care for the fact that all of these free services limit the amount of space you can take up, and what you can put on your page. Of course, I wasn't planning on putting porn up there anyways, but they don't allow pages critical of the service to stay around for very long either. I think once I get the basics down, I'll move to a more upscale local.

Lycos has a pretty good HTML teaching program too. It's called WebMonkey... that's probably why I chose to use it in the first place. (hehehe monkeys!)

Well, there's a lot to do... I'm busying myself purposely, because that way, I don't have to dwell on bad things (don't ask...plenty of bad luck with my life lately..).

So my webpage is going to get much needed additions tonight, I'm going to try to find someway to do more figure drawing pratice so that I can finish designing the Tarot deck that I started, I might start rollarblading (just to keep myself in shape), then of course I will be writing my butt off in hopes of having a good amount of work (possibly to enter in contests, or attempt to get published, so that I can raise a little $$ for college next semester.) fun fun fun!

I must be running now... adios!

ta ta


Jon Tue Jun 29 16:59:17 PDT 1999

I'm going to bed earlier tonight. I had to wash my kids. I used the washing-machine and lots of detergent to be quicker, but even so... to wash and dry up in the duomatic 11 kids — that's hard work.
Good night. And Rhoda and all, I love you.

The neighbor gonna fishing. But no long distance swimming this time. He promised to come back home early (ie, before 4 o'clock in the morning. A lost cause.)

howard Tue Jun 29 16:16:53 PDT 1999

Hi all -- Just a quickie to let you know I haven't forgotten the notebook or its denizens. There just ain't enough hours in the day! Right now I'm about to shut this thing down so I can relocate my office space. Then when it comes back up I should have a new e-address too -- switching to RoadRunner, now that Time Warner has expanded their area to include our humble domain. (I'm still the last place on the cable out this way)
So here goes, and wish me lu

Rhoda Tue Jun 29 15:28:00 PDT 1999

Rachel and Allein and Lena:

Welcome back. So nice to have more girls here now.

Nachei and Louise:

Glad to see you on the Notebook.


Glad you had a good time visiting with Steve. I personally miss him here on the Notebook. I hope you were able to inform him that it has become a kindler, gentler place in the past few weeks. Of course, he is probably too busy with his Del Rey course.


I am so happy that nothing terrible has happened to you. Jon had me going there for awhile. Though I wrote earlier that nothing like a shark attack could happen to you, I was inwardly having some doubts. Even though you can be provoking, I would miss you terribly. The world would be a horrible place without you. After such a scare, I am resolved to treat you better and never take you or your interesting comments for granted.


Sorry about the attachment. I hope it didn't cause your hard drive to crash. I know how frustrating it can be to work with that stuff for a long time only to find you can't get it to work.

I must go now. Meatloaf and Macaroni and Cheese is on the menu tonight. I should probably go and add a salad. The babies are hungrey so I must hurry.

Happy Writing!


Jerry Lee Tue Jun 29 15:16:54 PDT 1999

Yo, All,

Louise, Check out all that Jack's amazing site has to offer. This site has so many pages on so many subjects related to writing, that even if this one wasn't set as "home" on my computer, I would still send you to it. The resources here are amazing!

Avatar and Lena, I just started with web pages, if you look up "How to HTML" on yahoo, you'll find a lot of information on how a beginner (Like me) can learn to manipulate what you see on the screen. I tried Geocities too, but I prefer the free sites with the basic stuff. Geo just has too much information...too complicated.
What I've learned to do is to look up the "Source" on pages I like the look of, and more or less copy it. With repitition, it gets easier.
Click on "View" on your toolbar and then click on "Source". If you do this on every page you happen to be on, you'll begin to see what is necessary to change colors, add italics, things like that.

Also, if you have "Netscape Navigator", check out "Composer". It makes everything easy.

Take care,
Jerry Lee

Allein Tue Jun 29 15:11:47 PDT 1999

RACHEL - WELCOME BACK!!! (((SUPER BIG HUG!!))) I hope you had fun on your trip. What's happened to Carling - it's been a few weeks since I've sent her my letter.

Anyway, yes, I've been lurking - I've been tried lately and having headaches. My mom thinks it might be malnutrition - I just started a diet and have been eating mostly rice and vegetables.
I had a job interview yesterday - the manager said he was interviewing 65 other people as well so I'm not too hopefull.
I got my report card today 4 A's, 1 B and 1 C, a 3.28 GPA. I'm pretty darn proud of myself.
Anyway, I should go.
Bai bai,

"I nap, therefore, I am."
- Cat bumper stickers

Avatar Tue Jun 29 14:25:20 PDT 1999

I am now suffering from what the poor students of driving are calling Driver's Ed headache. I don't know why either, I think I did rather good.

Lena- I am not the one to ask about computer stuff. The only reason I have a webpage at all was because those nice people at Geocities decided that idiots like me needed a source near home to get graphics and stuff. If you have the same server I'll be glad to hook you up to the right spot.
(Speaking of which, I still don't know what to do with mine! ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!)
By the way, to the computer nerds-how do you upload graphics? And anything else for that matter?

Jack- How do you make the words you have italic or bold or somesuch, hmmm? I don't have anything like a font or word changer thinger on this screen, so I have no idea. Is it like a special code?

Who's spider Robinson?

Welcome to Nachei(wait, let me see if I spelled that right) You can help Americo out if he ever gets into one of his philosophical discussions again.

Rachel- Kick S.K.S. in the butt for me will ya? I am thinking him traitor for joining another workshop(launched by Del Rey). I didn't see him because I was a traitor; I was on an undercover mission.

Welcome to Louise!!!!

Jon- If you are your own cat, then why does Americo always refer to you as 'My Neighbor's Cat?'

'I came, I saw, I slept'
(Oops. Think I did that one before)

There's your quote Lena

Later all

Louise No webpage Tue Jun 29 07:53:18 PDT 1999

I am a student at salisbury College. I write ghost stories, some are short others are long. I would like some advice about publishing them, thanks!


Rachel Tue Jun 29 06:38:27 PDT 1999

Hi all!

Nachei - Welcome

Americo - Thank you (big smile) It i s wonderful to be back.
I doubt very much that I am the best writer on the block. Well, unless, you are talking about the street I live on (bright smile and laughter)
I did have a couple of karate sessions with Steve and this other woman and then with my baby brother (22 years), but, as I told you I am not very advanced in my karate.
Steve ws able to show me lots of interesting moves and got me thinking a little more fluidly about fighting. It was lots of fun. (grins)
Hey, Americo, aren't you almost done with school (big smile) Time for rest and relaxation!

Jon - What a sweet cat!
Rest up kitty. I am sure tht pussy has lots of plans for your summer!

Take care all

Jon Tue Jun 29 05:25:45 PDT 1999

I am superjoyed, maxihappy and a oversleepy. I came to this place just to kiss Rachel on her dimples.

Americo Tue Jun 29 05:22:24 PDT 1999

Rachel - Welcome back! I missed you terribly. Without you the world is grey. And I know that you are the greatest writer on the block. Shadows (et al.) have eagerly waiting for you.
Did you put Steve Perry K.O. in one of your karate sessions has he deserves for having deserted us? I expect you did. See you later, aligator.

NACHEI _ WE NEED A SPANISH HERE! I AM PORTUGUESE! PLEASE JOIN US. Our two countries discovered the world and now we are going to cultivate and civilize them. They need us. Buenos dias, hermano!

nachei Tue Jun 29 02:53:17 PDT 1999

Hi! I´m spanish, I like Borges and Cortázar and Kafka and William Burroughs and Bioy (he´s sometimes more british than british), and most of classics (truth is there), and I´m alone. Theres no intelectual life in Madrid, every book has become a product, every professional an asshole. I´m starting an underground project, the Fugaz Colection, where me and my friends publish our sick frustrations and attempts to be happy. I´m looking forward to translate some Nathaniel Hawthorne´s short tales for the next issue. What do you think? Is there some life outside?

Rachel Mon Jun 28 19:25:42 PDT 1999

Hi all!

I AM HOME!!!!!!!!!!!! (and very happy to be home - big long sigh and contented grin)
Americo!!!! (great big hug and a dozen or more kisses! - yah, yah. I know I am getting a little excited with the exclamation marks (sorrisor largo) - I missed yah, and will be sending you an letter later (big smile)
Allein - HI YOU! Did you have fun in Colorado?
Pnokio - I got a copy of a book that had Bananafish in it. Uh, er, um. I don't get the feet thing either.

ALL - I went in to check out shadows. Glad to see it is going well. I will be adding something over the next few days. I just have to get my brain working again. (grins)

Take care all

Rachel Mon Jun 28 19:25:32 PDT 1999

Hi all!

I AM HOME!!!!!!!!!!!! (and very happy to be home - big long sigh and contented grin)
Americo!!!! (great big hug and a dozen or more kisses! - yah, yah. I know I am getting a little excited with the exclamation marks (sorrisor largo) - I missed yah, and will be sending you an letter later (big smile)
Allein - HI YOU! Did you have fun in Colorado?
Pnokio - I got a copy of a book that had Bananafish in it. Uh, er, um. I don't get the feet thing either.

ALL - I went in to check out shadows. Glad to see it is going well. I will be adding something over the next few days. I just have to get my brain working again. (grins)

Take care all

Americo Mon Jun 28 17:54:15 PDT 1999

Lena: Welcome back!

You said: "I am glad to see that Shadows has survived, although I am fairly dubious after reading all of Americo's complaining."

Being dubious and complaining are part of the writer's job! Without my persistence we'd still be on page zero... It has been a tough job, believe me!
Shadows will survive! It has already over 200 pages. Next time I'll choose my collaborators. (If there is a next time, of course).

Has anyone seen Rachel, by any chance?

Where is old Allein?

Lena Mon Jun 28 17:23:57 PDT 1999

Hullo, all. I have skimmed some of the postings from the past week or so… I am glad to see that Shadows has survived, although I am fairly dubious after reading all of Americo's complaining. I am so sorry if it seems like I abandoned you! I am taking tomorrow to read what I missed of Shadows - school is out now, and I have the days all to myself. My sisters have disappeared into the nearby country of Wisconsin, presumably to visit some relatives, and my father is off doing his work ("if I told you, I'd have to kill you," etc.) so it is just my mom and me. And since my mom works all day… 'tis just me.

My internet computer was finally fixed, but now my OTHER computer has died, the one I do all my writing on. Poor Mat, he was such a gallant soul... I am rediscovering the lost art of writing with a (gasp) pen and paper. It takes so long though! I cringe to think of those poor souls, writing novels before the advent of computers. Bless them all.

Jon - Hope the cat life has been good to you.

Avatar - I am working on a webpage... do you know of any places with some good graphics and clip art for free? I need a nice picture of a feather, photographic or at least well drawn.

I have been doing some writing this past week, mostly working on Corbin (before Mat up and died, that is). This weekend, while over at Jen's house, we did the writing exercise in which you turn off the monitor and simply type whatever comes into your mind. It was interesting... we brainstormed up some very cool ideas, snatches of dialogue, descriptions, etc. A good way to beat down a writer's block.

Americo - Glad to see you survived the weekend…

Allein - Hope you had a great time in Colorado. I also saw Tarzan, and I think it is one of the better Disney movies in a long time.

Clayton - I relate, completely. I write fantasy because I know how to do it. Who are your favorite authors? Mine include Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey, Robin Hobb, Spider Robinson, Piers Anthony…

And to everyone else, a good day. It is nice to see familiar faces (didn't I already say that?) and while I miss a few of the old ones, the world turns and life goes on.

"And to love, a god. And to fear, a flame."

(what happened to the great quotations? I miss them already)

Jon (the greatest) Mon Jun 28 15:28:51 PDT 1999

Hello, hello, hello (big grin).
I had a nap but then I woke up. Now I am awaken.
Wasn't I brilliant?
Avatar, I have no human. I am my owner and lord. I live with my wife (Pussy) and kids (do not ask how many) in my own flat.
Over the weekend Americo was reading his Playboy magazines and sleeping, as he usually does. He never saw me using his own Mac, otherwise he would not let me write. (He's jealous of my talent).
Well, what I really wanted to tell you is that the old mariner is all right now. I talked to him this afternoon and he told me he intended to climb the Everest on crunches. When? One of these weekends, weather permitting.

AND, I BELIEVE RACHEL IS COMING! VERY SOON in one of your theatres.

Have fun.

Lena Mon Jun 28 14:13:49 PDT 1999


The computer has finally been fixed, and I am finally back! Don't even ask me what notebook withdrawal has been like... the memories are painful. I am going to read as much as I can to catch up... will be back.

It's wonderful to see familiar faces,

Avatar Mon Jun 28 13:28:41 PDT 1999

Welcome back Allein!
Where ya' been?

Don't answer that;)

So, exactly where have you been all this time Americo?

And Jon, if you're Americo's neighbor, then who's your human?

Just a few questions I am curious about hearing the answers to.

And now, back to work on my sad, sad piece of the world wide web. Why do I always have the problems with fixing up home pages?

Don't answer that;)

Later all


Americo Mon Jun 28 09:30:26 PDT 1999

Good day, everybody!

Jon: the thirteen letters stand for "Americo is well". (Am I not clever?!). And that ends your lovely story (I hope!!!). Thank you very much indeed. You entertained all of us over the weekend. I really loved it. You are a REAL WRITER!

You proved that you are a cat with imagination. Very funny. Yes, I understand that you do not want to waste time with some of these people. You must agree, however, that others are delightful persons. All kinds of people, as everywhere. Take a rest, now. A long rest. I'l do the CEO thing for "Shadows" and put the house in order for you.

Your neighbor and admirer

Michele Sun Jun 27 23:35:45 PDT 1999

It's a well known fact I don't have a heart - ask any of my acquaintance (note I don't say friends).

Jon Sun Jun 27 18:30:07 PDT 1999

Do not spoil this true and dramatic story, Michele, please.
The old mariner is still waiting, completely frozen and starving. Haven't you a heart? He'll probably die if you do not decipher the riddle.

Michele Sun Jun 27 11:28:37 PDT 1999

I get this odd feeling that someone somewhere has lost the plot this week....

Jon Sun Jun 27 06:37:56 PDT 1999

SInCE thEn, At un unceRtaIn hOur,
that agony returns
and tiLL My ghastly tale is told,
this heart Within me burns.

YES, JACK!!! The message is there. The passage fits the world's anxiety about Americo's life and it also includes the contents of his message. Yet it still needs decoding.

I knew that because I heard on the radio that the strange mariner who was singing in the streets of Lisbon suddenly stopped running at the exact moment you posted, and is now completely motionless, like a statue, smiling, the parchment with Coleridge's beautiful poem hanging from his long, white, frozen fingers. I found out that some of the letters of the passage you quoted are unexpected capitals — and these capital make sense! They are the message!

For the morons who think "capitals" mean Lisbon or Washington or Paris or London only, here are the letters of the sentence of our hope and joy:

The old mariner will not move, or eat or drink before one of you makes sense of those THIRTEEN letters. Have pity on the poor guy. I think he needs a good meal. So hurry up and decode!

Sat Jun 26 23:58:14 PDT 1999

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Jun 26 17:00:26 PDT 1999

The Happy birthday was for Martin

Jack Beslanwitch Sat Jun 26 16:57:13 PDT 1999

Jon - might it be something like the following from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner:

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

Could Americo be wandering some nameless clime bothtering an occasional wedding guest - brides maid - bride groom or any other passer by with a tale that gnaws at his soul to tell. And this is the reason that he has disappeared from our presence.

Egads, there is an albatross tapping at my window. Did not realize they were such huge birds. Hope he does not break it.

Sabbath the might hunter cat is wandering around my leg and looking up at the window speculatively. I suspect that big bird would make short shrift with my over ambitious cat.

Anyway, let us know if there are any other sitings of Americo.

Oh, and very belated Happy Birthday

Cassandra Sat Jun 26 16:52:59 PDT 1999




Lalala! I'm out of work early...and just puttering around online.

I hope everyone is having a happy fun fun day. And no, I am not on drugs :D

ta ta


Jon Sat Jun 26 16:26:19 PDT 1999

Dear fellow writers,

No news yet about the neighbor. You have not helped much either. An American guy who introduced himself as "the greatest", rang me up to know more details about this Americo and his whereabouts. But we lost ourselves talking mainly about cigars and chocolate tastes. He promised to put the navy and the army at my disposal. I wonder who this bloke might be.

I already know that the neighbor tried to swim to America in order to prevent Dr. Kirk from doing something evil. He probably died. But he may be the old mariner who is running in the streets of Lisbon telling a strange poem by Coleridge. I think the secret of his life or death is hidden in the lines of "The Balad of the Ancient Mariner". I'll give anything to the person who deciphers the message hidden in that beautiful poem.


Martin Sat Jun 26 09:39:46 PDT 1999

A little bit of Rhoda in my heart
A little bit of Lena in my heart
A little bit of Allein in my heart
A little bit of Squirrel in my heart
A little bit of Casandra in my heart
A little bit of Avatar in my heart
A little bit of Michele in my heart
A little bit of Howard in my heart
A little bit of Pnokio in my heart
A little bit of Américo in my heart
A little bit of Weston in my heart
A little bit of Jon in my heart
A little bit of Jack in my heart
A little bit of Jerry Lee in my heart
A little bit of Xavier in my heart
A little bit of Clayton in my heart
A little bit of Jerry in my heart

Many thanks for your birthday wishes!


Jon Sat Jun 26 05:20:59 PDT 1999

Sorry for the repetition. Involuntarily, I gave an idea of the newspapers obsession about the neighbor's case. It's all about Americo, Americo. I myself am becoming fed up and go to watch a soccer match today with my Pussy and kids. I tasted the thing but it's neither Swiss nor Belgium chocolate. It's American chocolate, the best in the world. We won't give back the "protections" to the woman.
The ballad of the ancient mariner is really very beautiful. I suspect the mariner is Americo himself in disguise (just a hypothesis).

Jon Sat Jun 26 05:08:46 PDT 1999

Dear fellow writers,
Thank you for you interest in the strange case of Americo's disappearance. I'm sorry to say that none of your reports concerns my neighbor. It must be some other mad Portuguese.
Today's editorial of the main Portuguese weekly has associated Americo's case to the myth of King Sebastian, who also disappeared in a battle against the Moors in 1580 without leaving trace. That's the origin of our "saudade".
Pussy refused to give the "things" back to one of the alledged widows of the neighbour because, she said, they do not taste to Swiss chocolate, but to Belgium chocolate. I avoided the row that followed between the two women to take refuge in my mourning.
Americo is a lost cause indeed. An old mariner, pretending to be the reincarnation of Coleridge, runs the streets of Lisbon singing a very strange and beautiful ballad called "The Albatroz". Please keep attentive to any signs of hope and report.

Enjoy the sad moment.

Jon Sat Jun 26 05:08:08 PDT 1999

Dear fellow writers,
Thank you for you interest in the strange case of Americo's disappearance. I'm sorry to say that none of your reports concerns my neighbor. It must be some other mad Portuguese.
Today's editorial of the main Portuguese weekly has associated Americo's case to the myth of King Sebastian, who also disappeared in a battle against the Moors in 1580 without leaving trace. That's the origin of our "saudade".
Pussy refused to give the "things" back to one of the alledged widows of the neighbour because, she said, they do do not taste to Swiss chocolate, but to Belgium chocolate. I avoided the row that followed between the two women to take refuge in my mourning.
Americo is a lost cause indeed. An old mariner, pretending to be the reincarnation of Coleridge, runs the streets of Lisbon singing a very strange and beautiful ballad called "The Albatroz". Please keep attentive to any signs of hope and report.

Enjoy the sad moment.

Jon Sat Jun 26 05:06:04 PDT 1999

Dear fellow writers,
Thank you for you interest in the strange case of Americo's disappearance. I'm sorry to say that none of your reports concerns my neighbor. It must be some other mad Portuguese.
Today's editorial of the main Portuguese weekly has associated Americo's case to the myth of King Sebastian, who also disappeared in a battle against the Moors in 1580 without leaving trace. That's the origin of our "saudade".
Pussy refused to give the "things" back to one of the alledged widows of the neighbour because, she said, they do do not taste to Swiss chocolate, but to Beligium chocolate. I avoided the row that followed between the two women to take refuge in my mourning.
Americo is a lost cause indeed. An old mariner, pretending to be the reincarnation of Coleridge, runs the streets of Lisbon singing a very strange and beautiful ballad called "The Albatroz". Please keep attentive to any signs of hope and report.

Enjoy the sad moment.

Weston Fri Jun 25 19:59:40 PDT 1999

A curious incident.

Bored with the fish stories of late on the Notebook, I switched on the shortwave radio and began idly scanning the forty meter band. I chanced upon two amateur radio operators conversing. One was located here in the States and another on a freighter under way somewhere in the North Atlantic. The conversation was pleasant if not a little mundane, but as the seafaring ham was speaking, I heard in the background: "Sparks! Come look at this, see what you can make of it." The radio conversation was promptly ended, but then resumed after about a half hour.
"Sparks" related what he saw: Stepping out on deck, his attention was directed astern by the starboard watch. After allowing his eyes to adjust to the darkness, he was able to see a tiny phosphorescent wake approaching in the distance. As they watched, the wake slowly overhauled the ship and was soon abreast. For a moment it matched the old freigher's speed. The watch called to the bridge for a search light and soon an intense beam stabbed through the darkness. They were amazed to see a swimmer, his clothing in tatters, flailing furiously. The mate hailed the swimmer and offered aid, and then prepared to heave to, but the man in the water declined, saying something about "too slow" and then something about "tell th-----amer-co--ho--chel---". (Here the radio signal faded briefly.) As they watched, the swimmer pulled away and was soon lost to view in the darkness. The radio signal again faded and was gone for good.
I submit this account to the Notebook as it seemed somehow to fit in with the current intrest in sea stories.


Jerry Lee Fri Jun 25 19:14:49 PDT 1999

Yo, All,

Just time for a quick note, someone said the Portugese are coming. An attack on the east coast somewhere.

If you own a gun, GET IT!!!

Sqrl Fri Jun 25 18:52:49 PDT 1999

Odd...I remember pushing the button that publishes my message. ::scratching head:: It went *poof* all gone! So I post it again, with hopes that it WILL take (this time).




Sqrl Fri Jun 25 18:46:42 PDT 1999




Jerry Ericsson Fri Jun 25 17:10:29 PDT 1999

Today there issued from the White House in Washington DC, a call to arms - I too was called out of my virtual retirement, and back into the service of my great nation.

The orders simply stated: Report to Northfork Va.
Purpose: To defend the USA from an attacked by a crazed european who is at this very second approaching the East Coast, leaving behind the bodies of various sea creatures, those whom he had just months prior mourned the killing of.

I have armed myself, and am enroute to defend our shores from Americo.

Jon Fri Jun 25 16:32:34 PDT 1999

A very sad day not only for me but for the whole nation. I only left home to buy a black tie and the newspapers. The Spanish King, Don Juan Carlos, wrote to our PM asking for fresh news about the neighbor. The PM answered (quote): "I wouldn't care less. He dislike me, me to dislike she" (that's the way he speaks Castilian). "The Times" (of London) was rather reticent about the morality of my neighbor, suggesting that he had been responsible for the madness of Milocevic and the concomitant madness of NATO. "Expresso" (of Lisbon) had a rather malicious editorial about ocean
pollution caused by Portuguese trying to swim to America. All the Green Parties of Europe are demanding new legislation to protect sharks from (quote) "cannibal Portuguese long distance swimmers".
And I have received some phone calls. Seven women pretended to be Americo's widows and asked for strange things, like "the songs the Beatles plagiarized from us", "the box of pink preservatives tasting to Swiss chocolate I left on his bedside table second drawer", "the ring he killed the big octopus with" ...
Eight children, all exactly the same age, pretended to be brothers and sisters of third Americo's widow and asked me for his best computer war games. When I said he only used Macs, they went away crestfallen, saying something to the effect that they'd rather eat monkey brains for breakfast. A blind woman spoke to me about Americo's lovely smile and his two wonderful dimples on the same left cheek. A very well-dressed man, looking like Al Capone, was waiting for me at the elevator just to tell me that "the b* just had what he deserved". And, after carefully studying my high forehead and intelligent looks, asked if I was interested in a "gonnection". I replied I had my hands full for the moment (but I am going to study the strange offer).

Finally: the Pope prayed urbe et orbe for "this, after all, and despite everything, son of ..." He could not complete the sentence because of a cough caused by the French cigar the sexton nearest to the altar was smoking.

So another day and another night and another century and another millennium without Americo. The world is empty. And here I am, crying, while Pussy, also very sad, dances a fox-trot with her own shadow.

PS. A sign of hope, perhaps. Over the spot where the Titanic sank, strange fishes, thought extinguished millions of years ago, and anyway creatures of the deepest waters, are coming to the surface, apparently scared and shouting for help in their incomprehensible languages. An expert on long swimming distances over the North-Atlantic expressed yesterday, on the channel MUZZIK, the hypothesis that my neighbor might have made a pause in the monotony of his long trip and visited the Titanic in search of something nice to eat. We must grab all possibilities of hope in these sad circumstances, however remote and implausible.

Enjoy the long and dark night, my dear fellow writers and other mourners.

Allein Fri Jun 25 10:31:12 PDT 1999

I'm baaaaaaack!! Didja miss me? I had quite a bit of fun in Colorado. My grandparents had their 60th wedding anniversary. There was a huge party and a lot of people there that I didn't know. Then my aunt took us to Denver where she spoiled us rotten. We went out to eat for every meal, went to two malls and the movies - I saw Tarzan, which was actually pretty good. Then I went back to my grandparents. We left yesterday and got home around one in the morning. I fell asleep immediately.


Americo - I'm sorry about your neighbor. I'll tell you if I hear anything.

Well, I have things to do - unpack, wash clothes, etc.
Bai bai,

Rhoda Fri Jun 25 10:15:37 PDT 1999


No doubt being eaten by sharks is a fitting end for a man who reads Playboy magazines. But I don't think you should worry too much about your neighbor. That wasn't Americo's blood around that capsized boat. I am sure that if Americo is in trouble, Dr. Kirk will attempt a rescue. He is a doctor, after all. I didn't know you had man-eating sharks in Portugal anyway.

This is not the end of Americo. I have it on best authority that only the good die young. He admires my work and there are such few people around. I will not stand by and hear that one of my few fans has been eaten by sharks.

That man fishing in the boat was not Americo. I believe it was Mr. Molosovich. The United States government cannot locate this terrible dictator, so it stands the reason that Mr. Molosovich, overcome with guilt about his many human-rights offenses, chose to take a day off for fishing. As he was reeling in a fifty-pound bass, a speed boat pulled up beside his boat. The rich Americans on board jeered at him and called him unspeakable names. Mr. Molosovich knew that this was the end. These Americans had recognized him and would contact their government in hopes of collecting a five million dollar award. Instead of some cheeky Americans becoming even more wealthy at his expense, Mr. Molosovich thought it better to take a desperate chance. With thoughts of standing before a human rights tribunal playing before his mind's eye, he jumped overboard with the hopes of swimming to America where he could begin a new life as a homeless person. Before he could swim away from his boat, he was set upon by ten great sharks from Africa.

If I am wrong and the unfortuate victem was indeed Americo, then I invite you to come the United States and live with me. You will have good company, for I have a cat Buttons who will offer you no competition because he is neutered. There are several cute female cats in my neighborhood who will be impressed with your Portuguese accent and your Latin ways.

Weep not, dear cat


Sqrl Fri Jun 25 07:25:43 PDT 1999


here's the quote CORECTLLY stated!: "If we want to get AHEAD in life, we must first look inside ourselves to see what is already there."

ohhh I think Sqrl needs sleep

Jon Fri Jun 25 06:12:41 PDT 1999

Dear fellow writers,

A sad morning indeed. The neighbour disappeared, probably for ever. The aviation, the submarines, even the ocean birds have lost sight of him. He's struggling no more for his life in the cold waves of the Atlantic, the poor devil.

One of our radio stations started the day with Mozart's "Requiem"; another one has been broadcasting that funny funeral march the Soviets used to play almost everyday in the weeks immediately before Gorby became what he became. The CNN remains silent, but they are probably preparing another war and they are too busy to worry about this simple event: the death of Americo. The only hope is that he decided to have a look at the Titanic remains in the bottom of the ocean.

Those of you who are also anxiously following this sad case please inform us of any news you may hear on that side of the Atlantic.

P.S. The little Kawinkiedink has already asked if he could keep Americo's collection of "Playboy". The guy is only thirteen!

Rhoda — I love you. Americo admired your work very much. As you know he read the chapters of "Valerie's Song" you published on the workbook and considered you one of the greatest writers who honour us with their collaboration. The likes of Howard and Thomas only. And me, of course, if he had read my addition to "Shadows" — unfortunately he did not have time. That's one of the greatest sorrows of my life. I am crying now.

Avatar — By saying "Shadows in a Dream" has unblocked your writer's block, you have paid the greatest tribute to the memory of Americo. He lived for this project, the poor soul. And now it's me who has to do the editing alone, Lena and Eddie being the lousest co-editors the world has ever seen. Not even a word about your (or my) collaboration. Silence absolute. I suspect they do not even read the roundrobins. A complete zero. I 'm thinking of firing them with just cause. The only person here Americo could (and would) thank would be Rachel. But I think she's dead as well. I'm crying again.

Martin — If Americo were still alive he would certainly offer you the works of E.T.A. Hoffman as birthday present. Unfortunately he must be resting in the stomack of any sea monster, perhaps Adamastor. I can't imagine any sharks, or whales, or octopuses to be interested in his flesh.

Enjoy the moment.

Rhoda (alma de casa) Thu Jun 24 21:12:12 PDT 1999

I have not deserted.


I like you. Truely I do. I read your posts every day. You could never chase me away from this Notebook, and I would miss you if you left.

I am play catch-up on Shadows now. I printed out all of it and am struggling to read through it so I will have something intelligent to add to it.


I enjoy your linguistic discussions. I am ashamed to admit that I am one of those deplorable Americans who does not know a second language. It isn't because I don't care or because I believe English superior to all other languages. It is only that, alas, I am a typical product of the American educational system. But I can learn.

Writing has been difficult for me. I am so busy during the day taking care of the children. We got a season pass to the local swimming pool, and my children feel that we are honor-bound to visit it every day. I am still unpacking and still trying to get my new house organized. Though I have read a lot this summer, I just can't seem to write. This is the worst writer's block I have ever had, and I am terribly ashamed of myself for not having pulled myself out of it yet. I must admit that I am almost embarrassed to post here now because I don't feel now that I am much of a writer.

Well, I must run. It is after 11:00 pm and none of my children are in bed.

Happy writing!


Thu Jun 24 20:27:17 PDT 1999

Good quote Sqrl, but shouldnt you have said *Ahead*?

Sqrl Thu Jun 24 18:09:55 PDT 1999

Opps! *blush* forgetted somtink.


How old are you now? :-)


Sqrl Thu Jun 24 18:07:23 PDT 1999


If you want, the elevator is on the ground floor. I never specifed time. . .You can jump on and get caught in there with Sqrl. E-mail me and we can work this entire thing out. I have some ideas, but they need substance. back is aching. Taking inventory stinks!


"If we want to get head in life, we must first look inside ourselves to see what is already there."

Jon Thu Jun 24 16:51:50 PDT 1999

Avatar, The Enty — new additions to the great best-seller "Shadows in a Dream". I've just downloaded them and will drink all their words at leisure, the radio earphones on the ears to hear about the neighbor's strange case, some catnip on the mouth, hum, hum, hummy! (as Rachel would say).

Jon Thu Jun 24 16:41:38 PDT 1999

Dear fellow writers,

Just to tell you that the neighbor is still missing. A large poodle of blood was seen around his capsized boat but no signs of Americo. At around 3 pm a shark was found with one of his rubber boots in its big mouth. The shark was obviously death. Rumours have it that the neighbor was seen swimming vigorously bound to America. Please warn the American navy. Attention to all submarines. This man is dangerous!

PS. A second shark has just been brought ashore by sardines fishermen. This shark was also murdered. There are signs of human teeth on its throat.

I am telling you all this because I am fond of sharks and fear for their lives.

I'd like to greet Michele for her post on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Jack had already mentioned it but now it is in good, European English. Even I understood it. BTW: perhaps we could do something to improve the intellectual level of this forum, now that the neighbour is struggling for his life in the sea.

PS. A third shark... Just a moment! It seems that this time is a whale . A blue one. Absolutely assassinated! I told you the man is dangerous!
You may have a guest for dinner at any time now. If I were you I'd start opening the bottles of your best wines. His favourite is Château Neuf du Pape. Never mind the vintage. He must be thirsty when he arrives there and will drink anything. When I say anything, I mean it (the blood must be fresh, though). For eating, well, he likes coc-au-vin. French food, please.

I'll be reporting news about ... NO!!! Now it's a mammoth octopus. Strangled with its own giant tentacles just fifty miles off your Atlantic coast. It had a beautiful ring around its nose. Americo's seventh divorce ring. It had his inicials: AGS. I would not sleep in peace if I were living in the USA (or Canada for that matter). I would not even go to bed tonight.

P.S. If anybody hears about this strange swimming rage, please report. And the question remains: why is the neighbor furiously swimming to America? Have you any idea? I haven't. Lock doors and windows, people. But leave the drinks and the food outside — a little hospitaly can prevent terrible consequences.

Enjoy the moment (if you can)

Avatar Thu Jun 24 15:21:16 PDT 1999

Michele- I believe you misunderstood my meaning. I like the long messages sent by the wonderful women of this notebook(including myself). In fact, we are in a field all our own here, as are the men(but don't tell them I said that). The longer the message, the more of the deeper sense of personality received.

Okay, now I'm being philosophical. Americo, it's all your fault!

I just recently posted to the notebook(yea!) and put in not one, but two posts. I think you may know the other as the entity for now.

Sqrl, you want to pull me into your web of darkness for a post or two til' Xavier gets back? Just remember, I now have fallen victim to an evil little creature's poison. The current effects are- (combined with the madness that has vanished with the effects) a loss of memory and a stalling of the process that would render me permanently blind in this realm. So for now, I am human-like, only with elven features and pointed ears. (by the way, for any with the wrong idea in this situation, I am not short, I am actually rather tall by human standards and average by my own)

Boy, do I love doing this!


Jon- tell Americo that my religion is Christian and I was praying for said soul while he was being eaten alive by cannibalistic sharks.

Clayton- I too, have just been inspired to truly write, but I have also been in that type of mindframe since fifth grade-so you can say it's kinda like stepping into a second skin for me.
I believe, for me, my 'Muse' comes when I sit down and actually write. I spent so many years refusing to because of fear that she sort of went into hiding there and is currently thinking of coming out(thinking-I didn't say she was!)
You are actually ahead of me (in completed works of writing and in age). It was only through the influence of our project, Shadows in a Dream, that led to me overcoming the 'nonwriter's block' and to start 'doing' it. I still have to thank the creators of that, but I think Americo is still doing the backstroke somewhere ;)
Your Muse will be there when you need her. I am pretty sure of that.

Later all

Martin Thu Jun 24 12:04:18 PDT 1999

The Spanish word for woman is mujer and it does not pop up in alma de casa. The only connection is alma as being a female noun. In English the connection is closer. House- wife - woman. But the closest it is in German, where Frau is a woman.

Post Scriptum: Do not fight the windmills, Américo, for they are no giants.

Well and now I have to save my breath for I have to blow out 32 birthday candels.

Thu Jun 24 11:59:38 PDT 1999

Michele Thu Jun 24 08:15:15 PDT 1999

If anyone else is interested (Martin asked me already) here is a brief explanation of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. It came from the web site listed above.

Linguistic Determination

Linguistic determination is the argument that language directly effects that way that people think about and see the world. Linguistic determination is also known as the Whorfian hypothesis or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (Sapir, 1968; Whorf, 1956). Whorf provides the example of the Eskimo words for snow. The Eskimo people are inhabitants of the Arctic. Whereas in the English language there is only one word for snow the Eskimo language has many words for snow. Whorf argues that this language for snow allows the Eskimo people to "see" snow differently than speakers of other languages who do not have as many words for snow. That is, Eskimo people see subtle differences in snow that other people do not.

Researchers have studied color perception across different linguistic groups to find support for the Whorfian hypothesis (Berlin & Kay, 1969; Heider, 1972); Heider & D. Oliver, 1973; G.A. Miller & Johnson-Laird, 1976; Rosch, 1974). The evidence indicates that people of all cultures perceive colour in the same way. The tentative conclusion is that language does not determine the way that people think. It is possible that language, whiule not determining the way that people think may influence the way that people think. Exactly how language might influence thought is yet unclear.

Jon Thu Jun 24 07:47:55 PDT 1999

(Hours later)

Now that I am a published writer, may I call you "my fellow writers", please?

PS. I heard an SOS on the radio: Americo's boat has capzised and he was thrown into the water. He was seen last swimming among the sharks and shouting like hell. I have been rolling on the carpet with laughter... I know he is a good swimmer and sharks do not frighten him.
But you never know. If you have a religion, you'd better pray for his soul.

More importantly,

enjoy the moment


Jon Thu Jun 24 05:58:07 PDT 1999


I have published in "S". Here is the text I wrote for your edification:

"Call me Prestigiar. I am Jon's personification. I am a cat but, as a fiction character, I become a dog — a large, black, hairy dog with fiery eyes, changing colors when stroked. This latter detail is important. Although black, I can turn any color depending on the person that strokes me. The colors are therefore symbolical. They show my sympathy, empathy, antipathy, for the caressing person. They may also show my states of mind.
I go wherever my master goes, although I may become invisible if I wish to. I am ultimately one of my master's personifications, like Beelzebub (lord of flies), Apollyon (destroyer), diabolus (slanderer, liar), Kirk (lover), Agsousa (tango dancer)… My master is called Mephistopheles, but do not ask me more, if you do not want to become frightened forever.
Call me Prestigiar. My way of getting closer to people is by going round and round in a narrowing spiral, a streak of fire following in my wake. I may look as an innocent black poodle, nervously jumping round people as if asking for their attention. Like any dog I growl, I howl, I bark, I lie down flat, I wag my tail. I can also stand still and, if you speak to me, I'll put my forepaws on you, licking the best parts of your body. Drop something and I'll find it for you, even jumping into the water for your stick or stone if necessary. I can grin at you, but also swell up with bristle spine.
I need love and attention. When I do not get them, and my swelling up, my grinning, my howling, my barking, my growling, my tail wagging, my licking do not work, when you are not moved even by my dancing — I may dissolve into a fog, the mist then dispersing, leaving in the air either a burning smell or, worst of all, a taste of nothing.

My neighbor gonna fishing.

Michele Wed Jun 23 23:20:29 PDT 1999

Forgot to say yesterday when I breezed in here that iambic pentameters are the nearest poetic equivalent to human speech - which is why they tend to get used a lot in poetry that is conveying speech (such as Shakespeare's plays). Although most poets will not write an entire poem in IPs on the grounds that it would be deadly dull to read after more than a few lines, so they will usually throw in something else - such as dactylic tetrameters. And for those non-poets amongst you, a pentameter means a line of poetry with five feet to it (please no silly jokes about only having two or four feet), whereas a tetrameter has four feet to a line. The terms iambic and dactylic et. al refer to the where the stresses are placed in a foot, hence:

Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me

is an example of a dactylic tetrameter because it has four feet to a line and the stresses go:

WOman much missed, HOW you call to ME, call to me

(stresses are in bold and caps here).

Poetry lesson over

- and this message is not that long Avatar !


PS If you want to know more consult the Introduction to the Norton Anthology of Poetry !

Jerry Lee Wed Jun 23 19:34:56 PDT 1999

Welcome, Clayton!

I'm sure you will get a number of responses to such a simple and yet provocative issue.

Simple, in that all it takes is practice. The more you do it, the less effort it takes.

Provocative, in that everyone has their own theory on attaining the proper "wavelength".

Some call it their "Muse". Others, their "meditative state". Whatever you call it, just do it and before long you'll look back in wonder at how easy it was.

Welcome to all new people! (Even those of you just lurking)

Jerry Lee

Sqrl Wed Jun 23 19:24:17 PDT 1999

"Seriously: are you a boy or a girl? (I hear this is the most frequent question on the Internet...)"

Acutally. . .YES this IS the most frequently asked question on the internet! I AM FEMALE! I am one of "non-existing" females of this bb. I know the elevator scene was a triffle confusing. I wrote it late at night, and made perfect sence then! I think some people may have forgotten that Sqrl is dressed in a suit with a derby (or did I have her switch into the fadora), anyways, she's sitting in a corner of the elevator, dressed as a man, so the people automatically assume that this is a guy, so Sqrl plays off of that.

If anymore confusion about my gender arises please feel free to inquire. People who know me in person STILL get confused. I AM FEMALE tho!


Clayton Wed Jun 23 18:38:25 PDT 1999

I have recently received the inspiration to write. I have decided to write a novel about what I know best. That is to say fantasy writing. I am 16 and only written one long story (using long in comparison to other's I had written of course). This was 60 pages and done when I was 14. I thought it was a decent work for one my age. I write to ask for help, not on how to write, as I already know that, but I would like to know how people such as yourselves get into a creative mindframe. This is the first time I've been here or listed anything here so I don't know if anyone will answer but I'll give it a try.

Jon Wed Jun 23 17:29:49 PDT 1999

The neighbor is also reading old issues of Playboy. It's a scandal.
I will disguise as Mephistopheles's poodle. A large, black, hairy dog with fiery eyes. My colour changes when I'm stroked.
Call my Prestigiar. (Not Ishmael, please!).
But never forget I am a cat. The cleverest cat the world has ever seen.
And I've invented the beautiful sentence:

Enjoy the moment.

Americo Wed Jun 23 17:22:44 PDT 1999

Hello, girls! So happy to see you! And I have been wondering where the heck (may a foreigner use these words?) has Olivia Race been hiding. I have more names of delightful people I miss in my "carnet de bal", but for the moment it's Olivia who has been worrying me. I thought calling the police to know about her whereabouts, but, you see, if the police find me it will be the end of the notebook. Portuguese jails are not connected to the Internet, at least the inmates can't use it — our Government does not want prisoners to be contaminated by Internet wacko perverts. It's a good, cultivated Government, worried with the moral of the criminals and the babies.
Why do I feel like talking about politics tonight? Just because it is not politically correct? Perhaps. I will not talk about politics then. I just wanted to say goodnight to the girlies. I am the greatest romancer the world has ever seen. That reminds me of Goodweed. Where is he? I sometimes think that no-one likes me and that's why people are deserting the notebook. But that is not true, is it? You see, I am reading "Bugs Bunnie". I am an intellectual. A very respectful (and interesting) personality. And I know languages. For instance, ciao (that's French), buenas noches (Basque), arrivederla (German). Etc. So talk to me!
Kisses all around.

Cassandra Wed Jun 23 16:33:29 PDT 1999

Someone inquired as to where the female population went to.. well I'm still around. I've just been relatively quiet for a while.

I had no real side to take in the discussion of beauty that has been on-going here, so I just sat back and took in the information.

Allein is, I believe still in colorado, Sqrl is still around... she just tends to pop in now and again. Xavier (I know, he's not a woman.) but he's been suspiciously absent for a while... I believe last thing I heard from him he was moving. So he might not make an appearance for a few days.

I'm doing my work on Shadows, busily working on the next installment. It should be ready by the end of this week.

And my costume, well... I'll have to think about it and get back to you. Surprises always are such fun anyways. ;) hehe

I have to run, chores are calling...*groan*


Avatar Wed Jun 23 15:32:43 PDT 1999

Is it just me, or have the females of this notebook deserted? Maybe I just didn't see 'em(they usually write such looong messages, you know)

Okay, fine, I'll just get by on my own.

Americo- July the 25th? ACK!!!! Where are those two I'm supposed to be collaborating with?? Sqrl? Xavier? If I heard correctly the latter was supposed to be writing something. My message to him- Don't wait for approval, just post so I can add something in!
(my elf has been out too long)

I think for the costume ball, I will just go as myself. Is that legal? I could pretend I am of the faerie in an old story (which I am)
Have to remove the glamour spell though, hmmm......

I think I shall add a bit to Shadows tomorrow(that gives me eight hours to panic)

Just where the ?&%$/F^*&* is everybody?

Jon- I applaud your sacrifice and commend you and the others on their loyalty to this project. Are you going to be a cat in the project, or the human subspecies?

Later all,

Martin Wed Jun 23 13:20:21 PDT 1999

In German and English eine Hausfrau is simply a houswife, while in Spanish it is alma de casa (The soul of the house). A soul is something highly appreciated during the cours of menkind. Save my soul as well as your last wish before you die and the saving of a being in the biblical idiom. Thorughout time soul was the important thing of a living creature like mankind. Compared to it, Woman is a living creature dwelling in the cellar. (Not my opinion but nevertheless true.) Throughout history women are used as a 'living tool'. If you know how important the alma de casa
is in Spanish society and the houswife throughout the rest of the world, you maybe have an idea how language effects perception.


Jon Wed Jun 23 05:19:34 PDT 1999

So my neighbor will be Mephistopheles? Sometimes Mephistopheles appears to Faust as a dog. I will disguise myself as Mephistopheles' dog. That's the greatest treason I could do to my race, as I am a cat. But it shows what I am prepared to sacrifice for the sake of "Shadows in a Dream". A good example for you all!

And — I am thinking of writing for that famous book as well! Anyway, my neighbor will do the editing...

Americo Wed Jun 23 05:13:59 PDT 1999

Jack: The limp part was just a humorous reference to your present back condition. I hope you feel better now, so — no walking with a limp. Straight as an arrow!
Jon is scratching my leg, asking to speak. Let us be patient and hear what he has to say. Nonsense, probably.

Sqrl: I think the person who published in "S" was your alter-ego, the Sqrl-girl. You, better than anyone else, can say...
Seriously: are you a boy or a girl? (I hear this is the most frequent question on the Internet...)

PEOPLE: For the mask ball, Dr Kirk will disguise himself as Mephistopheles. You know, the character in Goethe's "Faust".

Would anyone like to mask as Shakespeare? It would be nice. The first to volonteer will be the first to have that most honourable of roles. I confess I had thought of him for myself but I will not be present at the reunion. Not as agsousa. My character *at the hotel* is Kirk. If you read the book you'll have at least a vague idea why. Do not ask me more. That's a secret between Sarah and I. Who is Sarah? Well, ask Rachel.

Jack Beslanwitch Wed Jun 23 01:43:04 PDT 1999

Character development - i.e., our own - Yes, I think that can be accomplished and was already working on it. I do not know about the limp part, though.

Groaning as I stand up and planting hands on either side of my back and tretching back, then walking confidently to the podium. Looking with false humor as I survey this group of people I know, but do not, and uncertaint how my prepared speech will pass muster. Oh, well, to hell with it, and just start saying what I think.

Then again, maybe I need to work on that some more. Descriptive statements pop into my mind. Now how do we describe Jon? ;-)

Michele Wed Jun 23 00:14:03 PDT 1999

Actually Shakespeare wrote in Iambic Pentameter - some of the time - a lot of the time he just wrote blank verse.

As far as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is concerned, in academic circles it's largely treated as an oversimplification....

But then I've been studying poetry and linguistics all this last semester so what do I know ?


howard Tue Jun 22 19:54:05 PDT 1999

Ogunquit, Maine

Unspecified sources in this small New England town report some very strange twists in
the Stphen King incident. One report claims that the Dodge van that struck the author
was built in the same factory, on the same assembly line that produced another infamous
Dodge -- Christine, some 30 years ago.
Another source claims that the dog that distracted the driver was indeed a St. Bernard
named, ironically, Cujo.
And possibly the most bizarre twist in the whole case is the driver’s name, as yet
unreleased, but reported to be Thomas Kyle Nocker -- TommyK for short. He was taking
a shortcut home, became disoriented upon entering an unseasonal fog bank, and didn’t see
the man jogging along the side of the road. That running man turned out to be none other
than Stephen King, who now lies in misery, with several broken bones.

Sqrl Tue Jun 22 19:31:11 PDT 1999


thanks for the complements. I have just one question: What did I send you? I'm lost! Is my imaginary boy friend Bob sending things again? Or is it my alrtinate ego Sqrlly Girl? Sorry, but something is a miss.


Jon Tue Jun 22 17:52:38 PDT 1999

I will desguise myself as... well, I don't know yet. (And would not tell you either).

Americo Tue Jun 22 17:47:03 PDT 1999

Sqrl: I have read your latest contribution to "S". In print, as it should be. The screen does not make justice to our talent. It must be appreciated on paper. (Someone told me that Jon prints his posts on scented paper and shows them in the pub to anyone knowing Euro-English... and willing to pay him a drink!)
Your addition, Sqrl, certainly contributes to the atmosphere of mystery and suspense (and a wee bit of sex) that has been developed in the Chelsea lately. I like it. It fits the real atmosphere of the hotel. Actually Kirk, my invention, is also a rather mysterious character in this book.
However (this to the other contributors) a bit of realism would be welcome. I miss the additions of Rhoda, whose style is very accurate and true to fact (this is a compliment, Rhoda, of course). You, notebookers, make splendid characters, at least in my dreams.
And, Sqrl, I am going to try that Gatorade drink of yours.

People: think of the way you are going to masquerade to the mask ball. Someone (not any of you, please!) will go as Shakespeare. Martin as Don Quijote. I could be Sancho Pança, but I will be hiding behind the curtains to frighten you all! And the book already has much over 200 A-4 pages! A great success!

Tue Jun 22 15:21:38 PDT 1999

Yo, All,

I may have the word wrong, somehow but Dynamic Pentameter is the formal type of English that Willy used in writing. Like everyone else back then, I think.

My head is hot= Burning in mine braincase.
You're pretty= The majesty of the sun is humbled if only to shine on thy face.

And so, dear friend, the glorious use of elegant speech plays a lackluster second to ideas based in thought which comes from Heaven above, so new and unthought until this day when thine ears travel forward to gather them together like sheaves from the field of understanding.

Or; pretty words are fine, but fresh ideas are the real substance.

If this explains Pentameter, I'm amazed.
Jerry Lee

Weston Tue Jun 22 14:54:44 PDT 1999

The beauty of language?

Over my career of building machine controls I have had the occasion to build for delivery outside the States. In all cases the function of each pushbutton, pilot light or switch required a description in the local language. I never trusted my translating abilities, so I asked the customer to provide the proper wording. Most of the machinery went to Mexico, with some going to Spain, Brazil and China. No attempt was made to engrave the placards in Chinese but all the others were dutifully translated and engraved. There were obvious differences in the labels from one country to another but I was amazed at the variation within Mexico. All machines had Master Start and Master Stop buttons. I can't remember the most common Mexican words for these buttons but I do recall one occasion where the best I could make of the translation was "Light the fire" and "Put out the fire". The machine was used to push two parts together and did not involve flames. I wondered at the time if the Mexican engineer had been previously employed operating or building steam locomotives.

I have had occasion to repair machinery imported from Germany and Italy. I was able to translate the controls drawings and troubleshoot the machine. Italian was fairly easy but The German words describing the machine functions were grand and imposing creations, fabricated, assembled and errected by German engineers. (Why say something in two or three short words when one polysyllablic nomenclature will suffice?)
Most of this machinery used pictograms, however, to describe the function of the buttons and indicator lights for the operator. Perhaps this is a good thing in a factory where machine operators may not all have the same language, but I also see this as a disturbing trend toward accepting illiteracy. I once received a computer from IBM with assembly instructions that used only photographs and line drawings with circles and arrows. How is an illiterate supposed to use a computer? Is this like instructions for a camera printed in braille?

The (probably politically incorrect) Sapir-Whorf hypothesis holds that one's language affects one's thought processes and vice versa. This idea has generated more questions than answers.

How does language affect preception? International relations?
Is there a "best" universal language? Should there be?
Would a child be handicapped by learning a certain language?

Do the notions about Latin lovers and German engineers have a basis in this theory? If so where do the English or the Americans fit in?

The hypothesis could be dangerous, as some cultures who share a common language could be regarded as inferior or unsuitable for certain activities because of the language they speak. (See, I told you this idea was politically incorrect.)

I started out here to consider the beauty of language. It seems that I have plunged into a dark place.


Martin Tue Jun 22 12:43:08 PDT 1999

Call me Ishmael is a good start, but the whole first pragraph of Mobby Dick is more to my liking. Water......

Jerry Lee
What is a Parameter? I need to know that, for I can understand your post about the essence but somehow I do not see the beauty and I have this itch it is because I lack the knowledge of a Parameter?

Was it that bad? I just ried to fire the Portugese temper.
Parameter again. I have this itch because I lack the knowledge of Shakespear?
Help me! Teach me! Save me!
Yes I overdue it with Cervantes as well as with Herman Melville and Fjodor Mikailovitch Dostoevsky.
Anyway do not try to heal me, a certain barber and priest failed, too



Americo Tue Jun 22 11:46:23 PDT 1999

Sqrl was the first writer to answer my SMSH (Save my Summer Holidays). I have just downloaded the file to read it at my leisure. Imagine me, Sqrl, lying on the sofa, a whisky on the rocks at my left hand, reading your words. Isn't this a dreamy scene? I'll tell you my expert opinion later. Thanks.

This page has been lately exactly as I like it: all for me! Thanks everyone for your generosity. I really love space.

Enjoy the moment.

Jon, CEO Tue Jun 22 04:30:17 PDT 1999

Good morning, everybody!
"Shadows" is lacking character development. The characters are ourselves. You must say: Steve is a nice chap with blue eyes, Rachel tops, Jack walks with a limp, Kirk stinks, and Thomas said, I asked, Cassandra smiled gently, Pnokio remained silent, Sqrl looked at me in such a way that I blushed, Xavier kicked a cat, Allein looked like an angel, Lena was too mysterious to be a real person, I ... Well, you get the idea.

Enjoy the moment.

Americo Mon Jun 21 19:15:08 PDT 1999

Martin, the only Portuguese who speaks Spanish is the Prime- Minister He speaks Spanish like a Spanish cow — we all laugh when he says "nuestros germanos los castelhanos" (nuestros hermanos etc.). French, English or German are the options available at our schools. No Castilian (aka, Spanish). When I go to Spain I speak French or Portuguese opening the vowels. Sometimes they understand me. We were always much nearer France or England than Spain. Historical reasons, I suppose. But I like las chicas españolas.

You exaggerate with your Cervantes, and it's a crime to say whay you said about Shakespeare. He was simply the greatest poet of all times (and I am not forgetting Homer, Virgil, Dante, Camões, Racine or Goethe).

Jerry Lee — you put the finger on the right spot. The synthesis is perfect.

Jack — Nope! That's not beautiful. There is nothing like "Call me Ishmael." (Melville), "Aujourd'hui maman est morte." (Camus) or "Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure." (Proust) Any of these opening lines raises the reader's curiosity and, more importantly, dives him into a wonderful atmosphere. The sentence you quoted just reminds the reader he must have his TV set repaired ...

Jon Mon Jun 21 17:43:36 PDT 1999

If you, people, do not finish "S" in time (25th JULY) so much the better for me. Instead of editing the book in August, I'll just go to the beach and have a swim or two every day. Of course, I'll spend Christmas holidays working... but that's another story.

Enjoy the moment

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jun 21 16:12:41 PDT 1999

     OK: I have archived up to yesterday and left whatever was posted today. This should make for an easier time for all after reaching 140k. I am still hurting, back after a visit to my chiropractor I am at least walking upright without gasping for breath. That's definitely an improvement.

     On the question of beauty. It, as with every other aspect of writing or artistic endeavor in general, is one more tool in the quiver of the artist. It is not the end all and be all of any artistic endeavor, contrary to popular opinion, even that of painting, but it is an important part to greater or lesser degree in any and all. However, beauty for beauty sake can be a smoke screen that blinds the author to was is truly important in his writings. Poetic beauty can enrich a piece of writing or it can obscure. As with everything, time and place is so important. As I have said before, one of my favorite opening lines in a book is, 'The sky was the color of televisision tuned to a dead channel'. - Gibson used this succinct sentence to nail a sense of the world we were asked to come and visit in. Is that an example of beauty? Not sure, but it is an example of good writing.

Well, not sure that made sense even to me. Maybe too many pain pills :-) Take care everyone. Productive writing. And I will give reports on the Dean And Kris Professional Writers Workshop. It is a week away and I am definitely looking forward to it. The course breakdown on it I just got last week looks very very interesting indeed.

Jerry Lee Mon Jun 21 15:16:58 PDT 1999

Yo, All,

The beauty in writing is a mixture of prose and deeper understanding...

"...There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio,
than are dreampt of in your philosophy..."

What the Bard did here was to put deeper understanding of life on Earth into a pot and boil down an extremely complex issue into a single dollop of a sentence. Pentamiter aside, the beauty and simplicity of the statement work in any form of any language. The fact that the words are as rhythmic and satisfying as they are only add to the sentence's inherent beauty.
Without the knowledge imparted to Horatio, the sentence is still perfect in prose, but lacks the depth of thought that really embues it with power.

In essence, beauty for the sake of beauty is fine, but substance with beauty is eternal.

Jerry Lee

Jack Beslanwitch Mon Jun 21 13:28:50 PDT 1999

Americo: Do not worry. Some of us are just swamped of late. Rest assurred now that you have given us a deadline for a due date that others of us will submit. I am already, as I said earlier, working on my keynote address and perhaps the thought of having it interrupted by a disgruntled ghost, but maybe not. Maybe a brief possession to belt out a Sid and Nancy song. Hmmm. Maybe I do have to rent that videotape. I'll have to think about it.

Anyway, there will be submissions. Do not get antzy.

Martin Mon Jun 21 12:49:26 PDT 1999

Here comes that Swiss guy again and he .......... disagrees.

Beauty is in the viewer eyes or more harmonizing to the notebook: Beauty is in the readers mind. Do we read with the eye or with the mind?
(Américo) You could heal me disgusting Shakespear. What did this guy do, to earn the fuss he is still raising? To be or not to be? That’s certainly one of the most interesting saying there is, but I do not consider it beauty of language. With this saying Shakespear challanges our mind but beauty of language is if you explore each and every word to its depth. Like the example I gave with the jail (see a few notes below). Cervantes certainly is not challanging our mind but exploring the word jail to its depth.
My theory how men learns to speak is because they love to imitate or to put it in more scientific terms: They imitate because it is a urge to survive. Like the little wolf who learns to hunt to survive by imitating.
About the americans it is simply my observation during the year I stayed around in the United States of America. Who knows probably it was just a malefunction of my
scanner. How many Portugese do speak Spanish?

Here comes that Swiss guy once more and .............agrees

In pricipio erat verbum!


Américo Guerreiro de Sousa Mon Jun 21 12:21:11 PDT 1999

It's been a while since someone published in "Shadows in a Dream". And the last person was yours truly.

I have been a bit crestfallen today. Was I too enthusiastic and naive about Internet collaborative writing? Was I too optimistic about people who I know only through words? And what is the degree of engagement of "notebookers"? Is Internet just a toy like television where you turn on a button and expect the others to feed you? If that is what you think, buy a Nintendo or go hunting. The Internet is for us to WORK. And work means fun, means pleasure, means sacrifice, means ... well, I'll ask Martin what it means.

Now, people: If there is someone here with a heavy schedule that's me. I have the moral right to call your attention for your laziness and to make you feel ashamed of your procrastination.

Is it so difficult to imagine a meeting in a hotel of people you have dreamed about, and write according to a simple plan which has been established months ago? Is it difficult for you to write about people you talk to every day? Is it difficult to imagine little dialogues and little situations with the twenty plus people who send you greetings, who cry and laugh with you so very often? This book has to be finished on the 25th July THIS YEAR. What are you waiting for?

Americo Mon Jun 21 05:32:44 PDT 1999

though your message is addressed to Martin, I beg to also give my opinion on its issues.

Your teacher's attitude towards literature and art in general was regrettable. She should be teaching car-repairing rather than writing... And she had a philistine notion of what *effectiveness* means. Advertising, for instance, which one would expect to be just facts and information, can't be effective if not using some artistic devices. Art, and therefore beauty, is the most effective way to communicate at a decent level. Even business letters must have some sort of beauty to be really effective...
One is led to wonder if that lady was not *misinterpreting* William James's pragmatism — a topic which would take us too far. She should be someone to ignore if there were not seen signs of her poor "effectiveness" in *some* American writers. I hope her teachings have been repudiated in American schools.
Subjectiveness in ethics or in art's appreciation has its limits. We should not confound subjectiveness with ignorance or callousness. Good and bad are NOT synonymous . Those who think they are are perhaps interpreting wrongly something quite different: the co-existence of good and evil in man's soul.

I am glad to gather that you did not have that teacher's teachings in high esteem.

I firmly believe that one of the superior qualities of the English language is its capacity to easily absorb words from all origins. In this respect it's more flexible than neo-latin languages.

So we are in agreement on this latter point as well — which is a pity, as a good discussion with cultivated and intelligent people as you are would certainly be very useful and a pleasure ...

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