I am having terrible troubles with my computer (an HP dvr9000 series laptop), and it will need to be replaced. It crashes often — I can now expect to get only ten or fifteen minutes at a time out of it — and it it takes several attempts to get it to restart. So cranky is it tonight (and as a result, so cranky am I), that I have given up on trying to do any serious writing. I got a late start this evening anyway: the lovely Nina and I spent most of the afternoon at the spectacular and uplifting Vassily Kandinsky show at the Guggenheim, and this evening we took our son, who is heading off in a few days for his final semester of college, out to dinner.

So for tonight, then, a brief and enjoyable item (and high time; the mood has gotten altogether too dark and negative around here lately).

For several years I have had on my sidebar a link to a website called Language Log, and for at least the last two of them I have neglected to visit. My good friend Jess Kaplan wrote to me yesterday, however, to point out a couple of items there that he had just enjoyed, and that got me back in the door. I had forgotten what an outstanding blog it is.

For tonight, then, we direct you to a fine pair of posts (here and here) explaining why Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, is probably the worst prose stylist ever to make a living writing books (even that title contains a gaffe), and an item examining the relative frequency of “you know” vs. “I mean”. But don’t stop there. This is a site that is curiously difficult to navigate away from.


  1. Charles says

    Oh goodness, I do love me some Dan Brown hatin’. I am going to have to check out that post.

    Posted January 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Oh, yes. I read that book, to see what the fuss was about, and before I was was done the rest of my family wanted to take it away from me.

    The only redeeming quality of that novel was the jolt it gave me to see a man make so much money by writing so badly. It was an occasion for deep reflection.

    Posted January 11, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Permalink
  3. Charles says

    Actually, I’m one of the few who has never read DVC. I have read Deception Point, though, so I’m not a Dan Brown virgin.

    Posted January 12, 2010 at 2:56 am | Permalink

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