Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.
Song of Solomon 8:7
I ran across an interesting book in the Writing Center on Friday as I prepared for my MLA Wednesday Workshop. It’s called Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lay: Practical Advice for the Grammatically Challenged (and that’s no lie), by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis. They offer incredibly useful grammar advice in possibly the most humorous ways I’ve ever encountered. For inastance, check out their comments on the word data: The controversy rages:
Is data singluar or plural? On the one had are the purists, who insist that it is plural; on the other are the modernists, who say purists are transplants from the eighteenth century, and that data is a synonym for information and is therefore clearly singular. So which camp are we in? Is data singular or plural? The answer is yes.
Basically I’ve fallen in love with this book. It’s second on my list of favorite nonfiction, beaten out only by Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex. That book, my friends, is the type of book I aspire to write some day. Informative, accurate, easy-to-read, and above all lighthearted. Of course, the author got a PhD in biology at Oxford, and I sincerely doubt my WPI education – however nice it may be – will get me anywhere near an Oxford degree. Still. I recommend both books for great learning and laughing opportunities.
Now back to speech-writing, PDF-reading, textbook-dozing, MQP-editing, and all those other good but unfun things a student is obliged to do occasionally. Oh, radix? I have no idea what it is. Something about numbers.