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Some Study Material

Listsofnote.com posted Willliam Safire's "Fumblerules of Grammar" and Good Morning Silicon Valley found it and posted a link to the list in its daily off topic section.  


It's been decades since I've seen Mr Safire's Fumblerules. I enjoy them because he wrote them to illustrate his points, but I find myself editing them to correct the errors. Still, I break several of them. I'm going to add this to my compilation on how to improve my writing.

I wasn't familiar with List of Notes so I explored the website. There are fascinating other lists that delivered new nuances of famous people. Thomas Edison's to-do list made me look askance at my own lists. I'd never seen Jack Kerouac's Belief & Technique for Modern Prose. Madonna's lists interested me because they were prosaic view of a famous person's life.

Robert Heinlein's predictions for the year 2000 gave me pause. He predicted commonplace 1,000 mile per hour travel at one cent a mile and the housing shortage being solved by a technological breakthrough but his predictions were more than technology. Number 4: "It is utterly impossible that the United States will start a "preventive war."" Wonder what he would have thought of Iraq.

I follow David Foster Wallace's habit, and I didn't know it, of collecting words. The first one, 'lee', surprised me. That seems so commonplace.

A surprising moment comes courtesy of James Dean's list, and some background. The night before he was killed, he gave his cat, a Siamese given to him by Elizabeth Taylor when he finished filming "Giant", to a friend for care. 

Just like our urban slang dictionaries, there is a list of 'Jive Talking for those who don't speak jive'. I didn't know it existed and laughed aloud as I recalled Helen Hayes speaking Jive in the movie, "Airplane!". 

There is John Lennon's last list, an ordinary compilation of reminders, Bob Hope's packing list, and Houdini's Rider. 

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