Monday, March 22, 2010

You could say the answer was blowing in the wind ...

While telling a story, how many times can someone say "to cut a long story short" before it becomes redundant?
Yesterday, I counted four.


  1. ....or 'basically' before you're bored, bamboozled and completely disinterested?

  2. I would say the phrase becomes redundant when you say it the second time, because if you've said it twice then obviously your story is still too long and hasn't been cut short at all.

  3. Kath - And don't even get me started on "at the end of the day". When I am elected, uttering this phrase outside of a poetry reading will be punishable by DEATH.

    River - The weird thing was that each time she said it, she was telling a different story and indeed cutting it short. But the point of the whole exercise was me saying "You don't need an appointment".
    The end.

  4. (Our reference: OE2BU6_024.03)

    Hi Sam,

    I'm writing on behalf of an educational publisher in Hong Kong. We would like to request permission to reproduce a photo from your blog (Captioned ‘Messy room’, URL: Could you please get in touch with me so that we can discuss the matter in detail? My e-mail address is I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best regards,

  5. As far as phrases go we have a number that go around my office and a couple of us have started making fun at them:

    At the end of the day
    I think you'll find

    are three of the main ones.

    Let alone the use of the made up word "incidenceses" for the people that are amazingly confused at trying to make a plural of "incidents".

    Question though: was it you that was telling the story? Or was it you that was listening?

  6. Red - Hooray!

    Shippy - It was me listening and trying to sneak a word into the foreshortened life story.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32