About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Because novels don't get yanked out of the front of the brain, they can't be bullied into existence by increased focus or a Calvinist work ethic. A lot of what you need is in that great junkshop of memory and experience and emotion that's located in the back of the mind, and it's a place that can't be systematized, made orderly. You can't go in there looking for one thing and hope to find it. All you can do is browse, see what looks interesting, hold it up to the dim light and ask yourself what its relevance might be to the task at hand.

Richard Russo



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 6/22/2018

Totals
Posts - 2503
Comments - 2574
Hits - 2,057,457

Averages
Entries/day - 0.46
Comments/entry - 1.03
Hits/day - 376

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 4:37 PM Pacific


  10:20 AM

I found this in a comment on a blog post:
The, not really qualified for the position of teacher, instructor never bothered to use Notepad++.
I like this, because the author has the right instinct: there's a complex modifier for the word instructor, and he understands that it needs to be typographically indicated to make it parsable. The usual way is to hyphenate the whole dang thing:
The not-really-qualified-for-the-position-of-teacher instructor never bothered to use Notepad++.
Or a more boring way is to recast, e.g.:
The instructor, who was not really qualified for the position, never bothered to use Notepad++.
But that takes a certain oomph out of the sentence. It's possible that "Scott" considered hyphenating but was not comfortable; creating a chunk of hyphenated text like that takes a certain determination, and a faith that the reader will plow through it. Obviously, yer various style guides are not going to be down with using commas as the alternative. Still, like, I say, I do like this. It shows a writing mind at work.

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