Peter Morwood

britishbullet:

Finally received my book that was recalled from someone else on the longbow and its history so I can write this essay on early medieval archery and I shit you not the first sentence of the introduction is “The longbow is a bow that is long as opposed to short.”

………You don’t say.

(Humph. I thought I’d posted this weeks ago, so not current but still IMO correct.)

Misremembered quotation, or deliberate mistake?

The book in question is “Longbow" (Robert Hardy, 1976, 1992) which with "The Great Warbow" (Matthew Strickland & Robert Hardy, 2005) and "English Longbowman 1330-1515" (Clive Bartlett, 1997) make an excellent overview of this notable weapon. The correct quote reads like this:

A longbow is only a bow that is long rather than short. It has come to mean a particular kind of bow, the type still used today and presented quite precisely in the rules of the British Long Bow Society.

'A long bow is defined as the traditional type with stacked belly, horn nocks, and limbs made of wood only. All surfaces shall be convex.'

That description already excludes many kinds of bow that for the purposes of this book will be called longbows. But the Society exists to perpetuate the use of the traditional longbow (as) used at Crécy and Agincourt…

Taking out that single word “only” as OP has done makes the first sentence look like it’s stating the I-shit-you-not obvious.

However, Robert Hardy (actor, historian and occasional TV presenter) knows his way round the English language and how one small word can change the tenor of a sentence.

Leaving “only” where he put it shows he’s perfectly aware how obvious the statement is, and goes on to give his reasons for using it.

What were OP’s reasons for not using it? Honest error, or making some sort of point with a cheap shot? Shots and points have their place in an essay about archery, but I’d suggest not like this.

itsarthistory:

Viking artifacts from Dublin area. Swords, spearheads, shield bosses, brooches, and gaming pieces.

Most (maybe all, haven’t been in for a while) of these are on display in the Irish National Museum, Kildare St. Dublin. Courtesy of “Swords of the Viking Age" (Ian Peirce 2002), here’s a closer look at the sword on the extreme left…


"The crossguard and pommel are constructed of intricate castings of gilt-copper alloy upon a core of iron. The gilt-copper matrix is pierced to take … clusters of silver rings with a silver centre, all set in niello. The effect is stunning and nearly all of these almost identical tiny devices are intact. The two rows (on the crossguard) are separated by two sets of silver and copper wire twisted together and set in niello (also on the lower part of the pommel). The upper part of the pommel is made up of four lobes … the two outer separated from the two inner by thick twisted silver wire set between (beaded silver wires). A single beaded wire separates the two smaller, central lobes. The grip is provided with a scalloped mount made of brass and decorated with stylised plant motifs.
The sheer quality of the decoration upon the hilt of this prestige weapons indicates the lengths to which contemporary artists would go to entice their customers. This hilt is truly a great work of art..”

Back in the 9th century when it was new and bright, this sword must have looked like something magical…

itsarthistory:

Viking artifacts from Dublin area. Swords, spearheads, shield bosses, brooches, and gaming pieces.

Most (maybe all, haven’t been in for a while) of these are on display in the Irish National Museum, Kildare St. Dublin. Courtesy of “Swords of the Viking Age" (Ian Peirce 2002), here’s a closer look at the sword on the extreme left…

"The crossguard and pommel are constructed of intricate castings of gilt-copper alloy upon a core of iron. The gilt-copper matrix is pierced to take … clusters of silver rings with a silver centre, all set in niello. The effect is stunning and nearly all of these almost identical tiny devices are intact. The two rows (on the crossguard) are separated by two sets of silver and copper wire twisted together and set in niello (also on the lower part of the pommel). The upper part of the pommel is made up of four lobes … the two outer separated from the two inner by thick twisted silver wire set between (beaded silver wires). A single beaded wire separates the two smaller, central lobes. The grip is provided with a scalloped mount made of brass and decorated with stylised plant motifs.

The sheer quality of the decoration upon the hilt of this prestige weapons indicates the lengths to which contemporary artists would go to entice their customers. This hilt is truly a great work of art..

Back in the 9th century when it was new and bright, this sword must have looked like something magical…

I like cats. But that doesn’t mean I’m under contract to dislike dogs.

paigethenotebook:

tim4eus:

catsforlivvy:

idratherdreamofjune:

softdespair:

join-they-said:

Russian medical record written in cursive

you say russian and i raise you chinese


*gasp of horror*

OHMYGOD STOP.

alright but

Hebrew tho

i refuse to believe any of this translates to anything

All of these look like the sort of scribble produced when actors “write” on-screen.
Watch them sometimes: even just a signature involves pen-wiggling like a seismograph recording an earthquake and a staccato scratching noise like quill on parchment (even if it’s pencil on paper) but if you’re then shown a close-up, it’s usually elegant handwriting that bears no relationship to what the pen was doing…

paigethenotebook:

tim4eus:

catsforlivvy:

idratherdreamofjune:

softdespair:

join-they-said:

Russian medical record written in cursive

you say russian and i raise you chinese

Chinese doctors' handwriting

*gasp of horror*

OHMYGOD STOP.

alright but

Hebrew tho

i refuse to believe any of this translates to anything


All of these look like the sort of scribble produced when actors “write” on-screen.

Watch them sometimes: even just a signature involves pen-wiggling like a seismograph recording an earthquake and a staccato scratching noise like quill on parchment (even if it’s pencil on paper) but if you’re then shown a close-up, it’s usually elegant handwriting that bears no relationship to what the pen was doing…

Ensign Chekov as a dog. “I can do zat! I can do zat!”

Ensign Chekov as a dog. “I can do zat! I can do zat!”

yourhippielove:


Fox sleeping in a graveyard.

Makes me wonder about reincarnation

yourhippielove:

Fox sleeping in a graveyard.

Makes me wonder about reincarnation

Hello! I wonder if you had a post on cliches in general? What is your in take on cliches? Do you think its okay to use one or two of them in a book?
Anonymous

clevergirlhelps:

You should be aware of cliches in your genre. The real problem with cliches is their predictability, If you’ve read too much fantasy, you can predict the plot of a story that begins with an orphan teenage hero on a farm in the middle of nowhere. If you’ve read too much paranormal romance, you can predict the fate of the unacknowledged but hot teenager even before she meets the Dark and Mysterious Boy. 

I have lost count of all the books I’ve read with willowy, wise, immortal, pointy-eared elves who are fading for some reason. I’ve lost count of the rebellious and misunderstood teenagers, the magic swords, the missing/mysterious fathers, the genetic magic, the hooded strangers, the Big Damn Heroes, the castles, and the Dark Lords. When you see it enough times, you can predict how that character will act, how the plot will unfold, or how objects will play into the final scene. 

By making yourself aware of your genre’s cliches, you will also be aware of how readers expect the story to go. Your job is to shatter their expectations into itty bitty pieces so that they want to keep reading because they’re off the grid in terms of genre convention.

That being said, people aren’t going to hate your book if you use cliches. They aren’t going to throw it away and badmouth you on Goodreads. If your book runs on cliches, it will be dull. However, this still isn’t enough for people to hate you. Some people like the familiar trappings of cliches. Also, if a reader is new to the genre, they might not know something is cliche and accept it as an amazing idea. I thought Eragon was great until I became more widely read in the fantasy genre. Not to mention there are cliches you can give a cool twist instead of remaking entirely. Genetic magic, for example, is totally a cliche. Almost every book uses a magic you must be born with. I acknowledge that it is a cliche and I would like books that use other sources for genetic magic, but I still read and enjoy books that use genetic magic. It’s such a broad topic that you can twist it any way you want.

However, there are cliches that should not be used. Always do your research before writing someone who doesn’t share your ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, income, sexuality, mental ability, physical ability, occupation, and I’m probably missing a few but you get the point. Don’t use cliches that are racist, misogynistic, or transphobic. Don’t imply people need monogamous love to be happy. Don’t imply men and women can’t be “just friends”. Don’t fridge women, don’t kill off queer/POC characters to teach the MC a lesson. Don’t make all the good people hot and all the bad people ugly. Don’t cure someone’s mental illness with a love interest. 

tl;dr be aware of cliches and don’t use stereotypes

TVtropes helps identify what have become clichés and what seem to be heading that way (besides being a website where you can waste vast amounts of time under the guise of “research”…) but for fantasy writers I’d also suggest The Tough Guide to Fantasy by Diana Wynne Jones.

Why go looking for clichés and stereotypes? So you can identify one that’s trying to insinuate itself into your writing (because using them is so easy) and either avoid it or give it a twist that makes it original again. If you don’t know about them, you’ll end up using them.

starllex:

this is my favorite post of all time

Whenever I think of pointlessly intrusive micromanagement I think of this.

(The basis for it (Genesis 38: v.8-10) had more to do with disobedience than with sex. Straight Dope explains.)

Writing is writing, and stories are stories. Perhaps the only true genres are fiction and non-fiction. And even there, who can be sure?
Tanith Lee
One of those days…

One of those days…