This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Words ( #BOTB & #IWSG )

         Words are the reason I write.  They also provide an effective way of communicating verbally.  Life is pretty well encompassed by words.  And then there is The Word...


The Insecure Writer's Support Group


Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


The co-hosts for the September 2 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise - Fundy Blue!


September 2 question - If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?



        This year with all that has been going on I've been thinking a lot about George Orwell. I've only read a couple of his books--Animal Farm and 1984.  There might have been another book that was not fiction, but now I can't recall what is was.

          In a sort of fixation to find pandemic related movies, I tracked down a passable copy of 1984 on YouTube for my wife and I to watch.  Orwell's thinking was rather prescient of our times though he had to have been influenced by the wave of fascism that swept Europe in mid-twentieth century. The guy had not only a good grasp on the English language and a clever approach to words, but he was a literary critic as well.  Seems like someone who could be helpful getting my writing in shape.

          Wikipedia says the following:

In his essay "Politics and the English Language" (1946), Orwell wrote about the importance of precise and clear language, arguing that vague writing can be used as a powerful tool of political manipulation because it shapes the way we think. In that essay, Orwell provides six rules for writers:
  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

        If nothing else, this set of guidelines might be nice to print out to have posted in ones writing space. 

         And while I'm on the subject of words, how about three very different songs that were big releases from three different decades by three different artists competing in another...


Battle of the Bands


        Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.



Bee Gees  "Words" (1968)






Neil Young    "Words"  (1972)




Missing Persons  "Words"   (1982)






Time to Vote!
        
           Put your preference into words.  Which song do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘Storms and Stardust’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday      September 7
       
        Lately I don't get many comments on my results posts, but I see the page hits showing up in my analytics so I guess people come back to at least check.  I will post my results, but likely have an economy with words.  Well, that is, unless I really have something that I want to say.


          Would you want a literary critic as a beta partner?  During the pandemic have you been drawn to more dystopian type films and books?   What is your favorite resource for finding interesting words?  







43 comments:

  1. He did have good points on writing.
    I'll have to go with Missing Persons. And her outfit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, starting the voting off with...

      Missing Persons.

      Lee

      Delete
  2. Lee,

    I can learn from others and Orwell's list of writing tips can turn a person's words into a better composition. I have no clue who'd I would like for a beta partner. I'll move on to your battle. That's something I can address with more confidence. :)

    At first I thought I didn't know any of these song titles but after listening to them, I recognized Missing Person's song. Fabulous 80s tune and the gal's super short skirt definitely gives MP extra points but is it enough to steal my vote? I think not. Neil Young's song, I like the mewsic arrangement but the lyrics and Young's voice didn't resonate with me. My favorite of three is the one by the Bee Gees. The tenderness of the song's lyrics and the beautiful orchestra playing in the background is what did it for me. Please give my vote to The Bee Gees!

    I have a showdown up. When you get a chance please swing by to cast your vote! Have a bandtastic day!

    ~Cathy

    Summer's End #BoTB showdown with some Tickle Me Tuesday giggles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, actually when I was putting this Battle together I didn't recognize the Missing Persons song by sight, but when I heard it I knew I'd heard it a lot.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I vote for the Bee Gees, great then and great to listen to now.
    Enjoy your September Lee and keep well.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yvonne, your vote doesn't surprise me.

      Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I had to shut off Missing Persons' song halfway through because the singer's voice annoyed me.

    There are a few songs by Neil Young that I like. This wasn't one of them.

    That leaves The Bee Gees and their song. As always, lovely harmonies, excellent production, good song: a winner all around. They get my vote.

    If you had included The Monkees' "Words," there would be no contest...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John H, I don't recall if I ran across the Monkees song, but I don't remember it anyway.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. The BeeGees had such great style before Disco made them lose their balls. They get my vote. Neil was pretty good for Neil and the last one was meh for me. As for writing, not that I do any but it would be fun to sit down with Dorothy Parker for a while

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, well, I've gotta admit that I liked Bee Gees in all of their incarnations. They were creative guys.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Dorothy might be a hoot. Probably a good conversationalist.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. L.Diane, sounds like a vote!

      Missing Persons.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. As big as the Bee Gees were, I always thought they should have been bigger still. They were good, with very catchy hooks and a unique sound. It is a good song and was my runner-up.

    Neil Young was always a mixed bag for me. And the bag was about 70% "Words", 20% "Just Singing a Song", and 10% "Heart of Gold." Meaning of course that WORDS is at the poo-poo end of the Young scale, and that scale can get pretty stanky down at that end.

    I always liked Missing Persons. I saw them at a little club in San Diego just as they getting big (they quickly got un-big) and I really enjoyed the show. Terry was and is an excellent drummer, having gotten the Frank Zappa gig which required the best. I went to watch a drum clinic with him in the 2000's, too. Tremendous abilities, and I'd rank him a top 20 world drummer. His then-wife Dale was certainly hot in a "Trashy Women" sort of way (Mike: wink, wink.) She did a photo shoot for a trashy nude magazine to prove it.

    But THAT did not influence my vote for Missing Persons. The lyrics reflect these times: "what are words for, when no one listens at all." Vote: Missing Persons.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 6-Gun, I know Neil has his fans, haters, and in between. But I guess that's par for any artist. I was a Neil fan from the Buffalo Springfield days and on.

    I don't know anything about Missing Persons, but the "Words" song was everywhere for years and I immediately remembered it when I heard it. Thanks for the info.

    A vote for Missing Persons.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some Young songs I like a lot... this just was not one of them. I believe that undiSTILLed Young (haha) is not nearly as appealing as when he is in a group. I like Buffalo Springfield and CSNY way better than just Young. Actually, I feel that way about all the members of those groups. Nash better with CSNY and the Hollies than alone, etc, etc.

      Delete
  9. From my Cousin Tom on Facebook,

    A vote for Bee Gees.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just painted my bookcases in my office a sage green. LOVE them. But books were lying all over my dining. I just put my George Orwell books back in place. :)

    I love the Bee Gees.

    T.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teresa, Books in a book case are the way to go, but sometimes those books just take over all sorts of places. That's my house.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. We're huge BG fans. I listen to them a lot on youtube. They were so young for so long. haha, like all of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joylene, Bee Gees made me feel young. Well, at least until 2020 came along.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. "Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous." The anarchist in me likes this rule the best... I write humor and satire on contentious contempory issues, so it fits.

    I pick the song "Words" by Neil Young btw. I think I'll search for it on Spotify and turn the volume high!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PJ, I'll break rules if it accomplishes something I'm trying to get across or sometimes just for the audacity of it.

      A needed vote for Neil Young.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. Definitely the Bee Gees for me! Yeah, it's interesting to compare Orwellian stories to present times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loni, Orwell's work reads almost like prophecy. He understood the dark art of manipulating the masses through fear and oppression.

      Again a vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  14. George Orwell laid out some interesting guidelines.

    One of my favorite quotes is attributed to him “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” Indeed, the man was a visionary.

    So, between the three,

    “It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away,” The Bee Gees. It’s true, and they did.

    “Words, words between the lines of age,” by Neil Young. Nice lyrics, but is there an angry cat under the sofa?

    “What are words for when no one listens anymore?” by Missing Persons. The song was popular once, but that video is going to haunt me.

    The hardest part was giving each one equal consideration when I knew from the start who I’d pick. A very interesting mission you set us on, Lee.
    A vote for the Bee Gees, please ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diedre, from the dawn of time to Jesus on trial to this day people still look for truth and often it's hidden away by deceivers or not discernible to the seekers. I think we are in an age of great deceit.

      I also knew who I was going to pick from the outset, but I like all three songs. More in my results post.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. Can I vote for a mashup of the BeeGees song with the Crazy Horse instrumental? No? Okay, give me Neil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, might be an interesting mash-up. Incongruous maybe, but could be interesting.

      A vote for Neil Young.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. LEE ~

    I figured for sure I'd probably be casting my BOTB bote for the Bee Gees. However, the song was new to me and I didn't really care for the lead vocals.

    As you know, I'm not generally a Neil Young fan (although I do dig a few of his songs), so I figured he would be O-U-T.

    And the less I say about Missing Persons, the better. (I preferred Missing Persons before they were found.)

    In the final analysis, the only song in this 3-Way that I had heard before was Missing Persons. And although the Bee Gees were the odds-on favorite to get my bote, I'm actually boting for NEIL YOUNG. (Yeah, surprised me, too!!.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, that indeed does come as a surprise. I'm also kind of surprised that you hadn't heard the Bee Gees song before because it seemed to get a lot of airplay in the 60's and 70's, but maybe not in California so much. Or just wasn't in your wheelhouse (whatever that expression is supposed to mean).

      A surprising vote for Neil Young.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. As an Eighties kid, I have to vote for Missing Persons! I enjoyed all three versions, though.

    My favorite source for finding words is The Phrontistery (http://www.phrontistery.info/index.html), particularly their sections on lost words (some taken from Thomas Blount's 1656 Glossographia) and obscure words. Many of these words aren't so confusing once I recognize common Latin and Greek roots in them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Ann, I'm not surprised that you'd come up with a resource that to me seems so obscure. You really know how to come up with great reference materials.

      A vote for Missing Persons.

      Lee

      Delete
  18. Great choice for a Beta reader, Arlee! I'm a big believer in precise and clear language, and his six rules for writing are spot on. I choose the Bee Gees! I hop that all is well with you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fundy, I shoot for precise and clear, but often miss the mark.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. First, I love the Orwell rules. Perfect! Lest I go barbarously off the deep end.

    When I saw the title, I immediately hoped that the Bee Gees version was included. Love that song, and most Bee Gees songs. Their vocals were so smooth...

    Bee Gees get the vote, but Missing Persons could be close behind; love that song, also. Neal...you'd be third. Sorry...if only you'd given your horse a name...

    As for your questions:

    Would you want a literary critic as a beta partner? I could possibly get into that...

    I HAVE been drawn to more dystopian films...what does that say about me?

    What is your favorite resource for finding interesting words? Ye Olde Thesaurus...I'm old school, man.

    Thanks, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, a literary critic seems like they might be more harsh than I'd like, but hopefully they would be encouraging along with providing insight.

      I've heard a lot of people being drawn to dystopia these days. I tend to relate our current situation to a lot of things in older films.

      A thesaurus is a great resource, but usually these days I'll go to the ones online. Somewhere I know I have at least a couple hard copies, but easier to look on the computer.

      A vote for Bee Gees.

      Lee

      Delete
  20. You asked a couple of questions, so I'm going to answer both of them.

    Beta partner... JK Rowling. Other than a guy who used to be in a writing group I was a part of, she's the only author I've ever heard of who wrote detailed biographies of every character she was going to put in her books before she wrote them. I tried that; failed at it!

    Second, I have to go with Missing Persons on "Words", especially since I bought the first album; no idea where it is now. The Bee Gees song irritates me, though I loved the group, and this is probably one of the least liked songs of Neil Young I can remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mitch, I've imagined the lives of characters I've made up, but have never written out their biographies. I've heard of people doing that.

      A vote for Missing Persons.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. No, I don't think I'd want a critic for a partner. I guess it would depend on if I valued their opinion though. I have not been drawn to more (or less) dystopian entertainment than usual. I do seem to have been busier, though I can't seem to figure out what consumed my time. I like to find new words in their "natural setting," in books and websites, being used. I love getting to look up words I don't know. It doesn't happen as often as it once did, either because I know a lot of words or because editors de-thesaurus books nowadays.

    I am excited for the upcoming YA scavenger book hunt (YASH), and for the Pass or Pages query contest at Operation Awesome with the YA category this October.

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee