When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

February 24, 2006

Did you ever notice...

Bravo Romeo Delta

the difference in spelling v. meaning in wee knight and week night?

This goes back to one of the things that I speak about when doing training presentations: the difference between written and spoken language.

Consider, for instance:

"Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rest can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Fcuknig amzanig huh?"

Interesting, isn't it? Wait until you see how Microsoft word does with it.

Now say it aloud.

There's a few other things - basically when one reads, subconsciously one scans about seven words in advance. So essentially, when reading, a person reads most of a line of text as a whole, synthesizes it, and then moves on. When small children are learning to read, one of the things that is quite difficult for them to understand is that a given letter only has meaning when oriented a specific way, and in some cases, such as m and w, the entire sound and meaning of the letter changes based on what is apparently a 180 degree rotation.

Spoken words, however, don't carry with them the ability to remain in memory for any length of time, and to subsequently recontextualize new information as effectively as written words. Hence, alliteration, repetition, meter, alliteration, and all these other things, which are often frowned upon in written communications are essential in promoting an idea when spoken. For example:

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.

Now imagine what your English teacher would have said about that in an essay.

For sake of comparison, listen to this.

This all becomes quite interesting when one consider what “on the record” and “off the record” actually mean in both practice and theory. But that’s a post for another day.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at February 24, 2006 09:16 PM | Missile Tracks

Retaliatiory Launches

Meta-writing, I like it.

Posted by: spacemonkey at February 26, 2006 10:35 PM

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